The “dumbass” in question holds that Wright’s comments are no big deal because while the style is bombastic and some of the phrasing is over the top, the basic content of the supposedly “inflammatory” statements about 9/11, the US role in the world, and the country being dominated by “rich white people” is true and is “controversial” only because some people – including, apparently, you – don’t want to face facts.
If it’s indefensible, then you should have no problem explaining what’s so wrong about them. I’m on record as saying that the “God damn America” thing was stupid. (And, to a lesser extent, so is the guy I linked.)
Please note, that this is by no means a blanket defense of Rev. Wright. It’s merely an acknowledgment that some of the statements he’s made that are getting attention right now aren’t nearly as far out as some seem to be claiming. Of course, if you want to dispute the merit of the statements, go right ahead. In fact, I encourage you to do so. Seems to me that at least in these cases, the problem is less about what he said and more about how he chose to say it.
Oh, and allow me to clarify. Obviously Wright’s statements are a big deal. I don’t deny that. My argument (and LarryE’s, I’d say) is that they shouldn’t be, or at least not for the reasons that they have been. At best, all the front-and-center coverage of Wright is an attempt at a guilt-by-association smear against Obama. All over statements that were more incendiary in tone than they were in content.
You both are engaging in the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty. If this was a Republican backer or a close associate of Mrs. Clinton, you both would be foaming at the keyboard. Wright’s comment’s were a hate filled rant, designed to stir the crowd up against white people. The tone is very important here.
The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people.
The government doesn’t “send them drugs”. Contrary to what hate mongers like this man think, the CIA did not invent crack to bring down black people. Also, the government doesn’t force anybody to break the law. Personally, I disagree with the three strikes law, as well as laws against drugs, but they are what they are. We all are aware of them. In fact, I have a conviction myself. Just like the young black men who shared a cell with me, I knew the law and chose to break it anyway. The fault was mine, and recognizing that was the first step toward personal growth.
Going to prison for breaking laws does not give someone a reason to hate this country.
God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.
America does not treat black people as less than human. At one time, it did, but not now. Regardless, there is no justification for hatred. None.
We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.
First off, we have not supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans. The United States led the way in helping end apartheid. The United States, under President Clinton, even brokered a sweetheart deal for the “Palestinians” do have their own state, but they did not accept it and instead chose to continue their goal of driving the Jewish nation into the sea. Also, regardless of what we have done, we did not deserve to be attacked on 9/11. I know you are going to try to spin this into some BS about how that’s not what he said and that he was just saying that our actions have consequences, but you know damn well that that is BS.
There is a man here who can take this country in a new direction.
Not one damn time have I read any of you call for the IRS to investigate this “church’s” tax exempt status. Why? This is clearly engaging in partisan politics.
Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary would never know that.Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person. Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain’t! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty.
I doubt very seriously that Barack encountered a lot of racism in the white home he grew up in. If he was called a nigger, I am sure it was by another black man. If that word is so repulsive, maybe black people should stop using it. The stuff about Bill is not worthy of comment. It just exemplifies the disgusting nature of this phony preacher.
This “preacher” gives the impression that Obama had a hard time and that America has been bad to him. He even says that Obama isn’t rich. That is all a lie. Both he and his wife are Ivy League educated and both are very rich. I never would have dreamed of attending Harvard. Even if I would have had the SAT score, I still could not have went. But Barack and Michelle did, and that is fine. If anything, he is an example of how good this country currently is and how far it has come.
Again, your defense of this man’s comments is reprehensible. I am surprised at you.
Again, this is (or ought to be) a non-issue, because there’s simply no evidence that Obama, the candidate, endorses any of these views.
Neither I nor LarryE directly addressed the “gave us drugs” remark directly. I can’t speak for him, but I’ll say that that’s probaly crap. As to the rest of the statement, however, it’s less off-the-mark than you pretend. It’s self-evidently true that the laws and policies being discussed impact poor blacks at a wildly disproportionate rate. You can go on living in your fantasy world in which this has absolutely nothing to do with race or racism (past and present), but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to share that fantasy. If those laws impacted whites at anywhere near the rate they impact African-Americans, they’d be repealed in a heartbeat. To pretend that there’s no racial component is just silly.
America does not treat black people as less than human.
Tell that to Amadou Diallo. Actually, you’ll have to tell it to his family.
The United States led the way in helping end apartheid.
Dude, pick up a history book. We were hardly a “leader” in ending apartheid. Indeed, your hero Ronald Reagan vetoed sanctions against South Africa passed by Congress, and when Congress overrode his veto, he simply refused to put any muscle behind them.
