Friday, April 04, 2008

Moving Beyond the Content of Color and the Character of Skin


Juan Williams wrote an amazing piece for the Wall Street Journal on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. It's reprinted in it's entirety, because it's just that powerful:

Obama and King

By JUAN WILLIAMS
April 4, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. died at age 39; today, the 40th anniversary of his death, is the first time he has been gone longer than he lived.

Figures such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have tried to claim his place on the American stage. But at most they have achieved fame and wealth. What separated King from any would-be successor was his moral authority. He towered above the high walls of racial suspicion by speaking truth to all sides.

Now comes Barack Obama, a black man and a plausible national leader, who appeals across racial lines. But to his black and white supporters, Mr. Obama increasingly represents different things.

The initial base of support for Mr. Obama's presidential campaign came from young whites – who saw in him the ability to take the nation to a place where, to quote from King's "I Have A Dream" speech, "we shall be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

Black voters rallied to Mr. Obama after whites in Iowa and New Hampshire showed they were willing to vote for him. Mr. Obama spoke directly to charges that he was not "black enough," that he was not a child of the civil rights movement because he grew up in Hawaii and has an Ivy League education, that he is too young, it is not his time, and even that his campaign is too risky because white racists might kill him.

Mr. Obama, his wife Michelle and supporters such as Oprah Winfrey make the case to black voters that he is the fruit of the struggles of King and others. They argue that this generation of black Americans does not have to wait for their turn to reach for the ultimate political power of the presidency.

Mr. Obama has carried a message of pride and self-sufficiency to black voters nationwide, who have rewarded him with support reaching 80% and higher. His candidacy has become, as the headline on Ebony magazine put it, a matter of having a black man as president "In Our Lifetime."

Among his white supporters, race is coincidental, not central, to his political identity. Mr. Obama is to them the candidate who personifies the promise of equal opportunity for all. But as black support has become central to his victories, this idealistic view has been increasingly at war with the portrayal, crafted by the senator to win black support, of him as the black candidate. The terrible tension between these racially distinct views now surrounds and threatens his campaign.

So far, Mr. Obama has been content to let black people have their vision of him while white people hold to a separate, segregated reality. He is a politician and, unlike King, his goal is winning votes, not changing hearts. Still, it is a key break from the King tradition to sell different messages to different audiences based on race, and to fail to challenge racial divisions in the nation.

Mr. Obama's major speech on race last month was forced from him only after a political crisis erupted: It became widely known that he'd sat for 20 years in the pews of a church where Rev. Jeremiah Wright lashed out at white people. The minister cursed America as worthy of damnation, made lewd suggestions about the nature of President Clinton's relationship with black voters, and embraced the paranoid idea that the white government was spreading AIDS among black people.

[Barack Obama]

Here is where the racial tension at the heart of Mr. Obama's campaign flared into view. He either shared these beliefs or, lacking good judgment, decided it politically expedient for an ambitious young black politician trying to prove his solidarity with all things black, to be associated with these rants. His judgment and leadership on the critical issue of race is in question.

While speaking to black people, King never condescended to offer Rev. Wright-style diatribes or conspiracy theories. He did not paint black people as victims. To the contrary, he spoke about black people as American patriots who believed in the democratic ideals of the country, in nonviolence and the Judeo-Christian ethic, even as they overcame slavery, discrimination and disadvantage. King challenged white America to do the same, to live up to their ideals and create racial unity. He challenged white Christians, asking them how they could treat their fellow black Christians as anything but brothers in Christ.

When King spoke about the racist past, he gloried in black people beating the odds to win equal rights by arming "ourselves with dignity and self-respect." He expressed regret that some black leaders reveled in grievance, malice and self-indulgent anger in place of a focus on strong families, education and love of God. Even in the days before Congress passed civil rights laws, King spoke to black Americans about the pride that comes from "assuming primary responsibility" for achieving "first class citizenship."

Last March in Selma, Ala., Mr. Obama appeared on the verge of breaking away from the merchants of black grievance and victimization. At a commemoration of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights, he spoke in a King-like voice. He focused on traditions of black sacrifice, idealism and the need for taking personal responsibility for building strong black families and communities. He said black people should never "deny that its gotten better," even as the movement goes on to improve schools and provide good health care for all Americans. He then challenged black America, by saying that "government alone can't solve all those problems . . . it is not enough just to ask what the government can do for us -- it's important for us to ask what we can do for ourselves."

Mr. Obama added that better education for black students begins with black parents visiting their children's teachers, as well as turning off the television so children can focus on homework. He expressed alarm over the lack of appreciation for education in the black community: "I don't know who taught them that reading and writing and conjugating your verbs were something white. We've got to get over that mentality." King, he added later, believed that black America has to first "transform ourselves in order to transform the world."

But as his campaign made headway with black voters, Mr. Obama no longer spoke about the responsibility and the power of black America to appeal to the conscience and highest ideals of the nation. He no longer asks black people to let go of the grievance culture to transcend racial arguments and transform the world.

He has stopped all mention of government's inability to create strong black families, while the black community accepts a 70% out-of-wedlock birth rate. Half of black and Hispanic children drop out of high school, but he no longer touches on the need for parents to convey a love of learning to their children. There is no mention in his speeches of the history of expensive but ineffective government programs that encourage dependency. He fails to point out the failures of too many poverty programs, given the 25% poverty rate in black America.

And he chooses not to confront the poisonous "thug life" culture in rap music that glorifies drug use and crime.

Instead the senator, in a full political pander, is busy excusing Rev. Wright's racial attacks as the right of the Rev.-Wright generation of black Americans to define the nation's future by their past. He stretches compassion to the breaking point by equating his white grandmother's private concerns about black men on the street with Rev. Wright's public stirring of racial division.

And he wasted time in his Philadelphia speech on race by saying he can't "disown" Rev. Wright any more than he could "disown the black community." No one has asked him to disown Rev. Wright. Only in a later appearance on "The View" television show did he say that he would have left the church if Rev. Wright had not retired and not acknowledged his offensive language.

As the nation tries to recall the meaning of Martin Luther King today, Mr. Obama's campaign has become a mirror reflecting where we are on race 40 years after the assassination. Mr. Obama's success has moved forward the story of American race relations; King would have been thrilled with his political triumphs.

But when Barack Obama, arguably the best of this generation of black or white leaders, finds it easy to sit in Rev. Wright's pews and nod along with wacky and bitterly divisive racial rhetoric, it does call his judgment into question. And it reveals a continuing crisis in racial leadership.

What would Jesus do? There is no question he would have left that church.

Hat tip: The Laura Ingraham Show





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53 Comments:

Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

That was a great read Word.

Obama is NO Dr. King!

Friday, April 04, 2008 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

Juan Williams is completely inaccurate.

Friday, April 04, 2008 4:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

It was indeed a great read because it's the truth. Neither do I believe that Obama would have left the church if Wright hadn't retired. Yes, during a campaign for presidency he probably would have, but only because he is trying to get votes and not out of any moral obligation. He's merely sticking his finger up in the air to figure out which way the wind is blowing and he knows Wright screwed up - and that he also screwed up. How could he have possibly thought that his long relationship with his bigotted pastor would not reach the public? He proves by this alone that he's not even one-tenth smart enough to run this country!

Friday, April 04, 2008 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Indigo Red said...

I'm afraid Juan Williams is wrong as to what Jesus would do. We already know exactly what he would do by what he did do. He chased the money lenders and scoundrels from the synagogue and he would chase Rev Wright from the church, The church is a house of God and the things of Ceasar do not belong.

The rest is spot on and reflects my feelings about the message and work of Dr. King. He had a bigger dream than one speech and it encompassed more than just the black community.

Friday, April 04, 2008 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

One thing that I have always found to be real is the deeply ingrained racial ideologies and belief systems within our society. While one can acknowledge progress as I always do, one can fight for further equality and the eradication of institutionalized racism and social injustice. The only way we can see what is possible is if we challenge, if we resist. Imagine if those of revolutionaries of the 50s, 60s and even 70s said well at least we arent physically enslaved, lets not resist. Do you actually think we would have made progress? Rev.Wright is very much that resistant voice and much of what he was talking about was modern and relevant. He was talking about what goes on today that continues to perpetuate certain unequal and injust practices. Many see any type of opposition to American society or America as treason, any resistance to the establishment (the way it is) or the status quo as dangerous or a threat to their very existence and many freeze and get defense with the slightest mention of racism and race relations. I beleive that we have made progress but I do not think that Rev.Wright would not agree with this. Listen, I am familiar with the man and what he preaches. One cannot deny that our country is different from the way it was at earlier points however one can confirm that the same ideologies and behavior is still being practiced�just in a different manner.

Lastly, context is everything. When viewing these clips many Americans lacked the foundational knowledge and understanding behind much of what Wright was saying. They did not even get to hear the full sermon to even understand what he was trying to say that day. I hate how people have judged Wright�s character as one who is hate-filled, bigoted or has the inability to credit America for its progress as a society. Please keep in mind that Wright also said this,

�The good news that�s coming is for all people! Not white people�all people. Not black people�all people. Not rich people�all people. Not poor people�all people. I know you�ll hate this� not straight people�all people! Not gay people�all people. Not American people�all people. �God�s good news isn�t just for Americans, it�s for all people. Say �all people�! Jesus came for Iraqis and Afghanis. Jesus was sent for Iranians and Ukrainians. All people! Jesus is God�s gift to the brothers in jail and the sisters in jeopardy. All people! The Lord left his royal courts on high to come for all those that you love, yes, but he also came for all those folk that you can�t stand. All people!�

He inspired Obama�s message of HOPE �The Audacity of Hope� which the senator himself has acknowledged. Rev. Jeremiah Wright is fiery (fire and brimstone preaching) very outspoken and he pulls no shots when speaking about how he feels in relation to our society and government however he is doing this as form of resistance and activism that has a long history and tradition in the black community. He does this as a way to empower his people to get up and demand more from themselves, each other, the government and society at large.

The Dr.King we celebrate today is often sanitized and "pasteurized", he was not popular back then. As McCain had to go on his Mena Cupla today down in Memphis apologizing for voting against the King holiday. In 1967, he was disinvited from the White House for what he said about the U.S. and the Vietnam War. The FBI labeled him the most "dangerous negro in America". He was a threat even despite believing in non-violence. If King was around, he would not denounce Wright, he would simply explain where he is coming from and how it is reflective of the feelings of many blacks in a country that has treated them like second-class citizens throughout its almost 400 year existence.

In addition, I am sick of people comparing black people to other black people. There is this thing called individuality that i'm waiting to have extended to my people. King was an individual, Wright is an individual and Obama is an individual.

It is so sad that Juan Williams who knows nothing would judge the church and its former minister by the caricature drawn up by a media that cares more about sensationalism instead of fair reporting. What do I expect though from somebody from Fox Noise.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

...The only way we can see what is possible is if we challenge, if we resist...

Resist what? Education? Assimilation? You're stuck in reverse.... I hate how people have judged Wright"s character as one who is hate-filled, bigoted or has the inability to credit America for its progress as a society.

I hate how Wright in bigoted fury makes it the fault of white people that his followers are stricken with poverty. When he writes his new sermon from the study of his new multi million dollar house he now owns. I'll make sure poverty is on my mind when I listen to his next sermon.

Working middle class blacks and whites are tired of the poverty pimps. We have to go to work every day and work along side of each other and try not to let the extremes on either side infiltrate our lives. The Wrights on one side and the David Duke's on the other. I live in an integrated neighborhood and work in an integrated workplace. people like Wright with their hate filled speech make it difficult for those of us trying to progress our families and this society along.

Juan Williams was dead on with his assessments of Wright and Obama. If certain blacks want segregate themselves from the rest of society and not be part of the solution like Martin Luther King implored than you become part of THE problem.

Friday, April 04, 2008 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, April 04, 2008 8:40:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, April 04, 2008 8:43:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

I'll get this lnk right yet.

This is a very insightful look into what needs to be changed in order for progress to continue.
Obama's Anger

Friday, April 04, 2008 8:49:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

rhondacoca,

Great comment! Thanks for weighing in and expression your views.

jennifer, Thanks for engaging her on this; if you guys are still around, I'll try and address your points later, rhondacoca; it's a busy weekend, and I won't be back on the computer until tonight!

