White Folks’ Greed Runs a World in Need

Did you know that Haiti’s problems are run by greedy white folks? You would have if you read Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope!

[T]he pastor described going to a museum and being confronted by a painting title Hope.

“The painting depicts a harpist,” Revernd Wright explained, “a woman who at first glance appears to be sitting atop a great mountaintop. Until you take a closer look and see that the woman is bruised and bloodied, dressed in tattered rags, the harp reduced to a single frayed string. Your eye is then drawn down to the scene below, down to the valley below, where everywhere are the ravages of famine, the drumbeat of war, a world groaning under strife and deprivation.

It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere … That’s the world! On which hope sits.”

And so it went, a meditation on a fallen world. While the boys next to me doodled on their church bulletin, Reverend Wright spoke of Sharpesville and Hiroshima, the callousness of policy makers in the White House and in the State House. … [E.A.]

But what does that actually mean?

This excerpt is from The Audacity of Hope, and paraphrases the original speech of that title by Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright. Because Obama’s publisher apparently has declined to make the contents of Audacity searchable on Amazon.com or Google Book Search I don’t know what comes before or after the excerpt. So is this talk about “white folks greed” in this excerpt

a) used to condemn the speech of Rev. Wright?
b) neutrally support the speech
c) used to agree with the speech of Rev. Wright

The answer appears to be (c). Other statements in the passage are part of general religious political rhetoric, such as references to our “fallen world” and to “the callousness of policy makers.” While clearly the general tone of the statement “white folks’ greed runs a world in need” is an echo of Rev. Wright’s racist rants, Obama seems to mean something quite different, though equally disturbing.

Obama’s speech on race appeared to rephrase the “white folks greed” paragraph as follows:

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

The “callousness of policy makers” is echoed in “a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests,” while the religious “our fallen world” is secularized into “the middle class squeeze.” The analog of “white folks’ greed runs a world in need appears to be the line: economic policies that favor the few over the many.

So by “white folks greed,” I think Obama means globalization, free trade, and economic connectivity.

Obama appears to view anti-white racism as the leftism of idiots, a fiercely intelligent intuition that the global system is fundamentally unfair combined with shocking ignorance as to the actual mechanisms of control and exploitation.

If this is what he meant when he approvingly cited Rev. Wright’s “white folks greed” line, then Obama would be an unremarkable academic liberal.

It also would make him the worst President in generations.

18 thoughts on “White Folks’ Greed Runs a World in Need”

  1. You are really reaching. At least no-one can accuse you of not doing your part in McCain’s effort…

    Where does globalization, free trade, and economic connectivity enter into it? Do you think globalization is destined to favor elites? “Economic policies that favor the few over the many” could just as easily refer to not-as-progressive-as-desired taxation, poor bankruptcy laws, poor lending laws, stagnant wages, etc. That’s the stuff you see if you go to the “issues/economy” part of his website. On trade, I expect Obama to do the classic Democratic Party thing and talk up protectionism to win the union’s votes, and then toss them a bone or two but mainly follow free trade policies like Clinton did (I think Hillary would do the same thing). Evidence – the Goolsbee flap.

    Also if you really wanted to figure out what he thinks instead of posting uninformed guesses, you could read the book instead of complaining that it’s not searchable online.

  2. Where does globalization, free trade, and economic connectivity enter into it?

    I was attempting to make sense of a statement that Obama could not possibly believe in a literal sense — ‘white folks greed runs a world in need’ — in the context of Obama previously explaining racially provacative statements (Wright’s views on whites, his grandmother’s views on her personal safety) as the expression of legitimate frustrations and fears.

    The reference to the poverty of Haiti made me think of the supposed oppression of Global South [1], an idea in vogue among the unreconstructed left in American politics [2].

    “Economic policies that favor the few over the many” could just as easily refer to not-as-progressive-as-desired taxation, poor bankruptcy laws, poor lending laws, stagnant wages, etc.

    Indeed. As with other statements by Obama, it is so vague that it could mean anything. Perhaps it is meaningless.

    That’s the stuff you see if you go to the “issues/economy” part of his website

    I couldn’t find a reference to the culpability of white folks’ greed on his website [3]. If he would address his own words, it wouldn’t be necessary for his surrogates to assure skeptics that he doesn’t mean what he says, and will happily betray his supporters once he’s in power.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/05/12/redefining-the-gap-5-the-north-and-the-south.html
    [2] http://www.amazon.com/Adam-Smith-Beijing-Lineages-Twenty-First/dp/1844671046
    [3] http://www.google.com/search?q=%22white+folks+greed%22+site%3Abarackobama.com
    [4] http://www.amazon.com/Faith-My-Fathers-Family-Memoir/dp/B0006VYG5S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206903626&sr=1-1

  3. “As with other statements by Obama, it is so vague that it could mean anything. Perhaps it is meaningless.”

