Monday, April 28, 2008

Why doesn't he just go away?

This is what I'm hearing this morning. "Reverend Wright is going to speak soon. Why won't he go away? Doesn't he realize he's hurting Obama? He's mocking former Presidents by pointing how how they can speak with different dialects, but only black people are told they are speaking badly. Why does he keep speaking?"

Then - the killer. "We've been getting lots of emails saying we're talking Wrights words out of context - but irregardless, what do you think this is going to do to Obama's presidential aspirations?"

That's what it's come down to. "Sure, maybe we're taking his words out of context. I mean, he's not mocking former Presidents, he's pointing out the culture divide that one group of people get to speak in an 'improper' way while another group are told they speak bad English - and the only difference is the color of their skin. But still, we're only talking about how he's mocking former Presidents, because that's controversial. And yes, we pretty much just admitted we take his comments out of context - but who cares? I mean - look, angry black man speaking? Why doesn't he just speak like us and then sit down and be quiet like us? How dare his church has its own way of communicating and culture! OMG - doesn't he realize that racism ended that second the Civil Rights bill passed!"

Wright is a man who helped operate on a President of the United States (Johnson's heart surgery). He served his country in war. He preached a gospel that told Black people they had a role in the Christian gospel, that as former slave people and an oppressed people, they could understand the Good News of Liberation from Sin in a way that other people could not. That the black community had to stand on their own two feet. That there is injustice still in the world, and he must speak out on it.

And for that- he's told he should go away. Told "Why now? Why are you speaking on race relations now? Didn't you hear Obama's speech that we should all just sit down and get along?"

Only - that wasn't Obama's speech on race. He said we should talk about our differences. That we should have a dialog about what has gone right and wrong in America. That we shouldn't just sit down and shut up about our anger, but really talk about it. See why we are so angry, and what can be done to fix it.

The point of which was missed by so many. All they heard was "Oh, we should all hold hands and get along." No! No, we need to say things like "Hey, I get that you're pissed off, but it's not my fault - my parents were immigrants." Or "Look, maybe I wasn't a slave, but that's why my grandparents couldn't own land, so while your forefathers got rich, mine got squat. And yeah, its rather unfair."

Wright is actually doing what Obama talked about - speak out about his feelings, and hopes, and dreams, and frustrations. Instead, the media is bogging down into "Why doesn't he go away? Just shut up, put up with your anger, and we'll all get along!"

I'd say Wright should be out everywhere, speaking as much as he likes. Why now? Why not a year when Obama has the presidency than come out and talk about race?

Because then it's going to be "Why now? I mean, Obama just took office. How about next year? Or the year after that? Or the year after that - no, wait, it's an election year - go back into hiding, Wright!"

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