But, that wasn't all: As I've shown, Barack Obama, in his San Antonio concession speech, said that young Americans travelling abroad today cannot hold their heads high and proudly proclaim: "I Am an American."
The truth is, Obama's words actually pack a lot of power, and folks need to pay attention to the significance of his considerable language of opposition to America's traditions and standing in the world. Indeed, things have gotten out of hand for the Obama campaign, illustrated by the controversy surrounding the Illinois Senator's ties to the Jeremiah Wright, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
Reverend Wright has been Obama’s close mentor and religious influence. But as Ronald Kessler points out at today's Wall Street Journal, Wright represent the most vile elements of the America-bashing contingents on the far left-wing fringe:
In a sermon delivered at Howard University, Barack Obama's longtime minister, friend and adviser blamed America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs and creating a racist society that would never elect a black candidate president....The Wright controversy has been brewing for some time, and Obama has not denounced the language of hate and opposition being spouted by his spiritual mentor.
"We've got more black men in prison than there are in college," he began. "Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body."
Mr. Wright thundered on: "America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."
His voice rising, Mr. Wright said, "We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. . . . We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. . . ."
Concluding, Mr. Wright said: "We started the AIDS virus . . . We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty. . . ."
Kessler goes on:
Hearing Mr. Wright's venomous and paranoid denunciations of this country, the vast majority of Americans would walk out. Instead, Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle have presumably sat through numerous similar sermons by Mr. Wright.Let me restate Kessler's last point, which I've raised previously: Obama's close relationship with Wright indeed "raises legitimate questions about Mr. Obama's fundamental beliefs about his country."
Indeed, Mr. Obama has described Mr. Wright as his "sounding board" during the two decades he has known him. Mr. Obama has said he found religion through the minister in the 1980s. He joined the church in 1991 and walked down the aisle in a formal commitment of faith.
The title of Mr. Obama's bestseller "The Audacity of Hope" comes from one of Wright's sermons. Mr. Wright is one of the first people Mr. Obama thanked after his election to the Senate in 2004. Mr. Obama consulted Mr. Wright before deciding to run for president. He prayed privately with Mr. Wright before announcing his candidacy last year.
Mr. Obama obviously would not choose to belong to Mr. Wright's church and seek his advice unless he agreed with at least some of his views. In light of Mr. Wright's perspective, Michelle Obama's comment that she feels proud of America for the first time in her adult life makes perfect sense.
Much as most of us would appreciate the symbolism of a black man ascending to the presidency, what we have in Barack Obama is a politician whose closeness to Mr. Wright underscores his radical record.
The media have largely ignored Mr. Obama's close association with Mr. Wright. This raises legitimate questions about Mr. Obama's fundamental beliefs about his country. Those questions deserve a clearer answer than Mr. Obama has provided so far.
It's time for Obama to make a major campaign address denouncing his relationship to those who demonize the United States, and he needs to clarify the question of patriotic both he and his wife have created.
Ross Douthat clarifies the matter further, focusing on the religious angle:
So far, Obama has attempted to laugh off Wright's penchant for inflammatory rhetoric, comparing him to "an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with," and suggesting that this is "what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor." But as Wright's America-bashing gets more airtime -- and as his Obama-boosting sermons put his church's tax exemption at risk -- Obama may have to go further down the road to explicitly disavowing his pastor. His connection to Wright isn't the equivalent of John McCain's going to Liberty University to make nice with Jerry Falwell. It's the equivalent of John McCain taking his wife and children, most Sundays, to Jerry Falwell's church. And the disconnect between Obama's studied moderation and his congregation's radicalism requires more of an explanation than he's offered so far.That's right, and that's why I'm putting out the call for Barack Obama to denounce the extremism and pledge his allegiance to the basic values of patriotism of the United States.