    So you take a paragraph from his book out of context, highlight words that aren’t his, and then wonder why you can’t make sense out of it…

  4. Lexington,

    In fairness, the judgment hinges not only on if I correctly decyphered his meaning, but also if Obama meant anything by it.

    Adrian,

    You seem to feel you understand the Senator well enough (seeing past his deception to his union supporters, for instance). Do you know what Obama intended when he transcribed the racially charged phrase “white folks greed runs a world in need”? If his text is too subtle for me to decipher, has he explained these words anywhere else?

  5. I don’t think anything will create more racial consciousness among European Americans than Obama. There’s two major reasons for this.

    1. North America is in the process of being integrated into a North American “community.” This will open the floodgates to Mexican migrants. This will overcrowd hospitals, schools, and increase crime. Most of all, it will depress wages and hurt the job prospects of native whites. The ignorant masses will react to Obama the same way they do to “Bush’s War.” Now of course Obama will have about as much to do with a North America Community as Bush did with sending us to war, but it doesn’t matter. The point is, the working class white will see a “black face” for his problems, thereby increasing his/her racial consciousness. If a phony conservative is in office like “Mcsame,” then whites go to sleep. They assume “he’s alright” because the letter [R] comes after his name and because he’s white.

    2. As anyone who posts hear knows, Obama is a black nationalist. Its funny hearing him try to say that his pastor is being “taken out of context” or that “they’re making a 30 second sound bite out of 30 years” or the best one yet “I wasn’t there for the racist stuff.” Even the masses know when they’re being BSed, and although Obama is a good phony, he’s not that good. Whites will see this and wonder why they can’t express their racial identities.

    Its funny too, I’ve been reading the conversation at a white nationalist site called “Stormfront” and they’re freaking out over Obama. If they were smart, they’d realize that Obama is the best thing for their political positions.

  6. Adrian is right, for a guy who talks a lot about logic tdaxp you sure do take ideas out of context.

    You’ve quoted a paragraph, which you even admit you haven’t read the preceding pages, or pages after. Then you create an argument based on that paragraph based on what you think it means.

    That my learned friend, is a strawman.

    Secondly, you make parallel reasoning through simile, and argument by analogy, by claiming that callousness is the same as a “a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests”. So the first sentence was a negative evaluation, the second sentence is closer to a description but somewhat implies a negative evaluation. The two aren’t the same. I’m not even going to touch how “fallen world” turns into “middle class squeeze”. How does it jump from one to the other? One is a religious metaphor, the other an economic evaluation. They are worlds apart. You’ve offered no causal explanation for the jump, nor have you offered any evidence for your argument.

    The biggest whopper of all is the jump from “white folks greed” to “Obama means globalization, free trade, and economic connectivity.”

    Exactly how does a negative evaluation of the white race lead to Obama meaning tools of economic development?

    Then you go onto say: “If this is what he meant when he approvingly cited Rev. Wright’s “white folks greed” line, then Obama would be an unremarkable academic liberal. It also would make him the worst President in generations.”

    Again. Strawman. You’ve taken a reverands speech, which you didn’t have any context for, shaped it is exactly the same as Obama’s own words and ideas, which is a strawman, and then proceeded to claim, based on your strawman, that he’ll be the worst president ever. Well yes, based on your strawman he probably would be.

    I do have two questions for you tdaxp, which you’ll probably think are “ad hominem”, which is the claim you always make when someone questions you on your sophist ideas.

    1. Do you know the difference between weak sense critical thinking and strong sense critical thinking? If you do know, or when you find out. Which do you think you are?

    2. Why do you feel a need to bring up the black versus white posts consistently, especially when the theme is “blacks are saying bad stuff about whites”? Seriously. Honest question. No ad hominem. I just want to know why you feel so strongly about it.

  7. willyH,

    My point was that Obama’s account of the “Audacity of Hope” speech, in his book “The Audacity of Hope,” included the startling line:

    “white folks’ greed runs a world in need.”

    This is odd. If, say, someone listened to a speech, was so impressed by it they titled their book after that speech, and referenced the speech’s line “Jews’ greed runs a world in need,” a reader would rightfully conclude that either

    a) the writer is an anti-Semite, or
    b) the writer is using anti-Semitic coded language to get across a non-anti-Semitic point

    Similarly, after reading Barack’s account, the logical conclusion is either he is a racist, or he is using racist coded language to get across a non-racist point.

    In the context of Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech, the second thought is more likely. In “A More Perfect Union,” Obama defended several speakers of what he considered to be racist-coded language (including Rev. Wright, and his grandmother), arguing that their language was inspired by legitimate frustrations and grievances.

    The last portion of my post was therefore wondering what his coded message was. I was hoping for comments giving me reasons to believe either my initial theory, or something else. So far I’ve received both praise and criticism, but no reason to feel more or less certain as to what Obama’s message actually was.