Also, regardless of what we have done, we did not deserve to be attacked on 9/11.
There’s a difference between saying that the attacks were not unprovoked, and saying that we “deserved it.” That’s not spin, that’s truth. Do you deny that our foreign policy actions have consequences? Do you think that acknowledgment of that fact is tantamount to saying that we “deserve” any such consequences? Surely you’re not that simple-minded…
Not one damn time have I read any of you call for the IRS to investigate this “church’s” tax exempt status.
Then you clearly didn’t read LarryE‘s post. If it makes you feel better, yes the church should be investigated for partisan politicking. I don’t know if they’ve done it in this particular case, but an organization I support, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, reports all such activity to the IRS, irrespective of who the politicking from the pulpit is for or against.
If that word is so repulsive, maybe black people should stop using it.
Oh, grow the hell up. If you really think that use of the word within the black community is uncontroversial there, you’re obviously a lot more sheltered than I thought.
This will be my last on this because unlike some and I congratulate you on your patience, I take heed of this advice:
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (Matthew 10:13-14)
Which is usually understood to mean “Don’t waste your time arguing with an idiot.”
intellectual dishonesty. If this was a Republican backer or a close associate of Mrs. Clinton
Intellectual dishonesty is something with which you are obviously well-acquainted. All you know of me is this one post, yet you claim omniscience about what I would say under different circumstances. The charge that I wrote what I did out of loyalty to Obama over Clinton shows the depths of your ignorance.
The government doesn’t “send them drugs”
Which, as Tgirsch already noted, is something neither of us addressed. But since, it seems, you have trouble responding to what I did say, I’m not surprised you chose to attack me based on what I didn’t say. Be that as it may, saying “the government doesn’t send them drugs” has no bearing on the fact that it is a widely-held belief, not something Wright was making up in order to “stir the crowd up against white people.” There was, of course, that little matter of the CIA winking at drug smuggling because the smugglers were being helpful in supporting the contra war, but that’s unimportant because, as we all know, the charge was conclusively refuted by the CIA, which investigated the CIA and found the CIA not guilty, which was good enough for the major media in the US.
Going to prison for breaking laws does not give someone a reason to hate this country
I’m sorry, but just who was it that said that it did? And I was amused that breaking the law is portrayed as just another choice, kind of like deciding between spaghetti and meatloaf for dinner. Poverty, despair, unemployment, hopelessness, none of it relevant in any way. Don’t you get that the idea of “the audacity of hope” is that for far too many among us, particularly among poor blacks, the very state of having hope is audacious?
America does not treat black people as less than human
Of course it does. Not legally, no, at least not for the most part. But are you really going to argue that there is no racism? And that racism does not consist of regarding another as inherently inferior? (If you want to nitpick and say there’s a distinction between “less than human” and “less than fully human,” I’d call that a distinction without a difference, but fine, if you accept the latter as an accurate description, I’ll accept the amendment.)
we have not supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans
Oh, please. Of course we have and of course we did.
The United States led the way in helping end apartheid
That’s utter nonsense. Americans, that is, as individuals and groups, did provide significant aid in the struggle against apartheid with boycotts and disinvestments. But the United States, that is, as official government action, did virtually nothing (if that’s not giving too much credit) until it was obvious apartheid was going down, and soon. Let’s not forget that the phrase “constructive engagement” was invented for the purpose of applying it to South Africa.
The United States … brokered a sweetheart deal for the “Palestinians” do have their own state, but they did not accept it and instead chose to continue their goal of driving the Jewish nation into the sea
It’s hard to imagine more BS being stuffed into one sentence. I’ll start by noting I find it very revealing that you put “Palestinians” in quotes, something everyone outside the Israeli rejectionist front stopped doing years ago. As for the “sweetheart deal,” it was not “brokered” by Clinton, it was designed and presented by the Israelis to Arafat at a meeting which he agreed to attend only because Clinton had assured him that it was for general discussion and there would be no recriminations no matter the outcome. (Arafat had been reluctant to attend because he thought no progress would be made.) That is, Clinton arranged for Arafat to be blindsided.
Second, and more important, the proposal was presented solely for the propaganda purpose to which you and others have put it. It would have used 90% of the West Bank for a Palestinian state – but with the other 10% consisting of Israeli “security corridors” which would have sliced that state into a series of Bantustans, with Palestinians able to get from one part of their own country to another only with the permission of the Israeli military. It was a “deal” which the Israelis knew in advance Arafat would not, could not, accept.
