Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Dreher on Snobama
A retired high-school teacher and coach... said he wasn’t bothered by the Jeremiah Wright stuff with Obama. He’s about Jeremiah Wright’s age, and talked about growing up in a small town here in the Dallas area, and about what he saw of segregation. He spoke movingly of the way blacks were treated in his town, and of the injustice and cruelty of it all. He said Mike Huckabee was right to say that white people ought to give people like Jeremiah Wright a lot of grace, given what that and previous generations of African-Americans were put through. And he, the Coach, doesn’t believe for a second that Obama shares Wright’s views on race (Coach also shared a pretty moving story about how his father, who was the principal of his high school, taught him to be respectful and kind to Mexican immigrants who were moving into the town back then, in the 1950s).

But, said Coach, he finds it a lot harder to dismiss Obama’s “cling” comment. It’s not hard to see why this is. Obama revealed in that remark that he looks down on people like Coach, and their values. I found this conversation revealing, because it showed me a white man, Coach, who was open to Obama, even through the Wright thing, and also resistant to the kinds of views about Rev. Wright and immigration that are fairly common among white men of his generation around here. It was Obama’s cultural condescension, though, toward small-town and rural white people that started closing that door.
Peggy Noonan adds:
He was only caught speaking the secret language of America’s elite, and what he said was not meant as a putdown. It was an explanation aimed at ameliorating the elites’ anger toward and impatience with normal people.

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