the unrepentant jeremiah wright!

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright has been on a publicity tour recently, using his air time to elaborate on the prophetic traditions of the Black church in America and to see if it is possible to calm the jitters of many white Americans.  On Monday, he gave a speech to the National Press Club, a speech which should be required viewing for all pundits in the traditional media.  Wright was eloquent and informative, but he has been pilloried again because he didn’t offer jittery white Americans what it seems they’d been hoping for:  repentance and submission.

The soundbites of Wright’s  “inflammatory” speeches were sliced and diced in order to achieve the effect amongst many white Americans that they have achieved (fear).  Like many white politicians in past elections who’ve faced a Black opponent, Hillary Clinton and John McCain both knew that they could appeal to white fear of Black anger to score points and convince whites to abandon the thought of casting a vote for a person of color.  Even though Wright’s words are not the words or thoughts of Obama, for many white Americans, mere association with Wright is enough to throw Obama under the proverbial bus.

Instead of dropping to his knees and begging the forgiveness of offended white Americans, Wright showed that he is not cowed in the least by all of the hypocritical denunciations of political media pundits who profit from the ratings.  Do his comments hurt Obama’s presidential campaign?  Certainly for white Americans who have been indoctrinated into believing their country is saintly and has done no wrong.  Certainly for white Americans who want to believe that their numerous misdeeds to people of color have gone unnoticed and unfelt. 

John McCain’s courting Christian Zionist and fundamentalist preacher John Hagee is blown off as not newsworthy because the traditional media reflects the perspective of white Americans who seem comfortable with McCain’s association with people who are outright white supremacists.  White supremacists and right-wing religious fanatics aren’t deemed threatening to whites, so McCain’s flirtation with them will never be made the political liability it should be.

Instead of renouncing his “uppitiness” and shutting his mouth, Wright let white America know that he is the real deal, unrepentant and unbowed.  Being true to oneself is the most valuable lessen any human being can learn, even if it threatens to damage political success.

 

 

 

 

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~ by free71 on April 29, 2008.

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