Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Friday, March 21, 2008

Toom Tabard

King John Balliol of Scotland, ruler of that land in the 13th century, was known snickeringly to his people as "Toom Tabard", meaning "empty coat." By which they meant he was no more than an empty piece of fabric puffed up by wind to look like an actual person.

Kind of like the way I think of Barack Obama. In spite of The Speech, I still haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid, and someone is going to have to pry my jaws open and force it down my throat if they want me to.

Seems as if, this week, everything I wanted to say has already been said, and far more brilliantly, by other people.

Ordinarily I cannot STAND Charles Krauthammer, but on this one occasion I have to say I agree whole-heartedly.

The Speech: A Brilliant Fraud

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 21, 2008

The beauty of a speech is that you don’t just give the answers, you provide your own questions. "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes." So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which"controversial" remarks?

Wright’s assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented HIV "as a means of genocide against people of color"? Wright’s claim that America was morally responsible for Sept. 11 -- "chickens coming home to roost" -- because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?) What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?

Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: "There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?"

But that is not the question. The question is why didn’t he leave that church? Why didn’t he leave -- why doesn’t he leave even today -- a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) "God damn America"? Obama’s 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.

(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there’s Wright, but at the other "end of the spectrum" there’s Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, "who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?

"I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother." What exactly was Grandma’s offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus’s time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.

Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one’s time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?

(b) White guilt. Obama’s purpose in the speech was to put Wright’s outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, "We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country," and then he proceeds to do precisely that. What lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.

This contextual analysis of Wright’s venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It’s the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.

But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?

As I said, I cannot ABIDE Krauthammer. But on this matter, we are as one.

I have been deeply suspicious and cynical of Barack Obama from the first. I think he is a big giant windbag of overblown and imperfect rhetoric, with deep pockets for promises and no plans to make them come true. Mind you, I’m not all that nuts about Hillary either, but at least she’s got some depth to her and real experience and real ideas.

As for Geraldine Ferraro and her remark about how if Obama were white he wouldn’t be anywhere NEAR where he is, I think she is dead on the money.

Get real, people! Name me, if you can, a WHITE senator with Barama’s paltry track record and pathetically few years of service put in, and then tell me why that guy isn’t in the presidential race and Barack is. The ONLY difference is that Barack is black and the other guy isn’t. His color HAS MADE the difference. And how the hell does that make Ferraro or anyone else racist to say so?

I find it disingenuous in the extreme that people are denying this left, right and center and calling for Ferraro to recant. Don’t do it, Geraldine! You’re absolutely right. I’m getting so tired of people of any color trying to have it both ways from Sunday on this point, and Obama is by far the worst offender.

What I want to know is, how could he sit there for TWENTY YEARS at the feet of this Ayatollah, listening to the raving racist rants, and NOT have absorbed some of it? And why does he now defend him and, worse still, drag his poor old white granny into it?

You know, my grandma said bad things about black people from time to time, yet she lived and worked among them. She used racist epithets about her own people too. Didn’t make her terrible, just a product of her time (she died ten years ago, at age 102).

But Wright’s offenses are different, and the fact that Obama feels the need to explain and weasel them away seem to me proof that the poison fell not on stony ground, but on ground that now denies it was ever receptive. If the guy was "family", and an influence...well, there it is.

I wonder what the Reverend (and revered) Dr. King would say.


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