Is Wright Right About Racism?

Since the 1960s, bigotry has undergone an aesthetic makeover. Today, the most pernicious racists do not wear pointy hoods, scream epithets and anonymously burn crosses from behind masks. They don starched suits, recite sententious bromides and stage political lynchings before television cameras. For proof, behold the mob stalking Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Wright has long delivered fiery (and occasionally outrageous) sermons, to little fanfare. Now, though, a gang of thugs is inflicting a guilt-by-association blow to Obama by excoriating his spiritual adviser for three specific declarations.

Sean Hannity, Fox News' own George Wallace, turned a fire hose on Wright for his church's focus. "[The church] is all about the black community," Hannity thundered, claiming that means Wright supports "a black-separatist agenda."

Pat Buchanan billy-clubbed Wright for saying, "God damn America." The MSNBC commentator, who avoided the draft, implied that Wright, a former Marine, lacks sufficient loyalty to country. Out of context, Wright's exclamation was admittedly offensive. But remember: It punctuated a speech about segregation. Buchanan, nonetheless, unleashed, deriding "black hustlers" and insisting descendants of those "brought from Africa in slave ships" owe whites a thank you. "Where is the gratitude?" he asked.

Fox's Charles Krauthammer berated Wright for saying the 9/11 attacks were "chickens coming home to roost." Krauthammer labeled the pronouncement "vitriolic divisiveness" despite our government acknowledging the concept of "blowback" — or retaliation — Wright was referencing. The CIA knows that when it supports foreign dictatorships, there can be blowback from radicals. While blowback is often immoral and undeserved, its existence is undisputed. Yet, Krauthammer alleged that Wright takes "satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents."

In promoting the Wright "controversy," most media outlets joined this mob and embraced "colorblind racism," says Duke University's Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of "Racism Without Racists."

It is polite pinstriped prejudice shrouding bigotry in feigned outrage against extremism — the operative word being "feigned." After all, John McCain solicited the endorsement of John Hagee — the pastor who called the Catholic Church "a great whore." Similarly, according to Mother Jones magazine, Hillary Clinton belongs to the "Fellowship" — a secretive group "dedicated to 'spiritual war' on behalf of Christ." She is also friendly with Billy Graham, the reverend caught on tape spewing anti-Semitism.
But while Wright's supposed "extremism" blankets the news, McCain and Clinton's relationships with real extremists receive scant attention.

Why is it "controversial" for one pastor to address the black community, racism and blowback, but OK for another pastor to slander an entire religion? Why is it news that one candidate knows a sometimes-impolitic clergyman, but not news that his opponent associates with an anti-Semite? Does the double standard prove the dominant culture despises a black man confronting taboos, but accepts whites spewing hate? Does the very reaction to Wright show he's right about racism?

Clinton seems to think so. Her aides have been calling the states they believe Obama will lose their political "firewall." That's campaign-speak for "race wall" — one built with bricks like Pennsylvania and Indiana. These aren't the near-purely white states where racial politics is often muted (and Obama won). They are the slightly diverse states where racial politics simmers and where the black vote is too small to offset a motivated racist vote. This race wall is now being fortified.

ABC News reports that Clinton's campaign is "pushing the Wright story" ahead of the Pennsylvania and Indiana primaries. The crass tactic is designed to motivate the racist vote by reminding whites of Obama's connection to the African-American community. Put another way, Clinton's message has become simply: Obama Is Black.

Wright probably expected this brouhaha. He says our government is "controlled by rich white people" and our culture afflicted by racism. Though these statements are also deemed distasteful by the Establishment, they are truisms. You can see their veracity in the collected portraits of white millionaires commonly called the congressional photo directory. Or, just turn on your television and watch the mob continue stoking the Wright "controversy." link

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controlled by rich white people. What is your evidence for this statement ? The current Cabinet in the White House is more diverse than any in history.
Rev. Wright is promoting a victimhood mentality that does not help unity in our country. Barack says he is a uniter. He has been in Rev. Wright's church for 20 years, and I don't believe him .

