who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
her quest for the Democratic nomination for president, Senator
Hillary Clinton was more than willing to use the race card to
attack Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor and mentor,
for “controversial” statements he made about this country’s
racist history and violent policies. “He would not have been
my pastor,” Clinton said of Wright in an interview with the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You don't choose your family,
but you choose what church you want to attend.”
behind the scenes, she has attempted to convince the influential
superdelegates in her party that Obama is unelectable because
of Dr. Wright.
Clinton says that you don’t choose your family, apparently she has
chosen a rather problematic family of sorts.
Jones, The Nation
Huffington Post have reported on Clinton’s membership in a secretive club of right-wing Christian politicos
called “The Fellowship,” also known as The Family. The powerful
Capitol Hill group is the subject of a book to be released in
May 2008 by Jeff
Sharlett titled, The
Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.
Cult-like, The Family is divided into units called cells, and
has included such prominent conservatives as Sam Brownback,
Ed Meese, John Ashcroft, James Inhofe, Rick Santorum, and George
home, The Family is best known for its seemingly innocuous National
Prayer Breakfast. Internationally, it has displayed a fascist
leaning and a fascination with Hitler. It has reached out to
Nazis, and has supported some of the world’s most brutal and
criminal right-wing dictatorial regimes, including General Suharto
in Indonesia, General Costa de Silva in Brazil, the Duvalier regime in Haiti, and death squads in Central
Family believes that God gives the elite the power to rule,
a philosophy which sounds far from democratic.
as Clinton and others rake Rev. Wright over the coals and brand
him as hateful, unpatriotic and un-American, Clinton aligns
herself with the most theocratic and antidemocratic forces in
the United States.
Clinton’s ties to The Family explain a lot of things,
including her support for federal funding of faith-based initiatives,
and her co-sponsorship with former Senator Santorum of the Workplace
Religious Freedom Act. The act would allow pharmacists to refuse
to fill birth control prescriptions, and allow police officers
to refuse to protect abortion clinics, on religious grounds.
ties to The Family also help to explain, in part, her willingness
to provide the Republican Party with their best material in
attacking Obama. Praising John McCain’s for his experience,
while denigrating Obama as inexperienced, unelectable and not
up to the job of president (in other words, Black), Clinton seems to be an enthusiastic and effective cheerleader for a
conservative victory in November.
should be noted, as an aside, that Clinton’s
moment involved the trashing of another Black senator. In
her 1969 commencement speech at Wellesley College, Clinton,
as class president, embarrassed the keynote speaker, liberal
African-American Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA), the first Black
senator elected since Reconstruction.)
when Wright said God Damn America for slavery, for inferior
schools and substandard housing, for mass incarceration and
for murderous policies, he spoke in the finest tradition of
American patriotism. True patriots do not wave the flag and
wear a red, white and blue lapel pin and believe their job is
done. Rather, the measure of a true patriot is to criticize
when it is doing wrong, when it fails to live up to its constitutional
promises, and to challenge the nation to do better. Jeremiah
Wright’s God is the God of human rights and social justice,
of John Adams and Frederick Douglass, of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. and Malcolm X, of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabbi Abraham Joshua
the God which Clinton and The Family appear to recognize - one
which anoints and ordains entrenched power for power’s sake,
blesses military death squads and endorses corrupt and oppressive
regimes - is a completely different matter.
Editorial Board member
David A. Love, JD is a lawyer and journalist based in Philadelphia, and a contributor to the Progressive
Media Project, McClatchy-Tribune
News Service, In These Times and
Independent Media Center. He contributed to the book, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons (St. Martin's Press, 2000).
Love is a former Amnesty International UK spokesperson, organized the first national
police brutality conference as a staff member with the Center
for Constitutional Rights, and served as a law clerk to two
Black federal judges. His blog is davidalove.com. Click
here to contact Mr. Love.