Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Apparently, over the weekend, a member of Clinton's finance team was on the radio in Ireland and compared the Rev. Wright to David Duke.

Let me say right away that I'm not blaming Clinton for this, nor am I claiming this is part of any deliberate strategy on anyone's part. Rather, I want to attack this comparison on its merits, of which there are none.

First off, I haven't heard any of Wright's sermons that could legitimately called racist. Yeah, he attacks the US Government, and he spouts some nutjob conspiracy stuff. But he also talks a lot about reconciliation and self-examination, and when you look at his work as a whole, he's clearly of the "what should we do" school of Christianity, not the "what should they do" school. Duke was of the "all our problems are their fault" school of politics. So it falls apart right there.

But I've got to take it a step further and say that even if Wright was a racist of the Farrakhan mold, I'd still say David Duke was worse. Yes, racism of any stripe is bad. But grouping things and people into easily identifiable clumps is something that seems to be hardwired into our brains, and fighting against racism (in yourself) is a hard thing to do, and I'm not convinced we can ever completely win. And there are degrees of evil.

I think it's pretty definitive that the racist opinions of a member of a group that has been oppressed, often violently, for generations, and that still faces discrimination today, not too mention the lingering effects of all those generations of slavery and violent oppression, those racist opinions are less evil than those of a member of the group that did the oppressing.

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