Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html en-gb 30 Thu 26 Mar 2015 23:35:13 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html NoRashDecisions http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=98#comment76 ronaine #76: Thanks for your answers. I just want you to know, however, that the only reason Obama is having such a difficult time walking the campaign here is because he is running against Hillary Clinton, a vetoran well known Democratic politicion!!!! If she weren't running, I'm sure he'd already have the nomination in the bag!!!! Trust me!!! We are just as in need of insperation and change as you!!!-I would venture more, after all, you didn't have to put up with Bush these past 8 years!!! Blair was bad, but not nearly as bad as Bush!! And also, I didn't mean my first question-the one about a possible prime ministerial candidate finding themself in hot water with respect of a contrivercial association such as Rev. Wright-in terms of religion. Of course in this particular instance it had to do with it because the person in question was the Pastor of the church of which the candidate once attended, but rather I ment more generally. If a UK prime ministerial candidate was associated with someone that implyed, say, that the UK deserved the IRA bombings because of its mistakes in, say, WW I. In other words, some kind of accusation where there was no sane explination to justify it, being levied at the UK government/its people? Obviously religion is a bigger deal here-there are more people in this country, hence more religious people-also not to mention the right-wing Republicans who largely make religion-of any kind-such a big deal, and who are I think, radical in their own way!!! But regarding contrivercial comments, what would someone's comments have on a prime ministerial candidate in the UK?Thank You Fri 09 May 2008 23:32:02 GMT+1 ronaine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=97#comment75 NoRashDecisions - sorry, only just spotted these questions..."I have two questions for you, though. First, do you think an issue such as this would be nearly as big a deal, even for a little while, in the UK should a prime ministerial candidate find themself in hot water?"In short, no. Religion seems to be a much bigger deal in the US. And I'd like to think people in the UK would respond well to a speech like "A More Perfect Union". Personally I think Sen. Obama would walk an election here. We are a nation desperate for inspiration and a unifying vision.I think politicians here, generally speaking, if they are going to be scandalised out of an election or office, would have to be caught red-handed doing something either corrupt (Mandelson's property dealing), hypocritical (half of John Major's cabinet during the "Back to Basics" campaign) or sexually scandalous (Mark Oaten).Dubious associations tend to be few here because many of our current crop of politicians have come through the high-end public school/Oxford/Cambridge route (unless you count dubious business associations!).Of course there were the past affiliations with left wing groups amongst, for example, Blair's cabinet, many of whom I'm sure would have attended meetings in the 70s and early 80s where revolutionary ideas were expressed.And I'm sure they'd be a fair few Tories with some deep held, right wing views and associations too..."And second, I'm just personally curious, but what party do you support in the UK?"I don't support any party here. They are largely indistinguishable. Politics here is mostly about "change management". I vote every election though, mostly on the basis of the constituency candidate I prefer. In Amercian terms I'm sure I'd be defined as"left".(I voted for Ken Livingstone in each Mayoral election - and I once attended an Anti-Apartheid meeting in the 80s, along with Ken, where people were cheering each announcement of a successful bombing raid on Govt. installations). Put simply, what I support is working to foster an informed, politically literate public. Preferably one that has the confidence, and freedom, to organise, be active and demonstrate alternatives to the consensus.Hence, why I have found Sen. Obama's campaign so interesting. As well as the US and international response to it. Tue 06 May 2008 15:35:39 GMT+1 Larry63 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=96#comment74 In the light of recent polls showing a dip in support for barack Obama, itseems that thanks to his ex pastor white voters have found a politically correct reason not to vote for him. What a pity.Larry63 Mon 05 May 2008 23:54:54 GMT+1 ShrutiHegde http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=94#comment73 One of Wright's ideas that has got Americans most agitated is that 911 was an effect of a America's foreign policy. What surprises me most about the intensity of American's reaction to this, is that this is exactly what Ron Paul said too. Its odd how he hasnt recieved such an audience, inspite of being one of the people running for the GOP nomination.I dont think Wright's comments would be such a bad thing for Obama. The next big state is North carolina with a poweful block of black voters. Stoking up feelings of racial identity I believe will actually help Obama and not be detrimental. I'm probably a conspiracy theorist :) but i think this ranting is extremely well timed. Mon 05 May 2008 02:50:07 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=93#comment72 Ronaine #71: Apoligy accepted. Yes I agree that the media seemingly latches onto a particular contriversial thing about a candidate, such as Obama and Rev. Wright, while it lets the contriversial things about the other candidates esentially just slide by, and I don't think that it is fair or want it in the least!!! But you have to keep in mind, however, that the media does seem to be the whipping boy of at least our campaigns. Well just look at Justin's blog for instance!!! He's not even an employee of an American broadcaster or news paper, and yet a month ago he was being accused right, left and center of being "pro Hillary", while these past few weeks it has switched to him being accused of being "pro Obama"!! The converse, I believe, can be argued for our media. Ever since the Ioa caucuses, everyone slammed them mersilously for not being hard enough on Obama, and loveing him so much, that they just gave him a free ride!! Then when the Rev. Wright issue hit, they came down hard on him-perhaps in an attempt to appease those speculators, perhaps not. But regardless, those contriversial comments by Rev. Wright (E.G. Aids/some would say 9/11), to say the least, certainly only surved to add fuel to the fire-especially the one suggesting that Obama was just doing whatever, and saying whatever to get elected, and that he really doesn't mean or believe all that stuff about "hope and change"!!! Now I'm not saying any of this excuses the media's current obsession with the Rev. Wright issue, but perhaps it surves to explain it a little. I, like you, dearly hope that other Americans don't fall into the media's trap and write Obama off as well--we're not voteing for his pastor, and its not as if the pastor didn't have a right to be angry about racial injustices anyway!!! But to be fair, you have to admit, that the media in any country, especially with politicions looks for top celling, headline grabbing, high rateing recieveing stories regarding a candidate, and the Rev. Wright issue is just such one!!I have two questions for you, though. First, do you think an issue such as this would be nearly as big a deal, even for a little while, in the UK should a prime ministerial candidate find themself in hot water? And second, I'm just personally curious, but what party do you support in the UK? On the political spectrum, are you center, moderate left, extreme left? I know you can't be too conservitive, because you are-rightly in my opinion-furvantly against the Iraq war!! But where do you stand politically? Mon 05 May 2008 00:04:54 GMT+1 Kingtuk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=92#comment71 America needs to grow up and allow a great man like Obama to become president . Is it the time to make history , be a part of it in a positive way . Sat 03 May 2008 20:04:04 GMT+1 ronaine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=90#comment70 NoRashDecisions - thanks for replying. And apologies for my posting coming across as it did. I have to confess, I wrote it late on election night here in the UK (council elections) and I was - a little drunk at the time! Or tired and emotional, as the euphemisim goes!Anway, what I meant was that it seems as though the media is setting the 'issues' agenda for