As for the paranoid “drive the Jewish nation into the sea,” the PLO specifically endorsed a “two-state solution” in 1993. On the other hand, in 2004, then-PM Ariel Sharon openly acknowledged that his “bold” plan for withdrawal from Gaza was intended to freeze the prospect of an actual Palestinian state indefinitely – with the US’s blessing. That there is a Palestinian rejectionist front is undeniable; that Israel has for its own purposes pursued policies that serve to strengthen and justify that rejectionism rather than to undermine it, is also undeniable.
we did not deserve to be attacked on 9/11. I know you are going to try to spin this into … that’s not what he said … but you know damn well that that is BS
And you know damn well you’re either a fool or a liar. No one, including Wright, said anything about the US “deserving” to be attacked. He said, rather, that it was blowback. I spent a good portion of the post that you supposedly read on that very topic, explaining why I agreed; I don’t see how you could have missed it. But to make it easy on you, I can sum it up with the immortal words of Mr. Spock: “I do not approve. I understand.”
Not one damn time have I read any of you call for the IRS to investigate this “church’s” tax exempt status
Again with the quotation marks. Now, apparently, it’s not even a real church. You’re really quite a catch – for a large butterfly net.
Quoting my post: “[T]he clip where he is attacking Clinton’s supposed lack of understanding of what blacks go through on a daily basis pretty much amounted to campaigning for Obama from the pulpit, which is a tax-exempt no-no.” Are you sure you read the post?
I doubt very seriously that Barack encountered a lot of racism … If he was called a nigger, I am sure it was by another black man
Okay, now you’ve gone completely off the deep end, around the bend, over the wall, and way, way off into never-never land with statements so manifestly absurd as to require no comment; simply quoting them is sufficient refutation. So I’ll leave with this:
If that word is so repulsive, maybe black people should stop using it
As T. says, the word’s use by blacks is not without controversy among blacks. But I would note that I expect every single one of us has had the experience of laughing without concern at things said to us by friends that would be deeply offensive if said to us by strangers. As the Bible says:
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
And friendship and shared understandings will cover the multitude of what would otherwise be sins.
This may be a bit off-topic, but since the Israel/Palestine conflict has been raised, why are the facts always ignored? Why is Israel always the group condemned and not the Arab population that wants Israel wiped out?
1. What has been referred to as Palestine was actually a territory ruled by the Ottoman empire for roughly 400 years. In 1917, the Ottomans turned that territory over to Britain. No one disputed their ability to do so or the legality of doing so.
2. In 1917 the British government issued the Balfour Declaration.
3. In 1922, the British divided the area into two parts. One had 80% of the land and was called Trans-Jordan which morphed into the state Jordan. The remainder stayed as the Palestinian region under British control. It was never called Palestine.
4. In 1947, Britain, as sole administrator of the area, declared it Israel.
Anyone who thinks Arabs are not committed to wiping out Israel has not paid much attention to truth.
Big U: Anyone who thinks Arabs are not committed to wiping out Israel has not paid much attention to truth.
Make sweeping generalizations often? It would be foolish to claim that no middle-eastern Muslims wanted to “wipe out Israel,” but it’s just as foolish to claim that they all do. And as for “ignoring the facts,” that’s what you just did with much of what LarryE just presented.
For the record, this is just my personal opinion, but both sides of the dispute have a long and storied history of acting horribly, so I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for either side. To be clear, I’m talking about the governmental organizations involved. I have plenty of sympathy for the innocent citizens — on both sides — that get caught in the crossfire. I’m just not infantile enough to believe that one side is categorically “the good guys” while the other is “the bad guys.” Both sides act like the “bad guys” more often than not.
Morris, you, by a wide margin, are the most likely commenter here to call someone a bigot or a racist. Based on your comment above, is it correct to assume that your intent in doing so is to merely trash everyone?
Tgirsch > I apologize for the sweeping generalization. A more accurate statement would have been “based on the history of Arab-Israeli conflict, the vast majority initiated by Arab States, it is quite clear that a significant number of Arab states want Israel wiped out.”
There are indeed innocent citizens on both sides. But it seems in the majority of political arenas (especially internationally like the UN), that Israel and Jews are targeted as the bad group while Palestinians and their Arab neighbors are given a free ride by everyone except the US government.
I’m afraid your prejudices are coloring your opinions here. If you’re going to allege that the rest of the world wants to give the Palestinians and Arab nations “a free ride,” you’d damn well better be ready to back up those allegations with evidence. And by “evidence,” I don’t mean repeating anecdotes you heard on talk radio.
“is it correct to assume that your intent in doing so is to merely trash everyone?”
