Thomas Sowell

There is something both poignant and galling about the candidacy of Barack Obama.

Any American, regardless of party or race, has to find it heartening that the country has reached the point where a black candidate for President of the United States sweeps so many primaries in states where the overwhelming majority of the population is white.

We have all seen the crowds enthralled by Barack Obama's rhetoric and theatrical style.

Many of his supporters put their money where their mouths were, so that this recently arrived Senator received more millions of dollars in donations than candidates who have been far more visible on the national stage for far more years.

That's the good news. The bad news is that Barack Obama has been leading as much of a double life as Eliot Spitzer.

While talking about bringing us together and deploring "divisive" actions, Senator Obama has for 20 years been a member of a church whose minister, Jeremiah Wright, has said that "God Bless America" should be replaced by "God damn America" -- among many other wild and even obscene denunciations of American society, including blanket racist attacks on whites.

Nor was this an isolated example. Fox News Channel has played tapes of various sermons of Jeremiah Wright, and says that it has tapes with hours of more of the same.

Wright's actions matched his words. He went with Louis Farrakhan to Libya and Farrakhan received an award from his church.

Sean Hannity began reporting on Jeremiah Wright back in April of 2007. But the mainstream media saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

Now that the facts have come out in a number of places, and can no longer be suppressed, many in the media are trying to spin these facts out of existence.

Spin number one is that Jeremiah Wright's words were "taken out of context." Like most people who use this escape hatch, those who say this do not explain what the words mean when taken in context.

In just what context does "God damn America" mean something different?

Spin number two is that Barack Obama says he didn't hear the particular things that Jeremiah Wright said that are now causing so much comment.

It wasn't just an isolated remark. Nor were the enthusiastic responses of the churchgoers something which suggests that this anti-American attitude was news to them or something that they didn't agree with.

If Barack Obama was not in church that particular day, he belonged to that church for 20 years. He made a donation of more than $20,000 to that church.

In all that time, he never had a clue as to what kind of man Jeremiah Wright was? Give me a break!


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate