My belated reaction to the Jeremiah Wright "controversy"

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My belated reaction to the Jeremiah Wright "controversy"

Post  Evelyn on Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:46 pm

I finally watched that "Jeremiah Wright hate speech" video. Here's what I think:

Grossly exaggerated controversy. One commenter had it right: "This is a speech about hate, not a hate speech."

Here's why I don't think he's entirely ridiculous:

There's an entire culture and tradition behind this kind of speaking. Just because there's anger--a lot of it more than justified, I might add--doesn't make it hate. You know Psalm 137? "Happy is he who dashes your infants against the rocks"? Do we condemn the psalmist for being hateful, or is he just being honest and crying out to God for justice? The thing that makes this not about hate is that neither the psalmist nor Jeremiah Wright suggests taking revenge into one's own hands, but they plead for God to see and act on their behalf. Wright is expressing the frustration of entire generations of people who are told one thing by white Christians, by the Constitution, and then robbed of that same promised honor and dignity in day-to-day life--sometimes intentionally, sometimes ignorantly. When a pastor proclaims these injustices from the pulpit, it reinforces a sense of validity to their claims of suffering, which are often denied and dismissed by broader society.

If I was being abused by a husband, and I kept trying to tell people about it, and they told me to shut up and deal because I must have done something to deserve it, or because women are inherently worth less (read: worthless), I would desperately want someone to recognize my plight. Preaching about it from a public pulpit does just that. It affirms me, and allows me to say that what was done to me was, in fact, wrong. This is fighting dehumanization. The first step to forgiving someone is to recognize that what they did to you was wrong. If you can't do that, you can never forgive, because there's nothing to forgive... when there really is. A lot of people are trapped in bitterness because they simply cannot admit or understand that.

About the "Jesus was a black man" thing:

The Jews were in Egypt, or Africa, for over 400 years. So in that sense, you could say that Jesus and all Jews are children of Africa, or African, which is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "negro," or "black." Of course, you might say that's stretching it. I still think he was just trying to be metaphorical about the underdog in an unjust society. Then he confused the analogy by bringing in that idiotic reference the Romans being European/ white, etc, which was completely unnecessary. But preachers in that vein always get carried away. And you know what? It is actually hard to be gracious and politically correct when you keep hearing and seeing the same old sh*t happen to you and your people over and over and over again. At some point, you just have to start telling it like it is, and then some. People who get lied to a lot eventually learn to smell the BS from miles away. They detest it, and vow to take a "no frills" approach by wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Chris Rock says a lot of "controversial" things, but nobody criticizes him for it because he's a comedian--and definitely not the pastor of a presidential candidate or anything important like that. When Jeremiah Wright starts to get silly, he's fully aware of it. He's carrying on an inside joke with the congregation. People who are not comfortable admitting their biases will be deeply offended. But people who get it will get it, and this sermon is for them.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Also, why on earth is BBCode not working? Side bar says it's ON, but it's not.

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Good response

Post  tobiaslepke on Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:16 pm

Hey Evelyn, Good response. I agree totally. I never did watch the video until now, but I read a segment in the paper about it and didn't understand the fuss. I didn't see anything untrue.

I think God has been trying to teach me how to speak the truth in love. Its easy to smack someone in the face with the truth and be like oh well, i guess the truth hurts. But thats not what Jesus taught us.

I don't think anyone can criticize that man until they've walked in his shoes. As far as God damn america, I agree with that too. If we keep doing what we're doing, God will damn america. Wright is not the only one preaching that message.

Someone's said that this is an attack on the black church and I agree. I think the devil is attacking the church, and maybe even more so, the black church.

We have not endured unto persecution.....yet


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