A View From The Handbasket

Friday, October 26, 2007
Obama flunks out
Posted by neros_fiddle at 3:34 PM

I mentioned a little bit ago about how Barack Obama apparently was just fine with a homophobic minister (who is interested in "curing" homosexuals and thinks they are "trying to kill our children") speaking at his campaign events. It seems that his campaign has received a few questions concerning this, so they've issued a statement, excerpted below:

A few things are clear.

First, Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. This cannot and should not be denied.

At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin's beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.

Finally, we believe that the only way for these two sides to find common ground is to do so together.

Not at arms length. Not in a war of words with press and pundits. Only together.

It is clear that Barack Obama is the only candidate who has made bringing these two often disparate groups together a goal. In gatherings of LGBT Americans and African Americans of faith, Obama has stated that all individuals should be afforded full civil rights regardless of their sexual orientation, and that homophobia must be eradicated in every corner of our nation. If we are to end homophobia and secure full civil rights for gay Americans, then we need an advocate within the Black community like Barack Obama.

At the same time, while Obama has said that he "strongly disagrees" with Pastor McClurkin's comments, he will not exclude from his campaign the many Americans including many in the African American community who believe the same as Pastor McClurkin.

And suddenly the Obama campaign has the same credibility as Fox News and other media outlets who will dredge up any noxious, ignorant viewpoint and present it in the name of "balance." (Cross reference with: "Let's hear from the other side of the evolution debate.") This is pure and naked fear of offending the perceived huge bloc of black voters who hate gays (and isn't that perception itself a problem that needs to be addressed, not embraced?), rather than actually having the political balls to back up his support of gay rights with action.

It's simple: if you really think somebody's wrong about something and that his opinions are "deeply hurtful," you don't give them the microphone and let them speak for your campaign. Would Obama want neo-Nazis and KKK members to speak for him at campaign events, even though he (I assume) disagrees with them, in the name of a "big tent"? Of course not. The only difference is that Obama apparently thinks hating gays isn't as "bad" as hating Jews or blacks. Which means he simply doesn't get it.

"It" being any hope of my support, that is. I doubt that keeps him up at night, but I suspect I'm not alone.

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