Saturday, April 05, 2008 7:31:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

JG,

It is obvious that you dont get it. He is not blaming white people, he is discussing the government/establishment. Wright is part of the soultion, he is a part of the solution when he works to empower his community, teach them their history, teach them pride and love.

You still dont seem to understand who MLK was and what he stood for. Please let me hear what you think MLK was about? He was fighting institutionalized oppression and poverty.

Where the hell do you come from with the segregation garbage, nobody is talking about segregation? Please tell me where you are getting the segregation garbage?

Your understanding of what is going on around you is about you looking around and not understanding the more complex picture, the more complex foundation that has created it. I grew up in a intergrated neighborhood, my parents are not middle classed, they are upper classed. They are from the Caribbean and studied aboard. Do you think that they have their head in the sand when it comes to our society works and operates? Do you think that they dont know about institutionalized racism? They smile and they are always friendly and bite their tongues but the truth....they understand. Many of the people in Wright's church are professors, doctors, lawyers, professionals as well as the downtrodden.

You know nothing about the man's church or the man. You guys have drawn up a caricature entirely your own.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

Please read Obama, Wright and the Unacceptability of Truth by Tim Wise.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I thought Juan Williams' op-ed was well thought out and written. He makes excellent points. He has been to hear Wright preach. He is more than the dreaded Fox News, mostly a contributor on NPR and formerly a writer with The Washington Post, neither of which are conservative venues.

I rarely agree with William politically. Sometimes it's nice to do so. He comes from the angle that Bill Cosby does, the victim card days are long gone and personal responsibility is the path to success.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 8:05:00 PM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

I am very familiar with TUCC and Rev.Wright. He preaches about empowering the black community through self-empowerment. If you heard Rev.Wright and knew what he really stood for then you would probably agree with him. He understands that this country has done nothing more than screw blacks over in its 400 year existence therefore blacks need to work together and empower one another and themselves. Most black leaders preach this while also speaking about instittuionalized prejudice and social injustice. Bill Cosby said in the early 90s that the U.S. created AIDS to kill undesirable people (gays and minorities)....interesting even Tim Wise said it in his essay. What is funny is how the U.S. government with the aid of its white majority have suppressed the voices and despised those who spoke about empowerment. They always viewed those people are dangerous. If blacks were really to empower themselves, they would probably ruin the "social order".

Saturday, April 05, 2008 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

P.S. Being on Fox is enough to incriminate anybody in my book. I know who Juan Williams is, I sometimes agree with him and I sometimes dont. He is psycho for me. I cant figure him out.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 9:48:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

I'm tired of victimology Word, it's all yours. I've made my point and you can obviously see that the victim mentality is here to stay. The next thing I'll be called a racist, a word that no longer has a meaning.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thanks, jennifer. I'm still tied up, but will respond properly tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, April 06, 2008 5:36:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

j-g,

You seem not to even be grasping what I am trying to say. I am against any form of victim mentality, I am not a victim, I am an empowered black woman who knows my path in life. However I understand in a very complex fashion, the society around me. Things are not a clean cut and easy to navigate as some would think.

I see you guys are conservative and love just enjoy saying the word "victim" over and over again...nothing new.

I believe in truth and empowerment. I work with young people (mostly black), I teach them their history which ahs been suppressed. I tell them what is possible for them to achieve and I work to heal. I first was moved by Obama because he seems to have the same background in the community as I have. I also know what Trinity United has done for those in their community. People like Juan Williams and Cosby are talk but not action. They stand from afar and pass judgement. I get involved and try to make a difference.

Sunday, April 06, 2008 8:50:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

P.S.

Lastly, your tension and ignorance shun through in your last line, "racist"? Why would I say that?

Here is my thing, we are all racist because we see race and often use it judge people. We are in a society and a world that has socially constructed race in a way that has been destructive.Period.

What I wanted to also say that I missed in my first post is that, blacks in this country are dealing with many feelings and those feelings are deeply embedded. People are not compassionate. Anytime anyone discussed these feelings, they are "playing victim", "using the race card", "making excuses" etc...
That is counterproductive.

Sunday, April 06, 2008 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

I second everything Rhondacoca says. Amen and amen.

I've posted two of Rev. Wright's masterful sermons on my blog in their entirety for anyone to hear who happens by. What a difference context makes!

But then, those who are looking for demonization aren't interested in context, are they?

Sunday, April 06, 2008 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

While one can acknowledge progress as I always do, one can fight for further equality and the eradication of institutionalized racism and social injustice. The only way we can see what is possible is if we challenge, if we resist.

And what did you make of Morgan Freeman's response when questioned by Mike Wallace, "How can we get rid of racism?" and Freeman answers: “Stop talking about it."

"Resisting" institutionalized racism and the residual effects of injustices of the past still present today is not going to be achieved by always looking for it, by obsessing over it, by excusing one's personal choices in life and situation at birth on racism.

If one wanted to, every single person on the face of the planet could trace their personal miseries to injustices committed against one's ancestors by some invading tribe, by some conquering people who subjugated ones' ancestors based upon racial, ethnic, tribal,national bigotry.

So how long do you carry the grudge? How long does one place blame upon what happened to one's ancestors centuries ago as the cause for one's state in life today?

How do race profiteers like Sharpton and Jackson advance the dissolution of color? How can one look past skin color when it is always drummed up? When people constantly look for racism in everything?


Imagine if those of revolutionaries of the 50s, 60s and even 70s said well at least we arent physically enslaved, lets not resist. Do you actually think we would have made progress?

This isn't the 50's, 60's, or 70's. Those revolutionaries fought the battles that needed to be fought at the time; now, we have an impressive man who has a real shot at the presidency. And that's because we are not living in the 50,s or 60's. Yet so many liberal democrats seem to be stuck in the civil rights movement of the 60's. Obama's speech on race relations didn't express anything revelatory that conservatives haven't been preaching about for decades! Yet liberal journalists were just fawning over the speech like the greatest thing since sliced whole wheat bread. Where the hell have they been?! Wake up!

This obsession over racial injustices perpetuates it; keeps racism alive when many people have moved beyond it. The ones who are racists are the ones still obsessed with race.

And if you perceive my comment as saying that I think "racism is dead; racial injustice is dead; racism against blacks is a myth", then you've understood not a wit of what I just wrote.

Rev.Wright is very much that resistant voice and much of what he was talking about was modern and relevant.

What you perceive as modern and relevant I say is hyperbolic race-mongering and should be relegated as a relic of the past, if we are to move beyond race.

Wright's words are nothing but divisive and harmful to racial peace and harmony.


Many see any type of opposition to American society or America as treason, any resistance to the establishment (the way it is) or the status quo as dangerous or a threat to their very existence and many freeze and get defense with the slightest mention of racism and race relations.

I find those on the left to be the ones most defensive, reflexively doing everything they can to not be labeled "racist". They quiver with "white guilt" and tip-toe over political correct egg-shells when it comes to race issues. To be perceived as "racist" signals the end of the world for this type of white liberal.

I beleive that we have made progress but I do not think that Rev.Wright would not agree with this.

It'd take a willful suspension of the brain to not acknowledge or perceive that we have made progress.


Listen, I am familiar with the man and what he preaches. One cannot deny that our country is different from the way it was at earlier points however one can confirm that the same ideologies and behavior is still being practiced�just in a different manner.

You're right. Some of those old racist beliefs are now hidden out of sight because racism is not "vogue" and "politically correct". And besides closet racists, there are those who think they are not racist, yet are themselves victims of "institutionalized racism" that has colored their views in subtle ways, despite their best efforts to be on guard against it.

But you know what? Blacks are just as much responsible for this as much as "the institution" itself.

And racism will not disappear any faster by obsessing over it, by looking for it under every nook and cranny, by rewarding witch hunts for it, as Reverend Sharpton and Reverend Jackson have made a fortune on race hustling.

Lastly, context is everything. When viewing these clips many Americans lacked the foundational knowledge and understanding behind much of what Wright was saying.

That's a reasonable position and argument to have.

They did not even get to hear the full sermon to even understand what he was trying to say that day.

I will listen to Marty's clip and comment later.

I hate how people have judged Wright�s character as one who is hate-filled, bigoted or has the inability to credit America for its progress as a society.

Do you have any transcripts where he has expressed appreciation for this country? Love of being an American?

Senator Obama said on The View that Reverend Wright has sorta apologized, yet can you point me to any example of where he's issued a public apology, retraction, explanation, clarification for his "cherry-picked" "taken out of context" remarks?

The problem, as I understand it, isn't so much "a few nuggets" cherry-picked by the media, but a worldview, as expressed on Trinity United Church of Christ's own website.

Please keep in mind that Wright also said this,

�The good news that�s coming is for all people! Not white people�all people. Not black people�all people. Not rich people�all people. Not poor people�all people. I know you�ll hate this� not straight people�all people! Not gay people�all people. Not American people�all people. �God�s good news isn�t just for Americans, it�s for all people. Say �all people�! Jesus came for Iraqis and Afghanis. Jesus was sent for Iranians and Ukrainians. All people! Jesus is God�s gift to the brothers in jail and the sisters in jeopardy. All people! The Lord left his royal courts on high to come for all those that you love, yes, but he also came for all those folk that you can�t stand. All people!�


That's nice. His "cherry-picked" comments kind of goes against the grain on the above, doesn't it?

If the above is the case- that it represents more the "true" message of Reverend Wright as a unifying, positive figure, why should Senator Obama cave in to the political pressures of the media? A media that is just as quick to fawn over him? Why distance himself from a man he's called a "mentor" and "spiritual guide" of the last 20 years? It makes him look like nothing more than another empty-suit politician who will say anything to get elected, since his half-assed explanation/apology/distancing is two decades too late. Senator Obama's already contradicted himself in trying to salvage political damage control.

He inspired Obama�s message of HOPE �The Audacity of Hope� which the senator himself has acknowledged.

Uh..yeah, and if the Church is indicative of Obama's worldview, then good Lord, I want no part of his bringing that mindset to the Oval Office.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is fiery (fire and brimstone preaching) very outspoken and he pulls no shots when speaking about how he feels in relation to our society and government

Exactly! And that's the problem, isn't it? That he and I seem to share diametrically opposing views, politically and in areas of social justice and race relations.

He does this as a way to empower his people to get up and demand more from themselves, each other, the government and society at large.

Referring to "his people" tells me he is still "stuck on race", stuck on skin complexion.

One of Senator Obama's strong appeal to those from ALL walks of life, is that he once appeared to transcend race; that he was above it as a transracial, poly-racial candidate.

With his race relations speech, that's no longer the case. Now he is running as "the black" candidate rather than "the people's" candidate who happens to be black (forget for a moment a mixed heritage).

The Dr.King we celebrate today is often sanitized and "pasteurized", he was not popular back then.

Not popular with who back then? So many who lived during those times talk about the outpouring of mourning; are they misremembering? Are they lying? What about public speeches by Robert Kennedy and others at the time, mourning the loss? Were they insincere?


As McCain had to go on his Mena Cupla today down in Memphis apologizing for voting against the King holiday.

And what do you suppose McCain's reason was at the time, to vote against it?

Why do you feel he now acknowledges "it was a mistake"?


In 1967, he was disinvited from the White House for what he said about the U.S. and the Vietnam War. The FBI labeled him the most "dangerous negro in America".

And was that label based upon 100% racism; or did he give them any legitimate cause for concern?


He was a threat even despite believing in non-violence. If King was around, he would not denounce Wright, he would simply explain where he is coming from and how it is reflective of the feelings of many blacks in a country that has treated them like second-class citizens throughout its almost 400 year existence.

How do you know this? How can anyone say what a person will say, 40 years in maturation? The King of the 60's might agree with you; but who really can say how MLK Jr. would have evolved 4 decades after the civil rights struggle of the 60's?

Perhaps you are right, that he would not have denounced Reverend Wright, and would empathize where he is "coming from". But would he share those views, expressed?

In addition, I am sick of people comparing black people to other black people.

Can you elaborate on what you mean here?

Blacks who have been here for generations or blacks who are recent immigrants? Blacks who are politically aligned to Democrats, or blacks who are labeled "uncle Toms" for not paying allegiance and homage to liberal ideology?


