Obama was right about one thing - his attempt to end this conversation about race as quickly as possible was a good idea.
610 WIP host Angelo Cataldi asked Obama about his Tuesday morning speech on race at the National Constitution Center in which he referenced his own white grandmother and her prejudice. Obama told Cataldi that "The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know (pause) there's a reaction in her that doesn't go away and it comes out in the wrong way."
"[S]omebody on the street that she doesn't know"? Kidding? That special "somebody" was a black man in the original telling. So where are we - the "typical" white person reacts the wrong way when they see a black person on the street? Let's flash back to Obama's comment about this sort of thing from his own speech:
[W]hen [working- and middle-class white Americans are] told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
My resentment is building right now.
Let's round out the file with the faux-equivalence passage linking Wright to Obama's grandmother, and now the rest of us bigoted whites - Obama was not talking about "somebody on the street that she doesn't know" on Tuesday:
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
NOSE FOR NEWS: Noam Scheiber of TNR reprints the "typcial white" passage and repeats Ben Smith of Politico lauding Obama's ability to reach out to new audiences. OK. There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.