That’s a polite phrase for the dilemma in which Barack Obama finds himself. So far, he seems determined to brazen it out: “Obama Decries Racial Rhetoric.”
Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday decried “the forces of division” over race that he said are intruding into the Democratic presidential nomination contest.
“We have to come together,” he told a town-hall meeting at a high school.
Actually, the best example I’ve seen lately of the fostering of “division over race” is Obama’s spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who preaches that blacks should say “God damn America” because we are a “country and a culture controlled by rich white people.” And that’s only the beginning.
Obama did refer to Wright, but only defensively:
“If all I knew were those statements I saw on television, I would be shocked,” Obama said.
Obama didn’t indicate, of course, what he knew that was not on television that caused him not to be shocked by Wright. He quickly changed the subject to those who have pointed out the racist baggage in his campaign:
“The forces of division have begun to raise their ugly head again,” Obama said.
“It reminds me: We’ve got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. A lot of pent-up anger and mistrust and bitterness. This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things.”
But even Democratic voters are not dumb enough to think that we can “move beyond these kinds of things” by demonizing white people, and the United States, from a politicized pulpit. It remains to be seen how successful Obama’s damage control can be.