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Last week, I was asked to appear on a radio talk show to discuss Sen. and presidential candidate Barack Obama’s March 18 speech on race, which was ostensibly given to address the media furor and questions surrounding incendiary statements made by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago’s Trinity United Church.

When we went on the air, the first question the host asked me was what I thought of the speech in general. I told him it sounded like it had been written by a sales trainer.

Interestingly, the host had experience in sales (as do I) as well as motivational speaking. Typically, individuals in these professions use essentially the same formula in their oratory. Such talks generally begin with an introduction and an outline, then move on to the “meat” of the presentation. If the “meat” of the presentation is weak (such as in an unmemorable product that must nevertheless be sold somehow), there is less time spent on this talking point. The speaker then moves on to the Platitudes and Stories phase. This generally involves clichés – on occasion, quite a few of them – which serve as launching points for the stories.

The stories are pure misdirection. In the case of sales and motivational speakers, the goal is usually to assuage any fear or trepidation the audience might have vis-à-vis the product being sold or the technique being applied. Here’s where the real selling takes place. The speaker will as a rule devote the lion’s share of his time before the audience in this area. Tools employed include logic, referring to people who have succeeded previously, dissimilar circumstances that may provide a kernel of relevance, and the speaker’s own observations and experiences (accurate or contrived).


The “salesman” then moves on to the Emotional Appeal, as Obama did with his “Ashley” anecdote on March 18. This may or may not be lengthy, but is always calculated to inspire or to engender passion in some area, which is why the speaker nearly always increases volume and vocal inflection during this portion.

Having completed this appeal, the speaker’s voice lowers, sometimes imperceptibly, but occasionally to just above a whisper. If the subject matter is emotionally moving enough, he may even get a bit choked up. All of this conveys sincerity, of course. The speaker wraps up with a synopsis of his purpose (now, hopefully shared by the audience) and bids a fond and heartfelt adieu.

At this point, most readers will be at least somewhat familiar with the content of Obama’s speech, which included the candidate’s denunciation of Wright’s profoundly offensive remarks. Shortly following same, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly stated, “The senator was also correct when he said Jeremiah Wright’s statements were misguided and driven by an obsolete view of the country.”

An obsolete view, indeed. Also delusional and dangerous.

I agree with Mr. O’Reilly and others that Obama’s speech was phenomenal in the technical sense; such rhetoric has to be to be effective, and ineffectiveness was something Obama could most assuredly not afford at that juncture. O’Reilly does not appear to be of the opinion that Sen. Obama actually shares the anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-white sentiments of Rev. Wright or James Meeks, another militant Chicago pastor whose ties to Obama were revealed last week.

The gravity of choosing our next president aside, the question of whether Obama is infected with the social sickness carried by such activists or is simply an opportunist who made use of these community leaders to scale the sharp, pointy outcroppings of Chicago politics is becoming more and more immaterial. The greater danger lies in the fact that although these men by no means represent the majority of black voters, such racists as Wright and Meeks hold sway over elements of the black community.

On Fox News’ “America’s Election Headquarters” television program March 20, I stated that the vast majority of ethnic activists exist to keep racial tension alive in America – period. It’s a simple case of self-aggrandizement, power and, in some cases, money. Much has been written by white and black conservatives addressing the modus operandi of the far left beginning in the late 1960s regarding blacks and the black religious community in particular.

Jack and Bobby Kennedy were Democrats, although they would likely be considered arch-conservatives today. They were, as we all are aware, staunch supporters of civil rights, particularly in areas affecting blacks, who were then marching under the banner of Dr. Martin Luther King. With the deaths of the two brothers and King, elements of the far left and those in the Democrat party who had supported segregation exploited emotional ties the black community had for the Kennedys to ingratiate themselves by association to blacks.

The chief leaders in the black community at the time were pastors, who were targeted and corrupted through the “gospel” of personal gain. Concurrently, other pastors (such as Rev. Wright) were formulating what we now understand as “Black Liberation Theology,” the false Christian doctrine promulgated by Marxist-leaning black writers of the 1950s and 1960s.

The result has been that the far left wound up doing more damage to the black community than segregation ever did, in part because segregation was overt, while the far left’s agenda was clandestine in nature.

Some black pastors – including such luminaries as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton – may not actually believe there’s a bigot lurking underneath every white hide in America; rather, they are simply captains of the civil rights activism industry, which has made some of them quite rich. Other pastors, activists and black Americans no doubt do believe that the United States is a racist, imperialist country.

In the moral sense, herein lies the crime, particularly if said activist falls into the former category. Speaking on one’s delusional, retrograde beliefs is one thing; doing it for personal aggrandizement is quite another. Some contend that compromising the cultural integrity of one’s own ethnic group only intensifies the hypocrisy and evil of such comportment.

We’re all Americans. This is the truth from which we are being continually diverted by the far left and ethnic activists. Were this truth taken to heart on a wide enough scale, it would sink these professional race-baiters faster than one could say “poverty pimp.”


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