these primaries, and has been doing for a while now. I think numerous postings here have identified some imbalance in these "character examinations" by your media. One example seems to be the sharp national focus on Rev Wright, while ignoring Sen. McCain's dubious church leader. And of course there seem to be plenty of dodgy goings-on in Sen. Clinton's camp, which are largely ignored by mainstream media like ABC news etc.It appears to us here that, until these "guilt by association" tactics were being brought out by the media (via Blumenthal, perhaps?), Sen. Obama was cruising to the nomination - and he was succeeding in bringing together a true, across the boardcoalition of support. It also seems, from everything I have read about and by the Senator, that this is his strength. When people get to know him, he has wide cross-party, cross-issue appeal.I can understand that to Sen. Clinton, he represents a rookie upstart who's gatecrashed her walk through to the Presidency. So the tactics are not a surprise. Neither is the fact that the media has such an influence on the agenda - we have it here of course, any potential Prime Minister must court The Sun.But what I was getting at is that the substance of the negative press has a disturbing, "we don't trust that guy, because he's too different" quality to it. And it seems, from the tone of a lot of blog postings I see on US media sites, as well as some that are appearing here, from the polls and from the increasingly narrowing demographics of voter patterns that people are falling easily into the media's agenda on this.With "Change" being a clarion call in this election - will that also include a change in the way Americans perceive their news agenda and its motives? A lot of us here, and around the world, sure hope so! Sat 03 May 2008 10:41:58 GMT+1 somelilli http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=89#comment69 Yes perhaps working class white americans are uncomfortable with Obama because he is a threat to their 'whiteness.' When racism was created, white indentured servants were told that they were special because they were 'white'-how are they now supposed to deal with a black man vying for the presidency-messing up the status quo. Sat 03 May 2008 02:31:29 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=88#comment68 Ronaine (#62): Thanks for your recomindation-I and I know others, want him as well! But what do you meanwhen when you say that the Democratic primareey process is "run by the media"? The media didn't make the respective states choos when to hold their primareeies, nor did they force certain candidates to run for president. they didn't insist that this be dragged out until the last possible minute with unfortionately the superdeligates having to make the final call on who gets the nomination, makeing a mockery of our '"exporting democracy around the world" agenda!! If these are what you ment by saying that the media ran the primaries, then it is certainly not true in the least!!! Perhaps you ment something else by that, and if you did, I would like to know what you did in fact mean, but if you ment the above, I can't describe how disturbed I am that you-and most-likely-more foreigners think this about our system!! As I've stated several times in the past, I hate our system of government, and would take a parlamentary one any day! But no matter what system of government a nation has, the media in any country "reports" on the election-or at least that is what they should do-and nothing further!! And to the ones who think the whole "the media favors Clinton or Obama" situation only happens in the US, I should like to think that that would be in play in any country!! It is very hard to report on an issue objectivly-especially if one has strong feelings about it!!Forgive my urgent tone-I mean nothing by it!! Please don't be offended!! I am just worried about our image abroad. Fri 02 May 2008 21:13:07 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=87#comment67 Jeremiah Wright is being treated just as Martin Luther King was treated. He was damned, dismissed, called by J. Edgar Hoover, Head of the FBI, "The dangerous Negro in America. He was more hated by the Religious Right and the Dixiecrats than any man alive during his lifetime. His crime is that he tried to show America's its true face.White people see Blacks as other, and the very thought that we see ourselves and them as human beings always seem to surprise them. When we chastise them as brothers and sisters tied to the same Nation and same Space, they become defensive.The worst thing we can do as is exampled by Wright is tell them the truth. Fri 02 May 2008 19:31:29 GMT+1 nobleFloridian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=85#comment66 Come, come Justin - Wright "well received"? I guess you must be referring to his addressing the NAACP and the National Press Club, where, predictably, he was indeed "well received". We have been subjected to innumerable "sound bites" of Wright's ravings, which one might agree takes them out of context, but if you watched Glen Beck's airing of Wright's "sermons" at length I submit that your blood would run cold as mine did. I also commend to you New York Times writer Bob Herbert's column, which was in our local paper today, and which really skewers Wright, suggesting that the reverend has found himself a national platform and is loving it! Fri 02 May 2008 18:48:12 GMT+1 Board Stupid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=84#comment65 #65 I think you miss the point .Just because she says that she wants "to be treated fairly, to be treated with respect, and to be treated with dignity. " does not necessarily mean that she is or other black people are. I honestly believe that affirmative action programmes are just a sticking-plaster solution to institutional discrimination. As a Catholic from Northern Ireland, I have seen affirmative action there have no real effect on ingrained prejudices against Catholics. For me the real issue is to tackle those prejudices head on and not just paper over the cracks. That is not to say that no action should be taken - for example, the disproportionate number of blacks on death row or receiving lengthier sentences should be tackled.Ultimately though it is by winning over hearts and minds that prejudice and bigotry can be defeated. That means people working together to tackle the issues not dealing with them in isolation. It means challenging bigotted attitudes when they appear instead of quitely ignoring them. it means educating all of our children about the issues both historical and present-day. Black History Month should not just be about educating black people about their own history but educating people of all colour, race and religion about the black experience. Part of the reason that such ingrained attitudes remain, particularly amongst the blue collar working class, is that they have no understanding of the black experience. The ironic thing is that many working class people don't realise that part of their own history is almost certainly a shared experience with black people. Many of their Irish, Scottish, English, and German ancestors were brought over to the New World in substantial numbers as indentured servants. Many indentured servants were captured by the English during Cromwell’s expeditions to Ireland and Scotland and forcibly brought over between 1649 and 1655. The Highland clearances in Scotland, in effect an ethnic cleansing of the Gaelic-speaking Scots, resulted in many being forced into indentured labour. Over half of all white immigrants to the English colonies of North America during the 17th and 18th centuries consisted of indentured servants.By sharing these experiences and educating people we may make better progress changing attitudes than any laws or governemnt policy can. Fri 02 May 2008 08:52:11 GMT+1 mahakma http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=83#comment64 Board StupidI think its important that the opinions of individual people of color not be representative of whole racial groups. Its great that this black woman feels like she does not want an apology. But I dont agree with your response that suggests that all black people should be like this black woman and not want an apology, affirmative action ,or their 40 acres and a mule. Thats how she feels and its great, but lets not make her personal opinion represent the feelings of a whole race.I do agree with my sister, in that I desire “to be treated fairly, to be treated with respect, and to be treated with dignity.” But unfortunately, for many people of color that is not their reality! And that is my bone of contention. It seems that