May 1, 2008

Is Obama The Real Thing? [LINK]

Today's letter to the Globe, this time about an editorial:

The Globe contrasts the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist and conspiratorial pronouncements with Sen. Obama, who offers himself "as the embodiment of a racially transcendent society." Fair enough, but the editorial insultingly asks, given the furor over Obama's association with Wright, whether America even wants such transcendence.

It is possible for Americans to crave such racial transcendence while being skeptical that Obama is its embodiment. It is right to ask what it means to be post-racial if it does not involve recognizing and repudiating bona-fide racists. It is right to be dissatisfied at Obama's "mesmerizing" (i.e., "hypnotizing") speech framing Wright's opinions as a matter of historical or cultural context.

I would prefer a president who is good at recognizing unhinged lunatics from the earliest possible encounter, and who responds unambiguously. After all, whoever assumes office will have to deal with North Korea.

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