When Sen. John Kerry was asked by the New Bedford Standard what qualified Sen. Barack Obama to reach out to moderate Muslims, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee didn’t hasitate: “Because he’s an African-American. Because he’s a black man.” The video tape is here.
I’ve posted twice on the story here and here.
Kerry had a lot more to say in the interview. James Taranto at WSJ/ Best of the Web Today reports and comments, after which I comment below the star line.
Taranto says - - -
Remember John Kerry? He was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, lauded by his supporters for his intellect and his nuance, as compared with the simpleminded George W. Bush.
Having lost the election, he decided to sit out the 2008 contest. He recently endorsed Barack Obama, and earlier this week he sat down with the editorial board of the Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.) to make the case for his candidate.
It's a real jaw-dropper. ABC News's Jake Tapper sums it up:
Kerry said that a President Obama would help the US, in relations with Muslim countries, "in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we can't otherwise."One obvious question: What do the events of this week, involving Obama's own church, tell us about his ability to "stand up against" a "radical misinterpretation of a legitimate religion"?
"He has the ability to help us bridge the divide of religious extremism," Kerry said. "To maybe even give power to moderate Islam to be able to stand up against this radical misinterpretation of a legitimate religion."
Kerry was asked what gives Obama that credibility.
"Because he's African-American. Because he's a black man. Who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country."
An African-American president would be "a symbol of empowerment" for those who have been disenfranchised around the world, Kerry said, "an important lesson for America to show Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, other places in the world where disenfranchised people don't get anything."
Nothing very encouraging in this columnist's view, but many observers view Obama much more charitably in this regard than we do.
What is really striking about Kerry's case for Obama, though, is that it rests on what may be the crudest stereotyping we have ever observed. Commentary's Abe Greenwald has a chuckle over Kerry's racial stereotyping of Obama:
Where is this "place of oppression and repression" in which Obama has suffered "through the years"? Hawaii? Harvard? The Senate? We should find out immediately and do something about this horrific crisis.But Kerry isn't just stereotyping blacks. He is stereotyping Muslims too. And he is drawing an equivalence between American blacks, a racial minority in one country, and Middle Eastern Muslims, a religious majority in a whole region.
Never mind that, as Greenwald points out, "Arab Muslims [are] none too happy with their black countrymen in northern Africa." Never mind that in some African countries, notably Sudan and Mauritania, Arab Muslims still enslave blacks.
To Kerry, it seems, all "oppressed peoples" look alike. The man has all the intellectual subtlety of a third-rate ethnic studies professor.
A week after Kerry made remarks which can only be called extraordinary and extremely controversial, and with a video with excellent audio available to them, most major news organizations have decided not to report the story.
Their failure to report gives you an idea of the intensity of their partisanship.
News organizations such as the NY and LA Times, and the Washington Post are putting their allegiances to the liberal Obama and the Democratic Party ahead of what they tout as “our responsibility to our readers.”
Most of MSM’s news suppression of the Kerry story is one more example Americans can cite when pollsters ask them why they don’t trust MSM to report the news fairly and accurately.
I’ll keep following this story. A google search reveals its getting a little play in a few papers (this Boston Herald column, for example) and by some talk radio hosts (Rush Limbaugh here, for example).
Perhaps there’ll be enough “push” from those sources to force the MSM to give the story the reporting it deserves.