... is not representative of the nation's wealth profile. Look instead to the ~3000 US CEOs and get back to me with their racial profile. Hint: It's on the White-and-male region of the color/gender graph.

Actually, I didn't say that---it's attributed in the article to Rev. Wright. But I think this paragraph sums up the point of the article:

Why is it "controversial" for one pastor to address the black community, racism and blowback, but OK for another pastor to slander an entire religion? Why is it news that one candidate knows a sometimes-impolitic clergyman, but not news that his opponent associates with an anti-Semite? Does the double standard prove the dominant culture despises a black man confronting taboos, but accepts whites spewing hate? Does the very reaction to Wright show he's right about racism?

There is a double standard, in more ways than one. Look at the outrage over Don Imus's comment - he got ripped to shreds over a comment - a comment that was less, or no worse than what blacks use all the time in daily life, music, etc. The blacks were all over his ass. And yet, those same blacks can't seem to 'get' why Wright's comments & sermons are not only just as bad, they are worse. Imus's made one comment on one radio show. Wright's comments & diatribes go back for over 20 years & are put on dvds that are available in his church. That is hypocracy. Obama can say publicly that his white grandmother is "just a typical white person', but if a white person said something similar in reverse about 'just a typical black person' - there'd be an outcry of racism. Wright also referred to Italians as garlic breaths. Not much better. Wright said that 911 was probably well deserved, based upon what he says America has done ot other countries. The one thing Wright was on target about, was that this country is run by rich white men - Rockefellers, Rothchilds, etc. Been that way for at least 40 years. The Federal Reserve goes hand & hand with them. However, I don't see how blacks can presume that to be a racial thing, because most white people are just as angry about it. It's just all about who was born into wealth & power. You don't have to be black to be outraged by that. I am a white woman who is very outraged by that.

chris - it sounds like you're trying to find ways to condone Wright's comments & sermons, and give Obama a pass on all of this. Wright's sermons are all about hatred of whites & this country - it is hate & racism, pure & simple. I am disqusted with Obama, Hillary & McCain. Obama is for socialism, as is Hillary - both will sell this country out to illegals, and both want govt. to control even more than it does now. McCain seems pretty ignorant about economics & world events & geography, and has a bad temper to boot. All will probably raise taxes, and all will probably destroy every thing good this country ever stood for. What's left of that 'good' anyway. I have never in my life felt so sad & apathetic & disqusted by my country as I do this year. It is not the country I grew up in & I'm afraid it never will be again. Putting Obama, Hillary or McCain in office will make it worse & it may be irreparable.

Wright said that 911 was probably well deserved

So did Jerry Falwell. But nary a peep from the media-industrial complex. Maybe that's the point of the article.

it sounds like you're trying to...give Obama a pass on all of this

There's nothing to "give him a pass" on. This is another made-up controversy by our beloved media whores.

I have never in my life felt so sad & apathetic & disqusted by my country as I do this year

Because of the candidates?? You feel worse now about our country, because of the candidates, than you have in the last seven years? We've gone through what many historians will consider the worst presidency of our history. And you feel bad because of some wacko pastor has an opinion you don't agree with? You're an interesting subject. One that should be studied by a whole team of scientists 'round the clock. Best luck.

Nice Response Starling!!!!, Amen!

"..will probably destroy every thing good this country ever stood for."

Already been done - what is left?

The name BUSH as in George has already destroyed what we stood for - trumps up a case against Iraq (Saddam) to justify a "first strike". We lost any moral high ground we had!

We can talk about foreign policy, fiscal policy, size of government...Bush's record of disasters is significant. He will go down in history - but I'm afraid even time will not allow the stains to fade.