whenever we people of color speak of our grievances, the dominant group tries to discount them and make it seem like we are exaggerating things. Its like we can not even be validated. It is as if we are invisible and the injustice we face non existent. Its in this same vein that Jeremiah Wright is being dismissed. Oh, he is crazy, arrogant, self serving etc.! I have yet to see a white person on tv (except Bill Maher) actually consider what he is saying, before dismissing it as hate speech. Fri 02 May 2008 04:52:10 GMT+1 somelilli http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=81#comment63 #55 I hear you! Its great that you have made the most of your opportunites but still its like saying 'Oprah Winfrey' succeeded so what's up with the other black people? Why aren't all white people as rich as Bill Gates-what's wrong with them? All humans deserve a chance-whether they use it or not is a different story. Black boys are constantly in danger of getting locked up for ridiculous charges. The 2008 doll test still shows that black babies prefer white dolls-how sick can a society be? Fact: A nation capable of greatness is also capable of cruelty. It is easy to make laws but the bigger problem is changing social perceptions and how those are making some new born babies learn to hate themselves. Fri 02 May 2008 03:08:02 GMT+1 Orville Eastland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=80#comment62 I'm a white male who voted in the Republican Primary this year. After Obama's recent speech attacking Pastor Wright, I was inclined to oppose Obama...but not for his ties to Wright...rather, for his denouncing Wright.Why? First off, if you know someone for a long time, you're more likely willing to defend them. You don't just stab them in the back. I'd expect this type of behavior from a Clinton or a Bush, but not from Obama.Second, when it comes to foreign policy, Wright is right. We (i.e. the USA) are hated because of what we do and have done. We do hold other countries to a standard we don't meet. We do invite terrorist attacks as a result of our policies. We need a drastic change of policy, but, based on his denunciations of Wright, Obama won't be the one bringing said change. (Incidentally, while Wright isn't the only one to make these statements, he's received the most media vitriol over them. Most others who speak these truths are merely dismissed or ignored, like Michael Scheuer.)Obama may do the unlikely and win. He's better than either Hillary or McCain. (Probably not better than Barr, Nader, or McKinney though...) However, based on what he did to Jeremiah Wright, he won't be getting my vote. Fri 02 May 2008 03:02:47 GMT+1 ronaine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=79#comment61 I notice there are a lot of American readers and contributors here now - debating the primaries similarly to the way I have seen discussions take place on American media blogs.So, opportunistically, I want to say my piece to you folks who can actually vote in this process.It's clear to us here that the Democrat primary agenda has been run by the media for the last few months. Whether that involves dirty tricks and favour calling is another matter. And if these are the accepted methods by which you examine Presidential candidates for their worth than fair enough. But as an observer of US politics I have understood lately that there is an electoral appetite for a different direction - in domestic as well as foreign policy.All three candidates represent a change from the status quo (fair play to the GOP for nominating a 'maverick'). And all, as Mr Webb rightly pointed out, are flawed.I can understand that the Democrat primaries inspire a lot of 'history making' passion yet, to take Sen. Clinton's point, who would you feel makes the better President? Is your White House politics going to be about conviction spin for the next 8 years, or are you going to give a 'stumbling', thoughtful and principled rookie a try? Because that, surely, is all this is about.We in the UK (mostly) are up for the rookie - for what it's worth. (and before I incur the wrath of the good Legionnaire - it's only, mainly, because we care about our shoulderness - and because we do actually like you, and don't won't you to make any more Bush-style mistakes!) Thu 01 May 2008 22:31:20 GMT+1 uselectionaddict http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=77#comment60 Is this Obama's 'who will rid me of this turbulent priest' moment? Probably for the Democratic election but HRC and the Republican's have fatally undermined him for the November election. I fear HRC will take Indiana by 4 points and lose N.Carolina by such a small amount it'll be spun as a moral victory. The saga will go on and HRC, whose entire election strategy seems to revolve around winning in 2012 will do the Republicans job for them come November. Thu 01 May 2008 20:53:01 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=76#comment59 WE AMERICANS OF ALL STRIPS MUST HANG TOGETHER OR HANG SEPERATELY! Thu 01 May 2008 19:03:11 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=75#comment58 Not many of the writers have ever been to a Black Church, i.e Baptist; Methodist; Holiness or even some Cahtolic Churches. The preaching in the so-called Black Church is a performance. You can see it on the YOUTUBE that is attached to this blog.The Black Church invade England with the rise of the Beattles and is seen in the performace of the Rolling Stones. Why do you think Mick Jagger remains so popular in old age. It is the driving force of the music and the belief that things matter beyond the self that is expressed in both Reverend Wright's preaching and in the Rolling Stones' performances. Both make the heart beat and stir the emotions.It is not Obama's association with Wright that angers the White Working Class male in America, it is the fact that he is Black, and therefore less deserving. This goes back to the fact that the only thing that some people have for toiling in this country all their lives, getting laid off jobs they have had for 25 years or more, spending time in the armed services, going without and sacrificing for the FLAG is white skin.Even though Oboma wants to change this, they still cannot accept that he wants to free them from their chains of ignorants and let them sit at the rich man's table, not under it, they still cannot accept that he is Black and they are White. This is like Harriet Tubman trying to free some slaves that did not want to be freed.Harriet carried two six guns when she came to these Black and she was know to say, BE FREE "n" OR DIE. This is extreme but I was told this conductor on the Underground Railroad never lost a passinger.We in America can all be free and we don't have to die. We can have a revolution and not blood and no shot has to be fired. But we have to understand, we can't continue to have one quarter of the population without health insurance; food priced beyond the means of the lower classes; bridges that fall down; school that are warehouse for illiteracy because the elites expect to drain the Third World of its brains to keep US #1. We must keep in mind the Whitness is not necessarily Rightness. And that we have had a belly full of the Right, just as Obama seems to have had with Reverend Wright. But we are in this together. As one of our so-called Founding Fathers said: Thu 01 May 2008 19:01:51 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=74#comment57 I'm with Streathamite, Wright was right, and Obama has fumbled this rather badly.Doug, Have you asked yourself what the Israeli Apartheid wall is costing y'all?,And all the Ammo being used to kill Palestinian children?Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace Namaste -ed Thu 01 May 2008 17:46:19 GMT+1 beready66 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=72#comment56 This whole public breakup of Barack Obama and Rev. Wright seems very staged to me. Obama starts sliding in the polls after his loss in Pennsylvania, his comments about small town bitterness and his flubbing of the few relevent questions in the Philadelphia debate. North Carolina Republicans start airing the Rev. Wright commercial. He and his advisors meet last week in Chicago and then in a whirlwind of appearances, Rev. Wright makes the same statements he's made on the continual soundbites on the news programs. The same words Obama claims not to have heard, but this time are made in 3 very public forums. This gives Obama the opportunity to distance himself from Rev. Wright while give Rev. Wright is 15 minutes of fame. A great idea, if you think the public is that gulible! Thu 01 May 2008 12:32:40 GMT+1 SezWho http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=71#comment55 @47 DougTexan: I can assure you that blacks do receive harsher sentences for the same crimes even after taking prescribed sentencing factors (previous offences etc) into account. In fact a simple online search using the words "sentencing" and "disparity" will provide ample material including peer-reviewed studies to prove my point. The disparities are in fact so well established, that it isn't even a controversial issue amongst social scientists. The issue of debate is actually why does this difference exist. Most "black anger" in America is nothing to do with slavery or the past, it stems from the perceived injustices and discrimination of the present. So to say "well I never owned any slaves..." is to miss the point entirely. Thu 01 May 2008 09:31:22 GMT+1 Board Stupid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=70#comment54 #45 This is the best response I can give to you - these are not my words but they sum up how I think the whole issue of slavery and black oppression should be approached:"I am a 41-year-old black woman. I do not want reparations or an apology from anyone who is white. I was never a slave. White people who are living today never served as my slave master. I don't blame white people for anything that has gone wrong in my life. The U.S. government certainly does not owe me anything. I do not seek preferential treatment because of my skin tone. I ask to be treated fairly, to be treated with respect, and to be treated with dignity. After all, I'm a law-abiding American citizen. I do not dwell in the past. Yet, I live in HONOR AND MEMORY of my ancestors. I always take advantage of the opportunities they never had. Let's face it, my ancestors had to fight a CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. They were not thinking about themselves as they battled Bull Conner, they were thinking about me. That's when (we) black people started to get a fair shake in this country. As I sit in my air-conditioned office; I have a tendency to think about my ancestor who worked in a hot-cotton-field with a whip at his back. After all, SLAVES lived so we (blacks) could survive. " Thu 01 May 2008 08:25:10 GMT+1 Board Stupid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=68#comment53 If the US media had done its job properly months ago then Obama would have been dead in the water.Instead the US media have built him up, acting as surrogate cheerleaders - now they are trying to knock him down.The sad thing is that the US media's stance has never been about good journalism or covering and investigating political issues and character. The US media have been more interested in keeping this contest going because it is good for their advertising revenues. Thu 01 May 2008 08:10:56 GMT+1 LanceB724 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=67#comment52 Direct Quote: "The sharks were circling, but these were mainly white sharks."What in the world does that mean? That the reporters there were all white? What then are you implying? That there's some vast "white media" conspiracy against Obama? A conspiracy against a media darling would be borderline sadist.I find it humorous as well that the one speaking for whom i can only assume would be the "black man" would be he himself a white englishman.Though there is no denying the trials the black man has gone through in America I find it only weakens that cause for someone so out of touch as you to take it on. Thu 01 May 2008 07:29:17 GMT+1 rpmcestmoi http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=66#comment51 He could have, should have, would have is a fruitless exercise. What matters is what the scum do to keep this low grade fever running. We know who they are and what they will do. The are the spore of Rove. They make the serious trite and the Wright serious. Hillary Clinton and her equally horrible husband are the bane of Americ a. Thu 01 May 2008 01:17:25 GMT+1 JimKeith http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=64#comment50 Rev. Wright has a right to his opinions, as do those who agree with him . The rest of us have a right to not vote for anyone who sympathizes with those views. What's the problem? Obama is clearly a guy who wants to be on everyone's side, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Thu 01 May 2008 01:11:33 GMT+1 MMarcelo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=63#comment49 If elected, Obama would not be the first black president of the United States; he would be the first president of mixed race. There are problems in the U.S. - racism is one of them. Profiling and an abysmal corrections system that does not rehabilitate are also problems. However, to say that race relations in the U.S. have not significantly improved dismisses the work of generations. Obama would never have made it this far if race were as big of an issue as the media portrays. He won Iowa. Thu 01 May 2008 00:39:00 GMT+1 somelilli http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=62#comment48 I am a black person in america but not african american(these tiring distinctions!). I have attended a black church with a Wright-like preacher. I believe Obama stayed in his church for 20 years because he needed to really feel 'black.' That is an identity issue- this need to be 'black' even if some of the 'black' behavior you see contradicts what you believe in. I agree with most of what Jeremiah Wright said though his arrogant tone and self-indulgence on stage bothered me. The problem with mainstream America is that many only pay lip service to the notion of equality or practice political correctness but deep inside they really don't see black people. Obama's position is delicate- white people accept him because he isn't 'too black' -as if there is something wrong with all those black people who are 'too black'-as if their anger is not legitimate. As tragic as this is, I always felt that Americans weren't really ready for a black president. Obama was based on a fantasy- we need to sort out reality first- ask ourselves why the Wrights out there are so angry and why the 'typical' old white people still can't walk near black people. Wed 30 Apr 2008 23:19:20 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=61#comment47 Christ told Peter that he would deny him 3 times before the cock crows. Never Lord Peter replied, but it happened. Why should this not happen with Barack Obama who is after a secular prize that Peter never dreamed of.The Prophet Jeremiah was given a task by God to his people to inform that he would not put up with their bad behavior any longer. And he caution Jeremiah not to be struck with terror because of their bad attitude. And God said if he kept his nerve and spoke truth to power, he would protect him. If not, another story.Reverend Jeremiah Wright was quiet for a long time so as to give Obama breathing room. But for as often as he cried out violence i and despoiling are what he called for and he said he would seal up and speak no more.But when he tried to keep quiet and not make mention of the sins of the nation against the Black Church, in his heart it became like a burning fire shut up in his bones; and he could not hold in his righteous indignation and spoke out against the villification of the Church and against Obama himself. Christ still loves Peter. Wed 30 Apr 2008 22:58:09 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=59#comment46 MahakmaYes sir, you are educated, privalged and free. So why the anger. In your quote below, you use 'we', are you including yourself once again in a world that you view, but don't neccasarily belong to?"It doesn?t matter that we suffer from an unjust legal system that routinely renders longer sentences for the same crime than our white counterparts."This has no factual basis, though it is generally spewed by the angry Left. Next you'll be saying all crimes commited by blacks were caused by slavery and evil republicans, not by criminals.I am with you that we as Americans (not African- or Mexican- or Asian-)need to change the perceptions, because Obama, Rice and many others show that the only difference in race and success is your own perception, and how hard are you willing to work, learn and initiate. Wed 30 Apr 2008 21:57:57 GMT+1 proles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=58#comment45 Perhaps it's only fitting that a virtual election between virtual candidates should be increasingly shifting to the virtual reality of YouTube. The sharks are always circling in Mississippi, that most reactionary of reactionary states and hardly a bellwether for the rest, even in as predominately a right-wing country as America. Neither is it much surprising