The Obama campaign has lost its "they can't lay a glove on me" aura. The fawning media has lately started to show a bit of fang and the rough treatment is not something Senator Obama has become accustomed to yet.
No doubt the Obama team is shaken by the poll results which show the recent controversies over Wright and Wrong have in fact taken a toll. No big surprise that some white voters are disillusioned and disappointed to hear the Candidate of Hope's former pastor mocking and hectoring and accusing whites.
But now some disquieting criticism has appeared from the Chicago's African-American community and Obama would do well to pray this trickle doesn't become a flood.
Writing in the Chicago Sun Times, prominent African American columnist Mary Mitchell acknowledges while Rev. Wright's timing "couldn't have been worse," she was troubled by Obama. "When Obama says he is 'offended' by Wright's latest comments -— given in defense against an orchestrated assault on his character and his ministry —- he's opening up a can of worms."
So which worms are crawling out on the kitchen table? "The notion that white pundits can dictate what constitutes unacceptable speech in the black church is repulsive to most black people," Mitchell writes.
Mitchell speaks of Obama's "cross-cultural appeal" as not so much his appeal to blacks, but "is largely because of his ability to make white people feel comfortable with his blackness."
And Mitchell comes very close to confirming what Rev. Wright said about Obama which so infuriated the candidate: That he is not always telling the truth when he is speaking as a "politician." Mitchell wrote: "When Obama says America was 'offended' by Wright's harsh language, he isn't speaking for or to Black America. He is speaking to White America."
A question: Is it a dirty little secret of the black community that everybody knows Obama is performing sleight of hand with White America, that his post-racial rhetoric, while high flying and inspiring, is actually a cover for beliefs that mirror Wright's, but which Obama could never reveal "as a politician," to borrow Wright's phrase?
Wright might have more cards to play. The New York Post's Fred Dicker reports Wright intimates are outraged that Obama is denying he was present for Wright's fiery sermons. What if witnesses (or worse: videotape) suddenly appeared to confirm Obama was in the pews as Rev. Wright paced the pulpit spewing like a volcano?
African American callers to my radio program reflect some of these same conflicts. Some say it's obvious Wright spoke the truth and white voters should accept the fact that they are still active heirs of a slave system and they are more racist than they are willing to admit.
The question that always springs to mind which these callers cannot answer: How do you call someone a racist and ask for their vote at the same time?
Pardon me for being blunt, but it does not sound like a winning strategy.
At the moment we are watching Barack Obama trying to avoid being forced into that position and there are indications that murmurs of disappointment may soon rise from even more African Americans.
That's My Word.
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