The racist, anti-American rantings of Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's spiritual mentor and pastor of the church Obama attended for 20 years, raise many red flags about Obama's supposedly best selling point: his unique capability for healing societal divisions.
Considering our deep-seated societal disagreements over cultural and political issues, promises by politicians to end societal divisiveness are dubious enough on their face. But when the promisor's personal history contradicts his promises, even further scrutiny is required.
It's difficult to gauge Obama's genuineness in standing on this kind of platform because he has such a short political history to evaluate. Stories have been written, pointing to his extreme liberalism and scant record of reaching across the aisle, that cast serious doubt on his unifying claims. Until now, his lofty speeches have obscured these inconsistencies.
But with reports of his pastor saying "blacks should not sing 'God bless America, but G-- d--- America," and, concerning the 9/11 attacks, America's "chickens are coming home to roost," the burden of proof has now shifted to Obama. He must demonstrate not only that his claims to offer healing are sincere but also that he does not actually share his pastor's and, manifestly, his congregation's deeply disturbing views on race and America.
What can Obama say to meet this burden of proof?
Before this story heated up beyond the mainstream media's ability to suppress it, Obama casually dismissed the pastor's tirades merely as "controversial" remarks -- as if they had some legitimacy and were not outright indefensible but in any event should not be taken too seriously. Now he appears to be saying he was unaware of the offensive statements. But if Obama's deepest passion in life is to heal, wouldn't it follow that he would make it his business to know -- taking the willing suspension of disbelief here to new heights -- what driving passions stir his pastor?
We must recognize the double standard that liberals typically apply to immunize themselves from accountability for bigotry. When the remotest connection can be inferred between a conservative and a bigoted supporter, there is always hell to pay. No excuses are permitted. Guilt attaches -- not even by so much as true association but by passive receipt of an endorsement from anyone the left believes to have bigoted views.