This is an attack on the black church (and if the black church, then the church at large)…

Jeremiah Wright and Cornel West have awakened me from my middle-class white slumber in the last three months.  Lost amidst all the hullabaloo from 10-second sound-bites yanked from the greater context of Jeremiah Wright’s sermons which news organizations then talked hours on is the greater message Jeremiah is seeking to convey to the American nation. Jeremiah Wright is not Obama’s lapdog, and Obama is not his. Barack Obama is a politician, and Jeremiah Wright is an eloquent, shockingly-honest, sometimes-divisive pastor of God’s church.  The two are very different things. In order for us to understand the experience of the black church and the foundation from which Wright speaks, we need to move beyond the sound-bites and into a good, full listen to him in the videos below; even if, or especially if, we disagree with him.

If you are a person who is sick and tired of news organizations telling us what we should believe and showing us what we should see, please give this man a full listen in the videos below.

And if you want to know, REALLY know, this man that Barack Obama is separating himself from because of mushy political centrism in seeking to get elected, please give this man a full listen in the videos below. Barack Obama is being more and more exposed as a man who used Trinity UCC as a leg up, as a prestige card to play with the black community, rather than a fully participating member invested in attacking the problem of racism head-on. Calling for racial unity is nice and all, but when significant embedded racism still exists in our society, it’s time for troublemakers, rabble-rousers to stand up and speak truth to power, their political careers be damned.

And let this be stated clearly, if you can watch Survivor or American Idol or Dancing with the Stars (“reality” shows) or Lost or 24 or The Office (hour-long escapes from reality into suspended disbelief) or Hannity and Colmes (a show of barking partisan hacks) for hours on end every week, I’m fairly certain you can watch an embattled man (and a fine one at that) talk about something of vital importance for our world today in the videos below.

I’m sitting on some thoughts, but I will write them in the next couple days after wrapping up some loose ends for school. So keep attuned here if you’re interested in catching some of my thoughts on this; I want to contribute to this conversation that is simply not taking place in our society right now. It is DESPERATELY needed, and I want to be a part of it. Even in a little tiny way.

Video #2 of the same speech

Video #3 of the same speech

Video #4 of the same speech

Video #5 of the same speech

Video #6 of the same speech

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3 thoughts on “This is an attack on the black church (and if the black church, then the church at large)…

  1. Thank you for being bold enough to just listen. We as Americans are missing out on so much because we don’t want to hear anything that makes us uncomfortable and accountable.

    If we each continue this conversation, even in our “tiny little way” we will see change first take place in our sphere of influence and then spread across the nation. Keep listening…keep talking.

  2. I went on youtube and watched the remarks Wright made in DC on Monday. I was surprised that there was nothing “divisive” or even untrue about them. Am I missing something ?! The only difference between terrorism and the war on it seems to me to be the budget allocation. What have we done to Iraq? How many civilian have we directly killed and how many children have we orphaned? Wake up America!

  3. Nitabita,

    I like the way you put that. There is a certain boldness in being willing to listen and truly hear what someone is saying. So often, like you said, we shut others down immediately or only listen enough to them to formulate the response we’re going to shove down their throats. It’s a very adversarial way of viewing relationship, and it’s deeply unhealthy for our society at large.

    In regards to the “tiny little ways” that we can participate, I love the quote by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Thank you for your contribution, Nitabita.

    John,
    I certainly think Wright’s comments were divisive, but they were divisive in that they were speaking truth. Had all listening been seeking truth and been willing to listen, his comments wouldn’t have been divisive, but most folks’ motives are twisted and self-centered.

    You’re right about Iraq, and he’s right about Farrakhan’s comments on Zionism, he’s right about America’s treatment of Native Americans and Africans, he’s right that Iraq is an unjust war, and he’s right that Cheney’s eating caviar and reaping a windfall of profit from his company (Halliburton) rebuilding the infrastructure of Iraq at tremendous cost while the lower levels of our society fight his war.

    If anything, John, this situation proves to me how offensive clearly stated truth is to those who have a vested interest in things staying the way they are. Thanks for commenting.

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