Stuff White People Say

October 28, 2008

“20 years… A preacher of hate…” – The Rev. Wright thread

Filed under: Uncategorized — nquest2xl @ 2:46 am

This is basically an open thread to discuss the characterizations of Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a “preacher of hate”, a “racist” and any other of the things he’s been called.  I open the thread because, frankly, I disagree with most, perhaps all of the allegations against Rev. Wright that characterize him in that vain.

And now that I think about it, JWBE’s new thread spotlights the irony of it all:

There are some or many white people saying that racism will become less with every generation and I wonder what they believe how much time they will have to “change their attitudes”. Whether they believe that racism is just a bad habit the victims can patiently sit out.

Somehow, even if we were to grant that Rev. Wright is a “racist” (without proof, of course; because those who make those claims can never make the case for it), I doubt those who insist on saying it would be okay with the idea that there will be fewer Rev. Wright’s with each passing generation and, consequently, “things are better now” on the Black “racism” front so people should stop acting like we haven’t made progress…


  1. I think that for many whites Rev. Wright destroys their illusions of being in power in every aspect of Black people’s lifes.
    I don’t know much about religious history, but I think that also in a historical context Black people and religion is very different from whites and religion in the US
    I think that Rev. Wright and his sermons as well as the Trinity United Church of Christ reflect this, the Church which becomes more than just a place to pray.
    So the answer to white people’s reaction is probably founded in America’s history itself, Black resistance in whatever form ‘has to be’ suppressed.
    The EU-guide how to combat racism also lists “places/ways for suppressed people can empower themselves” as an important part.
    I think white America tries all to prevent this. In an alleged PC world of today they can’t enter the Church with their violence and riots, so they use another strategy.

    Comment by jwbe — October 28, 2008 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  2. I think that for many whites Rev. Wright destroys their illusions of being in power in every aspect of Black people’s lifes.

    You know, that’s hard to argue with. Out of all the White churches in this country that don’t have anything but White members, just the idea of a Black church having its own theology or worldview that radically departs from the Christianity-produced-by-cultural-oppression (*most Africans brought to the Americas were not Christians before being enslaved, of course*), has people like Elizabeth Hasselbeck asking without even attempting to honestly find out the answer before hand, “can white people go to that church?”

    Comment by Nquest — October 29, 2008 @ 4:00 am | Reply

  3. I believe that Reverend Wright’s being characterization of being AntiAmerican, Antiwhite is definitely a misunderstanding of his views. Everything I heard in his sermon’s on television has been based on history as well as personal experience from his era. I believe also that American whites are very blind to the experience of the average black person who interacts with racists daily. The only thing they see are nutjobs like Jesse Jackson and the NCAAP who are quick to defend shady characters which makes it seem as if real racism doesn’t exist.

    Comment by msday — October 30, 2008 @ 12:58 am | Reply

  4. I’m not white or American, so what he says doesn’t seem controversial to me. I actually don’t really understand which part is controversial.

    Comment by Restructure! — October 30, 2008 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  5. Actually, I think even most white Canadian leftists would agree:

    1. Damn America.
    2. Amerikkka is racist.

    Comment by Restructure! — October 30, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Reply

  6. I think it’s the fact that he expressed anything other than “OMG the poor innocent Americans blown up by those evil horrible terrorists! United we stand! God Bless America!” after 9/11 happened that makes him controversial. To show anything other than appropriate sorrow for the dead Americans at that time was taboo in the mainstream public. Among conservatives here, patriotism is a must.

    Comment by space — October 30, 2008 @ 2:44 am | Reply

  7. In liberal circles like universities, of course, there was room for more discussion on the matter, including the idea that we had it coming and the racist hate crimes against Brown people from South Asia and the Middle East in the aftermath. Hearing about that was really…well…unfortunately not surprising in the least.

    Comment by space — October 30, 2008 @ 2:46 am | Reply

  8. “To show anything other than appropriate sorrow for the dead Americans at that time was taboo…”

    The sorrow was appropriate for the inhumanity that preceded 9/11 and that which followed via the current Iraq war. But how dare he be a preacher who invokes the inherent question of humanity of “an eye for an eye.”

    Further, what was shown on TV couldn’t possibly judge whether “appropriate sorrow” was shown. Sound bites by their very nature make things like that awfully hard. The second link is the full audio. The first link is a 10 minute excerpt from Wright’s sermon, Bible-based sermon I must add, a sermon entitled “The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall.” Yet this is supposed to be a “Christian” nation.

    You will see/hear Wright pose the question he asked God: what should our response (to the 9/11 attacks) be? No question could ever be so appropriate.

    Comment by nquest2xl — October 30, 2008 @ 3:09 am | Reply

  9. I listened to the first link. It didn’t sound like he was advocating violence on either side, but trying to understand it in spiritual terms.

    I can see how people would get upset with the claim that “we deserved it,” as has been made by some rightly controversial religious figures regarding natural disasters killing off gays and other “sinful” people, but this is different. This was not a natural disaster. This was some pissed off people wanting to get back at us for what amounts to armed robbery of their people, and resisting our imperialism by answering it with a threat of taking us into their empire.

    Indeed, it would have been appropriate to mourn the people our nation slaughtered over time. But I get the sense that if you do that, you’re seen by White moderates and conservatives as something of a radical. Most people, except educated liberals interested in sociopolitical stuff, either don’t seem to think about that dark history of ours, or try to justify it somehow.

    And I can understand not liking to think about it. I can feel the inertia, the reluctance to really consider the implications, every time I think about the Chinese slaves who made all my stuff.

    Comment by space — October 30, 2008 @ 3:59 am | Reply

  10. Indeed, it would have been appropriate to mourn the people our nation slaughtered over time.

    Yet those who worship at the temple of the STATE religion (“America” all its myths and illusions) were compelled to reject and disavow the truism Wright spoke which insisted that: “terrorism begets terrorism.”

    Somehow, innocent people killed on distant shores and distant places, again, before and after 9/11 were the stuff of “radical” considerations. There’s something “radical” about being human vs. being caught up in the jingoism of country & flag. Funny how our membership in the human race (some people love to emphasize when its convenient) vs. Black/White/Red/Yellow/Brown race, etc. is to be restricted to country.

    Comment by nquest2xl — October 30, 2008 @ 4:55 am | Reply

  11. In the USA, labeling someone as an example of “hate” has been reduced to a kneejerk slogan without substantive political argument behind it. It’s a catchphrase, buzzword, and propaganda meme devoid of analytical content.

    With regards to Jeremiah Wright, he is considered controversial because he questioned the American Empire and its crimes both around the world and within its own borders.

    This, above all else, is Rev. Wright’s (thought) crime.

    Comment by Lxy — November 2, 2008 @ 7:55 am | Reply

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    Pingback by “Welcome to America” « Stuff White People Say — November 2, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  13. So true, LXY. So true.

    Comment by Nquest — November 2, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

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