Thursday, March 27, 2008


Rev. Wright on the Italian people:
"Italians Look Down Their Garlic Noses -- Gave Jesus Public Lynching Italian Style"
What an ignorant, inarticulate oaf. Note especially that Wright made reference to Italy, not Rome. Clearly -- and I am being deadly serious here -- Wright intended his remarks to be taken as an insult to all the sons and daughters of the land that gave us the Renaissance. My mother. Her parents.

Thought experiment:

Let's say that I attended a racist "Identity" church" for twenty years. Let's say that my pastor once made a remark about "niggers" having "watermelon grins."

Let's say that I decided to run for office.

Let us further posit that news of my pastor's history caused a media firestorm. To douse it, my supporters pointed out that my pastor had been a Marine, that he had done charitable works in the community, that he had once participated in a surgical operation on a former president.

Let us further postulate that I gave a speech to the nation. In this speech, I claimed that I did not personally hear the offensive "watermelon" remark, that I did not agree with everything my pastor said, that the world has been given an incomplete glimpse of the man's true qualities, that the whole controversy had somehow been engineered by my opponent, and that the time has come to put this matter behind us.

Would any of this mollifying, qualifying commentary have a calming effect on the citizenry?

Wouldn't the public continue to judge me by the cleric I had chosen?

"But that's a completely different situation!" I hear some of you saying.



Anonymous said...

Would any of this mollifying, qualifying commentary have a calming effect on the citizenry?

Wouldn't the public continue to judge me by the cleric I had chosen?

I couldn't tell you, in your hypothetical case.

However, in BHO's case, it isn't hypothetical. We know the answer, to date. The polls are in. His speech evidently did exactly what you say it couldn't (or rather, shouldn't?).

Something like 65% in one poll said this issue would not make them less likely to vote for him, 22% that it would, but 13% that it would make them more likely to vote for him. 22% is a small number, including many who would never support him under any circumstances. 22% net the 13% offset is only 9%.

So, do you mean it shouldn't have worked? Because your example wouldn't have yielded this same result?

But it did work. Why? Because of the history of racial issues in this country and where they are today. Is there a kind of double standard at play? Of course, because of the historical facts at play.

So if you're arguing this will and must make him unelectable with the public, that isn't true. They're shrugging their shoulders, and apparently buy his story.

Perhaps your point is instead a moral equivalence, that your example and Wright's both show such heinous associations that if a candidate persist in them, any right thinking person must consider them unfit for office and never vote for them.

Count me in the 65% who disagrees. The incessant demands on public figures to denounce and reject this or that one is, in general, manufactured by partisans of one side or another for political advantage. Usually it's the right side, using their mighty media wurlitzer. It's reminiscent of the Soviet show trials when they forced railroaded defendants to do that same thing.

I secretly suspect you've written this as a satire on the mock offense taken by BHO supporters on anything HRC says however trifling. For you've made the offense so slight ('once'), that the defense is highly credible. No allegation of an continuing pattern of the same language, just one time. If you wouldn't get away with that defense, and your candidacy would be destroyed, that would be wrong, on these facts. But likely, because of the history of racial relations.


gary said...

Now this Identity Church, is it one of the largest churches in the mainstream United Churches of Christ? Was the pastor of this church invited to the White House as part of a group of respected clergymen to pastor a President who got into a spot of trouble involving an intern? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Again, not the wisest comment by Wright. But you do know he was talking about ancient Italians in the sense of Romans right? It was ancient Rome that killed Jesus.

But again, still a pretty stupid thing for him to say.

Now, let's get back to some real issues of racism... like that racist war of genocide we call the Iraq war which so many Democrats helped the Republicans push through.



AitchD said...

Iberian Moors and Jews gave us the Renaissance, but they didn't write Europe's history from Europe's pov.

Yesterday's Joe Wilson Cannonfire blog didn't allow for any comments. You thought John Kerry's remarks about Obama's racial heritage ("black") being a good thing for foreign policy (especially "terrorism" were "dumb" and disappointed you. Kerry probably recalls the Kerner Commission; probably recalls the never-ending complaints that black neighborhoods need more black police officers patrolling there; probably recalls that Jesse Jackson went to Syria to secure the release of a captured American combat pilot (1984?); probably recalls that Jackson also went to Cuba to secure the release of prisoners; it's not that Barry is merely 'black', so much as he's American but not 'white'. I agree that Kerry's remark is dumb, but only for its context.

Anonymous said...

If we were to apply the same sound-byte character assassination to you then I would leave a post something along the lines of
In his latest blog post Joseph Cannon once made a remark about "niggers" having "watermelon grins."

Can you believe the racist hatred that spews from his mouth? It's inconceivable.

How could I read this blatant racism time and time again but still come back to read more. I must be a racist even though I have a history of disagreeing with Joseph Cannon.

You can't choose your family, but you can choose what blogs you read.

So before you sound-byte him any further and since you've put the burden of proof on me before, I think it's fair to request that you link to the full article rather than a blog whose sound-bytes have been further shortened by you and whose link to the sources web-site is wrong.


Anonymous said...

I spoke too soon, I see where you have taken the exact sound-byte from the blog you linked to instead of further shortening it yourself.

Please accept my apologies for that point.


Anonymous said...

That's certainly an inflammatory remark! Seems like a case of double standards. Nice invective.

Joseph Cannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Cannon said...

Sof, the recent post about Krugman and "Clinton Rules" was written in partial response to your comment. The polls you cite are meaningless if you take them as a forecast of the general election atmosphere.

Joseph Cannon said...

"Now this Identity Church, is it one of the largest churches in the mainstream United Churches of Christ? Was the pastor of this church invited to the White House as part of a group of respected clergymen to pastor a President who got into a spot of trouble involving an intern?"

The size of the church has no bearing on my metaphor. An ethnic insult repeated by the leader of a large congregation is worse than one told by a fringe-sweller.

Presidents meet with lots of people. I very much doubt that Wright would have been allowed on the White House grounds if anyone knew how he felt about Italians. Never mind all the other issues.

You are also ignoring chronology, and the simple fact that character changes over time. Wright may be more venomous now than during the Clinton years.

Nothing that you have said in any way challenges the parallel that i have drawn.

By the way -- I was amused to see the Kossacks "excuse" Wright by pointing to an old photo of him participating in an operation on LBJ. Big deal. Wright was doing his job. My ladyfriend recently had an operation, and we were both very grateful to everyone involved. That doesn't mean we know anything about their politics.


Wright made his remarks IN WRITING.

I give him credit. At least he was willing to go on record. In this he was unlike Obama, who opposed the war in 2002 only orally, not in writing, and only in a forum with no video cameras running. If the war had proven popular, nothing would have come back to haunt him.



I have read more books about New Testament history than you can guess. The Romans are always referred to as "Romans." Wright used the modern term Italians because he wanted to conjure up the image of evil modern-day wops killing innocent blacks, just as they did to his hallucinated black Jesus.

If you lived in the 1930s and you heard a German say "The Jews killed Jesus," you would have known full well that the slur was really directed at contemporary Jews.

Anonymous said...


Weak sauce, Joe. Too bad it's the norm now.