There is this thing called individuality that i'm waiting to have extended to my people. King was an individual, Wright is an individual and Obama is an individual.

Then they should express themselves as individuals and disavow representing "their people", unless what they mean by it, is "the American people". I'll even accept, here, the liberal "global village".

Why preach Afro-centric philosophy? How is that anything but segregating and divisive?

It is so sad that Juan Williams who knows nothing

Because you disagree with him, he "knows nothing"?!

He's come pretty far in life for someone who "knows nothing".

would judge the church and its former minister by the caricature drawn up by a media that cares more about sensationalism instead of fair reporting.

What makes you assume he's drawn his "caricature" of Reverend Wright from the media portrayal?

I agree that the media focuses on the senational. But what I've heard is more than just cherry-picked quotes, taken out of context; it is an overall mindset, and worldview ideology, as expressed on the Church website.

What do I expect though from somebody from Fox Noise.

Which reveals your own biases, right there. Yes, FOX News, which was the network who broke the Bush drunken-driving record story, moments before the 2000 election, costing votes.

FOX only seems "far right", because all other networks have moved the center so far over to the left. Finally conservatives have ONE news network that is center-right, and successful, and it drives liberals nuts.

Before FOX news came along, conservatives have had to get their news from liberal-leaning news sources. You want to talk about "institutionalized racism"? What about "Institutionalized liberalism"?

I'm done fisking for one night. I've only skimmed your subsequent comments, as well as jennifer's. So I apologize if I've addressed points already stated/addressed, and am late to moving to where the conversation's evolved to. I did read marty's comment, because of it's brevity, and will listen to the Wright sermon, maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, April 06, 2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

"If the above is the case- that it represents more the "true" message of Reverend Wright as a unifying, positive figure, why should Senator Obama cave in to the political pressures of the media? A media that is just as quick to fawn over him? Why distance himself from a man he's called a "mentor" and "spiritual guide" of the last 20 years?"

Yes, in my opinion, that was unfortunate.

I admit, at first, I was taken back and offended by Rev. Wright's words in the soundbites, but knew enough about black churches and how their preachers preach to look further. When I heard both sermons in their entirety I was no longer offended. You do have to listen to the very end. But everyone is different. Some will be offended no matter what.

Monday, April 07, 2008 9:18:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

marty,

I actually stayed up and listened to the audio you have up, last night. It was riveting, in that what sticks out for me in stark fashion, is how difference in worldviews really colors perspective.

Guys, nothing in that sermon invalidates the "cherry-picked" faith footnote that has been used in soundbytes. The quote is merely a cherry from the cherry tree- and absolutely representative to the underlying message and ideology expressed in Reverend Wright's sermon. What's been used in soundbytes is absolutely spot-on, in context. And the quote rhondacoca provided comes across to me as the one that's out of context, cherry-picked.

On the one hand, you guys want to excuse his statements; on the other, you say he has a point, that you agree with his outlook, that his message is misunderstood.

I disagree. I think Senator McCain's statement can apply as a counter to The Trinity United Church of Christ afro-centric, Howard Zinn-Ward Churchill-Noam Chomsky-Michael Schuer blowback blame America worldview: "Neither justice nor domestic peace are served by holding the innocent responsible for the acts of the criminal."

Throughout the sermon, Reverend Wright makes references that gives a peek into his "blame America/what did we do wrong" worldview.

I think I may understand some of his appeal to you, Marty, as you are a pacifist and he talks about "violence begets violence".

As you suggest, it's going to come down to a difference in political ideology. So even listening to the sermon in its entirety, It confirms, not invalidates the sensationalistic portion of his speech (his "faith footnote").

Here are some notes I jotted, as I was too tired to comment any further last night:

5 minutes into it: He talks of the "color of poverty" in a world of wealth. Again, fixated on skin color.

He says it's "no accident that they see the world's poor are one color and the world's richest are another color".

He is pushing the notion that "rich whitey" is "holding the black man down". Nevermind that living in this country has given Reverend Wright the freedom of expressing himself; of enjoying wealth and privilege he might not have in another country. Nevermind how many black Americans have been succeeding, socially and economically for the past few decades- only stunted by the victimology mentality. How many lawyers, corporate execs, doctors, business entrepreneurs happen to be black? How are sports stars and entertainment types being "held back" by the residual effects of institutionalized racism when they are making a fortune? How is Barack Obama, who has a real shot at being the next president, being held down by racist America? Minorities have been holding political offices for decades; yet, somehow the civil rights battles of the 60's has to be waged because racism is still there when you scratch the surface.


Reverend Wright speaks of 500 years of colonialism, as though white Europeans have held the world under its thumbnail, pointing out slavery and genocide, as if other cultures throughout history from the four corners of the earth are absolved of participation in the same atrocities. IT'S NOT A RACE AND CULTURAL PROBLEM!!!! NEWSFLASH: IT'S A HUMANITY PROBLEM! The only ones who wish to deny it are those who choose to believe in revisionist history that likes to romanticize and sugarcoat ethnic ancestors as "noble savages".

6 minutes in: Reverend Wright speaks about the WTC and Pentagon as symbols of what America is about: The money and the military.

And that's not expressing an "anti-American" worldview? No, of course not! For "blame-America first" liberals, it's expressing "the truth".


Now how on earth is he comparing the apples and oranges of 551 BC Jerusalem to the events of 9/11/2001 in America? What a stretch! I guess you can interpret psalms from the Bible to fit whatever agenda you happen to want to set.

faith footnote at 20 minutes: He shows his fixation once again with skin color:
"This was a white man Ambassador Peck on Fox news...

And then goes on with a "blowback"/Michael Scheuer outlook on 9/11 and what our response should be.

This is 25 minutes in where he sermonizes on the need for "self examination". More like "hand-wringing/what did we do wrong to bring this upon ourselves" self-loathing.

At 30 minutes: "We have got to change the way we've been doing things as a society" and "as an arrogant, military superpower."

"Thinking we can keep doing what we've been doing (and not have blowback)"

So what am I suppose to see as sane and reasonable, again, by examining the entire context of the sermon and not the soundbyte quote?

He talks of declaring war on racism, injustice, greed, AIDS, education and all those liberal intangible boogeymen. Meanwhile instituting and advocating for policies that only do the exact opposite of what they want to achieve.

Monday, April 07, 2008 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Revisiting rhonacoca's cherrypicked quote (still would like a link to it):

Please keep in mind that Wright also said this,

�The good news that�s coming is for all people! Not white people�all people. Not black people�all people. Not rich people�all people. Not poor people�all people. I know you�ll hate this� not straight people�all people! Not gay people�all people. Not American people�all people. �God�s good news isn�t just for Americans, it�s for all people. Say �all people�! Jesus came for Iraqis and Afghanis. Jesus was sent for Iranians and Ukrainians. All people! Jesus is God�s gift to the brothers in jail and the sisters in jeopardy. All people! The Lord left his royal courts on high to come for all those that you love, yes, but he also came for all those folk that you can�t stand. All people!�


So, can anyone tell me what Reverend Wright has done for people lately? I mean, aside from blacks? Aside from preaching to a self-segregated black congregation? Aside from alienating whites?

Where does his physical actions mirror the words of unity for all humanity, you cite him on?

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Where has Reverend Wright expressed a love and appreciation for America?

I'd like to listen in to that sermon.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I agree with jennifer's comment, absolutely!

Thanks for the link to the American Thinker piece.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

JG,

It is obvious that you dont get it. He is not blaming white people, he is discussing the government/establishment.


How do you know it is not you who are selectively hearing what you want to hear from his sermons? Rationalizing away the instances where he does "blame white people" in his language? Or do we not take people at their words, and look for "what he really meant" (ie, interpret how we choose to interpret, to excuse and sugarcoat the racist, afro-zinntric ideology that is threaded throughout his sermons?


Wright is part of the soultion, he is a part of the solution when he works to empower his community, teach them their history, teach them pride and love.

Pride in where one comes from is one thing; in shared backgrounds; but where is his "empowerment" of the larger American community? Teaching ALL Americans their history? To take pride and love of being American?

I'm sorry, but Reverend Wright is a big part of the problem. Men like him keep racism alive and breathing.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Where the hell do you come from with the segregation garbage, nobody is talking about segregation? Please tell me where you are getting the segregation garbage?

How many non-blacks congregate in the Trinity United Church of Christ? Have you visited their website? What's up with the outline of the African continent in the beginning? No American continent? Or if one thinks globally, no planet earth, embracing ALL people from ALL walks of life from ALL four corners of the world?

About us:

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

What's up with this 10 point vision:

The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:

1. A congregation committed to ADORATION.
2. A congregation preaching SALVATION.
3. A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
4. A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
5. A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
6. A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
7. A congregation committed to the HISTORICAL EDUCATION OF AFRICAN PEOPLE IN DIASPORA.
8. A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
9. A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
10. A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.

Click here to read about Dr. Wright’s talking points for Trinity United Church of Christ its Web site and the Black Value System.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

When I read your comments, I knew right away that you are coming from a completely different place that is no where close to understanding the black experience in America. I do not agree with Morgan Freeman, when you stop talking about something it doesn’t go away. It just becomes hidden and actually drives deeper wedges. Race in America is a reality. I apologize to inform you of this. I usually do not discuss it. I am a busy person and it is a hefty topic. I am discussing it here because I came across the article by Juan Williams and I thought I should state that I disagree. Just because Morgan Freeman says something doesn’t mean that it holds weight. It will not change my opinion. People have always thought like that. My grandmother was a fashion photography and moved to New York from the Caribbean in 1965. It was a shocker and an eye-opener for her. When she saw the state of this country, the land of “milk and honey”, she was appalled. When she moved into an apartment in Uptown, she was speaking to a few of the locals (all of which were black) and she told them that this isn’t the way this should be and don’ you want better. They told her no! “It’s life…move on”. My grandmother was I thought that the blacks who were protesting were starting trouble. In 1966-67, when Dr.King went to Chicago to combat the inner cities, many people thought that he was poking around looking for trouble that didn’t exist. The group included blacks and whites. Many saw him as a “troublemaker”, he was “anti-American”, he was a “glory hog” etc etc…When King died in 1968, it is known that many people cheered, not all but many. Kennedy is a liberal and he was for much of what King wanted in regards to racial equality and the combating of poverty. King was a national hero but history has been re-written to make it seem as if everyone was on his side both black and white when it wasn’t always the case. King was a radical. When I say “sanitized” and “pasteurized”, I am speaking about the fact that much of his legacy and words have been lost or edited. They are not pure and trust me; they did not sit well with many Americans at the time. He rose up against white supremacy, the U.S. and it did not play well. He also was prophetic to the social and economic issues that would plague black Americans for the next couple four decades. When he died, his popularity was down actually. His martyrdom changed him from a nuisance to a hero. The history of King has been clouded with nostalgia and amnesia.

The people who have carried forth his legacy have been lambasted. People in this country do not want to hear the experiences and feelings of black Americans, they do not.

“"Resisting" institutionalized racism and the residual effects of injustices of the past still present today is not going to be achieved by always looking for it, by obsessing over it, by excusing one's personal choices in life and situation at birth on racism…So how long do you carry the grudge? How long does one place blame upon what happened to one's ancestors centuries ago as the cause for one's state in life today?

“Centuries ago”…just to clear that aspect up; there are people who live today who have dealt with the humiliation, shame and pain of Jim Crow and extremely overt social injustice. I think that too many people like yourself have lead a life so deluded, you do not understand how deeply embedded it has been in our society. It is a part of American culture. It is not about blame; once again, it is about certain truths. Let me start with this for you. In my “introduction”, I had explained to you that Dr.King was moving his plight to north. He went first to Chicago where he forged protests and lived in the South Side of Chicago. He was shocked at the urban decay and conditions that people had to live under. The violent protests that he met in Chicago were far worse than those of the South. Towards the end of his life, he was fighting against “militarism, racism and poverty”. That quest was never truly reached. The plight of the inner city communities continued and even got worse. It has gotten very little attention. The poor schools, gentrification, pollution, poverty which leads to high crime, poor housing etc…

There was and still is prejudice in housing and realty. When my parents were trying to buy a house in 2000 in the suburbs of New York, they were locked out of most neighborhoods. It took them two years to find a decent home. Even when they moved in, it was obvious that the neighbors were upset. The person selling the house was trying to break contract. That was 2001. My parents kept positive. However they knew why they were facing these challenges.

My parents migrated from the Caribbean and never were exposed to racism, on a real level. When they came here, my mother in 1975 and my father in 1983, they were shocked and hurt. I am young. I was born in 1986, I have seen a great deal in my life. My parents never discussed race or racism really in my home other than when I would ask questions. I was taught by school teachers that everything ended in the 60s and things were just fine now. However it was indirect contradiction to what I had faced on a regular basis. The way people treated me was often painful and hard to deal with. The tensions that I grew up with in the 90s were too much for a young girl to understand. Along with dealing with tensions, I also suffered self esteem issues. I was taught to be ashamed of myself by those I met. I remember in the 3rd grade, I was told by my dance teacher that I could not be in “Swan Lake”. When I asked her why after I sat out the auditions, she told me that I was too dark. She said that she wanted only “angelic”, “pretty” and “delicate” girls to be in the play. It hurt. It hurt a lot more than the time when my friend Nicole’s grandmother slammed the door in my face when I came over to her house for pasta. She said that I was not allowed in and closed the door. I always thought that there was something wrong with me, personally. I was taught to view myself as inferior and unfortunately as a young girl, I took on that role. I did not understand our society to know that it was an issue that had to do with not me but with people who were ignorant and pre-judged me. I did not know my history because it was never taught in school properly. The events in my life just simply threw salt in a wound.

How do race profiteers like Sharpton and Jackson advance the dissolution of color? How can one look past skin color when it is always drummed up? When people constantly look for racism in everything?

This obsession over racial injustices perpetuates it; keeps racism alive when many people have moved beyond it. The ones who are racists are the ones still obsessed with race.

In 1997, I remember waking up one morning to go to school and hearing that a man had been shot 41 times not too far from where I lived in the Soundview section of the Bronx. I was always very distrusting up the police. I watched them once beat my older cousin for no reason. I always heard a story about them shooting my father’s friend in Brooklyn because he was in the wrong side of town. I did not understand why the police would shot a man 41 times. All he did was take his wallet out of his pocket and was shot down 41 times. I also remember them getting off. I remember that Al Sharpton was there aiding the family and asking for peace from the residents while demanding justice for the victim. He was not race-baiting. He was standing up to police brutality that has always been an issue in our community historically. My cousin Reema was always very afro-centric and the only reason why I was able to make sense of some things in society was because she was able to explain certain things to me. She was very proud of herself and her identity. My parents did not like her. They thought like Freeman. If it is discussed then you are “harping” on it. It however was not the answer. The feelings that I had turned into self-hate, anger, low self-esteem because they were never spoken about. My friend in middle school ( who was white) would tell me things that her parents would say about me. All of which would hurt. I actually believed that the things she said about me were true and I internalized them not knowing how poisonous they were. You see, Race was something that I would rather not think about because it always brought up feelings of shame and depression for me. However I could not avoid it growing up. When I hear people like you, it is almost like people think that blacks enjoy it. They do not. It is often hurtful and personal. When Don Imus, called those girls “nappy headed hos” last year, many thought that the situation was being overblown. However put yourself in my position, imagine being viewed as a “nappy headed ho”. I took it very personal because it simply hurt my feelings. Many people get away with making hurtful and offensive comments not caring or understanding how it affects others. I always think about that because I know how it feels to be dogged, uncared for, ridiculed etc… If we speak about it, we can hopefully change people. Remaining quiet as things go on do not solve the issues.

P.S. Did you hear Condi Rice’s comments in relation to race in America.

This isn't the 50's, 60's, or 70's. Those revolutionaries fought the battles that needed to be fought at the time; now, we have an impressive man who has a real shot at the presidency. And that's because we are not living in the 50,s or 60's. Yet so many liberal democrats seem to be stuck in the civil rights movement of the 60's. Obama's speech on race relations didn't express anything revelatory that conservatives haven't been preaching about for decades! Yet liberal journalists were just fawning over the speech like the greatest thing since sliced whole wheat bread. Where the hell have they been?! Wake up!

When people talk about that time, they simply call it the civil rights movement. However I call it the black liberation movements, there were multiple that were waged not only down South but up North and across the world. In the 50s and 60s, there was a fight for civil rights down South by Southern Christians. Dr.King was the leader of that movement. Cointelpro dismantled many of the more militant movements that were waged in parts outside of the South. However up North, there was a battle that had not been truly waged. Much of the frustration wasn’t dealt with. It simply just rode itself out. There was a new consciousness. My mother lived in Jamaica, a country that was under English rule and gained Independence in the 60s as did many African nations. Many began to take pride in themselves and their identity. There were political movements, arts movements, literary movements, new theologies with a basis in Christianity such as Black liberation theology began to emerge. This was a search for meaning and empowerment. In Jamaica, there was a caste system that was based on race and color. That began to break down when people began to resist. In everything from reggae like Bob Marley to literary movements began to bring a change in society that caused chaos but healthy reform. I will completely agree with you, I did not find Obama’s speech to be anything major. It was actually very safe in certain places. I believe that many people in general are not very exposed to that kind of thing so it was shocking, daring, a tear jerker, “more perfect union” etc… It was a good form of damage control but it did not express anything that I had not already known. In addition, please do not look as Obama and think that he is some tangible signal of racial equality. He is not.

Rev.Wright is very much that resistant voice and much of what he was talking about was modern and relevant. What you perceive as modern and relevant I say is hyperbolic race-mongering and should be relegated as a relic of the past, if we are to move beyond race.
Wright's words are nothing but divisive and harmful to racial peace and harmony.

Peace and harmony are too often based on fallacies and utopia. They must be based on truth. If the truth can break your “peace and harmony” so easily then your “peace and harmony” was built on nothing. If you do not understand what modern and relevant issues in our society are then I do not feel the need to explain it to you. Please read “Obama, Wright and the Unacceptability of Truth” by Tim Wise.

“hyperbolic race-mongering and should be relegated as a relic of the past”

Wow, that was pretty ignorant. Stop watching TV and wake up!

You're right. Some of those old racist beliefs are now hidden out of sight because racism is not "vogue" and "politically correct". And besides closet racists, there are those who think they are not racist, yet are themselves victims of "institutionalized racism" that has colored their views in subtle ways, despite their best efforts to be on guard against it.

I don’t know understand in the end what you are trying to say?

But you know what? Blacks are just as much responsible for this as much as "the institution" itself.

I think I know what you are saying but I do not want to assume? What are you saying?


Do you have any transcripts where he has expressed appreciation for this country? Love of being an American?

He put his life on the line as a U.S. Marine. This is something that many proud Americans who like to go on witch hunts for people who are “anti-American” wouldn’t do. It is not your position to question anyone’s patriotism. “Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism”. What many have is nationalism. There is a difference between the two.

Senator Obama said on The View that Reverend Wright has sorta apologized, yet can you point me to any example of where he's issued a public apology, retraction, explanation, clarification for his "cherry-picked" "taken out of context" remarks?

He does not need to apologize.

The problem, as I understand it, isn't so much "a few nuggets" cherry-picked by the media, but a worldview, as expressed on Trinity United Church of Christ's own website.

What is this worldview that offends you so much?

That's nice. His "cherry-picked" comments kind of goes against the grain on the above, doesn't it?

If the above is the case- that it represents more the "true" message of Reverend Wright as a unifying, positive figure, why should Senator Obama cave in to the political pressures of the media? A media that is just as quick to fawn over him? Why distance himself from a man he's called a "mentor" and "spiritual guide" of the last 20 years? It makes him look like nothing more than another empty-suit politician who will say anything to get elected, since his half-assed explanation/apology/distancing is two decades too late. Senator Obama's already contradicted himself in trying to salvage political damage control.

I am not in support of how Obama handled Wright. Obama was backed into the corner by people who had an agenda to attack him using his church for over a year now. Obama simply did the easiest thing. I wouldn’t have done or said some of the things he did or say but it is him. If he did not cave into the “political pressures” of the majority then he would have committed political suicide because certain people will not be satisfied until he had Wright’s head on a platter.


Uh…yeah, and if the Church is indicative of Obama's worldview, then good Lord, I want no part of his bringing that mindset to the Oval Office.

What is this world view?

Exactly! And that's the problem, isn't it? That he and I seem to share diametrically opposing views, politically and in areas of social justice and race relations.

You and him are different people; different people with different experiences. It is called diversity.

Referring to "his people" tells me he is still "stuck on race", stuck on skin complexion.

He is empowering a group of people who happen to be the same race as him who have been left to feel powerless due to circumstance. Does that sound better to you?

One of Senator Obama's strong appeal to those from ALL walks of life, is that he once appeared to transcend race; that he was above it as a transracial, poly-racial candidate.

With his race relations speech, that's no longer the case. Now he is running as "the black" candidate rather than "the people's" candidate who happens to be black (forget for a moment a mixed heritage).

Then people were supporting him for the wrong reasons. You are very simple in you think I might add and you filter everything through your experience. That makes it hard to be able to understand those who are different from you. I thought I should include that. If people were voting for Obama because they were able to forget that he was not white then they were voting for him for all the wrong reasons. Obama has always made it his intention to understand people from all walks of life. He did not live in his church; he also was a part of other institutions. All of his experiences have allowed him to understand the various experiences that make up the American experience.
.
And what do you suppose McCain's reason was at the time, to vote against it?

I am not sure but what I do know is that he voted against and also fought from making it a holiday in his state.

Why do you feel he now acknowledges "it was a mistake"?

I know why he acknowledges why it was a mistake and that is why he went down there. To pay his respects and open up about his past mistake.

And was that label based upon 100% racism; or did he give them any legitimate cause for concern?

He was speaking the truth. They did not want to hear it. They were against much of what he was saying towards the end of his life.

J. Edgar Hoover the head of the FBI was always obsessive and hateful of King. Hoover also orchestrated the framings and killings of black leaders from other movements. He based it in his fear of communism but it was based on his fear of the black social movements.

How do you know this? How can anyone say what a person will say, 40 years in maturation? The King of the 60's might agree with you; but who really can say how MLK Jr. would have evolved 4 decades after the civil rights struggle of the 60's? Perhaps you are right, that he would not have denounced Reverend Wright, and would empathize where he is "coming from". But would he share those views, expressed?

Well just to let you know this, King was fighting against the system (militarism and poverty) as well as racism in America that resulted in destructive behavior and the treatment of a group of people as sub-human and second class citizens. I feel that he would understand Wright and where is coming from because he to has made those same assertions. Many who have known King have said that he would have been both happy with progress however sad with progress not made. Many of the battles that he began to fight at the end of his life was left undone and are even worse off than they were then. Many of those issues are what Rev.Wright was talking about. Many black leaders who have aided King and knew him closely as well as those who around then and knew him closely have all came out defending Wright to various degrees.



In addition, I am sick of people comparing black people to other black people.

I feel that too often blacks cannot be individuals. That’s it.


Then they should express themselves as individuals and disavow representing "their people", unless what they mean by it, is "the American people". I'll even accept, here, the liberal "global village".

Individuality means being able to live without people holding a stigma over you because of who you are. If a black guy robs are store then every black guys is terrorized because of it. When a white man does it, he doesn’t have that problem.

You can preach your every man for themselves but if blacks were like that then there would still be Jim Crow. There is a place where are person can be an individual within a collective community. I do not know how to explain it to you. I was once thought like that but I realized how much of a difference I could make if I helped those who needed aide. I am a caring person, I apologize. It is very hard to explain to you the need for community however I believe that certain issues in American society are endemic and the only way to combat things is if one is a part of a strong and nurturing community.

Why preach Afro-centric philosophy? How is that anything but segregating and divisive?

