My email box is filling up with Idahoans for Obama messages about the candidate's denunciation of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, so I thought I'd put up a thread here for anyone who cares to weigh in.
I spend my much of my days working on racial equity, so I can relate to much of what Wright has said, though I just as clearly understand how he was way over the top with some of his statements. It's hard to understand why, after laying low for weeks, Wright decided to start speaking out just over a week before what could be a decisive day of primaries (May 6) for his former parishioner.
Or - one theory goes - maybe Wright knew that by resurfacing now, he'd actually be doing Obama a favor in giving him another chance to distance himself from the pastor's more incendiary comments. "I cannot prevent him from continuing to make these outrageous remarks, but what I do want him to be very clear about...is that when I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it," Obama said today. "It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am."
Will it work? I'm not watching CNN or Fox, so I don't know how this is being spun. I only hope that the media - and more importantly, Indiana and North Carolina voters - can take Obama at his word that Wright does not speak for his campaign. I also hope that Obama's statements today will be shown at least as many times as the cut-and-paste snippets of Wright's most inflammatory speeches. Yeah, right.
Our nation can only move forward if it can move beyond divisive rhetoric, no matter what the source. That is the hope and the promise of Obama's campaign. Are we ready as a nation to accept the challenge, or do we prefer to endlessly wallow in the muck? We should know one week from tonight.