that Wright should be so "popular" and "well received" when speaking in front of a convention of peers. Talk about preaching to the choir. It's apparently a little less popular with the general public however, with less than 4,000 tuning in for the YouTube performance. Hardly the kind of ratings that would make the Spice Girls green with envy. Much of the American electorate has already tuned out the virtual election as the meager turnout figures in the primaries show. Once again, Obama Copacabana has shown himself to be just another run-of-the-mill pol, putting personal ambition ahead of principle. The powerbrokers and major donors most likely to be "offended" by Wright's "outrageousness" (?) (Obamaspeak) are the ones Obama must mollify to further his election hopes. Much of the American public is perhaps less offended and may even welcome a frank exchange on some of the topics Wright has raised. Instead, Obama's vague apologetics only beg the questions. Wed 30 Apr 2008 21:16:58 GMT+1 mahakma http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=57#comment44 #38 DougTexanIm tired of people telling black people to get over it. Africans did not come to America by choice. They did not enslave themselves, lynch themselves, or rape themselves. America was built as a result of free labor from enslaved Africans and land stolen from Indigenous people.Im so sick and tired of white people not getting it! You fail to understand your privilege and love to constantly tell us (people of color) to get over it. Well, we cant get over it because we are still treated unequally and unjustly because of the color of our skin. But apparently, we should be so damn thankful to white people for rescuing us from ourselves and allowing us to experience true freedom and prosperity. We must show our appreciation to white people for the “untold trillions [that] have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream” as stated so matter-of-factly by Pat Buchanan.It doesn’t matter that we suffer from an unjust legal system that routinely renders longer sentences for the same crime than our white counterparts. Lets ignore the fact that we are constantly profiled and accosted by law enforcement; face discriminations at our jobs and don’t have equal housing and educational systems.In spite of all these things we should still be grateful for the generosity white people have bestowed on us by bringing us all the way from that Dark Continent and all.With that said, it makes sense that white people are not ready for the truth, but will pay lip service to the idea of truth. Let 'truthiness' prevail! Wed 30 Apr 2008 21:00:04 GMT+1 MMarcelo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=55#comment43 Separation of Church and State is good in theory, but in a country that weighs the character of the candidate as much as the policies and promises of their campaign, it is not surprising that Rev. Wright has made such a splash. Should Wright have as much influence on voters as he does? Probably not - but wishing will not change the political landscape. Obama gave Wright the benefit of the doubt when his first inflammatory remarks hit the media, but speaking out against Wright's most recent display was necessary. Wed 30 Apr 2008 20:49:27 GMT+1 kiwi_scotsman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=54#comment42 Being in America at the moment it is amazing to notice how this story is being reported. Alot of reporting is so in favour of Clinton. What Senator Obama did was obviously difficult, personally, for him and his family. But it had to be done for the good of the campaign. I really hope for America's sake, and the world's, that Obama can now move away from this particular issue and go from strength to strength. After speaking with alot of friends over here, he has alot of support across the board, regardless of colour, and appears to bring the fresh approach to American politics that people are looking for. Wed 30 Apr 2008 20:23:28 GMT+1 CamberwellBeauty http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=53#comment41 if he is really serious about change, then he actually needs to put some energy into black Americans who continue to fall behind, instead of his liberal approach to illegal immigrants, who are now the new "minority" which further throws black Americans to the back of the line. He needs to take a strong stand against illegal immigration, and focus on the problems we have still yet to remedy. Wed 30 Apr 2008 20:17:24 GMT+1 peacocj http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=51#comment40 Justin, what on Earth is going on over there. I thought the Western politics was supposed to be secular? Why is everyone so obsessed with which church the politicians go to and what their pastor thinks. Or is it that we are so bored with the anodyne political spin that we are looking for passion in the politics of the pulpit. Wed 30 Apr 2008 18:48:06 GMT+1 calif1963 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=50#comment39 Obama has been attempting to have it both ways now in regard to Wright's remarks. He clearly senses that this is hurting his campaign, and allowing Hilliary to further exploit this to her advantage. Too little, too late. Wed 30 Apr 2008 18:22:01 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=49#comment38 This post has been Removed Wed 30 Apr 2008 18:09:52 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=48#comment37 Diego_is_godNo, slavery "was", get over it. My great +++ grandfather was indentured into slavery by debt, and died in such. Oh well, wasn't me. I don't understand how the generations of the twentith century all looked to the future with the hope spoken of by Dr King, while now, you all are stuck in the past and in your heads hoping all whites feel quilty. Again, oh well, wasn't me.It would be like me hating all Italians because of what the Romans did to Jesus.What? They did nothing? The Jews did it him, but the Romans didn't stop them.Same are the reasons leaders like the Rev (?) Wright, Al Sharpton and others want to keep you trapped in that mindset of slavery. If you don't listen to them, they have no reason to be or power to yield.Here we can change the color and /or sex of our President, but the difference and change will be negated by "Big Corporate America". Yes it's true. They Feed, clothe and shelter us, it is in thier best interest to keep us well, and there is nothing any President can do to stop them. If they do, we'll be naked, hungary and in the cold, third world style.!!! Wed 30 Apr 2008 18:05:49 GMT+1 peoplearestupid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=46#comment36 I really can't believe this...There has been all this controversy because someone connected to the Obama campaign suggested that 9/11 might have been the result of the USA's foreign policy???What on earth do you think WAS the cause of 9/11??Wait - you don't need to answer that when you can just bury your head in the sand! Wed 30 Apr 2008 17:56:51 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=45#comment35 possumpam (#26): Yes we do, but unless I'm missing something, I can't think of a time when Clinton has atacked Obama's race-as you said, such a statement would be plainly seen as racest", not to mention rude and wrong in this country as well!! But I may be wrong about Clinton-see if you can come up with an example of such an atack and I'll answer if we have laws against it. It is a fine line, though, between freedom of speech and hate/racest speech, and that can be said of all countries!!politicsisfun: There are no words!! You just continue to amaise me! How many African-Americans, prey tell, have you personally spoken to, who have told you that they would be devistated if Obama won the white house?