Monday, March 17, 2008

Wright Stuff

Jeremiah Wright's video clips have made their way around the internet and have shown up all over the cable channels, causing Senator Obama to quickly repudiate the incendiary words of the former pastor.

But I wonder if we're not missing something else. The comments made by pastor Wright were certainly controversial and disagreeable. However, the "Amen!" chorus was as loud as ever in all those videos. Pastor Wright was not speaking in a vacuum he was speaking to a large group that agreed with him. One of the defenses always made for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson was that they preached to a group of ardent followers that agreed with their politics. They had to be respected because they were not alone. Well Jeremiah Wright clearly wasn't alone either. While his rhetoric might not have garnered him a cable TV show, he did have a significant following. Why is it that John McCain and George W. Bush are allowed to pander to preachers that thought 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina were punishments for liberal policy on gays and abortion. But Barack Obama must instantly repudiate the statements of a minister who claimed that our actions abroad came home to roost on 9/11?

Both statements are foolhardy and incendiary, both are vile and disagreeable. But there is an untold racial divide between the statements of Pastor Wright and those of Rev. Falwell or Robertson. If you are white and homophobic you are preaching the gospel, if you are black and protectionist, you are a reverse racist.

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