Senator Barack Obama made an effort to address issues of racism in American society. During his speech, he also commented on why he remained in a church headed by a man whose language of peace and love also contained the pain and anguish of a black American who was raised in a segregated society. Senator Clinton is now under fire for her misuse of language which claimed she was “under sniper fire’ while in Bosnia. Naturally, like the good politician she has become, Clinton took the low road of switching the conversation from racism to that of why didn’t Obama leave the church. The Bill/Hillary show always takes the offense when on the defense.
“He would not have been my pastor…You know you don’t have a choice when it comes to our relatives. We have a choice when it comes to our pastors and the churches we attend.” But, the topic is racism, not that of who are or are not our pastors. She did not utter a word about the important topic since her sleaze attack apparently will resonate more powerfully with the public.
Hillary Clinton was not raised as a member of an oppressed group and she does not grasp the meaning of “community” among those who experience bigotry and oppression. I was raised in an east European Jewish ghetto community in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of my friends and relatives continually uttered anti-Christian comments as they discussed the pain suffered during pogroms in Russia or Poland. I did not disown those who spoke in such a way because they had too much pain. I, like Barack Obama, attempted to empathize with people whose life experience contained too many hurtful memories even as I entered the main stream of American society and married a Christian woman. I encountered anti-semitism during my military service, as did many American Jews. We worked hard to deal with such episodes since we simply could not walk away from them. Barack Obama is linked on an emotional level with Pastor Wright, not on an intellectual one. It is hard abandoning a member of your community with whom you shared good memories even when they utter words you find distasteful.
I find the remarks of Senator Clinton disgraceful because she had an opportunity to enter the dialogue about prejudice in American history and chose to take the demagogue route of attacking the messenger.