I always realized that whites had a problem with anything afro-centric. However it is okay to celebrate a world that is euro-centric. The hypocrisy in that is staggering. White has become normalized in a way that anything that is not traditional to it is divisive, segregated, distorted etc… When I found true pride in myself was in high school when I began to venture on my own. I studied real black history. I began to read books by black authors and scholars. I studied African Art. I studied the history and evolution of black music and culture throughout the African Diaspora. I learned about social movements. I discovered black feminist theory and thought. I began to meet and engage in discourse with people who shared my experiences which combated be feeling like I was alone with certain issues. I felt a sense of empowerment. My childhood self-hate evaporated. I became a functioning person is society because I found meaning and identity. Being proud in my own skin, I was able to love myself as well as others. I have a muti-racial group of friends and I celebrate who they are also. I have never segregated myself because I have repositioned things around me to be more afro-centric rather than euro-centric. If you do not understand and live the experience then you do not understand it.



It is so sad that Juan Williams who knows nothing

He is making blanket and simple statements.

He's come pretty far in life for someone who "knows nothing".

That is usually how it works.

What makes you assume he's drawn his "caricature" of Reverend Wright from the media portrayal?

It is obvious by the way he speaks.

I agree that the media focuses on the senational. But what I've heard is more than just cherry-picked quotes, taken out of context; it is an overall mindset, and worldview ideology, as expressed on the Church website.

Once again,

What do I expect though from somebody from Fox Noise.Which reveals your own biases, right there. Yes, FOX News, which was the network who broke the Bush drunken-driving record story, moments before the 2000 election, costing votes.FOX only seems "far right", because all other networks have moved the center so far over to the left. Finally conservatives have ONE news network that is center-right, and successful, and it drives liberals nuts. Before FOX news came along, conservatives have had to get their news from liberal-leaning news sources. You want to talk about "institutionalized racism"? What about "Institutionalized liberalism"?

So you know after making your judgments, I am a former conservative turned independent because I do not like liberals nor conservatives. I am pretty moderate. I find that conservatives are not tolerant of diversity. Diversity has nothing to do with race but more to do with culture. My great-grandmother is from Syria and my cousins are half Jordanian and half Jamaican. The Islam phobic tirades have gotten to me. Many of the things that I hear on Fox News Channel along with conservative blogs and radio are often very narrow-minded in relation to people who are unlike themselves. That simply turned me off. I began to see the party as one wrapped in the flag with a cross in one hand and a gun in the other. I don’t mean to misjudge but I felt the need to leave the party last year. I am also not in support of the war. I have come to not only dislike but despise the people on Fox such as Bill O’Relliey and Sean Hannity.



P.S. I did not proof read anything so hopefully you get the gist. I am an extremely busy girl. However I always try and squeeze in time to engage in meaningful discourse.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

I just read your new comments. I am hoping after my response, you get it.

You do not seem to understand why someone will celebrate afro-centrism because who you are has been normalized.

It is possible my friend to be able to celebrate oneself and be a part of a larger community. There are the Greek Orthodox Church, there was an Italian assembly at the Catholic church that I was raised in etc... It is possible.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Your understanding of what is going on around you is about you looking around and not understanding the more complex picture, the more complex foundation that has created it.

Translation: You don't know what you are talking about unless you buy into the liberal worldview on race, culture, history.

I grew up in a intergrated neighborhood, my parents are not middle classed, they are upper classed. They are from the Caribbean and studied aboard. Do you think that they have their head in the sand when it comes to our society works and operates? Do you think that they dont know about institutionalized racism? They smile and they are always friendly and bite their tongues but the truth....they understand.

And so, what do you say to the first generation immigrants to this country who do not share your parents' opinions? Do you casually dismiss them, as you did Juan Williams by saying "they know nothing", simply because you have a differing opinion from them?

What do you say to Thomas Sowell, who wrote "Black Rednecks and White Liberals", as well as countless other books and articles that don't reflect one iota, your opinions on institutionalized racism and black victimhood?


Many of the people in Wright's church are professors, doctors, lawyers, professionals as well as the downtrodden.

How are they able to be successful and rich in such an institutionally racist country as America? Reverend Wright preaches about: "the color of poverty in the world of wealth" That it's "no accident that they see the world's poor are one color and the world's richest are another color"?


You know nothing about the man's church or the man. You guys have drawn up a caricature entirely your own.

I don't know him personally, no. (Do you?). But insofar as we are able to judge anyone (Ever met President Bush? Yet I'm sure you have an opinion about him as well), I'd say he lives up to the "caricature".


Mission Statement: What Trinity Is About:

Trinity United Church of Christ has been called by God to be a congregation that is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that does not apologize for its African roots! As a congregation of baptized believers, we are called to be agents of liberation not only for the oppressed, but for all of God’s family. We, as a church family, acknowledge, that we will, building on this affirmation of "who we are" and "whose we are," call men, women, boys and girls to the liberating love of Jesus Christ, inviting them to become a part of the church universal, responding to Jesus’ command that we go into all the world and make disciples!

We are called out to be "a chosen people" that pays no attention to socio-economic or educational backgrounds. We are made up of the highly educated and the uneducated. Our congregation is a combination of the haves and the have-nots; the economically disadvantaged, the under-class, the unemployed and the employable.

The fortunate who are among us combine forces with the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!

W.E.B. DuBois indicated that the problem in the 20th century was going to be the problem of the color line. He was absolutely correct. Our job as servants of God is to address that problem and eradicate it in the name of Him who came for the whole world by calling all men, women, boys and girls to Christ.


I have some understanding of the needs of minority groups to find commonality and bond with those of shared backgrounds.

But Reverend Wright doesn't speak to ALL people (unless they embrace his Afro-zinntric perspective and propaganda). He speaks on behalf of blacks who share the victimology doctrine.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

When I read your comments, I knew right away that you are coming from a completely different place that is no where close to understanding the black experience in America. I do not agree with Morgan Freeman, when you stop talking about something it doesn’t go away. It just becomes hidden and actually drives deeper wedges. Race in America is a reality. I apologize to inform you of this. I usually do not discuss it. I am a busy person and it is a hefty topic. I am discussing it here because I came across the article by Juan Williams and I thought I should state that I disagree. Just because Morgan Freeman says something doesn’t mean that it holds weight. It will not change my opinion. People have always thought like that. My grandmother was a fashion photography and moved to New York from the Caribbean in 1965. It was a shocker and an eye-opener for her. When she saw the state of this country, the land of “milk and honey”, she was appalled. When she moved into an apartment in Uptown, she was speaking to a few of the locals (all of which were black) and she told them that this isn’t the way this should be and don’ you want better. They told her no! “It’s life…move on”. My grandmother was I thought that the blacks who were protesting were starting trouble. In 1966-67, when Dr.King went to Chicago to combat the inner cities, many people thought that he was poking around looking for trouble that didn’t exist. The group included blacks and whites. Many saw him as a “troublemaker”, he was “anti-American”, he was a “glory hog” etc etc…When King died in 1968, it is known that many people cheered, not all but many. Kennedy is a liberal and he was for much of what King wanted in regards to racial equality and the combating of poverty. King was a national hero but history has been re-written to make it seem as if everyone was on his side both black and white when it wasn’t always the case. King was a radical. When I say “sanitized” and “pasteurized”, I am speaking about the fact that much of his legacy and words have been lost or edited. They are not pure and trust me; they did not sit well with many Americans at the time. He rose up against white supremacy, the U.S. and it did not play well. He also was prophetic to the social and economic issues that would plague black Americans for the next couple four decades. When he died, his popularity was down actually. His martyrdom changed him from a nuisance to a hero. The history of King has been clouded with nostalgia and amnesia.

The people who have carried forth his legacy have been lambasted. People in this country do not want to hear the experiences and feelings of black Americans, they do not.

“"Resisting" institutionalized racism and the residual effects of injustices of the past still present today is not going to be achieved by always looking for it, by obsessing over it, by excusing one's personal choices in life and situation at birth on racism…So how long do you carry the grudge? How long does one place blame upon what happened to one's ancestors centuries ago as the cause for one's state in life today?”

“Centuries ago”…just to clear that aspect up; there are people who live today who have dealt with the humiliation, shame and pain of Jim Crow and extremely overt social injustice. I think that too many people like yourself have lead a life so deluded, you do not understand how deeply embedded it has been in our society. It is a part of American culture. It is not about blame; once again, it is about certain truths. Let me start with this for you. In my “introduction”, I had explained to you that Dr.King was moving his plight to north. He went first to Chicago where he forged protests and lived in the South Side of Chicago. He was shocked at the urban decay and conditions that people had to live under. The violent protests that he met in Chicago were far worse than those of the South. Towards the end of his life, he was fighting against “militarism, racism and poverty”. That quest was never truly reached. The plight of the inner city communities continued and even got worse. It has gotten very little attention. The poor schools, gentrification, pollution, poverty which leads to high crime, poor housing etc…

There was and still is prejudice in housing and realty. When my parents were trying to buy a house in 2000 in the suburbs of New York, they were locked out of most neighborhoods. It took them two years to find a decent home. Even when they moved in, it was obvious that the neighbors were upset. The person selling the house was trying to break contract. That was 2001. My parents kept positive. However they knew why they were facing these challenges.

My parents migrated from the Caribbean and never were exposed to racism, on a real level. When they came here, my mother in 1975 and my father in 1983, they were shocked and hurt. I am young. I was born in 1986, I have seen a great deal in my life. My parents never discussed race or racism really in my home other than when I would ask questions. I was taught by school teachers that everything ended in the 60s and things were just fine now. However it was indirect contradiction to what I had faced on a regular basis. The way people treated me was often painful and hard to deal with. The tensions that I grew up with in the 90s were too much for a young girl to understand. Along with dealing with tensions, I also suffered self esteem issues. I was taught to be ashamed of myself by those I met. I remember in the 3rd grade, I was told by my dance teacher that I could not be in “Swan Lake”. When I asked her why after I sat out the auditions, she told me that I was too dark. She said that she wanted only “angelic”, “pretty” and “delicate” girls to be in the play. It hurt. It hurt a lot more than the time when my friend Nicole’s grandmother slammed the door in my face when I came over to her house for pasta. She said that I was not allowed in and closed the door. I always thought that there was something wrong with me, personally. I was taught to view myself as inferior and unfortunately as a young girl, I took on that role. I did not understand our society to know that it was an issue that had to do with not me but with people who were ignorant and pre-judged me. I did not know my history because it was never taught in school properly. The events in my life just simply threw salt in a wound.


How do race profiteers like Sharpton and Jackson advance the dissolution of color? How can one look past skin color when it is always drummed up? When people constantly look for racism in everything?

This obsession over racial injustices perpetuates it; keeps racism alive when many people have moved beyond it. The ones who are racists are the ones still obsessed with race.


In 1997, I remember waking up one morning to go to school and hearing that a man had been shot 41 times not too far from where I lived in the Soundview section of the Bronx. I was always very distrusting up the police. I watched them once beat my older cousin for no reason. I always heard a story about them shooting my father’s friend in Brooklyn because he was in the wrong side of town. I did not understand why the police would shot a man 41 times. All he did was take his wallet out of his pocket and was shot down 41 times. I also remember them getting off. I remember that Al Sharpton was there aiding the family and asking for peace from the residents while demanding justice for the victim. He was not race-baiting. He was standing up to police brutality that has always been an issue in our community historically. My cousin Reema was always very afro-centric and the only reason why I was able to make sense of some things in society was because she was able to explain certain things to me. She was very proud of herself and her identity. My parents did not like her. They thought like Freeman. If it is discussed then you are “harping” on it. It however was not the answer. The feelings that I had turned into self-hate, anger, low self-esteem because they were never spoken about. My friend in middle school ( who was white) would tell me things that her parents would say about me. All of which would hurt. I actually believed that the things she said about me were true and I internalized them not knowing how poisonous they were. You see, Race was something that I would rather not think about because it always brought up feelings of shame and depression for me. However I could not avoid it growing up. When I hear people like you, it is almost like people think that blacks enjoy it. They do not. It is often hurtful and personal. When Don Imus, called those girls “nappy headed hos” last year, many thought that the situation was being overblown. However put yourself in my position, imagine being viewed as a “nappy headed ho”. I took it very personal because it simply hurt my feelings. Many people get away with making hurtful and offensive comments not caring or understanding how it affects others. I always think about that because I know how it feels to be dogged, uncared for, ridiculed etc… If we speak about it, we can hopefully change people. Remaining quiet as things go on do not solve the issues.

P.S. Did you hear Condi Rice’s comments in relation to race in America.