#20: Ok think that, it will just make it all the more sweet when he does win! Wed 30 Apr 2008 17:44:30 GMT+1 AAlvinTwiningham http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=44#comment34 Yes, there has been a pattern of anti-Obama negativity in the last few days of the last few contests. Hillary is playing it smart. If she kept up the negative stuff non-stop people might get sick of it and it could backfire on her. By doling it out sparingly, but at critical times, she can get away with murder.Why is Wright speaking out now? Could it be secret donations from anonymous sources? The kind of sources who can't remember if they have been under sniper fire or not? Wed 30 Apr 2008 16:58:16 GMT+1 WaynieB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=42#comment33 Why is it whenever Obama shows a weakness his supporters immediately blame the Clintons and/or racism? Don't they believe he should be accountable for his own actions or decisions?As so little his known about Obama and a major part of his campaign has been about his 'superior' judgement ( being against the invasion of Iraq ) then I think it reasonable that people will want to know about his other decisions. Including who he has close ties with and why. Then they can decide whether his opposition to the Iraqi invasion was typical of his abilities in assessing a situation or just a lucky call when he wasn't a top level politician.cheers Wed 30 Apr 2008 16:50:54 GMT+1 SezWho http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=41#comment32 I have to say, I do wonder about Wright's motives for doing something that he must know will harm Obama politically. It is always possible that he simply doesn't give any thought to the ramifications of his actions on the grounds that the truth (from his perspective at least) must always be served. Alternatively he could just be a man who doesn't particularly care about the effect of his words on others. Wed 30 Apr 2008 16:49:12 GMT+1 DutchNemo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=40#comment31 Rev. Wright was one of the founders of the African-American Church. Unfortunately for him nobody remembers him anymore. He's affraid his legacy will go lost forever. That's why he talks like an extremist: he wants attention. Unfortunately the media is giving him the attention he wants. Obama had no other choice: Rev. Wright is damaging his campaign so he had to break with this guy. I don't believe Obama agrees with Rev. Wright about AIDS and 9/11 but I'm affraid the Republican fearmongering machine has already done its evil job. Wed 30 Apr 2008 16:45:17 GMT+1 Diego_is_God http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=38#comment30 Has anyone noticed that since Texas and Ohio,there has always been some controversies about Obama just few days before the contests? It was Canada-NAFTA,turn out to entirely false.Then Came Meyers,trying to hold him accountable this time for something done by a WHITE guy 40 years ago. How very dare you America.Are there any laws at all in America? I mean in 90% of the nations in the world,they do hold democratic elections but there are bounds people must work within,What is happening this year in America is not an election.Its a disgrace.Whats gonna happened for the next few days is no one will be talking about rising gass prices,foreclosures,Iraq,well as for Iraq,the media hasnt mentioned it for now over 4 months. People have lost dear ones which has gone unnoticed,hundresd if not thousands of Iraqis have died,yet they are only interested in knowing why Barack doesnt tag himself with a flag pin. Hillary obviously is not interested talking issues,she can not make a case for herself and has settled for how to destroy her oponent.One thing she forgets is that,stealing another students paper,doent mena u r gonna pass your exams. Wed 30 Apr 2008 16:28:16 GMT+1 Diego_is_God http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=37#comment29 AndreainNY wrote:Americans are most certainly ready to elect a woman or Black. When that woman is a Clinton, however, their sentiments are affected. Likewise, when the Black candidate is associated with a man like Reverend Wright, and the candidate is perceived to be less than patriotic, their sentiments are affected.I think it's a mistake to blame Hillary's and Obama's electability issues on American biases. Hillary, despite her tremendous strengths, has a history of questionable actions. Obama, despite his short record, is busy creating his own controversies.Surely, these two candidates are responsible for their prior actions.===========================Obama has not created any controversy.Imagine every American was to be judge based on the people they once knew or know.Then u have to start by asking,How the G.W Bush jr ever became president after G W Bush Sr? By that very same token,every American is the devil based on the attrocities perpetrated by numerous US governments all around the world. It shocks me even more that,Americans claim to be very religious,yet they dont understand a single teaching of Jesus Christ.Thou shall only me judge by their actions.You can not condem a child because his parents had done something once in their lives,let alone when theres no blood connection whatsoever..No 2 lives are the same. Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:49:02 GMT+1 Diego_is_God http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=36#comment28 DougTexan So you really think the US presence in Iraq is to secure freedom? you must be day dreaming. George Bush worrying about other people being free?So much for a man who his seeking to abolish the constitutional rights of the America people.Or perhaps what he is trying to do is take away freedom from where it already exist(by aboloshing the US constitution) to transfer it to other parts,is it?You talking about America fighting for freedom in Iraq sounds like Pat Buchanan on MSNBC saying kidknapping Africans in the early part of the century to force them to work as slaves in America was trying to help them and introducing them to christianity,is that what u think slavery was about,helping Africans? Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:42:06 GMT+1 Diego_is_God http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=35#comment27 What I dont understand is WHY did rev Wright only deemed it necesary to speak out now.For a couple of months now,The media has been after Obama because of him,and the poor Barack has steadily defended him,carried his cross for him.though i must say,Rev Wright never lied abt anything,but its wrong for him to have sat back and watch Obama carry his cross.No one has ever attacked him,everyone had attacked Obama for what he said.But then he sat back and watch and just when Barack has made way with it,he decides its time to put the cross back on Him.I think the Rev has tarnish his reputation here,his move to speak out now is very political and the Rev should know best Priests arent Political which is why he had the freedom to speak out the way he has always spoken,such as his sermons. I would think this latest comments of Rev Wright will enrage many even in his church.He definately came across this time as though he is trying to sabotage Senator Obama's bid to become president. Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:36:04 GMT+1 quedee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=33#comment26 Reverend Wright's church was Senator Obama's political base from early in his political career through his run for the U. S. Senate. Now that the Reverend is a liability and not an asset, Senator Obama dumps him, angrily. If Senator Obama is the Democratic nominee, the Republicans will hammer home the point: Senator Obama says he is against "politics as usual in Washington" but he seems to have had no problem with politics as usual in Chicago. They also may mention that Senator Obama has no loyalty to those who helped put him where he is now. Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:28:44 GMT+1 possumpam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=32#comment25 I believe that British anti-racist legislation would make it impossible for any UKpolitician to indulge in the kind of shameful racisttactics being currently used by the Clintons intheir desperate bid to get back into the White House. Is there no similar anti-racist legislation in the USA? Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:15:30 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=31#comment24 Americans are most certainly ready to elect a woman or Black. When that woman is a Clinton, however, their sentiments are affected. Likewise, when the Black candidate is associated with a man like Reverend Wright, and the candidate is perceived to be less than patriotic, their sentiments are affected.I think it's a mistake to blame Hillary's and Obama's electability issues on American biases. Hillary, despite her tremendous strengths, has a history of questionable actions. Obama, despite his short record, is busy creating his own controversies.Surely, these two candidates are responsible for their prior actions. Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:14:45 GMT+1 AAlvinTwiningham http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=29#comment23 @#21 - No, change isn't always good. But when your ship of state is headed toward a waterfall a change of direction is usually warranted. Our military is stretched to the breaking point and Hillary threatens Iran?!?I can appreciate some of Rev Wright's sentiments. I'm a white, middle-aged, suburban American male but even I can see that our decades of supporting repressive regimes have not won us many fans. It is all well and good to send aid, but does that make up for helping keep a boot on someone's neck? Wed 30 Apr 2008 15:12:51 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=28#comment22 Hey Streathamite in Milano, what are you talkin' about. I quess food for millions is exporting terror. Aid that cost each American, man woman and child over seven hundred dollars each a year, is terror? The loss of soldiers and the cost of securing freedom for Irag's and Afganistans people is terror? People who think like you are scary. Wed 30 Apr 2008 13:44:04 GMT+1 DrCahil http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=27#comment21 Just when Obama was crusing to an Indiana and North Carolina win, the indefatigable Jeremiah Wright (who had almost disappeared off the political radar screen) suddenly resurfaced - like a cruise missile that is now set to dampen what was a sure deal clincher for Obama!Was it just coincidence? Nothing in politics ever is. Unfortunately for Barack Obama, he is fighting the most clandestine of political opponents. No, not the Republican John McCain, but fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.Much has been said about the incredible destructive power of the Republican political machine. But this same machine was completely gassed out when it was set against Bill Clinton. And why? Because the Clinton political machine had bigger and sharper teeth that chewed up anything that dared stand in its way. And now it has been unleashed yet again - this time not against its traditional Republican opponent, but against its very own sibling, a fellow Democrat. For, as the Clintons would have it, Pennsylvania Avenue ain't big enough for the both of them (Clintons and Obamas)!Why am I focussing on the Clintons, when the story is clearly about Rev Jeremiah Wright?I did say that in politics there is no such thing as coincidence. Someone is always holding that smoking gun. And yes, this time round, it is the same political machine that unleashed the original videos of Jeremiah Wright that has once again resurrected his eminence - with one motive in mind... to defeat Barack Obama in both Indiana and North Carolina. Where is the evidence for all this?Read the Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/29/clinton-booster-organized_n_99129.htmlThis has plausible deniability written all over it - which is why it is no very apparent to the discerning.Was Senator Obama right in denouncing Rev Wright this time round?You bet he was! This is someone the Obama campaign tried so very hard to get him to remain quiet, knowing full well what the repurcussions would be. But oh no, Wright just had to tell his side of the story! Frankly, he deserves even more contempt and condemnation for his twisted and bloated ego, claiming to represent the entire Black Church. And even worse, for single-handedly doing the most amount of harm to the candidacy of his most prominent church member. Some pastor he is. Whatever happened to leading from the front (pulpit) by turning the other cheek.Well, it's now up to the Indiana voters. Will they be hoodwinked by the American mainstream media to vote for a self-confessed liar or to vote for change they can believe in. Like Barack said when he was asked, this remains to be seen. Wed 30 Apr 2008 13:41:16 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=25#comment20 The first to respond are so under the Obama spell as to not be able to see he is so wrong for America. He is not a patriot, he holds no aligence to the USA and says so. Any of us with his relationships couldn't get even a nominal security clearance, nor a job at any airport, yet you think he is Presidential material because he 'speaks' of change without definition. Becoming a Socialist/communist state is change, becoming an Islamic state is change, heck, distruction of our way of life is change. Change isn't always good.The USA is great due to a strong, expensive and maintained infra-structure. Balanced precariously it provides food, health, safety and freedom for 'most' of the people. Change this and 'most' people may be on the wrong side of this change. Wed 30 Apr 2008 13:01:22 GMT+1 desiyamyam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=24#comment19 It all seems rather convenient this reverend comes to our attention with these views just as things start hotting up in the race. Lets face the truth, the states are only just able to accept a female president, but a black man? Please! don’t get me wrong i wish him all the luck but im afraid its all a smoke screen, build him up too look like they have free elections and then he doesnt make it. Lets not forget what happened in Florida last time round! There will not be a black president in America. Wed 30 Apr 2008 12:07:56 GMT+1 gtkovacs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=23#comment18 denouncement? denunciation, surely.I know, I am pedantic. Wed 30 Apr 2008 11:47:35 GMT+1 Streathamite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=22#comment17 I gtuess my problem is....I agree more with rev wright than i do his critics. the US HAS exported terror, and HAS given millions around the world reason to hate it, one way or another. 9/11 was - absolutely spot on, reverend - chickens come home to roost, and something like that was sooner.And if 300 years of first slavery then segregation wasn't good enough reason for resentment, then what is?this is NOT a reflection of the American people, merely their leaders, political and commercial. And, tbf, we all in the west are led by klutzes, even those sensible, dull scandinavians.Reuben33g had it spot on earlier. And no this ain't yank-bashing, I loathe kneejerk anti-americanism.I do agree however, that Obama has fumbled this one a tad Wed 30 Apr 2008 11:44:51 GMT+1 OnlyHereForTheFood http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=20#comment16 Obama had no choice, he never wanted to make this about race - but Wright hanging over him forevermore will make it impossible for Obama to move on.Obama and Wright have almost completely opposite views of what America is - Wright feels the almost segregationist in his view of multiculturalism ("Different but not defecent") - while Obama is trying to make his campaign about uniting America - that there is more in common than what seperates, about where America is going and it's goals than where it's come from.It's all clearly messy - when you mix race, religion and politics it's always going to be - but Obama can ride this out, there is still a long way to November and a week is a long time in politics, nevermind 6 months. Wed 30 Apr 2008 10:01:05 GMT+1 ronaine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=19#comment15 I can't help but chuckle at this current obsession with radicalism. The Senator is patently centrist. And yet all we've heard about this past couple of months have been the ceaseless attempts to paint him as a dangerous, unpatriotic lefty.I wonder what the US would have made of Blunkett, with his People's Republic of Sheffield background? Or Jack Straw and John Reid with their Socialist associations of the past. Or, for that matter, Tony Blair - who once fully supported the radical notion of unilateral nuclear disarmament?And what have the last 7 years under Bush been, if not radical...?Hilarious, if all this didn't have the disturbing subtext of a nation uncomfortable with its own image as a 'melting pot'. Wed 30 Apr 2008 09:54:34 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=18#comment14 When Reverend Wright spoke harshly about Whites, Obama was sympathetic. When Reverend Wright spoke harshly about Obama, he responded.What are we to think about Obama's tolerance of Wright's other comments? Wed 30 Apr 2008 09:51:09 GMT+1 Reuben33g http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=16#comment13 Obama is attempting to regain credibility with white voters by casting Reverend Wright adrift, but it may just backfire.Obama showed strength when he originally said that he could no more dis-own Rev Wright than he could dis-own his white grandmother.Obama has now shown weakness in the face of his aponnents and denied a friend.From a certain point of view, Rev Wright was right;Rev Wright saw 9/11 as divine retribution.Maybe G-d really was angry with America.Black Americans have been forced to criticize their own government in order to get the rights that had been wrongfully denied them.We Americans need to stop taking criticism so personal, look at our country and think, maybe there really is something wrong. Only after we acknowledge what's wrong with our country, can we begin to make it right.What if we had said that