We interrupt regular column writing to ... imagine John McCain ahead in the polls.
Imagine that McCain had spent the last 20 years in the pews of a white supremacist church that supported an apartheid-like separationism from black people, and also that, until a few months ago, McCain had proudly claimed the church's white racist pastor as his "friend, mentor and pastor" -- even taking the title of his best-selling 2006 memoir from one of this man's sermons. Imagine further that, in the 1990s, McCain had directed foundation funding toward a white-separatist educational program supported by this same pastor.
Now imagine McCain -- this same imaginary McCain whose polls indicate imminent victory -- had only lately left this church, brushing off his relationship with the racist pastor by pleading ignorance of the man's vile views.
All of these McCain hypotheticals, of course, are mirrored in Barack Obama realities related to his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah "G-- d--- America" Wright. The foundation funding I refer to, detailed in a recent scoop by Stanley Kurtz, is the $200,000 that Obama, as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundation, approved for a local organization that promoted black separationism as taught by such Afrocentric theorists as Jacob Carruthers, who, Kurtz writes at National Review Online, sought to use "African-centered education to recreate a separatist universe within America, a kind of state-within-a-state." Carruthers, and many others from his organization, the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), which, Kurtz writes, "takes as its mission the need to `dismantle the European intellectual campaign to commit historicide against African peoples,' were featured speakers at Wright's church.
Interesting, no? Worth a question or two into Obama's more or less political relationship with Wright, no? Or views on Afrocentrism, no? Or into his media-honed reputation as the candidate of post-racial integration, no?
Let me demonstrate why not by harkening back to our McCainian world of pretend for an unreality-check.
Imagine -- and this may be the hardest thing to swallow -- that the press corps (panting adjunct to this imaginary McCain campaign), assorted pundits, politicians and practically anyone else with a microphone or blog, say none of this matters. Or say it is "racist" to discuss these shocking facts. Weirder still, imagine that Obama, imaginary McCain's trailing opponent, says the very same thing -- more than passing strange given the happenstance that Obama is black and thus a key symbol of the imaginary pastor's vicious animus.