Sadly, because he seemed above it. He talked the talk of one who could get us beyond petty skin color, something that has nothing to do with competence, intelligence or kindness. I hoped he would set the example that America still is the land of opportunity for immigrants as well as our citizens.
Then came Rev. Wright. When I listened to his speeches, I knew nothing about Trinity Baptist Church. My exposure to these types of churches were in movies and through African American friends who presented them as uplifting, happy, moral places with lots of wonderful song. I had no idea what the minister talked about until the You-Tube’s of Rev. Wright.
Still, I considered them hateful, not racial. Until Obama made them about race. Wright talks about people hating America, about segments of Americans hating their country for what we do to others around the world, about God D*** America, about the oppression of poor people (my naive take on rich white people controlling Capitalism). I heard ‘hate’ and looked forward to Obama rejecting it in his speech. This could just as much be about sexism against women as skin color. Women earn only a fraction of what men earn in the workplace. Women are a preponderance of the poor in America. Women once couldn’t vote. This could be about fairness and equality.
I could accept that he’d sit in the audience if it was ‘just’ about hating the country he lives in, hating the inequality and the unfairness and resolving to fix it. He could put himself above it. After all, America isn’t a person protected by the laws of the land. Racism (and sexism) is pretty much illegal in many senses…
But, Obama focused on racism rather than hate. Like radical Islamics hate the Western nations, and the Palestians hate the Jews and the Nazi’s hate and the KKK-type hate. Now the pundits are saying if Obama isn’t elected as the Democratic nominee, the blacks will revolt at the convention. Are they trying to scare us? Intimidate us? 80% of African Americans are Democrats, and they probably love and respect their party. Surely, they will live by the results of a free and fair primary. Surely, they respect their parties order to Super Deligates to vote their heart not the numbers. Isn’t that why they’re set apart from the rest of Democrat voters?
In the end, I think Obama will do more to increase racism in this country than bring people together. Maybe, in that way, we’ll all have to come to terms with it. Maybe being an elephant around the waterhole isn’t such a bad life.