This isn't the 50's, 60's, or 70's. Those revolutionaries fought the battles that needed to be fought at the time; now, we have an impressive man who has a real shot at the presidency. And that's because we are not living in the 50,s or 60's. Yet so many liberal democrats seem to be stuck in the civil rights movement of the 60's. Obama's speech on race relations didn't express anything revelatory that conservatives haven't been preaching about for decades! Yet liberal journalists were just fawning over the speech like the greatest thing since sliced whole wheat bread. Where the hell have they been?! Wake up!

When people talk about that time, they simply call it the civil rights movement. However I call it the black liberation movements, there were multiple that were waged not only down South but up North and across the world. In the 50s and 60s, there was a fight for civil rights down South by Southern Christians. Dr.King was the leader of that movement. Cointelpro dismantled many of the more militant movements that were waged in parts outside of the South. However up North, there was a battle that had not been truly waged. Much of the frustration wasn’t dealt with. It simply just rode itself out. There was a new consciousness. My mother lived in Jamaica, a country that was under English rule and gained Independence in the 60s as did many African nations. Many began to take pride in themselves and their identity. There were political movements, arts movements, literary movements, new theologies with a basis in Christianity such as Black liberation theology began to emerge. This was a search for meaning and empowerment. In Jamaica, there was a caste system that was based on race and color. That began to break down when people began to resist. In everything from reggae like Bob Marley to literary movements began to bring a change in society that caused chaos but healthy reform. I will completely agree with you, I did not find Obama’s speech to be anything major. It was actually very safe in certain places. I believe that many people in general are not very exposed to that kind of thing so it was shocking, daring, a tear jerker, “more perfect union” etc… It was a good form of damage control but it did not express anything that I had not already known. In addition, please do not look as Obama and think that he is some tangible signal of racial equality. He is not.



Rev.Wright is very much that resistant voice and much of what he was talking about was modern and relevant. What you perceive as modern and relevant I say is hyperbolic race-mongering and should be relegated as a relic of the past, if we are to move beyond race.
Wright's words are nothing but divisive and harmful to racial peace and harmony.

Peace and harmony are too often based on fallacies and utopia. They must be based on truth. If the truth can break your “peace and harmony” so easily then your “peace and harmony” was built on nothing. If you do not understand what modern and relevant issues in our society are then I do not feel the need to explain it to you. Please read “Obama, Wright and the Unacceptability of Truth” by Tim Wise.



“hyperbolic race-mongering and should be relegated as a relic of the past”

Wow, that was pretty ignorant. Stop watching TV and wake up!



You're right. Some of those old racist beliefs are now hidden out of sight because racism is not "vogue" and "politically correct". And besides closet racists, there are those who think they are not racist, yet are themselves victims of "institutionalized racism" that has colored their views in subtle ways, despite their best efforts to be on guard against it.

I don’t know understand in the end what you are trying to say?



But you know what? Blacks are just as much responsible for this as much as "the institution" itself.

I think I know what you are saying but I do not want to assume? What are you saying?




Do you have any transcripts where he has expressed appreciation for this country? Love of being an American?

He put his life on the line as a U.S. Marine. This is something that many proud Americans who like to go on witch hunts for people who are “anti-American” wouldn’t do. It is not your position to question anyone’s patriotism. “Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism”. What many have is nationalism. There is a difference between the two.



Senator Obama said on The View that Reverend Wright has sorta apologized, yet can you point me to any example of where he's issued a public apology, retraction, explanation, clarification for his "cherry-picked" "taken out of context" remarks?

He does not need to apologize.



The problem, as I understand it, isn't so much "a few nuggets" cherry-picked by the media, but a worldview, as expressed on Trinity United Church of Christ's own website.

What is this worldview that offends you so much?

That's nice. His "cherry-picked" comments kind of goes against the grain on the above, doesn't it?

If the above is the case- that it represents more the "true" message of Reverend Wright as a unifying, positive figure, why should Senator Obama cave in to the political pressures of the media? A media that is just as quick to fawn over him? Why distance himself from a man he's called a "mentor" and "spiritual guide" of the last 20 years? It makes him look like nothing more than another empty-suit politician who will say anything to get elected, since his half-assed explanation/apology/distancing is two decades too late. Senator Obama's already contradicted himself in trying to salvage political damage control.

I am not in support of how Obama handled Wright. Obama was backed into the corner by people who had an agenda to attack him using his church for over a year now. Obama simply did the easiest thing. I wouldn’t have done or said some of the things he did or say but it is him. If he did not cave into the “political pressures” of the majority then he would have committed political suicide because certain people will not be satisfied until he had Wright’s head on a platter.



Uh…yeah, and if the Church is indicative of Obama's worldview, then good Lord, I want no part of his bringing that mindset to the Oval Office.

What is this world view?



Exactly! And that's the problem, isn't it? That he and I seem to share diametrically opposing views, politically and in areas of social justice and race relations.

You and him are different people; different people with different experiences. It is called diversity.



Referring to "his people" tells me he is still "stuck on race", stuck on skin complexion.

He is empowering a group of people who happen to be the same race as him who have been left to feel powerless due to circumstance. Does that sound better to you?


One of Senator Obama's strong appeal to those from ALL walks of life, is that he once appeared to transcend race; that he was above it as a transracial, poly-racial candidate.

With his race relations speech, that's no longer the case. Now he is running as "the black" candidate rather than "the people's" candidate who happens to be black (forget for a moment a mixed heritage).

Then people were supporting him for the wrong reasons. You are very simple in you think I might add and you filter everything through your experience. That makes it hard to be able to understand those who are different from you. I thought I should include that. If people were voting for Obama because they were able to forget that he was not white then they were voting for him for all the wrong reasons. Obama has always made it his intention to understand people from all walks of life. He did not live in his church; he also was a part of other institutions. All of his experiences have allowed him to understand the various experiences that make up the American experience.
.

And what do you suppose McCain's reason was at the time, to vote against it?

I am not sure but what I do know is that he voted against and also fought from making it a holiday in his state.


Why do you feel he now acknowledges "it was a mistake"?

I know why he acknowledges why it was a mistake and that is why he went down there. To pay his respects and open up about his past mistake.



And was that label based upon 100% racism; or did he give them any legitimate cause for concern?

He was speaking the truth. They did not want to hear it. They were against much of what he was saying towards the end of his life.

J. Edgar Hoover the head of the FBI was always obsessive and hateful of King. Hoover also orchestrated the framings and killings of black leaders from other movements. He based it in his fear of communism but it was based on his fear of the black social movements.



How do you know this? How can anyone say what a person will say, 40 years in maturation? The King of the 60's might agree with you; but who really can say how MLK Jr. would have evolved 4 decades after the civil rights struggle of the 60's? Perhaps you are right, that he would not have denounced Reverend Wright, and would empathize where he is "coming from". But would he share those views, expressed?

Well just to let you know this, King was fighting against the system (militarism and poverty) as well as racism in America that resulted in destructive behavior and the treatment of a group of people as sub-human and second class citizens. I feel that he would understand Wright and where is coming from because he to has made those same assertions. Many who have known King have said that he would have been both happy with progress however sad with progress not made. Many of the battles that he began to fight at the end of his life was left undone and are even worse off than they were then. Many of those issues are what Rev.Wright was talking about. Many black leaders who have aided King and knew him closely as well as those who around then and knew him closely have all came out defending Wright to various degrees.



In addition, I am sick of people comparing black people to other black people.

I feel that too often blacks cannot be individuals. That’s it.


Then they should express themselves as individuals and disavow representing "their people", unless what they mean by it, is "the American people". I'll even accept, here, the liberal "global village".


Individuality means being able to live without people holding a stigma over you because of who you are. If a black guy robs are store then every black guys is terrorized because of it. When a white man does it, he doesn’t have that problem.

You can preach your every man for themselves but if blacks were like that then there would still be Jim Crow. There is a place where are person can be an individual within a collective community. I do not know how to explain it to you. I was once thought like that but I realized how much of a difference I could make if I helped those who needed aide. I am a caring person, I apologize. It is very hard to explain to you the need for community however I believe that certain issues in American society are endemic and the only way to combat things is if one is a part of a strong and nurturing community.

Why preach Afro-centric philosophy? How is that anything but segregating and divisive?


I always realized that whites had a problem with anything afro-centric. However it is okay to celebrate a world that is euro-centric. The hypocrisy in that is staggering. White has become normalized in a way that anything that is not traditional to it is divisive, segregated, distorted etc… When I found true pride in myself was in high school when I began to venture on my own. I studied real black history. I began to read books by black authors and scholars. I studied African Art. I studied the history and evolution of black music and culture throughout the African Diaspora. I learned about social movements. I discovered black feminist theory and thought. I began to meet and engage in discourse with people who shared my experiences which combated be feeling like I was alone with certain issues. I felt a sense of empowerment. My childhood self-hate evaporated. I became a functioning person is society because I found meaning and identity. Being proud in my own skin, I was able to love myself as well as others. I have a muti-racial group of friends and I celebrate who they are also. I have never segregated myself because I have repositioned things around me to be more afro-centric rather than euro-centric. If you do not understand and live the experience then you do not understand it.



It is so sad that Juan Williams who knows nothing

He is making blanket and simple statements.

He's come pretty far in life for someone who "knows nothing".

That is usually how it works.

What makes you assume he's drawn his "caricature" of Reverend Wright from the media portrayal?

It is obvious by the way he speaks.

I agree that the media focuses on the senational. But what I've heard is more than just cherry-picked quotes, taken out of context; it is an overall mindset, and worldview ideology, as expressed on the Church website.

Once again,

What do I expect though from somebody from Fox Noise.Which reveals your own biases, right there. Yes, FOX News, which was the network who broke the Bush drunken-driving record story, moments before the 2000 election, costing votes.FOX only seems "far right", because all other networks have moved the center so far over to the left. Finally conservatives have ONE news network that is center-right, and successful, and it drives liberals nuts. Before FOX news came along, conservatives have had to get their news from liberal-leaning news sources. You want to talk about "institutionalized racism"? What about "Institutionalized liberalism"?


So you know after making your judgments, I am a former conservative turned independent because I do not like liberals nor conservatives. I am pretty moderate. I find that conservatives are not tolerant of diversity. Diversity has nothing to do with race but more to do with culture. My great-grandmother is from Syria and my cousins are half Jordanian and half Jamaican. The Islam phobic tirades have gotten to me. Many of the things that I hear on Fox News Channel along with conservative blogs and radio are often very narrow-minded in relation to people who are unlike themselves. That simply turned me off. I began to see the party as one wrapped in the flag with a cross in one hand and a gun in the other. I don’t mean to misjudge but I felt the need to leave the party last year. I am also not in support of the war. I have come to not only dislike but despise the people on Fox such as Bill O’Relliey and Sean Hannity.



P.S. I did not proof read anything so hopefully you get the gist. I am an extremely busy girl. However I always try and squeeze in time to engage in meaningful discourse.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I just read your new comments. I am hoping after my response, you get it.

Lol....I am still running through all of your previous ones, so it will take me a while to catch up.

Thanks for taking the time and efforts, though.

You do not seem to understand why someone will celebrate afro-centrism because who you are has been normalized.

Is this statement specific to afro-centrism, or can it be applied for all those who celebrate ethnic pride and heritage? For those who want to be on guard against "white-wash"?

It is possible my friend to be able to celebrate oneself and be a part of a larger community. There are the Greek Orthodox Church, there was an Italian assembly at the Catholic church that I was raised in etc... It is possible.

Absolutely! More on this later...

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

I used to be a black conservative. I followed and believed what they were saying until I began to actually see things for myself. When I say that he doesnt know anyhting I am refering to this particular situation. I have been to Trinity and the Reverend orchestrated the ministry for my friend (who have met in college) whose mother died of AIDS when she was younger. She is from Chicago and her family was refered to the Church for its ministry. My friend and her brother were orphaned. The church helped them. That is my connection to Trinity. I have been there when I went to go visit her neighborhood in 2005. That is why I say that Williams is making blanket assumptions.

In addition, I have dug deeper than simply the surface. Superficial thinking leads to assumptions.

Monday, April 07, 2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Wow!!!

You got quite a cherry tree going here Wordsmith.

