I initially chose to remain silent over the controversy surrounding the sermons preached by Barack Obama’s former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. However, after thoughtful consideration and after seeing the unfair way that this has played out in the media, I feel compelled to address the subject. For those who have not heard his comments, I direct you to a two-minute clip that has been showing on You-Tube (click here). In it, he claims that the cycle of drug addiction and incarceration in the black community has been made fertile by the U.S. Government, and because of this, God will not bless
“The government gives them the drugs; builds bigger prisons; passes a three strike law; then wants us to sing God bless
We can argue the merits of Wright’s remarks; however, it only takes a casual look at history to see the long, harsh list of egregious acts that
These examples, with the exception of the nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities and Jena Six, are epic in regards to their impact on blacks and demonstrate the total disregard that
The public reactions to Wright’s sermons show the deep racial divide that still exists in
One hundred years later, the words of W.E.B Du Bois still rings true that race would be an enduring problem for
Notwithstanding the appalling treatment that blacks have suffered at the hands of white people, it would be difficult to quantify how that treatment has impacted the black community to this day. However, it is safe to say that the Wrights of the world are speaking out of their own experience, the experience of their predecessors, and the experience of their ancestors. Consequently, I was troubled to see Obama repudiate Rev. Wright's comments, because it demonstrated his lack of courage to face an issue that is inherent to the
Andrew Hacker’s Two Nations, Black and White, Separate, Hostile and Unequal, asserts that all white people sometime in their lives go through what Psychology 101 calls “denial.” They seek to convince themselves and others that they are innocent of any blame for creating and perpetuating the misfortunes of the black community:
At one time or another, all of us have refused to admit certain truths about ourselves. By engaging in what Psychology 101 calls “denial,” we seek to convince others – and ourselves – of our innocence of blame. All white Americans regardless of their political persuasions, are well aware of how black people have suffered due to the inequalities imposed upon them by white
Not only are white people aware of the historical perspective of Wright’s scathing words, but so is Obama. However, this subject is taboo, because few white people want to address the harm that they or their ancestors have inflicted on blacks and other non-white people, and the effect that those injuries still have on people of color today, and it is obvious that Obama doesn’t want to make those historical wounds part of his national platform.
Okay, okay…I can feel some of you saying that he is doing what is necessary to become the president, and that includes maintaining an arms length relationship with his own ethnic community. Perhaps, but preserving the courage of one’s conviction speaks to leadership and integrity, and if Obama is unwilling to defend what he knows to be an authentic grievance by blacks, one must consider, what other compromises he is willing to make to become president or how far will he bend to satisfy a certain constituency after becoming president. If Obama is the uniter that he claims to be, then the repudiation of Wright was a poor way of demonstrating it. It ‘kinda’ reminds me of a previous candidate for president that told us he was a uniter.