By acting like the cartoon he has accused YouTubers of making him, Jeremiah Wright may have done Barack Obama a huge favor, if the Obama campaign plays it right.
Before this week, Obama knew that the Jeremiah Wright issue, right or wrong, was going to plague him all the way to the presidency. Wright appeared on Bill Moyers Friday and sounded thoughtful, insightful and reassuring. he underplayed his relationship with Obama and this appearance made it difficult for Obama and others to discount some of Wright’s more outrageous snippets about AIDS. Quite the opposite, Wright’s comments on Moyers challenged America to have the sort of race dialogue that Obama proposed last month in his Philadelphia race speech. Problem is, while Wright sounded pastoral and philosophical, the sniping against Obama for having a relationship with Wright continued.
Well, no more.
The mainstream media does not do well with subtleties. Nor does it do well with meta narratives that fail to play well in sound bites.
It couldn’t handle the possibility that Wright and Obama for that matter were making truth claims that might really challenge the hegemonic master race narrative in 2008 America. This is the narrative that has little institutional memory and almost no recognition of racism as an institutional or structural concept. Since race in america is more prevalently represented as an individualistic concept, the idea of the renogade Wright is something more manageable. The press can deal with Obama shunning his former pastor. Just look at this mornings headlines. Okay, thank you Mr. Wright, you have helped Obama to brush off some some increasingly heavy and distracting baggage.