Review the last 60 years of US foreign policy in the Middle East. It is strewn with mistakes, arrogance, self righteousness.... I'm not saying that such mistakes or behavior justifies an attack such as 9/11but there are grievances and part of it comes from our unwillingness or inability to understand the cultures and look to diplomacy. A good case can be made for the "chickens coming home to roost". Or said another way, " What Ye Reap So Shall Ye Sew". To ignore how US foreign policy has helped to create the current environment is akin to sticking your head in the sand. If we don't take a close look and learn some lessons, we are destined to repeat and repeat history.

Is the US blameless in creating this environment? Could we have made better decisions? Could we have acted on objective facts and put our emotions in check? Oh so many questions.

IMO, we don't get a pass on what is happening in this world. And I hardly think we are the perennial victims in world events. Okay, I can hear the voices saying I'm being unpatriotic because I criticize my government or think we may share the blame. Thank you Founding Fathers for assuring that citizens are capable of demonstrating dissent.

****It is not the country I grew up in & I'm afraid it never will be again.****

makes me wonder if you feel this way because for the first time in your lifetime a black man has the audacity to run for president.

It seems that more racist remarks are now coming from the black communities. The victim hood status is getting old.

They are too many other things people are concerned about such as roof over head, family, job, food, saftey, education, etc... to be worried about vs. media charged racism.

What is a concern is the image young black males project with their music, behavior, dress and how it correlates to prison / crime demographics. 1 out of 9 young black men are now serving time in jail. To me, that reinforces a safety issue to stay away from large groups of young black men. Statistically, what does it reinforce to you?

Ah, so according to assmonkey this is all the black man's fault.

It appears 1 out of 9 young black men ARE at fault as defined by public record. That's 11% of young black men behind bars right NOW?

What does that mean to you? What image do you think is being projected? How can young blacks improve their stats to contribute to society vs being incarcerated by it?

My concern is that this stat makes it tougher for these men to find productive careers to support family units after they serve time.

My other concern is the apathy in black leadership that this stat can go higher.

I believe these are legitimate questions and concerns.

You made many legitimate points and did so with fact-backed writing. Don't let the white detractors frustrate you or get you down. Then as now, the blind cannot see. As for me, I'm still telling my mama to vote Obama. And I'm not black or white.

I wish peace and prosperity for all.

The original post was written by David Sirota. I provided the link at the end of the article. I think he makes some good points.

purnhrt - that is bullshit. I have never had a problem with a black man (or woman) running for president - in fact, I have said several times here & on TT that if Colin Powell ran for president, I"d vote for him in a minute. Shove your racist assumptions back into the box - they do not apply to me here.

chris - my faith in this country has been faltering for several years now. It began a few years after 911 - perhaps because I finally opened my eyes & did some of my own research & reading. Bush plays a big part in my apathy. It is not just crappy choises for president this go-round - although, I have to admit that the choises we've been stuck with have turned my frustration & anger into apathy & disqust . It has nothing to do with whether a candidate is black or a woman. It has to do with the fact that not one of the three candidates can save this country in my opinion. It has to do with the fact that every one of them, will probably push this country past the point of no return & it will never, ever be the country it once was.

But the main reason I am angry is how our freedoms have been taken, one by one by one (not just smoking bans either, so back your ass off el mahico). This country has become so politically correct it's nausating. A country that thinks it's a good idea to let the govt. decide what is good for them, and a govt. that is determined to make those decisions. I see a generation (s) of kids that have been raised with no respect, dicipline, consequences. I see a country that scores at the bottom of the rest of the world in education. I see a generation of kids that is so medicated it's absurd. I see an increase in cancer, adhd, autism - that can pretty much be tracked to additives, preservatives, genetic twisting of our food. I see a country that is owned by the banks, insurance companies & Big Pharma. I see a country where top CEO's are being paid multi-million dollar yearly salaries & bonus's - and even some who are paid mulit-million dollar bonus's to just 'leave'. I don't think that was the case 20 or more years ago - at least, not to the degree it is now. I see a country where the dollar is worth less than most other industrial countires, and is so far in debt it won't ever recover - and yet the govt. spends crazy money on a war that will never result in peace in the Middle East (they've been fighting Holy wars for thousands of years, the USA won't stop that).

