By Joanna P. DelBuono
Growing up in Brooklyn in the early sixties, there were two things that you never wanted to be -- or be called. One was the last one to be chosen for stick ball and the other was a flat-leaving, finking out on a friend coward.
Our standards were high. To be an upstanding alright kid, you had to stick by your friends through thick and thin. If one of your friends got into a fight, you stood by them, even if it meant that you sprouted a black eye too. If they said something that wasn’t very popular you agreed with them publicly. Maybe in private you would call them out, but in public you were a staunch supporter.
Which brings me to the point of this column. If elected, what kind of president would Barack Obama be if he can’t stand by the side of his friend and mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If he can leave him flat in the dust when the waters get a little rough, what’s he gonna do when we really need him to stand his ground? We might not all like Hilary, heaven knows she’s not the most sincere of the bunch, but she did stick by Bill when the going got tough.
When Bill was caught with his political pants down she stood by him, when he was caught with his other pants down, she still stood by. Maybe when they were alone she put pins in his voodoo doll, maybe she glued his eyelashes together when he slept, but to the world, she stood by him. Not as a victim, not behind him, but right there next to him. She knew what he had done, and still she squared her shoulders, took the hits along with Bill and never flinched, not even once.
Senator Obama, didn’t go the distance. He sat in the church for 20 years, he listened to the sermons and as much as he would like us to believe, never once did he get up and denounce the good Rev. Wright. But now that the heat is applied, he’s running like a nose with a cold. Lickety split, he has turned his tail and shown us just what he stands for. And it ain’t much.
Maybe he sat for 20 years and silently disagreed with Rev. Wright, but he belonged to the church and he sat there and listened just the same.
When my husband and I first married we moved into a new apartment in a new neighborhood. For the first few months we went to mass at our regular church, but as the holidays approached we decided to give the new church a try. We dressed in our Sunday best and went to the 11 a.m. mass. It was massively overcrowded. And even though we were there on time we were lucky to get the last two seats in the last row.
The time had come for the pastor to offer his homily on the Gospel. We expected him to talk about the joys of Christmas and the birth of Jesus. Instead we got lambasted for not giving enough toward the roof fund, how most people only came on Christmas and Easter, the lily and poinsettia bunch, as he called his flock and how disappointed he was in all the new faces he was seeing that day. As we sat in the back and listened to him spout his fire and brimstone, we both looked at each other and waited for the moment that we could politely leave the church. As soon as communion had ended we left and never looked back. We didn’t stay there for the next 20 years, sitting silently through his condemning sermons - we found another church.
Senator Obama was happy to sit there for 20 years and smile and listen politely as the Rev. Wright spouted his fire and brimstone about the United States, he was happy to have the Rev. baptize his children, be a part of his family of friends and have him as one of his supporters. And the Rev. Wright was there, supporting him like a good friend.
But then the poop hit the fan and both went running. Obama has publicly come out against the Reverend and the Reverend in kind has come out against Obama.
Not for nuthin, but Obama could have left long ago, he chose to stay. He can say what he wants in his defense, but in my book, he’s nothing but a flat-leaving, finking out on a friend coward.
E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@co