04/28/2008 05:26 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Wright is right

Well, when the NAACP decides, rightly, to give Wright a pulpit to defend the prophetic tradition of many African American churches, we can now see what happens. MSNBC has launched what can only be called a hate-fest against Wright, with other media eagerly piling on; and Obama is under pressure from the white establishment within the Democratic Party to denounce Wright.

Jeremiah Wright, and the police slaughter of Sean Bell, have pulled the scab off the still-putrifying wound of white supremacy once again... and Obama is finding that rhetoric about "racial reconciliation" cannot fume itself into reality. The Clinton campaign has devolved into little more than an ill-concealed Jim Crow performance.

I am ashamed of my country. We are a beacon of selfishness, ambition, and hypocrisy to the world. And white supremacy remains one of our core principles of social organization.

Over the last several days, I watched Rev. Jeremiah Wright in discussions of faith, theology, history, and culture on television. The three-plus hours I devoted to PBS and CNN amounted to some of the most sophisticated and thoughtful programming on American culture and racial issues that any news station has offered in recent years. And, for those who really listened to Rev. Wright, he moved from being a political liability in the current presidential campaign to demonstrating why he is one of the nation's most compelling spokespersons of the African-American community and of progressive Christianity.