Friday, March 21, 2008

Charles Murray Defends Barack Obama

Writing at the National Review Corner, the controversial author of The Bell Curve, Charles Murray had this to say about Barack's speech.
But the problem generalizes to everyone who tries to be honest about race, and now it has happened to Barack Obama. Take, for example, the treatment of his reference to his white grandmother. Of course you can go after him in all the ways that people have gone after him—if what you want to do is go after him. But suppose you approach Obama’s text under the twin assumptions that (a) he is trying to communicate with you, and, (b) your obligation is to make a good-faith effort to understand his meaning. I read what he said about his grandmother, and his words left me in no doubt about two things: He really loves his grandmother, and he was saying something important about race that I recognized from my own experience. I bet many of the people who have slammed him recognize it from their own experience too. The guy was being honest, and he was being right. What the hell more do you want?
There's more at the link given above.

Charles Murray has been accused of being a racist as much as anyone on Earth, David Duke included. After reading his take on the speech, I am duly chastised for my interpretations of it. I should have been much more forgiving if for no other reason than Barack was being honest. I still don't like the speech, but Barack deserves a lot of credit for his candor and I gave him none.


Foxfier said...

I'm not so inclined.

If this was the FIRST warning sign, maybe,, not as a response to "God Damn America" style preaching over twenty years, with a wife who has "never been proud of America" in her adult life until now, not with the refusal to wear the flag and there are probably other warning signs I've neglected/forgotten.

I'd give him the benefit of the doubt if it were isolated.

K T Cat said...

foxfier, I'm not giving Barack a pass on his speech. In fact, there's a great Victor Davis Hanson piece over at The Corner discussing it with a new angle, but what I liked was how Charles Murray challenges us to try and understand what Barack was really trying to say rather than shredding him by parsing the speech.

Right or wrong, I like the kindness of Charles Murray's approach.

Dean said...

KT, point taken but what if.... what if he just fabricated the granny story for convenience wrt to his speech? There's no way of ever knowing.

Point being, as with any politician, deeds speak louder than words.