Sure, my intent in calling someone a bigot is to trash him. What other word would you use for a bigot. It is not “merely” to trash him. However, for Obama to point out the bigotry of his own grandmother is low class.
tgirsch> Find any resolutions from the UN dealing with PLO actions in Israel. Compare that to the number of resolutions issued against Israel.
Find any resolutions from the UN condemning Arab nation attacks on Israel.
Explain to me how Israel can be attacked by neighboring states, counterattack and gain land, and then be forced to return those lands because it was wrong of them to take them in the first place (See 6 day war)
Were Syria and Lebanon sanctioned in any way for allowing Hamas and Hezbollah to load up on militarty strength to go after Israel?
I suppose I should ask you what you consider satisfactory evidence?
I am still done with the Rev. Wright part of this, but I will reply quickly to some points on your list:
1917 the British government issued the Balfour Declaration
Of course, it had already made statements, directly and indirectly, to Arabs making equally non-specific promises of control over the region. Playing both sides more or less simultaneously.
never called Palestine
The geographic region was first called “Palestine” 2500 years ago. The League of Nations mandate was called the “British Mandate of Palestine.” The Balfour Declaration refers to the area as “Palestine” twice in one sentence.
What you are apparently trying to claim is that there was never a formal state called “Palestine,” which again is the kind of argument at least some of even the Israeli rejectionists gave up on some time ago, not too long after they stopped claiming “There is no such thing as a Palestinian.” But even that deceptive logic has holes, because the British Mandate did have a border. No, it was not a “state,” but it was a formal, recognized region.
Britain declared it Israel
I have no idea where that came from. In 1947, the UK dumped the problem into the lap of the UN. There was no such “declaration” as you claim. In 1948, the UN issued its partition plan, but even there the name “Israel” is nowhere to be found; it refers rather to an “Arab state” and a “Jewish state.” Israel’s formal existence as a state was not established by the British but by the UN and the name “Israel” was chosen by the founders of the state (and it wasn’t even the only name proposed).
I agree with T. that neither side is guiltless, in fact I wrote this, oh my word, it was nearly 20 years ago:
The truth is, there’s blame enough for all sides in the on-going tragedy of the Middle East, enough pain both suffered and inflicted by each to rouse both compassion and anger. No one with the barest knowledge of human history can fail to see the hideous price anti-Semitism (and its logical end, the Holocaust) has exacted – but we need to see now that the Palestinians, too, have been and are suffering the pain of oppression. No one with the barest recollection of these past few decades can fail to see that the Palestinians aren’t simply innocent victims – but we need to see now that neither are the Israelis.
But I also believe that in any conflict, it is the responsibility of the stronger party to act if they truly want peace. Here, it clearly is Israel that is the dominant party and so the burden of action is on it. That is a burden it has refused to carry and a standard it has failed to meet.
Is the UN in the habit of issuing resolutions directed at unrecognized governments? Maybe so, but I’m not aware of it.
As to the rest of it, I think LarryE addressed it quite well.
And as to “sufficient evidence,” it would help to show policy statements from Western governments officially taking Palestine’s side unconditionally in those disputes, since that’s effectively what you’re alleging.
My mistake on the Britain part. You’re right. They handed over control in ’47 but did not recognize Israel until ’49.
Tgirsch – The PLO was officially given observer status in 1974 and in 1988 the PLO was replaced by Palestine as the UN officially recognized the State of Palestine. To me, that would mean the UN sees it as a recognized government. http://www.un.int/palestine/status.shtml
I think you misread your source. The UN has a sort of hierarchy that runs from member states through non-member states and permanent observers to observers. According to the link you provided, the Palestinian mission occupies a unique position “somewhere in between the other observers, on the one hand, and Member States on the other.” That provides a fair amount of de facto recognition but not de jure. The UN does not recognize any “State of Palestine.”
Maybe I am not understanding exactly what this says but here is a direct quote from the link I provided.
“That same year, in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, the General Assembly acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988 and decided, inter alia , that the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization” in the United Nations system.”
The UN is the quintessential practitioner of diplomatic language-parsing. You have to read their statements with a microscope. Anything “implied” is essentially deniable; unambiguous statements of fact are usually true, but only in the most literal and precise sense.
What your quoted statement says is that, in 1998, the UN acknowledged that the Palestinian National Council had proclaimed a state, and also agreed to use the name “Palestine” instead of “PLO” as the designation for the official representatives of the Palestinian people. What it does not say is that Palestine was made a full Member of the UN – and that’s not an accident.
Note that the page this comes from is entitled “Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations”. That’s also not an accident.
