Obama offered only excuses in defending pastor

Is it enough? Absolutely not! [Senator Barak Obama made the right choice, Sandra Johnson, April 10]. In fact, what Obama has said and done is going totally in the wrong direction. Excuses! Rationalization! Continued allegiance! If it had been Clinton’s or McCain’s white pastor who preached not just five snippets but rather week after week, month after month, year after year-that another race within America is the enemy and America is not our friend because that race controls America-do you really think one speech by them would be enough? Absolutely not! If we heard that this white pastor was a part of their campaign team and had been their spiritual adviser for 20 years and was still continuing to be there chosen spiritual adviser, would we be OK with that? Absolutely not! If they were still attending that Church when 24 other churches of the same faith are within the same driving distance, would it be acceptable with the American public? Absolutely not! If Clinton or McCain had thrown their grandmother under the bus but not their pastor, especially if that grandmother was of the race that the pastor’s weekly innuendoes called the enemy, would we think that was the right thing said and done? Absolutely not! America’s answer should be a resounding absolutely not to Obama. His handling of this issue should absolutely not be enough for any typical American citizen of any race, creed, color, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

Roger Ryan
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Obama can unite us

I believe that because Sen. Obama has had to reconcile the diversity in his own family and life, he is uniquely qualified to bring us all together. Before the speech, I wondered whether he would throw Rev. Wright under the bus and was so relieved that he did not. Had he done that, who would be next, his grandma? Michelle Obama? No! To bring about real unity, we have to all stay on the bus. Yes, even the Hannitys and Limbaughs. We have to continue this discussion to bring about a better understanding (no matter how painful) so that we can move our country forward together. Love the article. It’s very encouraging. YES WE CAN!!!

Phyliss Lacy
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Showed weakness

Where is the strength of character exhibited in not speaking against the hateful speech of the minister? It seems to me that if after hearing the hate for many years and then never reacting the entire time; sitting still while feeling uncomfortable is not strength of character, but weakness. Obama is a great speaker and motivator, but I do not see the depth of character required to speak up and take sides necessary for protecting our country as our president

Ross Voorhees
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Column on target

Congratulations, Ms. Johnson. You said it very well. Thank you for coming out and sharing your thoughts. Bravo!

Amit Kanodia
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Speech struck a chord

I absolutely agree with you. I am white, a Christian, and, until recently, I was a Republican. I was and continue to be inspired by Obama’s speech. I’m inspired that he would not disown a loyal friend and spiritual guide because that person denounced structural racism. I cannot even say that I disagree completely with Pastor Wright (nobody seems to be questioning the validity of the statement- just condemning his inflammatory language). More people should take note that certain politicians in this race will do anything to sit in the oval office while some, though they may be human, make tough decisions that reflect their courage and strength of character. Thank you for taking notice, and thank you for thinking independently. Columns like this give me hope that in this self-proclaimed Christian nation, character still has a place-even in politics.

Hunter Starr
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Behind McCain

I am white, and I think Mr. Obama handled the church issue quite well. I think Bush has done an excellent job, although at the expense of some domestic issues which need some attention. At this juncture, I think McCain is best prepared for becoming president. Obama would be my second choice. And although I respect Clinton, I do not think she is presidential material. I think some nonmilitary arm-chair generals and disconnected pacifists in our government need to realize that they do more to divide this nation than any terrorist threat. They must realize that significant wars are not won overnight, and that our present and future economy requires free trade with other nations. Self-serving politicians, pacifists and bigots are our own worst enemies in this nation. I have stood on military battle lines with big guns shooting at me. We need to unite more, and stay on the course charted by president Bush. It is in the better long-term interests of the United States and all of its people.

Charles E. Tooley
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

I will miss Siedah

Siedah Sivels is my cousin. She passed on Sunday, March 30, 2008. Siedah was the love of her parent’s life. She touched everyone that had the pleasure of knowing her, and was a fun-loving young lady. She set the example on how to respond to adversity. In a time when we worry about gas prices, the economy etc., Siedah was going through much more, and still hoped for better things to come. I love my uncle, Gerald, and his family, and pray for God to give them the strength to carry on. I say goodbye, with a heavy heart, to my cousin, but I rejoice, because I know my cousin is in a better place.

Terrence Sivels
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Enlightened by King

Ms. McCain; that was a wonderful piece that you did on Martin Luther King Jr. [April 4, 1968: A day I’ll never forget, April 3]. My 9-year-old daughter has become fascinated with the life of Dr. King. She has digested all of the events that have been documented by CNN, the Chicago Sun-Times and, of course, the timeline in the Austin Weekly News. Keep up the positive journalism.

Sgt. Glenn White
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com