The main reason I am sad & apathetic NOW, is because with a presidential election, comes 'hope for change'. And while Obama talks a good talk & spews platitudes about those things, he hasn't said one word about what the changes will be, or how he'll make them happen - which tells me he hasn't got a clue anymore than Hillary or McCain does. So when I see HIllary lie about stupid things like dodging sniper fire in Bosnia, and Obama refer to his white grandmother as a 'typical white person' & try to dismiss 20 years of racism & hate being spewed in his church as nothing to be concnerned about, and McCain fumbling over his ignorance of Middle East geography & economics = I guess it has hit me hard, that those are the choises we are stuck with. And not one of them represents any hope for saving this country. Rather, every one of them makes me fear how much more damage will be done to this country.

A side note - I have been watching "John Adams" on HBO (well worth the watch), and at the same time, reading "My Dearest Friend, Letters of Abigale and John Adams" - while I knew the basics of how this country was founded, the writing of the Declaration of Indpendence, etc - it is an eye opener of just what our forefathers went through to secure freedoms. And it galls me to no end, how easily the masses will give up the freedoms they fought for. Twisting the Constitution till it suits them. I can track the beginning of the demise of this country to about the early 90's, and it's gone into a decline ever since.

And Chris - it is not the Paster's views I am angry about - he's free to feel any way he wants & spew any opinions he wants, no matter how ugly. (just like Falwell - although, Falwel didnt run for president, and is considered, I think, to be a bit of a cartoon character anyway.) I am angry that Obama claims that even though he attended that pastor's church for 20 years (and had him preside over religious functions for his family) - he doesn't seem to 'get' why the pastor's comments are inflamatory & offensive; worse, he is trying to blow them off as irrelevant & of no importance, or he just 'didn't hear that part' - which makes it appear that he presumes the American people are so stupid that they'll believe that. I am equally angry at any presidential candidate that is beholden to any religious figure that spews this type of crap. Hillary & McCain get no passes from me either on this. Personally, I don't believe religion should play any role in a run for presidency. I may even agree with the comment about the Catholic Church being a "whore" - but I do not believe it is the place for a presidential candiate to say so.

I did not have problems with Obama's race or religion. I have problems with the fact, that he is tap-dancing his way around pointed questions, rather than to just own up to what he may really believe. I'd have more respect for him if he did that. I wouldn't vote for him, but I'd have more respect. As it stands right now, I don't see any candidate I'd vote for - thus, my apathy. I"ve gotten to where I simply 'give up' & don't care, because not one will save this country & I think each one of them are equally dangerous in their own ways. It simply doesn't matter at this point, this country is already gone.

Your comments on this topic have been spot on.
None of these three are the answer this country needs.

and I think that's a good thing. I strongly believe there are still very serious issues of race that need to be addressed in this country. And it's as good a time as any.

As to this Wrights' conduct however - I can tell you that as a Christian - I would have to say it isn't the conduct of any Christian to take God's name in vain. Anytime - anywhere. And to have said it from a pulpit while purporting to be a Christian Pastor is an abhorrent act.

Not taking God's name in vain is one of the ten commandments. The follow up to this says "for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Hi, Kate, I don't mean to intrude on a discussion that I haven't been following, but I noticed your remark "take God's name in vain". As I understand it, Wright said something to the effect, "God damn America...". This would NOT be taking god's name in vain. If he had said, "God damn! America is shit!" That would be taking god's name in vain. But the full sentence, which you can read here, is not what you have been told it is.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-wright-transcripts-webma...

That you just repeated is using the name of God as a curse. That is the perfect example of taking the name in vain..

And I think the conversation - now that it's started is going to go pretty much all over the place. I'm glad about it too.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I'm going to get into linguistics here. What does "God damn" mean, really? Is it a subjunctive mood as in "God should damn" or an optative as in "I wish God would damn" or an imperative as in "God! I command you to damn"? Historically, it is probably a kind of subjunctive/optative form of "may God damn" or a kind of wish that he would do so.

