Obama denounced Rev. Wright today for, in effect, exposing the basic lie upon which Obama's campaign is built: that Obama's genetic racial make-up, his "DNA," has meant that he has devoted his whole career to racial conciliation. His opening statement about "my DNA" speaks directly to the fantasy Obama has carefully nurtured:
"SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: Before I start taking questions I want to open it up with a couple of comments about what we saw and heard yesterday. I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That's in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding to insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That's who I am." ...
"The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. ... They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought, either. ... It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am. ...And anybody who has worked with me, who knows my life, who has read my books, who has seen what this campaign's about, I think, will understand that it is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country.
Of course, in reality, Obama's nature and (especially) nurture left him worried that he won't be perceived as "black enough," so he has devoted much of his career to working to extract money from whites and spend it on blacks (e.g., getting jobs as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer, and state legislator). That's why he joined Rev. Wright's church—it made him feel black enough.I'm always being denounced as "obsessed" about race, genetics, and the interplay of nature and nurture because I've learned a lot about them and think about them in a dispassionate manner. And yet, it keeps turning out that everybody else is obsessed, too. (That certainly includes Barack Obama, who subtitled his 442-page autobiography, A Story of Race and Inheritance.)
The problem is that everybody else keeps getting their thinking about race and inheritance wrong, because they only allow themselves to think ignorantly and emotionally about it. For example, Obama has, quite intentionally, elicited in the minds of tens of millions of white people a crude genetic-determinist fantasy that racial reconciliation is in his "DNA."
I'm sorry, but human beings are a lot more complicated than that. Obama is the product of a complex and unusual nurture—to understand his life, you both have to put yourself in his shoes and pull way back and view him in context, knowing a lot about the sociology of race, including seemingly minor aspects like the Hawaiian view of race.
I was just about the first to put together a plausible story of who Obama is precisely because I'm interested in the same things that interest Obama about himself and so many of his fans about Obama — the difference is that I allow myself to think logically, objectively, and empirically about "race and inheritance," while respectable people only allow themselves to think with non-rational and intentionally ill-informed parts of their brain.