It has now been more than two weeks since it was reported that vendors at the Values Voter Summit were selling the offensive “Obama Waffles” and Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly, who spoke at the event which his organization also co-sponsored, is just finally getting around to issuing an apology … while saying that FOF had nothing to do with it and blaming the Family Research Council:
You should know we were appalled by the product, and embarrassed that it was sold at an event bearing our name. Although we did not have direct responsibility for reviewing or approving vendors for the Values Voter event (that was the duty of the chief sponsor, Family Research Council Action, which has acknowledged its mistake), the truth is we should have done more to ensure the appropriateness of the displays. We apologize for our failure to do so in this instance, and have already taken steps to ensure similar things do not happen again — either in our event sponsorship or in our ministry alliances.
You should also know that Dr. Dobson had absolutely nothing to do with the product, despite some misleading media reports he cited in his radio broadcast. The truth is, Dr. Dobson was 3,000 miles away working on his latest book when the Values Voter Summit was held — and he only heard about “Obama Waffles” when references to them turned up in the news with Focus’ name attached. When he learned of the product, he was outraged by its ugly, racial stereotypes.
Racism is a blight on the American conscience. As Christians, we must also call it what God calls it: sin. Those who speak or act in racist ways, such as those who engage in any form of sin, must seek restoration through prayer and, of course, full repentance.
It is disturbing, even if not surprising, that we have seen an increase in racist public statements coinciding with Sen. Obama becoming the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination. Racism is always deeply hurtful and offensive; but in the midst of a presidential race, it also detracts from the kind of substantive debate needed in the public square. It has no place even at the fringes of our political discourse.
Let me reassure you again that Focus on the Family Action will do everything in its power to prevent another such unacceptable situation in the future.