He is if you believe some bloggers and a handful of anonymous email.
Here are the facts. Obama attends Trinity United Church of Christ which adopted the Black Value System written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee chaired by Vallmer Jordan in 1981. They identify “12 precepts and covenantal statements” that reflect on “Black Ethics” which “must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered.”
The concepts of “Black Ethics”:
1. Commitment to God
2. Commitment to the Black Community
3. Commitment to the Black Family
4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.
Now to return to the claim that Obama’s church (and by association Obama himself) are racists. Obviously not. Clearly the sources of this claim are ultracon groups and race-driven derivatives of the soon to be late Bush era who are a bit upset that the last 8 years has produced such a backlash that their most dear enemy, Hillary, and their worst nightmare, a black presidential candidate, are poised to take over the Executive branch. These points alone draw serious doubt on any validity, but on the point of fact, it is fallacious.
First off, black communities and churches were formed because of Jim Crow and subsequent social conditioning. The conditioning came in the form of total segregation and subjugation that lasted more than 100 years. White communities viciously conspired against blacks and forced them to live separate lives. It is no surprise to sociologists that the social barrier lingers. It took what I consider the Second Civil War of 1963 to FORCE white communities to cease the subduction of the black community. But we were too late; the damage was done.
Deep problems continue to plague many black Americans and this church is simply recognizing them as community borne and a communal burden. By stating “Black Ethics” they are taking making an honest attempt to repair the social damage caused by a lack of identity and security. Everything in this mission statement is an intelligent distillation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – creating togetherness, collective membership, and support through Christian fellowship. And they have done this hand-in-hand with the spirit of God of mercy and love. Clearly, statements like ‘black community,’ ‘black family,’ and ‘black leadership’ are constructs for self-improvement and self-motivation, not ambitions toward racial supremacy.
Which leads me to my second point. There have never been nor is there likely ever going to be roving black church death squads killing whitey. Hit the buzzer, ain’t going to happen. Nor will the greater Black Community ever condone any action that aims to marginalize any other ethic community. Personally, I think the long lesson of communal suffering has made black leaders stronger that way; they are quicker in sniffing out the stench of racial injustice in all its insidious forms.
The wording of this mission statement may be jarring to some, but I think non-whites feel threatened being around blacks because of background social guilt over the centuries of injustice against Blacks. But it is entirely likely that a white person could walk into that church and worship Jesus right alongside the rest of the parishioners – and receive the Lord’s blessing just the same. But what would happen if a black person walked into a church somewhere in the Deep South?
In fact, is it not true that portions of the White Community are still active in promoting “White Ethics” ala KKK? Are there not churches throughout the country continue to marginalize and discriminate against non-whites? Not only do they spread hate for black people, but they also heap up Jews and any body else who doesn’t measure up to their brand of whiteness. But what is really scary is that you don’t even need the KKK to seed racial terrorism: America did it to the American Indians from the colonial times and right through the 1800’s. Then they did it to Chinese immigrants who slaved to build the railroads and man the factories and mines during the 1800’s. The Japanese took a good strong turn during and after WWII. And now they’re doing it to the Latinos – this time under the guise of national security.
There is no practicable argument that can successfully equate a black Christian church making an honest attempt to address social problems in their community with KKK White churches that created the terrorism of racial “ethics.” I can only conclude that this position is seeded by an appalling ignorance and is mere slander.
UPDATE: “Pastor Gate” doesn’t change a whit. But this time I suspect other politico machination at work (e.g., White Dems who may fear Obama’s strength with independent voters). Sadly, the populace is responding in predictable ways.