    To answer your questions, my respones to (1) and (2) are similar. I supported Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination [1] because I judged him to be a less divisive figure than Hillary Clinton. Obama’s apparent pattern of race-baiting implies that my judgment may be wrong.

    Seerov,

    Obama made a serious mistake in elevating Rev. Wright, as that breaks our quarantine line against ethnic separatism and ethnic nationalism. Those who likewise elevate Stormfront make the same mistake.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/01/03/vote-mccain-vote-obama.html

  8. “Those who likewise elevate Stormfront make the same mistake.”

    I’m not sure if you’re somehow comparing me to Obama? Are you saying that Obama’s Rev. Wright is my Stormfront? Am I “elevating” Stormfront?

    I have an interest in identity politics. If one wants to understand identity politics in America, one must go to where these things are discussed.

    I’m going to make a prediction for American politics. My prediction is the following:

    American politics will continue to “racialize” to the point where working and middle class whites start pursuing their own ethnic interests. In other words, whites are going to start acting like everyone else. For now on American politics will be ALL ABOUT RACE!

    Now, I don’t think this will happen like the people at Stormfront think/want it to happen? NO, they think racial “awakening” will happen in one of two ways.

    1. Something that looks like 1930’s Germany.

    2. Something that looks like the book “The Turner Diaries.”

    I think it will look like something else, much closer to the fall of the Soviet Union. I’ll explain.

    We have a lot of proof that socialist economies don’t work. But in the former Soviet Union, if someone pointed this out while standing in the breadline, they disappeared.

    Well, we have lots of proof that multi-ethnic states don’t work. But if someone points this out in America their career or reputation disappears.

    In the USSR, the elites depended on the myth of an efficient socialist economy for their way of life. In the USSA, the elites depend on the myth of multiculturalism for their way of life.

    But no matter how much both elites wanted their myths to work, the laws of nature say they can’t. So just like USSR, the USSA will continue to cut off civil liberties and become more totalitarian to maintain this myth. The so called “Patriot Act” was never intended for the “Islamofacists.” It was intended to be used on people who dissent from the state religion of Political Correctness. In the next few years we can be sure to look forward to “hate-speech” laws, intensified “diversity training, and if need be, an all out “war on hate” against “extremists” who threaten the “joys of diversity.”

    Multi-ethnic states require a tyrannical government to maintain them.

    Obama belongs to, and finds inspiration from his black nationalist church. I read Stormfront in order to have my finger on the pulse of American racialism. I don’t even post there. So no, I am “elevating” Stormfront, but one thing I’ve learned is not to judge the people at that site. The biggest thing separating me from those folks is that I don’t think the racialized future of America will be a good thing. They on the other hand, can’t wait for it.

    Perhaps you’re trying to win some sort of blogging award which requires you to show “concern” towards anyone who mentions that site? In that case, just like Stalin’s USSR, I’ll just never mention (elevate) that place again. This is sort of like removing people not only physically, but also removing their images from photographs.

  9. “This excerpt is from The Audacity of Hope, and paraphrases the original speech of that title by Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright. Because Obama’s publisher apparently has declined to make the contents of Audacity searchable on Amazon.com or Google Book Search I don’t know what comes before or after the excerpt.”

    You are not by chance suggesting that the publisher is *gasp* protecting its copyrighted material?

  10. Jeffrey,

    My point was that Obama hasn’t explained what he meant when he glowingly included the “white folks greed runs a world in need” line in any easily available medium (such as his website, etc). For all I know he may have explained that line elsewhere in his book — but I doubt it.

    Seerov,

    The so called “Patriot Act” was never intended for the “Islamofacists.” It was intended to be used on people who dissent from the state religion of Political Correctness.

    Do you have any proof for this claim?

  11. Why specify “white people” instead of just saying “man’s greed”

    If that is okay, then how would people react to “White Entertainment Television”? The word “White” would incite all kinds of racial accusations. So I suppose if a caucasion person uses a color in a sentence it is racist but not if a person of color does?

  12. Steve,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Why specify “white people” instead of just saying “man’s greed”

    Because Obama was part of a racist-leftist cog in the Chicago political machine, rather than a race-blind-leftst cog in the Chicago political machine.

    The word “White” would incite all kinds of racial accusations.

    Obviously. An analogy would be McCain calling Obama a ‘colored boy,’ or Obama calling McCain an ‘old boy.’ (The latter actually happened [1].)

    So I suppose if a caucasion person uses a color in a sentence it is racist but not if a person of color does?

    Obama has already done a lot to increase racial polarization in this country. I wonder how far he will push it, to help his political career?

    [1] http://www.jedreport.com/2008/09/old-boys-network-mccain-campai.html

  13. Let me help you, Dan.

    “White folks’ greed runs a world in need” means that he is blaming the problems of the world on White people.

    It’s not really difficult to understand.

    If he was White talking about Blacks, I am pretty sure you’d label him a racist.

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