Monday, April 28, 2008

Video: Obama's pastor, unleashed

UPDATED & BUMPED: Michelle Malkin liveblogged Rev. Jeremiah Wright's National Press Club appearance.

Somebody on Team Obama needs to tell Rev. Wright to stop making news. He's rapidly becoming the Thomas Eagleton of 2008.


Addressing an NAACP conference Sunday in Detroit. Via

Rev. Jeremiah Wright starts getting wound up about the 4-minute mark. Notice that this is not improvised. He's reading from a text when he says (about the 9:10 mark):

Whites saw blacks as being deficient. It was none other than Rudyard Kipling who saw 'the white man's burden' as a mandate to lift brown, black, yellow people up to the level of white people, as if white people were the norm, and black, brown, yellow people were abnormal subspecies on a lower level, or deficient."
Wright's interpretation of Kipling's 1899 poem is essentially false. Kipling was writing at the beginning of the Second Boer War, and his poem is actually a warning about the dangers of imperialism. British boys were going being sent to fight to consolidate British rule in South Africa, and Kipling noted that by conquering foreign lands, the British would "bind your sons to exile/To serve your captives' need."

Kipling surely did not see any "mandate" to lift up anyone. But what does a British poet's musings on the perils of empire have to do with

Michelle Malkin comments:

In Detroit tonight at the NAACP’s Church of the Racial Hustle, Wright patted himself on the back for his “descriptive” powers of an America that he believes deserved 9/11. It’s not “divisive,” you see, to shout “God damn America” with your veins popping at the pulpit. That’s just “descriptive.” And anyone who says otherwise is a God-damned racist!
Here's Part 2 of the video:

Wright here, beginning around the 3-minute mark, gets into some nonsense about how "European-American" children have a "left-brain cognitive object-oriented learning style," while African-American children come from a "right-brain aural culture." Anyone who doubts that this is nonsense -- at least so far as academic achievement is concerned -- should ask themselves whether a "right-brain creative aural" learning style is an efficient way to learn calculus.

Bonus: At the 9-minute mark, Wright mocks John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural speech.

Before posting Part 3 of the video, let me first finish disassembling Wright's ranting about educational differences. It may indeed be true, as he says, that many black children are raised in an "aural culture"; that is to say, they are raised in a culture where the importance of literacy is not emphasized. But in a society where academic achievement requires high level of literacy, an "aural" culture is not merely a difference -- as Wright claims -- but is indeed a deficiency.

Furthermore, it is not merely black children who suffer as a result of being raised in culture that do not emphasize literacy and academic achievement. This is equally true among poor whites. There are still many white families in America where getting a high-school diploma is regarded as a signal accomplishment, white families where children are raised by semi-literate parents, where white children grow up in an environment where none of their relatives or close acquaintances have ever attended college.

It is mypoic for Wright to suggest that African-American children are the only ones disadvantaged in education due to their cultural background. Lots of poor little hillbilly children suffer similarly.

OK, now Part 3:

Holy cow! Mocking Ted Kennedy? Look, the Boston accent is eminently mockable, but it's only an accent. What's the point here?

Plenty of people who speak accented English nevertheless succeed in America. Hell's bells, go to the physics department at MIT and nearly half the students are Asian-Americans, including many whose heavy accents indicate that they only recently immigrated to the U.S. Speaking of Asian-American immigrants, perhaps Rev. Wright has heard of a guy named Dinesh D'Souza?

Wright goes on and on about "linguistics," and then goes into musicology, as if backbeat were something novel, and then mocks white people as lacking rhythm. I know that some white people -- perhaps even most white people -- lack rhythm, but it is a stereotype to imply that all white people lack rhythm. Rev. Wright misreads 6/8 time; the backbeat in a 6/8 soul ballad (e.g., "Always and Forever" by Heatwave) is still 1 and 4.

From all of this, beginning about 7:30 p.m., Wright begins ranting in defense of his "black religious tradition," declaring: "Some of our haters can't get their heads around that."

This is not helping Obama. Once some video editors get hold of this speech and throw some highlights up on YouTube, the entire issue will be revived and recycled. And to give you a hint of why some white people will resent the hell out of this, Ed Morrisey:

This racial demagoguery can easily be seen in his choice of “European” for whites in the US. We’re not European; we’re American. My family stopped being European when my great-great-great grandfather stepped off the ship about 160 years ago. “European” didn’t really describe us even then; my family came from Ireland, Italy, and what is now Poland over a period of 60 years. Nobody I know considers themselves “European”, and the only time I hear this applied is when racial divisionists use the term.
Part 4:

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