What can it be that has kept Sen. Barack Obama in the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s pews, and at Mr. Wright’s mercy, for so long and at such a heavy cost to his aspirations, Christopher Hitchens asks at www.slate.com.
“Even if he pulls off a mathematical nomination victory, he has completely lost the first, fine, careless rapture of a post-racial and post-resentment political movement and mired us again in all the old rubbish that predates [Martin Luther] King. What a sad thing to behold. And how come? [. . .] Could it possibly have anything, I wonder, to do with Mrs. Obama?” Mr. Hitchens writes.
“This obvious question is now becoming inescapable, and there is an inexcusable unwillingness among reporters to be the one to ask it. (One can picture Obama looking pained and sensitive and saying, ‘Keep my wife out of it,’ or words to that effect, as Clinton tried to do in 1992 when Jerry Brown and Ralph Nader quite correctly inquired about his spouse’s influence.) If there is a reason why the potential nominee has been keeping what he himself now admits to be very bad company — and if the rest of his character seems to make this improbable — then either he is hiding something and/or it is legitimate to ask him about his partner.
“I direct your attention to Mrs. Obama’s 1985 thesis at Princeton University. Its title (rather limited in scope, given the author and the campus) is ‘Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.’ To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn’t written in any known language. Anyway, at quite an early stage in the text, Michelle Obama announces that she’s much influenced by the defin- ition of black ‘separationism’ offered by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton in their 1967 screed ‘Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America.’ ”