Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jeremiah Wright is a Conservative

That is, a Black Conservative. David Schraub explains the difference in a must-read essay:

Black Conservatism essentially operates off the premise that racism is an ingrained and potentially permanent part of White-dominated institutions. As a result, Black Conservatives essentially tell Blacks they can only rely on themselves to get ahead in America -- counting on White people to be moral or "do the right thing" is a waste of time. Politically, this means building tight-knit communities that emphasize the patronizing of identifiably Black institutions, with the end result being social independence from White America. In this, it mixes at least partial voluntary self-segregation with a significant aversion to external dependency, with Whites and White institutions being defined as outsiders who can't be trusted.

He goes further, and explains how this applies to Obama:

I'm not saying I agree with all of his points -- I'm not a Black Conservative, and as I outlined in the Thomas post, I'm not sure that a White person can morally adopt the premises of Black Conservatism. But we can't understand what we're yelling about until we properly position it within its philosophical school. This is why I feel confident in asserting that Obama and Wright are not of a political kind -- they operate from totally different ends of the Black Conservative spectrum. Obama is an integrationist, the very act of running for President means that he believes that there is a space for Blacks in our hitherto White-dominated government, and all of his speeches, policies, and writings have indicated he believes that there is hope for an America that is not separated and divided on racial lines. All of these positions would be derided as doe-eyed idealism by a true Black Conservatism. And if there is one thing Obama can't be accused of, it's of being too much of a pessimist.

Damn good stuff. Read it all.

HT, from Andrew Sullivan


TC said...

More depth to the controversy here: http://acropolisreview.com/2008/03/barack-obama-condemns-reverend-jeremiah.html

David Schraub said...

Thanks for the kind words (means more from a fellow Marylander, too!).

Rafique Tucker said...

Your piece was really good, David. Something I've never thought about before.