Shire Network News #122 has been released. The feature interview is with British Member of Parliament for Wells, David Heathcote-Amery. He is talking to Tom Paine about the precarious state of democracy in Europe with a new European constitution (in all but name) being rammed down the throats of an unwilling populace. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This".

Senator Barack Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia this past week on race issues. The speech was precipitated by connections being drawn between Obama and his pastor of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  This "religious Wright" has put the Left into a bit of quandary.  "How do we ignore or minimize this sort of speech, while still reserving the right to castigate the Right for the same thing?"

Take Pat Robertson.  Yeah, yeah, I know some of you want to say "Please!" (ba-da-dum), but hear me out.  The same folks who are telling us about Rev. Wright that we gotta’ understand his point of view, or understand his background, or consider the history of blacks in this country, never ever give the same consideration when Robertson says something inflammatory or just simply silly.  And when he does say something outrageous, here comes the Left with their size 82 paintbrush and their #10 can of tar, standing outside every church ready to paint all those church-goers with the same stuff.  >slop<  "Wingnut!"  >sploosh< "Extremist!" 

Now, frankly, we do need to take history into consideration when working cross-culturally.  Heck, even intra-culturally; not all people of pallor come from exactly the same background.  But there are a few points to consider.  First of all, is handwaving away or minimizing the best way to combat lies or conspiracy theories?  (I don’t think so.)  Sounds to me like the Left is more concerned with hurt feelings than, y’know, lies.  The press has clearly signaled that they’d just like this whole thing to go away.  "Nothing to see here, move along.  Oh look, McCain make a speaking gaffe!"

And maybe this would all be less of a deal if my second point wasn’t that these words were coming from a pulpit.  Most of Robertson’s statements that actually get press come on a TV show where he’s covering the news, not preaching.  Wright’s comments come directly from his role as a pastor.  I see this as more egregious in this context than normal political speech on the street.  And yet those paintbrushes come out from those on the Left >splosh< and they decorate us when a guy who’s not our pastor, priest or rabbi goes out on a limb. 

My third point is probably the most controversial, so let me be as plain as I can and lay this out.  When a man of one race says something controversial, he’s called out on it, loud and clear.  When a man of a different race says something controversial, all manner of considerations are made for him; from the history of how his race was treated — true as it may be — to the understanding of why he might hold such ideas to the fact that others’ views are worse.  What would you call that double standard?

In this country, the Right will call out nuttiness where it finds it, even in its own camp.  The Left won’t.  Which side sounds like it’s more ready for racial equality?  Consider that.

Filed under: PodcastsRace IssuesShire Network News

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