Here’s one other point I want to raise about Wright. Having watched the full sermons that his sound bites were grabbed out of, it’s pretty clear to me that the snippets running on Youtube were taken out of context and heavily distorted. (But that’s life, to a degree — political hits don’t usually come packaged with extenuating context) I’m also not going to get into the business of full-scale defenses of someone who has apparently suggested that the US government had some role in “inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”
But in the debate about Wright, which Sen. Clinton has just reignited, it seems to be spoken of now as an unquestioned assumption that Wright traffics in racist rhetoric or hate speech. But is that really true? I’ve seen some stuff that strikes me as whacky. I’ve heard soundbites that critics would not have much trouble spinning as anti-American. But are there really quotes that justify the charge of racism? I’m not saying that purely as a rhetorical question. I have not made myself a full Wrightologist. But I do get the sense that a lot of people believe he’s so radioactive that it makes no sense to point out when others are treating as granted claims that appear demonstrably false.
I often get annoyed at how easily some liberals throw out the racist tag when it’s not deserved (see: Imus, Don), but this looks a case where the shoe is on the other foot. Criticizing America, even being insanely paranoid about our own government, isn’t the same thing as racism. Has Wright said anything that qualifies as being racist? If so, what?