I want to be weighing in on the Wright debate, which I am told continues by the polster who called me last night, though it's my sense that Obama responded adequately, and appropriately, and better, as Jon Stewart reported, "spoke to us [about race] like adults." But I'm in the middle of a big work project with a 5:30 deadline.
I will say this, though. As part of a multiracial family, and as a person who values both justice and grace, and believes in the value of righteous anger but not aggression and agitation, Wright is not for me and wouldn't be for my family. I wish he weren't for the Obama family.
And this: Why does the "scandal" have the structure of breaking news, when the remarks have been made over a long period of time?
The real issue -- apart from the striking timing of these "revelations" some seven years after they've been uttered -- is how bizarrely shocked white Americans have been by statements that, however wrong, someitmes make sense. It amazes me that local callers to talk radio are surprised that "'they' are so angry at us still." It reminds me of a South Park (generally a heinous show I know) after 9/11 when the boys ask why everyone hates us, and the response is "because you have to ask why everyone hates you."
I loved Obama's speech, found I couldn't contain my enthusiasm by my normal cynical mechanisms, worried about the failure of my cynicism, and quit worrying and started to feel hopeful that we can get away from infantile questions about "why everyone hates us" (regardless of the everyone and of the "us") and on to adult matters.
On that note, I can't wait to read Jeffrey Sachs's Common Wealth, his follow up to End of Poverty. In a nutshell, Sachs argues that doing the right thing is cheaper and better and more sustainable than war without end.