Archive for May 3rd, 2008

Jeremiah Wright, liberationist

May 3, 2008

 Whether Barack wins or loses (and I dearly hope he wins for America’s sake) his candidacy has certainly brought race to the forefront in the USA.

As my previous blog indicated I believe that Michael Moore proved that he “gets” it—the “it’ being the perspective of Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. That millions of white people are so obtuse, so settled in their white privilege, so blinkered in their accomodationist Christianity says more about them than about Wright. The pastor who is a hero right across black America for his stellar pastoring these past 36 years is being convicted on the grounds of statements ripped out of context. The subtext of this is of course, his black liberationist perspective.The abuse (He has received death threats) Wright has endured has cast his formidable legacy in doubt. As any person with a scintilla of pride would do, Wright refuses to be defined by the present controversy. His life has been more than his 15 minutes of media attention, most of it generated by the thinly disguised hate of the cable news station with its “unbalanced fare.”


In the wide and diverse black community, there is some anger. Bob Herbert (who is black) the distinguished NY Times columnist, flayed Wright in a column for doing damage to the one black who can ameliorate the conditions of poor blacks. I wish that he would have become more “monk like” and let sleeping dogs lie.

It was obvious that Wright was on a roll in the Washington Press Club and in the tradition of his church was cracking wise and his rhetoric seemed to be over the top. Most simply want him to go away. Bob Herbert: “Smiling, cracking corny jokes, mugging it up for the big-time news media — this reverend is never going away. He’s found himself a national platform, and he’s loving it.”


No doubt this is a sad spectacle particularly in the fraying of relationships.


In the end it simply has proven to me the truth of the well known adage, that Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America.


Whites if they did ever attend a black church might be shocked at the liberation theology they heard there. But then it surely is a matter of social location and too many whites enmeshed in their long privileged position are simply unable to hear the prophetic word from the underside of history. The faux religion experienced in segregated enclaves has often been a religion of power and exclusivity  blessing a racist status quo.


That they are still shocked at Wright’s truth telling about America could be a wake up call. Some will learn from this and heed the message. Others will stick their heads in the sand and allow the latent racism to define themselves.

And they will shout, Mc Cain for Presdent.8 more years! 8 more years!