Clinton and TV networks prey on fear and latent racism in linking Obama to Rev. Wright and Muslim terrorists
By Potter Earle
I am totally appalled at the tabloid nature of major news networks. Can they bleed this Rev. Wright story any more? Can they make Barack Obama, the clear Democratic frontrunner, look more downtrodden than they actually have? Why not applaud Obama for honestly dealing with this issue and definitively putting it to rest by repudiating Wright? I am amazed at the lynching this guy is getting, and lynching is not too strong a word. The media, hungry for ratings, feed on controversy, turmoil and negativity. Apparently the American public does, too, because the Wright news stories keep coming. We are spending billions of dollars on a ridiculous war while our country is in a recession, and all the media want to talk about is Rev. Wright.
I don’t seriously believe that most Americans see Obama as anti-American or racist, as his pastor is accused of being, so give the Wright story a rest. But is there a racial component to this obsession with Obama and Wright? Perhaps. Isn’t it easier for the racially prejudiced to use Wright as an excuse for hating Obama? Wright is the perfect stand-in for Obama, but not for the reasons you’d expect. These two men who seem so different in temperament and thoughtfulness are linked inextricably by the color of their skin So it becomes all too easy for those who hate and fear Wright, the angry black man, to dismiss Obama without a second thought.
Just as guilty of this is Hillary Clinton, who wants us all to be uneasy with Barack Obama’s difference from us, especially in religious matters. Clinton self-righteously questioned Obama’s judgment, and by extension that of the 8,000 mostly African American members of the Trinity Church in Chicago, for having Wright as his pastor. She has also said of her opponent, “He’s not a Muslim, as far as I know.” The less discerning may say to themselves, “Hey, if Hillary Clinton isn’t sure of Obama’s religion, then how can I be?” And, according to a recent poll, many people do in fact think Obama is a Muslim. Clinton knows that in these scary, post-9/11 times, the word “Muslim” strikes fear into people’s hearts. She reinforced this with her attack ad on Obama that features Osama bin Laden. It doesn’t matter if 90 percent of undecided voters dismiss these arbitrary connections. If 10 percent have even the slightest doubt about the candidate that is now an Obama-Osama-Rev. Wright monolith – a scary, different, dark threat – then she can steal the nomination.
I ask every one of you, whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or other, to read between the lines. Sound bites, headlines and pictures, all taken out of context, will not help you understand Barack Obama or any other candidate in a thoughtful way.
Potter Earle is a pharmaceutical data analyst and former English teacher. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.