NEWS

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April 28, 2008

Black by association

After watching the actual footage of Jeremiah Wright delivering his post 9/11 sermon, I can't help but wonder how people can possibly be so flat-out wrong in their interpretation of his remarks. As I wrote before, if you can get past his rhetorical style (it does take some getting used to, especially if you're used to the Catholic mass), what he's saying is very straightforward, and pretty fundamental to Christianity: "Violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred."That's it. He's cautioning against anger in response to tragedy. That's what reverends do. Can you imagine if he stood at the pulpit and started singing "Bomb Iran"? It would be a little out of character, no? So how anyone can sincerely interpret his remarks on a tragedy as some sort of doctrine of international relations is a mystery.I've said all if this before, though, and it would seem like old news except that for some reason Wright is still an issue in the campaign. The latest instance comes in this ad in Mississippi, which is running ahead of a special election for a House seat:It may seem nitpicky, but it's actually an important question: Why didn't Mississippi Democrat Travis Childers say anything when Wright talked about 9/11?It's an important question because the answer is s0 obvious: Wright's quote is six-and-a-half years old. No one knew who Jeremiah Wright was in 2001 outside of Chicago. No one knows who Travis Childers is now outside of Mississippi. The two have no personal connection whatsoever.The point is that Jeremiah Wright's sermons are only politically salient so long as the original context is distorted beyond recognition. So unless the Mississippi GOP really does have the listening-comprehension skills of a five-year-old, which is unlikely although not out of the question, we're left with the type of race-baiting that would make Jesse Helms jealous.Rant over.