Dr King was just being disloyal and ignored his message? Wed 30 Apr 2008 09:46:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=15#comment12 Well he had to do something and he probably waited longer than he should have. With increasing media attention, Wright's statement became more and more outrageous, his affiliatiations more unacceptable to the majority of American voters. He'll be lucky if it doesn't become fuel for his opponents in the general election. It was diverting attention from the real issues in the campaign and potentially could have impacted his support among the super delegates he will need to get the nomination. Let's hope if he's elected, he doesn't procrastinate and equivocate on the job the way he has here. It was not a sign of strength and clear resolve. Wed 30 Apr 2008 09:44:08 GMT+1 doc1400 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=14#comment11 This is my first time BBC blog.I find this blog intellectual and civil, alas unfortunately not enough U.S. blogs are as civilized.That said, my comment is:The Obama campaign was overdue in "throwing Rev. Wright under the bus." Wright is hatefull, egotistical, and to him, "it is all about himself."The Obama campaign is looking beyond black american religion and has established a Catholic National Advisory Council. Tough to do for a liberal politician but a great idea to position himself as more of a moderate and widen his appeal. Wed 30 Apr 2008 07:32:57 GMT+1 politicsisfun http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=12#comment10 Despite some of Rev. Wright's more bizarre views he does reflect the concerns of the black working class. These are issues that are yet to be resolved, if you're black you are more likely to be found guilty in courrt and given the death penalty. How many black draft dodgers were there in the 60s?Remember the Oklahoma bombing, well there were some very fanciful theories about who was behind that.Barack Obama does not represent black people, how can one individual do so, he represents a sliver of the black middle class. Hence his views on those folk in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.Will black people be disappointed with a Barack Obama presidency no doubt, but then that will be nothing new either. Wed 30 Apr 2008 06:58:47 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=11#comment9 Most interesting will be the reaction of Jeremiah Wright's congregation and others of the same denomination to Mr Obama's denunciation. Will they believe that he has forsaken them and has leaned to the white in order to gain or retain votes from those who are not African-American? I don't think we have heard the last of the Rev Wright and his influence on a member of his flock since what he says now appears to be a restatement of his message over the last twenty years. If Mr Obama leaves his church, what then? One group or another will be offended; it's a lose-lose situation for him. Wed 30 Apr 2008 02:58:10 GMT+1 ceannabhaigh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=10#comment8 What is not widely reported internationally is that Wright was invited to give his "performance" at the National Press Club by Barbara Reynolds, the head of the speaker's committee AND an ardent supporter of (guess who?) Hillary Clinton. Probably just a coincidence! Or has Bill been up to his usual tricks? Wed 30 Apr 2008 02:39:33 GMT+1 JPPeterson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=9#comment7 For the sake off full disclosure, I'm a white male of the non-Obama persuasion.Senator Obama initially gave Rev. Wright "the benefit of the doubt" . I think in general the African American community did too.After his performance yesterday at the National Press Club there can be little doubt where Reverend Wright stands on several subjects. Reverend Wright did not just loose that "benefit of the doubt" from Barack Obama. He lost it from a good percentage the community he purports to represent.This won't effect Obamas support within the African American community much, discounting extremists who agree with the reverend.What it does to his stand with the rest of the voters is another question.There seems to be a dull roar building to the effect of "Good speach....it was several weeks late".I for one find it impossible to believe in 20 years of listening to Reverend Wright, some inkling of his now clarified opinions did not seep through. I'll use an old southernism to sum up my personal opinion of the Senator pleading ignorance to the Reverends wackier views before this broke..."That dog won't hunt". Wed 30 Apr 2008 02:22:02 GMT+1 MikeCotton25 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=7#comment6 Obama was caught between a rock and a hard place. He, in my opinon, had no choice but to come out and denounce Rev.Wright's comments. http://thewaitingroom-mcsb.blogspot.com/ Wed 30 Apr 2008 01:29:32 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=6#comment5 This post has been Removed Wed 30 Apr 2008 00:53:00 GMT+1 proxieme http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=5#comment4 I have to agree with Risforme (#3):It does seem a bit bizarre that the Rev. Wright issue's being pounded into the ground while the vast majority of people seem ready to white wash (no pun intended) McCain's sketchy religious associates.One can't help but wonder if it's because more American people agree with the more outlandish assertions of the Fundies than we'd like to admit...The motivation's probably more obvious, though: to try to scare suburban white people with the sometimes left-field tenets of liberation theology.("Do you mean _he_ associates with _those_ black people??? Perhaps he's not as moderate as we thought.")And I say that as a rather suburban, at least marginally white person.Actually, on that (but a little off topic), I completely saw where Obama was coming from when he initially stuck with Wright.He said something to the effect of, "I can no more disown him than I can turn my back on my white grandmother," didn't he? And then he later referred to her as a typical "old white woman"...then that caused a stir.But I'll submit that a lot of people (kids to those of a certain age - I'm 28) completely identified with that statement. My grandmother _is_ a typical old white woman - she doesn't consider herself racist, but by virtue of her generation and place of birth she was infused with deeply prejudicial attitudes. No amount of my railing against those attitudes will make a dent. I recognize that, while she's a fundamentally decent, even occasionally wise person, she'll spout off with the most insanely ignorant comments imaginable without batting an eye.Before Obama's denunciation of Wright, I figured that that was the attitude that he had probably taken in regards to his former pastor. It's probably a safe bet to say that that's the way he still feels; it's just become untenable to still say that in public given the Reverend's recent performances. Wed 30 Apr 2008 00:30:45 GMT+1 kecsmar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=3#comment3 If Obama is the leader and right choice he is saying, and is ready to be president. Why did he not see this comming and why did he not make this decision sooner when it was required. Why wait so long....sounds like dithering and indecisiveness to me, not leadership qualities. Tue 29 Apr 2008 23:10:17 GMT+1 Risforme http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=2#comment2 I doubt this will stop Hillary Clinton and the Republicans from bringing it up. After Obama's rejection and denunciation of Louis Farrakhan Hillary Clinton still snuck Farrakhan into the ABC debate. The problem is the media not Obama or even really Wright. McCain's friend Pastor Hagee just again blamed God for Hurricane Katrina and the media barely touched it. Justin you should ask yourself why Wright is such a big issue. Yet a Man McCain called his Spiritual Guide Pastor Rod Parsley called for the US military to be used to kill or convert all Muslims is not even talked about. Tue 29 Apr 2008 22:23:04 GMT+1 Candace9839 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=1#comment1 The Reverend's comments point to the anger and frustration many in America feel, but Obama is right for coming out firmly against his comments. Obama is trying to make a difference, bring about change, and that is never an easy process. Tue 29 Apr 2008 21:41:40 GMT+1 giri http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/04/the_obama_news_conference_on.html?page=0#comment0 I can see Obama coming close to finding the right balance between appealing to the white and bringing blacks under his fold now than ever before Tue 29 Apr 2008 21:32:53 GMT+1