[Letter to the editor]Offended by ObamaIn rejecting the comments made by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama stated that the cleric’s remarks “expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country ... a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”
By making this remark, Obama associated hatred and radicalism with Islam, a connection that to me is offensive and caustic. In a post-9/11 world, where law-abiding Muslim Americans are subjected to intense scrutiny and find that their civil liberties are increasingly challenged, it is irresponsible of Obama to link Islam to perversity and hatred.
In my senior year in high school ― this was in May or June 1962 ― Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to deliver an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech. I watched from the gallery. The audience wasn’t supposed to descend to the aisle before he (and his entourage) left, but I did. I stood directly in the middle of his exit; he could either shake my hand, or his entourage could knock me down ― so I got to shake the hand of the man who had a dream of racial justice (and who could put it into words as great as those of Amos, Isaiah or Jeremiah in the Bible).
Obama is no Martin Luther King, Jr.
Richard Thompson, Honolulu