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Questioning a Presidential Candidate’s Moral Fiber

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 22, 2008


When Barack Obama had the chance, out of the public eye, to reject racism and reject homophobia, he did not act. He did not act. Why should I trust him now, after making an eloquent speech years too late? […]I want to see Barack Obama explain to me why he didn’t walk the walk. At the least, I want Obama to admit he was wrong. Then the issue will be over for me. Otherwise, like you, A, it sure looks like a political move, weak on morality and high on manipulation.

Barack Obama 2008

I think it’s not only natural but required of a democratically inclined voter to scrutinize the candidates for Head of State. This questioning doesn’t exclude an understanding of where the candidate comes from, not politically, but emotionally and culturally.

While I can question Barack Obama’s motives for not stepping up and away from Reverend Wright and his alleged racism, I can see how for a person of “mixed blood” in the US, where skin color seem to be very important, it might be difficult to do that. I can only vaguely imagine what it means to be both “too white” and “too black” and basically be told that one doesn’t belong in either group in a culture where so much revolve around racism, race and culture. But I can imagine, perhaps more than most why one would choose not to bring one’s pastor’s possible racism up to his face, or even leave that church. I have stayed in places I didn’t like simply because I liked some of the people or because I had no “elsewhere” to go. It can and has been argued that Obama’s racial background shouldn’t have anything to with his lack of objection homophobia from those close to him. I would disagree with this, because the emotional set-up of Obama’s basic background most likely has made him dependent on approval, and one is ready to accept a lot, also ideas and views that one disagrees strongly with.

This is not an excuse, but I do think it puts the matter into perspective.

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