At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

Why the Obama Videos Matter

The Daily Caller just released a five-year old video featuring Barack Obama.  But it is at least as relevant today as it was when it was first made.

Actually, it is more relevant today.

In June of 2007, at Hampton University inVirginia, then Senator Obama delivered a speech to a group of black ministers—including his pastor of over two decades, the now notorious Jeremiah Wright.  This last is worth noting, for during his address, Obama sounded less like a politician and more like his old “spiritual mentor,” Reverend Wright.

Showcasing the one ability that so enamored him to Senator Harry Reid—his prowess at adopting a “Negro dialect” whenever the occasion called for it—Obama castigated America for neglecting the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  The federal government, he said, refused to be as generous with its resources in assisting New Orleans to rebuild as it had been in helping Manhattan in September of 2001 and those who had been harmed by Hurricane Andrew in Florida.


The reason for this neglect, Obama confidently insinuates, is “racism.” 

“The people down in New Orleans they [the federal government] don’t care about as much!”

However, the black ministers in attendance at this conference needn’t lose any sleep, for Obama assures them that “black folks will survive.  We won’t forget where we came from.  We won’t forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300 years ago.”

First of all, Obama’s claims here are simply false: the federal government, along with the white majority of America that he implicitly, and not so implicitly, derides, were enormously generous toward the victims of Katrina. 

So, not only is Obama guilty of dishonesty.  He is equally guilty of acting with bad faith towards the country that he was then aspiring to preside over. 


Secondly, and more importantly, this video is but another piece of evidence (not as though we needed any more) that Obama is and has always been a racial demagogue. 

In 2008, he styled himself as the one and only figure who could redeem America of her legacy of racial oppression and usher blacks, whites, and everyone else into a “post-racial” millennium.  Yet when Obama had the opportunity to do what he could to assuage the anger and distrust of a group of aggrieved black ministers, he refused to take it. 

Instead, he added fuel to the fire by confirming their hostility toward their fellow white Americans.

The reason why this video is arguably more relevant today than it was five years ago is that it sheds light upon what it is that motivates Obama the president.


Blacks will not forget where they came from or what has happened to them.  They will not forget the cruel treatment to which the government of their country has subjected them—whether this occurred within the last few years or the last few centuries.  This is what Obama promises in his 2007 speech.

In other words, blacks will get theirs.  Things will be made right.

More specifically, if Obama is elected president, he will make things right.

Is it so implausible, especially within the light of this video and the last four years of Obama’s presidency, that it is this desire to make good on his promise to Wright and company that has been the single greatest force driving his policies?

After all, ostensibly for the purposes of helping “the poor”—among which blacks are disproportionately represented—Obama has seized a gargantuan federal government and grown it exponentially.  In doing so, he has spared no occasion to demonize “millionaires and billionaires”—the vast majority of whom are white.  This makes sense, for in order to give to the poor, the government must first take from the non-poor.


What is called “class warfare,” though, has an unmistakably racial subtext.  At least in America this is the case.

There are other considerations.

Obama has had other opportunities to ameliorate racial strife.  However, he chose instead to either pass on them or exploit them for the sake of increasing interracial tensions.

When black Harvard professor Henry Gates had an altercation with white police officers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Obama sided with Gates—before he was privy to the facts of the situation, and before it became common knowledge that the police were in the right.

When the captain of a neighborhood watch group in Florida, George Zimmerman, shot and killed black teenager Trayvon Martin, Obama’s ignorance of the circumstances didn’t stop him from reinforcing the media-contrived narrative that Martin’s life was extinguished for no other reason than that of his race.


When orgies of black-on-white violence—i.e. “flash mobs”—erupted in cities around the country over the last few years, Obama said nothing.  

In 2008, this video could have been used to forecast the future.  In 2012, it is even more valuable, for we can now rely upon it to make sense of the past—the past four years.

And while we are at it, maybe we can prevent four more years. 




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