But the Bible and other religious texts are full of God damning people and of popes and other religious figures damning people and certain activities. So that can't be what taking God's name in vain means. We've got thousands of years of God damning all kinds of things and people.

I think if you look at the phrase "in vain", you'll get an insight into what this all means. One of the meaning of vain is an archaic usage defined as [5. Archaic. senseless or foolish.] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vain

I believe that if one were to say, "God damn! I just hit my thumb with a hammer." That would be what you described as "taking the name in vain". Otherwise, I don't think so.

I am a cunning linguist, you know.

Yes, if you hit your thumb and used God's name as a curse, you would be using it in vain. His name is to be respected - not spit out as a curse word.

Many people think it's ok to use God's name in vain and as a curse just because it's so common to hear people do it. But it is indeed one of the 10 commandments. And if you're not a believer - then why do you care about this? Those are rules of conduct for those who believe in God.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Actually it was more like a request, asking God to damn America. Which while the idea may be profane isn't taking the lords name in vain.

Try this perspective (more historically accurate, and taken from the site posted) -
.... I do have a problem with his analogy of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as acts of terrorism. These events are taken out of context and have nothing to do with the point he was trying to make.

At that time, this country was embroiled in a long, drawn out war against facism. We were fighting a war on two fronts and with the win in Europe, America was facing a ruthless enemy who vowed to die before surrender. The kamakazis of that day were the predessors of today’s suicide bombers but instead of dying for religious ideology, they were dying for imperialism.

Then came the development of the hydrogen bomb. After the bombing of Hiroshima, the US demanded the unconditional surrender of Japan, which they stubbornly refused. It was only after we bombed Nagasaki did Japan finally agree to surrender. Had it not been for the development of this weapon of mass destruction, the US would have lost thousands more lives fighting a war in which Japan’s defeat was inevitable.

We didn’t merit the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor but our resolve ended one of the bloodiest parts of our country’s history, so NO, Rev. Wright, you are wrong to use these events at the end of WWII in an analogy of terrorism.

It is still a speech of hatred against the United States. Does Reverend Wright tell how we helped liberate the Jews, who were being killed by the thousands? Does he tell of the sailors who were sleeping in their bunks, and were ambushed at Pearl Harbor? Does he even talk about how the United States rallied against apartheid in South Africa? Or how America has taken in thousands of imigrants from countries who hinder their religion or freedom of speech; freedoms’ I might add that give Wright that very pulpit to stand upon?

Give me a break! You’re just trying to placate him because he is black. If this had been a white guy, he would have already been made to apologies and step down: Wright looks Imus look like a Boy Scout. And Obama is just as bad for taking his kids into that type of church.

MY words here - the blacks & Native Americans were treated horribly in earlier times, but so were the Irish imigrants who came to this country. They were considered to be 'flawed people' & treated dispicably, but I wonder why it is, you never hear the Irish or the Native Americans belaboring the history of our ancestors. It is time to move ON.

Go to a reserve and speak with some.

 

Read up on some of the history and current comments and statements by the leaders of today.

 

Not hearing or reading about the struggles or continuing problems does not mean that the causes are still not being discussed.

 

Some would not call it belaboring but a retelling of history from the other side of the gun and boot in the face.

 

The ironic thing is starling---you say you are a "libertarian", and yet Wright's broad assessment of our foreign policy is very similar to the libertarian Ron Paul.

but it is a part of history that the Native American was already here and the black man was brought here against his will. You really can't compare either to Irish Immigrants.

Historically the English, don’t consider the Irish “White”… and didn’t consider (or treat) them any different than Africans.

and get over the sermon, Obama and his kids.

I don't think so Purnhrt. Starling has made many valid points about the issues with Obama and the sermon and it would be wrong to just "get over" them.
I didn't buy a minute of his speech either and we're not the only ones.

CITE
NOT THIS TIME...NOT THIS TIME... I WILL NO LONGER BE DISTRACTED by OBAMAS DECEPTION and RHETORIC.