As the chronology explains, there is an entire constellation of non-Member bodies attached to the UN, including recognized nations who do not happen to be Members (the Vatican, and Switzerland), nation wannabees who have gotten enough attention to earn respect but are not taken seriously as nations (SWAPO), non-governmental aid organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, a variety of African anti-colonialist groups, and others. In the heirarchy, these are organized as Members, Non-Member Nations, and “Observers”, but the last category is a catch-all.
Broadly speaking, Members get 6 representatives in the General Assembly, and full participation in the various committees and regional groups. Non-Member states get 6 seats (I think) in the Assembly but no voting or participation rights. “Observers” get 2 seats in the Assembly but no voting or participation rights, but occasionally Observers have been extended the right to participate in issues that concern them. There is no specific process for handling the Permanent Observers; it goes on a case-by-case basis, but of course some Observers are more equal than others.
In the late 60s, the PLO was invited to participate in some UN discussions, but not granted Permanent Observer status. In 1974, the PLO was granted Permanent Observer status as the officially-recognized representative of the Palestinian refugees. They have been slowly clawing their way toward full Member privileges ever since. As the chronology on that page chronicles, the PLO has been granted more and more privileges within the UN structure, including voting rights in certain committee meetings, and a larger number of seats in the Assembly, bit by bit; at each step, this was the result of special resolutions that granted rights normally reserved to Members, outside the existing formal structure for recognizing official Membership. The change in nomenclature in 1988 was just one step in this process; it did not confer Membership. Since then, the Palestinian delegation has also been granted further privileges to pacticipate in General Assembly debates, and – crucially – to sponsor resolutions in the General Assembly; again, these all came as the result of special resolutions outside the Membership process. In recent years, there have also been protocol changes, like granting a full 6 seats in the Assembly, moving the Palestinian delegation’s seating to a position just behind the Non-Member Nations, and ahead of the other Permanent Observers, similarly changing their listing in the UN phone directory, and granting the head of their Observer mission the title “Ambassador”, all of which are privileges that are identical, or almost identical to those of full Members and different from the treatment of Observers. The result is that the Palestinian delegation now has essentially all the privileges of full UN Membership, though on a more tenuous basis than that of real Members. But: they are not a Member Nation of the UN. That is a very specific status that comes about as the result of a very specific process, which Palestine has not been granted.
Consider that the UN, for all its influence, is nothing more than a deliberating body for sovereign nations. The UN cannot do anything a majority of its members do not agree to do (or anything the Security Council vetoes, whether or not the rest of the world wants it), and it has very limited power to force any member to participate in anything the UN does if they do not want to. So, Palestine will not become a member until Israel stops twisting the US’s arm the US stops twisting a lot of other arms to prevent it. Palestine has been formally recognized by about 100 other nations, independently of the UN, but not by all. (Oddly, the US does not formally recognize Palestine, but is listed as a country accepting Palestinian passports for transit.) So it waits. But, as LarryE notes, they have been doing very well assembling an almost complete set of de facto UN Membership privileges without official de jure recognition.
In this case, “the white experience” being the oppression of blacks by whites. Which you are putting on the same level as “the black experience” which in the context it has been used recently relates to blacks being oppressed by whites.
Thanks for laying that out at such length and no, I’m not being flip; I mean it. Sometimes in a search for brevity we leave too much room for misunderstanding.
The one amendment I would make to it is to add that the Palestinian mission is not only not a member nation of the UN, it is also defined differently from a non-member nation. Despite it’s unique status at the UN, it remains defined there as an observer, not a nation-state.
the Palestinian mission is not only not a member nation of the UN, it is also defined differently from a non-member nation. Despite it’s unique status at the UN, it remains defined there as an observer, not a nation-state.
Which is what makes their privileged status so remarkable.
There are only two “Non-Member Nations” at the UN: Switzerland (because they’re so neutral they refuse even to ally themselves with the entire rest of the world) and the Vatican (because . . . ah, who the fuck knows?). So, really, that category is pretty pointless – but note, the NMMs have no participatory privileges other than to listen to the debates in the General Assembly. They’re basically Observers, too, except that they are recognized as nations, not sub-national groups.
That means that Palestine, while technically still a Permanent Observer, just as in 1974, has not only acquired powers exceeding those of all other Observer groups, but far in excess of those of the Non-Member Nations. They’re still asked to sit behind the NMMs in the Assembly – which is a vital distinction, because it does rank them with the Observers, not the NMMS – but they can act and vote as a nation, and they now (after a very long wait) also have a regional-bloc membership, which means they can sit on committees. (Interestingly, it’s the Asian bloc, not the Arab nations bloc.) So in many ways they’re more a “nation” than the Non-Member Nations – but technically still not officially a nation in the eyes of the UN.