From The Atlantic, an ironic perspective on a crucial plot twist in the 2008 election in which Obama’s Philadelphia speech allowed him to slipslide away from his Spiritual Adviser Jeremiah Wright by asserting, to rapturous media assent, that Wright represented an outdated generation of blacks, while younger blacks were much less resentful of whites.
‘It’s What We Do More Than What We Say’: Obama on Race, Identity, and the Way ForwardPersonally, I never believed the rationalizations in 2008 that Rev. Wright was an outmoded dinosaur of little appeal to younger blacks. His mega-church had a younger, hipper reputation (e.g., rapper Common) than his rivals’.
The third in a series of conversations between the president and Ta-Nehisi Coates
TA-NEHISI COATES DEC 22, 2016
Coates: How difficult was it, thinking about that, when you had to sever your relationship with Reverend Wright during the campaign?
Obama: It was hard. Reverend Wright was an embodiment of so many positive trends that I saw in the black Church: strong, somebody who embraced learning, somebody who was socially conscious and taught black folks to respect themselves and the culture. He’s somebody who was sophisticated enough to be pro-black without being antiwhite. The church itself was an amazing, and continues to be an amazing, institution. And he was a friend, somebody who I was very fond of. And there was and continues to be a translation problem between somebody like Reverend Wright and the larger society. …
As I said in my speech in Philadelphia, the blind spots that he possessed are the blind spots that that generation of African American men at some moments all have possessed, it would be impossible not to possess. He grew up—he was 15 years older than me—if you’re coming of age in the late ’40s, early ’50s, early ’60s, or the ’70s in Philadelphia, or Alabama, or Oakland, or Baltimore, it would be superhuman not to have some vestiges of anger, not to have internalized some conspiracy theorizing, to not have blind spots. I may have said this to you in the interview that we had, but I was rewatching Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. Did I say that to you? Coates: No.
Obama: It just happened to be on a few weeks ago, and I was watching it. It was just a reminder: As crazy as Elijah Muhammad’s philosophies were, if you went through what Malcolm Little goes through—
Coates: It all makes sense.
Obama: There’s a plausibility to those theories as a way of you just explaining what is happening to you. And so Reverend Wright is part of that transition from a black community, in which its men and its women are trapped in a vicious social construction, to an environment that you and I grew up in, in which suddenly there’s openings and spaces are cleared, in part because of the work that they did, in part because of the struggles, and fights, and the sharp edges, and the elbows, and mistakes—but ultimately victories and triumphs—of our parents and our grandparents.
To try to explain all that in a sound bite is impossible. To expect the broader American society to absorb that in the course of a political campaign was not possible. I did my best in my speech in Philadelphia. But recall that I’m not severing the relationship until the Press Club interview in which Reverend Wright, I think feeling hurt, feeling misunderstood, showing his age, doubled down in ways that actually I had not seen out of him in church or in my previous interactions.And, now in 2016, here’s the obvious irony: Obama is sitting there repeating his saving 2008 excuse about how you have to understand that Rev. Wright’s black rage against whites was just a temporary generational thing — after all, he’s 15 years older than Obama — to the c. 15-year-younger Ta-Nehisi Coates, who just won the MacArthur Genius grant for writing a book about how angry he is at the white race because a white once said “come on” to his dawdling son on an escalator once. Also, the white race murdered his black friend by forcing a black policeman in black-run Prince George’s County to shoot him.
Coates is the Second Coming of Wright, just without the sense of humor.
And, after two terms of Obama, elite white people love Coates for his surly stupidity and pour money upon him.
Meanwhile, at the close of 8 years of the Obama Presidency, just how good a job did community-organizer-in-chief Obama do of organizing the community in Chicago? From the NYT:
At Least 27 Shot, 7 Fatally, in Chicago Over Christmas WeekendAnd mostly blacks shot by blacks.
By KATIE ROGERS DEC. 25, 2016
At least 27 people were shot, seven fatally, in a 48-hour period in Chicago over Christmas weekend, according to the Chicago Police Department. It was the latest bloody chapter in a city besieged by gun violence. …
Officer Jose Estrada, a spokesman with the Chicago Police Department, said in a telephone interview on Sunday that the total number of homicides so far this year was 745, a 56 percent increase from 476 at the same time last year.
This year was the first time in nearly two decades that more than 700 homicides had been recorded in the city, The Chicago Tribune reported this month.
Officer Estrada said the total number of shooting victims so far stood at 4,252, up 47 percent from 2,884 at the same time in 2015. Data of the shootings over Christmas weekend logged by The Chicago Tribune reflected a relentless crime blotter: Nearly all of the people shot were men, the majority under 30.