The big political news on Thursday was that Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his controversial sermons that dogged Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign were going to make a comeback.
In case you missed it, the New York Times reported a super PAC called the Ending Spending Action Fund – a separate entity from Mitt Romney’s campaign and working independently from them – was thinking about making Wright’s statements a campaign issue after this year’s Democratic National Convention. This didn’t come from a group of people brainstorming or having an extended spit-balling session. They were going to use racial divisiveness and fear to win votes.
From the New York Times:
The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”
After the plan was made public on Thursday, Mitt Romney repudiated it and a spokesperson for Ricketts said the billionaire rejects “that approach to politics.” So, it doesn’t look like that proposal will be executed. But why would a group of people write up a 54-page proposal and consider spending $10 million to stir up fear of black people? Why would they re-hash Rev. Wright’s sermons and try again to tie them to President Obama, who the Ricketts plan said deceived America into thinking he was a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln?”
Thursday’s news from the Census Bureau may have the answers. For the first time ever, there are more Hispanic, black and Asian babies in the U.S. under one-year old than there are white babies: 50.4% vs. 49.5% respectively. In other words, minority babies now outnumber white babies in America. The Census Bureau estimates the United States will be a minority-majority country, with whites making up less than half of the total population, by 2042.
It’s probably a coincidence that both stories came out within a day of each other, but that doesn’t mean the stories aren’t related. The people at the Ending Spending Action Fund who conceived the Wright plan, called “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good,” know that many Americans are uncomfortable with the country’s changing color. The different skin tones and languages are redefining how America looks and sounds.
I’ve said before that Obama’s life story is the embodiment of the changing nature of race and class in America. For some Americans who think the U.S. should be a predominately white country where whites have all or most of the power, “Change You Can Believe In” might seem like a nightmare. These are some of the same people who believe Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., believe he is a secret Muslim and think he is only helping black people. Making Rev. Wright an issue again attempts to incite fear and motivate those people to vote against Obama.
Change doesn’t need to be feared. In fact, it should be embraced. Fast. As the Census numbers point out, change isn’t on the way. It’s happening right now.