I thought I had an enabler of victimology and someone who always had an excuse and never an explanation for black racism commenting at my blog but you are packing the pews here brother Wordsmith!

Obviously there is a HUGE element of truth in what Juan Williams and others have said about Obama and Rev. Wright for the enablers of victimhood to devote so many words trying to obfuscate the issue.

I can only relate my personal experience as a resident of some years in the District of Columbia. A city where nearly all elected officals are black, where per pupil spending for education consistently ranks at the top and school performance ranks at the bottom.

And every time someone pointed out how bad the school system and city government in DC were the race card was instantly played to avoid any accountability.

Though it was hard for them to say that "white greed" was holding black students down they tried anyway.

It's hard to see how the black community, especially in so many urban areas like DC, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans, etc. will ever reach beyond the plantation mentality of victimhood that keeps them enslaved to a failed liberal ideology.

Monday, April 07, 2008 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

Yea, I tried to open up discourse but I know what I am dealing with so I will not bother. As for the person above, if you read what I had to say and actually cared then you would get the connection.

I learned not to waste my time. Mike yea, you remind me of the young Republicans I had to ride on a bus with to Washington D.C. Probably why I went independent.

I attend Columbia. I never play any victim to anyone and anything. I just speak truth where it is necessary but you guys are just so simple minded because you have your already set ideologies and you chose to be defensive all of the time.

Please dont stand up from the outside and judge. I made that mistake and it was a bad mistake.

Thanks for the conversation, it was interesting.

Monday, April 07, 2008 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

P.S. I am not making excuses. Obviously, I am well off but I am well off because my parents are well off. I couldnt imagine starting so far from the bottom as the kids I interact with at the school I volunteer in. Nonetheless once again you come with your already made up feelings regardless of what I am saying.

Monday, April 07, 2008 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

RhondaCoca = racist enabler!

Monday, April 07, 2008 4:13:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

I don't have time to read through all these comments right now. Just wanted to thank you Wordsmith for listening to the sermons. I'll read your take on them later on.

Monday, April 07, 2008 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

rhonda,

I can't keep up with your comments in a timely fashion and you sound like you understand what it's like to lead a busy life. So just bear with me.

I'll skip some of your previous comments for now, and start with where you replied to some of my recent comments.

Thanks for your time and patience.

When I read your comments, I knew right away that you are coming from a completely different place that is no where close to understanding the black experience in America.

While it's true that I'm not black, and can therefore only imagine and try as much as I can to empathize with the "black experience", I'd also say that the converse then, is also true: that blacks don't know what it must be like to be non-black talking about race issues, from a non-black perspective. Do not both perspectives have validity?


I do not agree with Morgan Freeman, when you stop talking about something it doesn’t go away. It just becomes hidden and actually drives deeper wedges.

This is what I was worried about: That some who do not share his opinion, will misconstrue what he means when he says "stop talking about it". He doesn't mean put your hands over your ears and eyes and mouth, and ignore the problem. He's saying quit fabricating the problem, imagining slights and offenses that exists only in paranoid minds. Quit perpetuating the cycle of racism by obsessing over it so much.


Race in America is a reality.

As opposed to race in......non-American societies? Other countries don't have race issues?

In my experience, America is the least racist country. Your experience may be different than mine; but it doesn't invalidate my experience.

I've also met some blacks who perceived racism, where none existed. They simply "jumped the gun" and misinterpreted behavior that was not motivated by racism, believing themselves singled out, when they were not singled out, but treated the same way that others were treated- with scrutiny by an in-store detective. I have no doubt that there have been blacks unfairly followed around in stores; but in this instance, the shoppers felt looked at, not realizing that their behavior of being aware of being looked at, prompted even more attention; and that prior to it, the in-store detective was treating them with the same level of awareness that he treated every single person that stepped into the store. He was doing his job by profiling BEHAVIOR.

I know this for a fact, because that in-store detective was me.

I apologize to inform you of this.

Why? And what makes you assume you are saying anything new, that's not been heard before?

I usually do not discuss it. I am a busy person and it is a hefty topic.

Believe me: I'm short on time myself, which is why my blogging habits have slowed down of late, as well as my responses. Given that you've typed out a lot, and I don't want you to feel like you've wasted your time here, I want to engage you as honestly and as thoughtfully as I can.


I am discussing it here because I came across the article by Juan Williams and I thought I should state that I disagree.

I'm happy that you did. I want you to be able to feel welcomed here, to express disagreement.

Just because Morgan Freeman says something doesn’t mean that it holds weight.

Of course not; Morgan Freeman does not speak for all blacks any more than a Reverend Wright speaks for the one and only "legitimate" black experience.

But Morgan Freeman got to speak his mind to millions of living rooms across America; his celebrity status gave him a forum to express an opinion and it is right for others to use it as a springboard to express agreement or disagreement.


King was a national hero but history has been re-written to make it seem as if everyone was on his side both black and white when it wasn’t always the case. King was a radical. When I say “sanitized” and “pasteurized”, I am speaking about the fact that much of his legacy and words have been lost or edited. They are not pure and trust me; they did not sit well with many Americans at the time.

I absolutely agree! And MLK has basically been sanctified, so that it is "dangerous" to express anything except reverence, unless you wish to be branded a racist bigot. It's the problem with many great men who have died. They are in a sense, deified. It becomes "not right" to do anything except lavish praise on King, the Founding Fathers, Lincoln, and all those great leaders who we hold up onto a pedestal.

King was a great man, and yes a radical who influenced the direction of American history for the better. He has inspired so many- even the "myth" of his legacy- the "santization" as you call it, rather than his actual legacy has done good.

That said, I am not above saying I disagree with his views on the Vietnam War, and other issues. But I recognize his greatness on advancing the civil rights movement for the better.


His martyrdom changed him from a nuisance to a hero. The history of King has been clouded with nostalgia and amnesia.

I agree; but I also agree with Thomas Sowell, who thinks some of those who lay claim to representing the King legacy, are merely stuck with yesterdecade's rhetoric to deal with today's problems:
Yet the speakers on the 40th anniversary of that occasion clearly rejected the idea of a color-blind society. These were no longer demands for equal treatment but for special benefits, based on the color of their skin. Speakers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson certainly can't afford to be judged by the content of their character.

The aging veterans of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s keep fighting the wars of the past with the rhetoric of the past, while the very different problems and opportunities of the present are either not addressed or are given prescriptions that fit an earlier time and a different disease.

Not only have the times changed, so have the demographic realities that translate into political realities.



The people who have carried forth his legacy have been lambasted. People in this country do not want to hear the experiences and feelings of black Americans, they do not.

Are you kidding me?! By "feelings of black Americans", you certainly don't mean the feelings and experiences of the Thomas Sowells, Juan Williams, Shelby Steeles, Armstrong Williams, Clarence Thomases, Booker T. Washingtons, J.C. Wattses, Ken Blackwells, Michael Steeles and also people like Keith Richburg.

And for the last 40 years, we've been hammered over the head by liberal indoctrination to embrace the "feelings of (your) black Americans" who want to hold up a magnifying glass to racist America, and conduct a witch hunt on racism, finding it in places where it isn't present, and creating it as well by carrying a huge chip on the shoulder.



“Centuries ago”…just to clear that aspect up; there are people who live today who have dealt with the humiliation, shame and pain of Jim Crow and extremely overt social injustice. I think that too many people like yourself have lead a life so deluded, you do not understand how deeply embedded it has been in our society.

And I think people like you fail to see that some of those who were there in the fight, have "moved on" and "moved beyond". How does one get past "old hurts" and past injustices? Not by forgetting them, certainly; but also by letting it go; by acknowledging that society is in a different place today.

No, I wasn't old enough in the 60's to know the humiliation of Jim Crow, firsthand. But don't call me "deluded" simply because you have the arrogance to believe your experience trumps mine; because your research has led you down a different path.

Don't assume I haven't experienced firsthand the pangs of racism, myself.

Monday, April 07, 2008 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


It is a part of American culture. It is not about blame; once again, it is about certain truths.


rhonda,

I grew up in a school system saturated in "the black experience". You don't feel like "the black voice" has been sufficiently heard? How much louder do you want the "certain truths" preached?

Not only the black experience, but also the Native American experience, and all the other injustices that America has been responsible for.

The problem now, is that there is an imbalance- a very skewed perspective on American history where children are taught to be more ashamed of American history than proud of it.

And my experience continued on, well into college. It took me graduating from school, before I became aware of the liberal indoctrination I have been receiving pretty much all of my life.

Enough is enough. You want a color-blind society? Then quit fixating on color.


The plight of the inner city communities continued and even got worse. It has gotten very little attention. The poor schools, gentrification, pollution, poverty which leads to high crime, poor housing etc…

And what is your solution to ending poverty in America?

There was and still is prejudice in housing and realty. When my parents were trying to buy a house in 2000 in the suburbs of New York, they were locked out of most neighborhoods. It took them two years to find a decent home. Even when they moved in, it was obvious that the neighbors were upset. The person selling the house was trying to break contract. That was 2001. My parents kept positive. However they knew why they were facing these challenges.

I say there are pockets of racists in America, as there are any place on earth; but is the experience of your parents typical or not? I say it's atypical.

As a military brat, I grew up all over the States, as well as lived overseas. For the last 20 years, I've lived in the greater Los Angeles area and friends, coworkers, acquaintances who I have known over the years, when this topic comes up, have all expressed a variety of opinions.

Personal anecdotes are not always indicative of statistical truths.


My parents migrated from the Caribbean and never were exposed to racism, on a real level.

Aren't those from the Caribbean rather homogenous? I've often seen and experienced racial and cultural prejudice in other countries, from those who live in homogenous societies, more often than I've experienced it here in the States.

Some of the worst overt racists I've met are first-generation immigrants to this country, btw.

When they came here, my mother in 1975 and my father in 1983, they were shocked and hurt. I am young. I was born in 1986, I have seen a great deal in my life. My parents never discussed race or racism really in my home other than when I would ask questions. I was taught by school teachers that everything ended in the 60s and things were just fine now.

That's bizarre. Where did you go to school at? My school teachers were much different. We had to read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, and a host of other multiculturalist literature and issues.


However it was indirect contradiction to what I had faced on a regular basis. The way people treated me was often painful and hard to deal with. The tensions that I grew up with in the 90s were too much for a young girl to understand. Along with dealing with tensions, I also suffered self esteem issues. I was taught to be ashamed of myself by those I met. I remember in the 3rd grade, I was told by my dance teacher that I could not be in “Swan Lake”. When I asked her why after I sat out the auditions, she told me that I was too dark. She said that she wanted only “angelic”, “pretty” and “delicate” girls to be in the play. It hurt. It hurt a lot more than the time when my friend Nicole’s grandmother slammed the door in my face when I came over to her house for pasta. She said that I was not allowed in and closed the door. I always thought that there was something wrong with me, personally. I was taught to view myself as inferior and unfortunately as a young girl, I took on that role. I did not understand our society to know that it was an issue that had to do with not me but with people who were ignorant and pre-judged me. I did not know my history because it was never taught in school properly. The events in my life just simply threw salt in a wound.

rhonda, thank you very much for sharing that intimate part of yourself. It truly does move me, and I don't want to say anything that sounds dismissive or belittling of your experience. I actually understand some of where you are coming from. Perhaps I should share my own story and a bit of history for a post? I really do want to share it with you and my readers. I don't want to go into it now, for lack of time; it may be a while before I get to it, as....well, I'm busy! I need to write an article for a magazine, too, with the deadline fast approaching....yet I sit here, with you! (^_^)

Monday, April 07, 2008 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Incidentally,

Did you ever watch that (I think Disney) version of Cinderella, where roles were chosen indiscriminately, irregardless of ethnicity?

I think Brandi played the role of Cinderella, and had a mixed race family with the Prince played by a Filipino actor.

In some sense, it was brilliant! Actors chosen by the content of their acting, without paying attention to their looks and ethnic make-up.

But the other side of it (and don't get me wrong here, as I don't think in the case of Swan Lake that there was any legitimately good reason to prevent you from getting the role you wanted, based upon looks/ethnicity) is, imagine creating a movie about Pearl Harbor. Do you really want a movie where Japanese soldiers are played by non-Japanese, for the sake of not discriminating an actor based upon race? Can you imagine making Amistad, where actors auditioning for slave roles might get the parts, even if they are non-black? If I go to see a George Washington movie, I'd expect the actor to look European, and not Chicano or Asiatic. It kind of "ruins" the mood, you know?