This man is unbelievable, he gave a speech that basically said ......America this is your fault because you haven't dealt with race issues. He said and more concerning he believes it was okay to support a racist church for 20 years through action and financial funding as long as that church felt it had been wronged. Is this to mean that we should now start defending KKK members because after all as he says they "contain within them the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community they have served for so many years." The black community would be up in arms if we started to defend the KKK and their remarks the way he is defending the hate that was being pushed by Pastor Wright. We know he sees Pastor Wright as family, we understand that we all have family members who have issues. For example if you have a cousin that is a drug addict...you ...Love them, pray for them, talk to them.... you treat them like family.... HOWEVER, you DON'T hang around him and his friends because you know that what they are doing and promote is WRONG. He could of dealt with Pastor Wright the same way. There are hundreds of churches in Chicago, but he chose this one for a reason, he obviously feels comfortable around that rhetoric and hateful speech. Which brings us to another issue he has gone back and forth about whether he knew what was being said in church. He has shown a consistent patter of telling UNTRUTHS and his CHARACTER is now in question. I can no longer trust that he is telling America the truth?because he seems to change his story based on politics. OBAMA IS A FAILURE WHEN IT COMES TO STANDING UP FOR THE TOUGH ISSUES. If he really wanted to be a Uniter then he would stop attending a RACIST, SEPARTIST CHURCH AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR WHAT IS CLEARLY HATE TOWARDS AMERICA , WHITES , JEWS and let's not FORGET BLACK REPUBLICANS. He continues to fail to realize that all this commotion is about.... HIS FLAWED JUDGMENT....HIS FAILURE TO TELL THE TRUTH.....HIS FAILURE TO ACCEPT THAT HE WAS WRONG TO CONTINUE TO SIT IN THAT CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS AND HELP PROMOTE THAT KIND OF HATE AND ANTI-AMERICAN sentiment. His unwillingness to see this only confirms that when push comes to shove he will focus on his allegiance to Black leaders and NOT America. I also come from a large family blessed to be of all ethnic backgrounds. We are Black, We are Hispanic, We are White, We are Asian, We are German. We, however, refuse to accept that it is OK to promote hatred and bigoted ways simply because somewhere in the last 200 years we have been wronged. We also refuse to continue to promote this cycle of hate in our children by taking them to a church that promotes sentiments that will only severely jade them and deprive them of hope. Instead we choose to take them to a church that is accepting of everyone and shows this acceptance through action and words by not promoting hate of any race ...whether black, white, or whether Jewish, catholic, Baptist. Etc. Obama is an eloquent speaker but he fails miserably when it comes to seeing what is right in front of him. I was hoping that he would finally address HIS issues and not deflect and point the finger at someone else. Some sincere honesty would have been refreshing....instead we got the a speech with the PHONEY political strategy behind it

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Funny...I've work for a corporation for around 8 years now. We're owned by a fortune 500 company. As I look around at the 100 or so faces around me; I see not a single black man and only a single black woman. It’s been like this since I’ve been here. Of the 25 directors/VPs we have only a single woman.

I can certainly understand why minorities would feel they are not getting a fair shake in America

I've worked for a Fortune 500 company for 10 yrs now. Ask many of my peers and they'll say my employer goes above and beyond to hire/ promote minorities. In fact, one of my peers recently got promoted and many, including myself, ask why. His numbers had consistently been in our bottom third and his work habits had been questioned. I worked closely with this guy for nearly a year and the questions on work habits are very warranted. Yet, he got promoted to be the boss. He's an older black gentleman and many believe being "older" and "black" were his two biggest assets. We also have an older white woman as our CEO. She's an absolute dingbat and our President has to cover her butt frequently.

Personally, I believe the best man/ woman should get the job. That should be based on performance and not gender or color. The bottom line is my job and paychecks are greatly impacted by these people. I don't care what gender or color is of that person. I want the most qualified individual for that spot, regardless of the PC factors (gender, race, religion, etc, etc).

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