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Rev. Wright's Not That Wrong


Amid all the righteous noise made about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it was David Gergen, on Anderson Cooper's show, who made the most pertinent observation. The veteran GOP operative with bipartisan ties informed the audience that black America is having a different conversation than white America, so one cannot apply the CNN, Fox, or MSNBC framework to African-American concerns.

Gergen's insight came and went with little comment, since the Wright media spasm is largely a white creation. Who cares what those with no political power think? That it took a power broker like Gergen to make this obvious, important point further reveals how fixed our "national dialogue" remains. This of course allows all manner of patriotspeak to flow unimpeded, for there's nothing that the Liberal Media loves more than to prove its nationalist bonafides. After all, who do you think keeps the American flag lapel pin industry in the, er, black?

Jeremiah Wright's supposedly inflammatory statements about 9/11 and the ongoing specter of racism are uncontroversial to those following the real world. We live in horrific, corrupt times, and while I don't agree with everything Wright says, he's certainly not speaking fiction, primarily when it comes to American foreign policy. We are hated not so much for our freedoms, such as they are, but specifically for our mass murder, our torture, our occupations. There are other, cultural elements that are part of the overall mix, yet they are doubtless secondary to those seeking refuge from our cluster bombs and client armies. Wright's sermons about reaping what you sow is nothing new, especially in the Christian tradition. But to hear cable chatters and assorted reactionaries tell it, such time-honored concepts don't apply to the United States. The God who watches over us and guides our trigger-happy hand excuses any and all slaughter committed in His Holy Name. He wouldn't have endorsed that song about how He blesses us were the opposite the case.

I've been pretty hard on the Obama campaign, and still am; but if anything would soften my view, it's this bullshit furor over Jeremiah Wright. If you are white and don't listen to black talk radio, now would be a good time to start. Wright's opinions are not deemed crazy there, and you'll hear much stronger denunciations of imperialism and racism than you ever will on a white liberal's show. Sure, some dementia is present: this is America, after all. But contrast the opinions exchanged between African-Americans to those expressed on the corporate kabuki programs, or worse, white reactionary broadcasts. Which do you think is closer to what's actually going on?

Speaking of "extremist" black speech, here's a classic from December, 1964. Wonder how this man would be treated in the media world of today?