Now, on the flip side (because I have mixed feelings on this), you might be denying an actor who could have played (on the strength of sheer acting skills) the best George Washington in history...simply because he had "the wrong looks".

I remember when the Asian community was "up in arms" over a white actor doing "face paint" and playing the role in Miss Saigon of a main Vietnamese character. I had mixed feelings over that as well. Really, one could make good arguments either way. And I think both arguments have legitimacy.

Monday, April 07, 2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Marty seems to have plenty of time to direct others how they should spend their time, but no time to read their responses!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

Well, I will have time tomorrow night Mike's America. Had to turn in early last night. I was up at 4:30am this morning so I could be at the polls at 6:00 a.m. to work in the REPUBLICAN primary run off. We had 11 precincts voting. Excellent turn out btw. I'm pooped after working 14 hours. I'll read the comments tommorow night.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 8:36:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

I've read through all the comments. A great conversation between Rhonda and Wordsmith. I have learned a lot and have a lot to think about on both sides of this issue.

Thanks again Wordsmith for listening through the Wright sermons. At least your observations now are based on the full context even though it has not changed anything.

I think Rhonda has done an excellent job of touching on all the aspects, so I'll not add a thing.

I'll check back later to see if the conversation continues. Thanks for allowing dissenting views Wordsmith and being so respectful. You're a good guy. I look forward to reading about your own story.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:03:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

marty,

Thanks for your comments, your compliments, and your courteous, respectful disagreements.

I don't know when I'll find the energy to continue here, but I do hope you and rhonda continue to check back in. It'd motivate me to keep exploring this topic and do my post.

You guys might find this an interesting listen: Dennis Prager interviews John McWhorter, a black conservative and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who supports Senator Obama. He puts forth some interesting reasons why he is supporting Barack Obama for the presidency, even as he disagrees with Senator Obama's liberal policy issues.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 2:27:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

I listened to the McWhorter interview and it was very interesting.

My support for Obama has to do with the fact that he is able to galvanize and rally the people. We desperately need a president who can do that right now.

Both of my kids support Obama. My son wrote about why he does and I posted it on Letters from Baghdad.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 8:46:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thanks for listening to the McWhorter interview; I thought you'd find it an interesting and civil discussion.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 8:55:00 PM  
Blogger RhondaCoca said...

I read your comments and it is the usual. In a society that often sees my color, I treat others they way they schould be treated but i do not always get treated that way.
Funny you brought up retail stores I have worked at plenty and have seen that they racially discriminate. In one store is was so overt that i had to contact corporate headquarters. They sent secret shoppers on a few occasions to spy and also confirmed it. They sat us all down to have a chat.
I know for a fact that some of the stores that I go into, they follow me, they stand outside of my fitting room, they keep making comments about how expensie the clothes are. In one store they asked me for two forms of I.D. and even called the credit card company for verification. I felt embarassed and I gave off no signs of "shadiness"

A part of you white privilege is

In addition, my parents situation is very typical. Of course, it depends on the neighbor but it happens in a great deal of neighborhoods. Westchester county (just 40 minutes out of NYC in the same county as the Clintons) is supposed to be at the top of the tolerance ladder but its not. My parents situation is pretty heftily backed up.

I thought that I was crazy a couple years ago when they refused to serve me at a Cracker Barrel in New Jersey after the same thing happened in Virginia. They did not come right out and say it. I waited for an hour and fifteen minutes at 3pm on a Wednesday with friends. Everyone else before us and after us were seated. We kept inquiring and they came up with every excuse possible. When we finally got seated we got horrible service (in both franchises). I just assumed that they needed better waitstaff but they kept ignoring our table. They put us to sit in one place in a completely empty area with a draft. In another in a table next to the kitchen where we kept having to get up. In New Jersey, one of my friends got up and walked out. We all followed. I just thought that the restaurant was bad. I never thought that in the 21st century, people would still be acting like that. I know Denny's had problems. It was probably like 5 or 4 years ago when the company got slammed with a class action lawsuit. It was all over the news and it was a lot of people. I was shocked. Situations like those are unfortunate and I always treat them as isolated cases.

I never talk about race or race relations ever. This and on my blog is one of the few places I could vent. I have unfortunate experiences. I have to suck it up and deal with it. It is predictable and I do not expect much from people anymore. Your white privilege allows you to not have to deal with it, you do not have to see it and you can make excuses for it.

Just stop talking about it and it will go away! HaHa...I wish my reality was so luxurious and deluded. This is what James Baldwin was talking about when he wrote:

"White children, in the main, and whether they are rich or poor, grow up with a grasp of reality so feeble that they can very accurately be described as deluded--about themselves and the world they live in. White people have managed to get through their entire lifetimes in this euphoric state, but black people have not been so lucky: a black man who sees the world the way John Wayne, for example, sees it would not be an eccentric patriot, but a raving maniac."

Why don't you go back and read those books that you claimed you read in school. If you were actually paying attention (and realized that they are more relevant today than ever) you would probably get some of it.
In addition, schools teach kids about Malcolm X but have you analyzed his speeches or what message he was trying to give? If you were able to then you are lucky because most schools cover some black authors but not actually social history, political history or actual movements (other than civil rights). The reason why you say that some people step away not being proud of American history is probably because they were hit with the reality of American contridiction and hyprocrisy that is so glaring.

Most people are not color blind. This is just reality. Our society has been constructed that way. If its not your reality, it is mine and I cannot hide from it.

I have always disliked the current black 'leadership". I agree that they are out of touch with the new generation of African Americans who have emerged post-civil rights. We are struggling for a voice and a new way to identify ourseleves. I am not a follower of them and most blacks are not. I know a great deal who actually hate both Jackson and Sharpton. I have respect for both and they often bring forth things that do make sense. My issue is with my generation and the generation right before us who have different battles. Those two men do not speak for all of us though I do respect them as people. They do not. I also understand the thinking of black Republicans because I used to be one. I realized quickly the holes that existed in their arguments. The comfort their talking points give to white America is enough to reconsider, in my opinion. There are also other reasons why I had a change of heart but I will not go into it. The problem is that the airwaves are packed with these people and people like you and others just assume that it is either the Jacksons and Sharptons or the black republicans and Williamses however he defines himself explaining to the rest of America, the black experience. Many of those men you mentioned are just as old and left over than the ones you chastise. This makes people like you feel that they have it figure out when they do not. You would be shocked if you were around the people I associate with for a day. I always say that I appreciate all of these people but they need to pass the torch to a younger generation. I am not the only one who has been calling for this. A great read is "The Tie That Binds" by Andrea Y. Simpson.

You made a comment about racism being all over the world. Of course, it is but since we live here, I will discuss it in this country. In the caribbean and latin america there are some countries that have a 'color'/ race issue and even caste system. Jamaica and Trinidad are not homogenous they have Indians ( the majority in Trinidad), Asians, and a few whites there. Quiet a few people who come from these places are of mixed race. Nonetheless, Trinidad nor Jamaica is anything like the U.S. I cannot say the same however for some latin American countries.

Lastly, I noticed that you defended my overtly racist dance teacher. That was the most hurtful, personal offense but she is known to have many others on various scales. She just began to allow black students at the dance school the year before. It was located in the predominately Italian section of the Bronx. Not exactly the most black friendly area. You see she associated my skin with something ugly, um-elegant and delicate. This is very deep and goes back to the way thing have been constructed in our society when it comes to race, beauty and femininity. You gave the same excuse as the people in the dance studio when my parents complained. They found an excuse for very stage production.

Saturday, April 12, 2008 6:54:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I read your comments and it is the usual.

rhonda,

How would you like it if I simply said to you, "I read your comments and it is the usual"? The usual victimology mentality? With that dismissive attitude, you reveal your own arrogance and ignorance in thinking that you and you alone know more about race and race relations and racial prejudice than anyone else BECAUSE of being black.

You didn't sound like you liked it when mike was dismissive of you. So if you don't want me to think that I am wasting my time with you, don't act like him. And if you are hear to teach, you'd also benefit if you are also willing to learn. Let go of some of your own preconceived notions and prejudices and reserve some judgment; otherwise, you come across like the caricature that mike thinks you are, and I should just stop bothering to read your lengthy remarks but just skim and say, "it's the usual".

I'll address your last comment and previous ones, still; but it will be in about a week, before I can really get into the meat of it.

I actually do like the fact that you are willing to go to lengths and spend this amount of time engaging me on this topic.



A part of you white privilege is


??

Did you mean to write more here? It looks like you erased part of your sentence.

Saturday, April 12, 2008 7:23:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Lastly, I noticed that you defended my overtly racist dance teacher.

I'm sorry, but you better reread my remarks on this again. Because if that's what you came away with, then we have here, perhaps, one of the crux of the problems.

Saturday, April 12, 2008 7:27:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

"Your white privilege allows you to not have to deal with it, you do not have to see it and you can make excuses for it."

Uh..I think you may have a misconception of Wordsmith here Rhonda.

Sunday, April 13, 2008 7:12:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I haven't forgotten about this thread, but haven't mustered the energy yet to revist rhonda's comments.

In the meanwhile, I stumbled upon something (while searching for something else) I had heard on the radio when it aired that had moved me at the time. Thought marty might be interested in it, on the heels of the Whorter interview. This, too, is from Dennis Prager's Show:



Caller: Hi, Dennis, thank you for taking my call. I have to say until Barack Obama started to look like he had a legitimate shot at being president, that I never really felt 100% part of America. But now that he looks like he could legitimately win, it really has changed my whole outlook on how I feel about this country. And I never felt anything bad about the country, but I never felt like it was like really my country.

DP: Right, a vested interest.

Caller: Right, exactly.

DP: Let me ask you then, what would happen if he loses to John McCain?

Caller: I think that if he loses to John McCain, it would be okay, because it was, the realization that he could have been. He lost like John Kerry lost.

DP: Right, so you would not, there wouldn’t be a voice in you that would say he lost because he’s black?

Caller: No, no. Because he actually has a shot, he has a chance.

DP: Okay. Well, that’s very big. You see, I want to know that. I don’t know whether he’ll win or lose. Nobody does. And it’s theoretically possible Hillary Clinton will get the nomination. But this is a very important worry of mine. Will you regard attacks on him as attacks on a black, or attacks on a Democratic candidate?

Caller: It all depends on what the attacks are. Like when Bill Clinton said Jesse Jackson…

DP: Yeah, yeah. You’re right. Well, you’re right (laughing) That’s the irony. America’s first black president, Bill Clinton…

Caller: Right.

DP: …is now the example of the black community of attacking Barack Obama on race grounds.

Caller: Right, exactly. I thought that was mean.

DP: Of course it was.

Caller: Yeah. And the irony is, Dennis, I’m not voting for Barack Obama. I don’t agree with any of his political positions. So I’m not voting for him. But the fact that…

DP: That is real irony. You’re right. Why, you’re a conservative?

Caller: I’m a conservative.

DP: So even…so this is truly…I have the chills at the importance of this conversation. Even though you are a conservative, nevertheless being black trumped your conservatism with regard to feeling part of America.

Caller: Exactly.

DP: Wow.

Caller: Exactly. I was only a conservative because I felt like the positions were more in line with what I feel…

DP: I fully…well, it even gives you more credibility, and people listening need to hear this. Right or wrong, this is the way many, I’d say most, blacks feel – part but not part.

Caller: Exactly. And I believe that she was saying that she’s just starting realize just like a new birth, she’s really feeling that she’s part of the family. It’s almost like an adopted child realizing that they are truly loved equally as the biological…

DP: See? He’s eloquent? You see that, Allen? My theory – you have passion on this, and that is a brilliant and eloquent analogy.

Caller: And I don’t think she meant anything negative by it at all. And it really is hurting my feelings that people are saying that she meant it negatively, because I don’t believe she does.

DP: I think you have given a spectacular explanation.

Caller: Well, thank you, Dennis.

DP: Thank you. I’m delighted with this call.


Prager found it so important and revelatory, that I think he played it again the next day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 2:07:00 PM  

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