Those of you who read this column regularly know that sometimes I take the long way home, meaning that I like to offer up background before I hit the main point. The headline will tell you where I am going, but, as I am doing right now, I like to enjoy the scenery on the way.
So first and foremost, from this vantage point, I don't care what happens or what is said, Barack Obama's candidacy is over. He may still beat Hillary Clinton and still get the Democratic nod, but he is not going to be elected president.
This is not because America is not ready for a black or woman president, we are. It is because we are not ready for a suspected racist to be president, no matter the gender, ethnicity, national background, whatever.
The Barack as a Rock Star movement is over, he has been compromised through association, and nothing is going to bring that sense of inevitability back. Period.
There is a dirty little secret about race relations and racism in America that has been exposed through the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's anti-white diatribes, that being that racism goes both ways, or should I say, many ways.
There are many black Americans who simply don't like whites, or Asians, or Hispanics, or anyone of any other race. This isn't unique, this is universal. Humans can and do carry prejudices with them, and race is not a prerequisite for racism. Some people will carry with them generations of hatred due to events that may have only peripherally affected them, or perhaps not at all.
I heard the word "lynching" on the news the other day, used as if it is a common practice today, rather than a despicable reminder of a bygone and good riddance era. The media can ignore reality and history all the media wants, but it isn't going to change.
That being said, I believe there are far more black Americans who are taking advantage of the level playing field provided by civil rights legislation passed nearly a half-century ago, and aren't hung up on what people did pre-1860. I have made the point in this column before and I'll make it again: my family came to America from Scotland and Ireland in the early 1900s, and had nothing to do with the slave trade that existed from the 1600s to the 1800s.
In fact, no one, of any race, is alive today who had anything to do with the slave trade of that period. Want slavery? Go to Africa and Asia, you'll still find plenty of it there.
But here in America, black Americans have quietly been amassing wealth and status, and according to the 2003 census, rank very close to France, which has twice the population, as an economic power!
Then along comes Barack, and what do we get? Rehashed, restoked, regurgitated racism! Sorry Charlie, people can say whatever they want between now and Election Day, but when they get in the voting booth, they won't be voting Democratic.
That point of view was touched on during the Fox News Sunday panel discussion, when the earth actually moved, the heavens held fast, and the sun went dark as Juan Williams, the resident liberal commentator, who happens to be black, agreed with Brit Hume, a white conservative or moderate, depending on where you stand on the political spectrum!
For those of us who see political debate as a form of sport, the sparring between Hume and Williams on Fox News Sunday is a great way to start the week. They usually are diametrically opposed, and strong in their opinions, leading to some great commentary and thus great political television.
But Sunday they agreed, because, truth be told, they both are reasonable, intelligent gentlemen with differing priorities, but similar goals. That they agree on the impact of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-white, racist rhetoric and that Barack has done an abysmal job of dealing with it pretty much covers what most thinking Americans believe, in my humble opinion.
Of course we also have to deal with charlatans like Al Sharpton, the professional race baiter, who sees some underlying conspiracy behind people wanting to know what a man who is running for President of the United States really thinks. Sharpton told Fox News on the 10 a.m. segment today that there has been a "saturation" of news coverage on this issue that is unlike any he has ever seen.
I guess Sharpton wasn't looking when the media fell all over George Bush because he had given a speech at Bob Jones University. Again, hypocrisy from professional race baiters.
The truth of race in America is that there are racists of all ethnic backgrounds. That isn't going to end in our lifetimes, and the best we can do is chip away at it one issue at at time, and meanwhile ensure that our country continues to provide equal opportunities for all citizens, by law.
Juan Williams has done well in America, as have Charles Payne, Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell, and on and on. They have succeeded even though racism exists, because they know that the law is on their side, as is public opinion in most cases.
If Colin Powell were to run for president, he would have a strong following in white America, as would Condoleezza Rice. But Barack Obama did not rise to the occasion when he could have, he dithered and wavered when he should have been strong, and he shifted his position too often, and unbelievably.
America is ready for a black president, just not Barack Obama.
ON TO OTHER MATTERS!
While I am on the subject of Fox News there is an issue that I should have written about a week ago, but I was travelling and had to put it off.
I enjoy this communication age, simply because I am a communicator and the opportunities that exist today are unparalleled in human history.
When I work at my computer I constantly receive emails, listen to Internet radio -Melanie Morgan was my favorite when she was on KSFO - and keep a television on in the corner. I can watch, listen, read and write pretty much simultaneously and I enjoy it.
If I hear something on Internet radio or see something on the television that moves me, I can respond, usually with an email that I dash off and send to the person who is talking or reporting.
I did this often during Melanie Morgan's show, since she was always topical and didn't shy away from the tough issues, tough questions or tough positions. What was really great was that Melanie would monitor her emails during her show and not only would respond, but often would mention the issue I had written to her about.
I like that kind of contact with our national opinion makers.
Thus it was that about two weeks ago, during the Brit Hume Special Report which airs weekdays on Fox at 6 p.m., and is my favorite news show, hands down, Jennifer Griffin, who covers the Pentagon, War and the Middle East, did a report on an incident in Somalia involving American forces.
In her wrap up she noted that there has not been a permanent military presence in Somalia since the Marines evacuated Mogadishu after the Black Hawk Down incident. The way it was worded made it sound as though the Marines were involved in that fighting, when it actually was Army Rangers and Delta Force troopers.
My Marine antennae are always on full alert, and I dashed off a note to the Special Report email, noting my concerns. I expected to hear nothing more about it. I was wrong.
A day or two later up pops an email from none other than Ms. Griffin herself, acknowledging the error, noting that much of what is reported gets condensed in a two-minute segment, but that I was right!
This I did not expect! This, however, makes a major point about why I watch Fox News as my premier television news source.
I am not a big fan of news reporters as personalities. I remember all too well the snow job that Walter Cronkite and subsequent network news anchors did on America. I remember all too well the havoc that was wreaked on the world and the millions of deaths caused because we believed that these oh-so-trustworthy personalities would never dream of lying to us.
But they did and the world suffered unimaginably as a result.
But there are people out there who I gravitate to, not because of how they appear on camera, but based on the thoroughness of their reporting. I watch Brit Hume because he was a newsman long before he was on television and even though I don't always agree with him on political matters, I firmly believe he is accurate, fair and complete.
I noted long ago that Jennifer Griffin was granted access to some of the highest levels of the Marine Corps, including travelling with the Commandant. That kind of access is not granted to your average hack. It raised her credibility level considerably in my eyes.
There are other journalists I trust, quite a few of them in fact, and the bulk of them are on Fox. I watch other shows and outlets to see what they are doing, but I keep coming back to Fox, even if I disagree from time to time. I still have my own views, but I can get the best information from Fox.
So it really mattered when I got an email from Jennifer Griffin. She didn't have to answer me at all, and for that matter, if an answer was deemed necessary, a staffer could have sent it.
But she did. This wasn't the biggest deal in the world. But an obviously busy and productive reporter took time out to personally answer a concern about accuracy, raised by an average viewer who cared enough about the issue to send her a note on it.
That ladies and gentlemen, is why I watch Fox News. And that is why if you look up the word "class" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Jennifer Griffin. Subhead - integrity.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008