Tuesday, 04 October 2011

THE PAINTED ROCK AND THE TAINTED REVEREND

Ken Berwitz

A quick note on a remarkable - predictable, but remarkable - political double standard we are seeing this week.  It involves the camp grounds Rick Perry's family used for hunting - the one with the name "Niggerhead" painted on a rock at its entrance.

Our media have been in an absolute frenzy over this rock for the better part of a week, with no sign of a let-up.  However:

-No one is disputing that the name was painted there before the Perry family had anything to do with the land. 

-And no one is disputing that the Perry family painted over the offensive term many years ago.  The only disagreement is whether they did so in the 1980's (2-3 decades ago) or 1990's (1-2 decades ago) - as if this has anything to do with the 2012 presidential campaign.

An important point should be made here. 

For 18 years, Barack Obama was a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, led by a racist, America-bashing, anti-Israel, self-avowed "Black liberation theologist" named jeremiah wright. 

Anyone who knows a thing about Black liberation theology knows how completely, repulsively racist it is.  Yet - outside of rightward media sources - I doubt that the entire mainstream media did more negative stories about Mr. Obama's long-time, unapologetic association with this hate-filled racist than we have seen in the past week about the rock that Rick Perry's family had painted over many years ago.

Yes, they did countless stories about Mr. Obama and wright.  But how many of them were negative? 

How many of the stories tried to explain away Mr. Obama's association with wright and this church, by telling us things like "he may not have been there to hear the offensive things that were said" and "there are only a few tapes of Reverend Wright saying offensive things" - as if he were somehow a different person with a different belief system saying different things when the tape machines were off.

Suppose a candidate spent 18 years attending ku klux klan meetings, and there were a few tapes of racist speeches being made at those meetings.  Is there any doubt that the same things were said when the tape machines were not running? 

Earlier I called this double standard remarkable.  I understated.  It is astounding.

If you wonder why our media are held in such low regard these days, consider how it reported these two stories, and you won't wonder any more.


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