Did you hear the statements made by Reverend Jeremiah Wright?
If you watch any television at all, you most likely did. Of course, you heard them completely out of context.
In the modern “journalistic” style, the media did not provide any context for the statements, just put them out there and called them “radical,” “extremist”, etc., as is their tendency.
These words might not sound so “incendiary” if you heard what came before the “controversial” statements and even what came after.
What you heard on television was Reverend Wright saying “God damn America.” Inflammatory rhetoric. But just who was attempting to inflame what?
The context of the sermon addressed the notion that governments change over time, but God does not. Reverend Wright talked about the framing of the Constitution, the differences of opinion regarding slavery that almost prevented the Constitution from being signed. Then he spoke of Abraham Lincoln and the freeing of the slaves. He touched on the inhumane treatment of the Native Americans, the internment of the Japanese during World War II then the way that laws changed as a result of the Civil Rights movement.
Reverend Wright’s infamous phrase came after he pointed out some particularly heinous things that the American government has been responsible for and of which God would surely not approve. He spoke of God damning the government for its actions.
Yes, if you believe in God, and believe that the Bible is the word of God, he would be damning the actions of our government. It IS written in the Bible, as the right Reverend stated.
You can disagree with his phrasing, or have difficulty relating to the context under which his statements were made, but what people are truly angry about is that truth was spoken.
Oh, how the American public hates to hear the truth.
Reverend Wright is now branded a radical, controversial, racist, extremist, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum. This is the media attempting to inflame racial tensions and to question Barack Obama’s patriotism by innuendo and sensationalism. It only works if you buy into it, folks.
So now I must ask-- do we despise all truth-speakers or is it particularly hard for us to hear the litany of our collective history of sin coming from the mouth of a black man?
Slavery was legal here long after it was abolished everywhere else in the World. It took a deadly, perilous war to finally rid this country of the scourge, but it did not rid us of the sin that haunts us still. Nor did it bring equality for black Americans, who then had to fight for decades for the rights that they were entitled to under the Constitution.
Black Americans have been treated horribly in this country, but they are supposed to leave their bitterness in the past. What’s past is past and can’t be righted. So they are told to look to the present. But what about the present?
Has institutional racism been eradicated? If so, then;
Why are there more black men than white men in prison ?
Why are there more black men than white men on death row?
Why are there less black men in college?
Why are there less black men in management positions, positions of authority, government leadership?
Why is it easier for blacks to get a payday loan than a mortgage?
Why were so many blacks targeted recently in the subprime mortgage debacle and why did it take an international crisis to finally bring attention to these predatory loan practices?
Racism exists today. It is a FACT of life for black people daily. Prejudicial practices occur in real estate, credit-lending, employment, commerce, education and many other areas that white people may not even realize.
Americans don’t like to hear that from black people, but does it sound any better coming from a white woman?
It is time for the white people in this country to STOP pretending that racism is a thing of the past, that racial profiling is justifiable, that there is equal opportunity and/or equal justice for people of color in this society. The facts do not support this idea and it is time for the denial to end.
If we won’t admit that we see black people pulled over by police in our suburban neighborhoods far more often than whites;
If we can’t recognize that we see college-educated black men taking jobs in grocery stores because they can’t get hired in the jobs for which they are qualified;
If we refuse to acknowledge that many African American families still suffer from the effects of the complete destruction of the cultural family unit during slave times;
If we blind ourselves to the fact that the life experiences of and opportunities open to the half-white man that is running for President this year are not the same as those that exist for the average black man;
If we can’t stand up and recognize the problems that still exist for many black Americans every single day in this society, and the historical evolution of those problems, how can they ever be resolved?
As long as we can’t admit any responsibility for the problem, it will always exist.
That’s a good lesson for us to learn now, as it also applies to the terrorist threat.
Reverend Jeremiah Wright also said some supposedly controversial things regarding 9/11. “America’s chickens came home to roost.” He isn’t the only one that has said those things and the truth is that there are facts to support that statement to a certain extent.
Our government’s policies created Osama Bin Laden. Our government’s current policies continue to inflame tensions in the Middle East. Our government’s policies in Iraq have created a whole new arm of Al Queda and a whole generation of people who may potentially hate all Americans for what has been done to them, their country, their families. These are the ugly facts.
Nobody said that the 9/11 terrorists were justified in their actions against innocent Americans, but we must acknowledge that they believed they were and we must examine whether our government’s policies contributed to that in any way.
If we don’t acknowledge any responsibility for the problem, it will continue to exist. Fighting it the way we are now is just destroying this country, its military, its economy and its families.
Barack Obama should not have to apologize for the true statements made by Reverend Wright.
The fact that he felt it necessary, that the talking heads declared it necessary, that some “commentators” are saying that he didn’t go far enough; these facts prove that America is not prepared to move forward and/or act rationally on either the issue of race nor the problem of terrorism.
[And on a side note, the fact that Hillary Clinton has joined in on the attack on Obama for not going far enough, shows what a lousy President she would make. Shame on you Hillary; your ugly side is showing].
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Did you hear the statements made by Reverend Jeremiah Wright?