Like all of our freedoms, freedom of speech is a right that comes with responsibilities. It's true that some sermons of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright ignored those responsibilities in inciting hatred of America and people of other religions and ethnicities. But, Michele Malkin's contest with Ann Coulter to see who can create the most division and damage within American society is the least responsible expression of free speech since the neo-nazis marched in Skokie, Illinios (defended, of course, by the ACLU). Her column regarding Obama's speech on race is a perfect case in point. She distorts his words and simply ignores passages which disprove her point in order to sow the seeds of fear and hatred just when acceptance and reconciliation seem so tantalizingly possible.
"The clever Sen. Obama has attempted to erect a firewall of protection from probing questions about which remarks he heard and tolerated and failed to object to while sitting in the pews. Dwelling on what he knew and where and when, he argued yesterday, would be "to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality."
But it is Obama's pastor ("former" pastor, he is so quick to point out now, though he is a two-decade-long mentor) who holds a warped view of reality. And it is Obama who distorts the truth by likening this Ward Churchill of the United Church of Christ to an avuncular, yet lovable, family member who cannot easily be renounced:"
Of course Obama very clearly said, in his speech, that Wright's sermons descibe a distorted view of reality.
""These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love," Obama declared rather stiffly as he stood self-consciously in front of more American flags that he has ever been placed in front of this campaign season.
Well, you can't pick your grandma, but you can pick your pastor. And Obama picked the wrong one if he aspires to be the president of all America — an America that includes citizens of all colors who cringe at self-serving racial rationalizations masquerading as moral salvation. "
I wonder who else may have "picked the wrong one" if they aspire to be president. Religious tests and guilt by association cannot disqualify someone for elected office in this country, Michele. Obviously she would prefer to continue with race relations as they are than have a real dialog and possible improvement.