The racist rhetoric espoused by Senator Barack Obama’s pastor of twenty years and spiritual mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has finally come under the large-scale scrutiny that it deserves. Wright, the retired pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, is overt in his condemnation of all things American and white.
The juxtaposition of Wright's words of condemnation for a largely Christian America spoken under a banner containing the name Christ is jarring. Wright’s version of Christ offers not redemption but damnation; damnation of America for her crimes—real and perceived—and damnation for whites as a collective. Rev. Wright’s statements are so inflammatory that one wonders whether he would siphon all of the Caucasian DNA out from himself if he could, to borrow a concept from Malcolm X.
Anyway, since there are so many blogs and news outlets covering this I’ll just point to those which I think provide unique insight to the issues. But first...
Why did it take so long for the MSM and other observers to give this very important issue the scrutiny it deserves? There are two reasons.
1. The race-baiting of the Clintons coupled with the accusations of race baiting by Obama supporters, and,
2. The wild goose chases regarding Obama’s Kenyan Luo heritage, his visit there, his relationship to Raila Odinga, the mind-bogglingly distorted analyses of the origins of the conflict in that country, the ahistorical analyses of how mixed-raced persons have been identified in this country and the Obama-as-Muslim whisper campaign.
Under these headings have all too many commentators been willing to conjure and/or twist facts in order to further the aim of discrediting Obama. They wanted to get to the finish line without running the entire race. (I’ve seen authors write treatise after treatise on the Kenya situation, each postulating that it was some sort of Islam-Christianity death struggle, often accompanied by external scholarly or journalistic links which refuted what was being described. And forget about a link to an actual Kenyan blogger or news source; not unless the source served to affirm the pre-formulated conclusion, which amounted to--never.)
Basically, some of you Cried Wolf on some of Obama’s issues and, in the process, hindered the publicizing of real problems with an Obama candidacy. People get tired of separating the wheat from the chaff. Just be glad that this latest and very real Wolf is egotistical enough to sell his Wolf Tickets on camera.
Now on to Wright. From a 2006 speech at Howard University, here are the basics.
"We've got more black men in prison than there are in college," … "Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body."[SNIP]
"America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God." [SNIP]
"We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. . . . We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. . . ." [SNIP]
"We started the AIDS virus . . . We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty. . . ."(That Wright used the pronoun ‘we’ instead of ‘they’ is about the only positive aspect of any of this.)
Shrunken down: Michael Bowen gives an excellent analogy on how some black people have dealt psychologically with racism and the symbolic role that Wright may play for Obama in this area.
If Mitt Romney’s Mormonism was an issue, is Barack Obama’s affiliation with this church and this pastor an issue? Or so asks Kathryn Jean Lopez.
I found the church promoted a political agenda - it is definitely a Pan-Africanist church, which in itself is good although that church promotes a socialist version of Pan-Africanism that I don't support - to the exclusion of a spiritual one rooted in biblical teachings. Or as one of my uncles says, Trinity United Church of Christ is an Afrocentric and not a Christocentric (or even an Afrocentric-Christocentric) church. That fact will not help countering the claim that Sen. Obama is "an undercover Muslim" bent on destroying America from within by joining with anti-American forces.
Wright’s rhetoric has inspired Protein Wisdom’s Dan Collins to wax poetic.
Tom Maguire (via Thomas Lifson): “[W]hen does the reconciliation begin? Barack's wife is angry, his minister is foaming, yet we are supposed to elect Barack as Mr. Sunshine and Unity. Why aren't the people closest to him sunny and united?”
Ever the one to dig a little deeper is the Anchoress:
What is going on here is a profound slight-of-hand, or an illusionist’s expert misdirection. You are being told to think you’re seeing one thing, when you’re actually seeing another. Except for the fact that whoever released these tapes has played it, this sermon would not be an example of a “race card” being thrown. It’s a victim card. This is about the Primacy of Victimhood over all else. [SNIP]
[W]hile the victim card appeals to emotions, it tends to noisily set off rage in those who listen and perceive themselves as being identified as the “enemy.” So everyone gets emotional, everyone starts yelling, and no one is listening or making any sense.
The victim card is an odd card to play in a presidential race; victimhood in and of itself seems like a strange theme for either presidential candidate to embrace. “Vote for me; I’m the bigger victim and this qualifies me to…” what, exactly, lead the wailing?Why can't Obama really distance himself from Wright and TUCC? It'd be like cutting off his arm.
No one - unless they are a brain-dead moron - would sit five minutes under Wright’s racist and anti-American rantings without walking out. Barak has sat there for twenty years. That’s...complicity.
There may be more.
UPDATE: Say what?
Indeed, it is a lack of understanding of the black church that contributes to the blogosphere’s and MSM’s mistaking Rev. Wright for a hate-monger.(Emphasis mine.)
This was no mistake, Mr. Miniter, and Wright's assertions come from no church that I recognize. And by the way, there is no "black church." There is only the Church.
What about the 9/11 and HIV stuff?
There isn’t any video of Rev. Wright’s sermons on those topics [sic], but I am prepared to believe he said something along those lines. More than a third of politically active blacks believe that the HIV virus is man-made and most likely spread by the CIA, surveys show. That’s obvious nonsense, but it tells us more about the state of the black community that about Rev. Wright. He is simply echoing their paranoia. Should have risen above it and said the problems of AIDS and drug abuse are self-inflicted? Should he have called on his flock to heal itself through self-discipline and encouraged them every step of the way? Yes. But his church is not the only weak institution in this country, the only citadel that refuses impart hard truths and love toughly. [SNIP]
So don’t blame Rev. Wright. He is simply the victim of ideological disease, doing the best that he can to help others in his somewhat incapacitated state.A commenter at Pajamas Media answers this nonsense quite effectively:
Your apologia is almost as contemptible as Rev. Wright's comments. So the po' darkies are too (oppressed? weak? slow?) to rise above this kind of garbage? [SNIP]
Giving blacks like Rev. Wright a pass is just another form of bigotry.That pass is equivalent to treating blacks like children. I, for one, have had enough of it.