Thursday, March 20, 2008

In the Wright Context

You'll likely NEVER see these extended clips on television because it would really undermine the week-long conniption fit that everyone has had over the remarks of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and make plenty of media-types look like jackasses.

It also requires patience, open-mindedness, self-reflection and pretty much everything our current culture rejects...

Take the five or so minutes each it takes to watch these clips, so you understand the context of the snips that the media has been shoving down your throat.

The now-infamous "God DAMN America!" Sermon:



Wright spends several minutes talking about the fact that God does not change, then contrasts with the rise and fall (the "failure") of man's empires through history. He then gets to America, and lists the litany of, yes, damnable actions of the American government—which Wright acknowledges DOES change, for better and for worse—and concludes with the preposterous notion that America's oppressed people should sing "God Bless America" by invoking his now infamous line...Can't say I blame him, or that I disagree.

Post-9/11 "Chickens Come Home to Roost" sermon



Will anybody point out that the words Wright is getting pilloried for are those of a white, Reagan-era Ambassador on FOX News? Yeah, that's what I thought...

After watching these clips, I'll say this. Wright is fucking electric. He's a damn good preacher if you're into that sort of thing. Is he over the top? Yeah. Does he subscribe to a little too much conspiracy theory? Probably. But I don't think he said anything that out of bounds, or even incorrect. I'm glad Obama stuck by him to the degree he did, and in fact, I think he might have been too hard on him.

While I'd like to see Wright's name and reputation cleared, and for Obama to continue to support the man and the church, the unfortunate truth is, the sooner this goes away the better for Obama. Adding context will do nothing to convince a great many Americans who cannot handle the truth, self-introspection or brook ANY criticism of the country. The five-minute critique is the same as the five-second clip—Wright hates America.

If this trumped-up bullshit is the thing that costs us a President Obama and gives us George W. McCain, then God Damn America, indeed.


[h/t: laderrick's diary at Kos]

UPDATE: For more "context" please read this post from Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings. Rev. Wright was the same age as Emmett Till. Yeah, I can see how that might have an influence on someone...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I have been looking everywhere for these to no avail. I know as well as you this is good timing because it should fade from the view of the ADHD media in time- not because it could promote understanding.

Smitty said...

I almost don't have to say it, but I will just so that it's said:

Without Obama, nobody knows what this guy is saying but his congregation.

That's not that much of a good thing either. He has something to say, and sometimes is takes a Bombast to get you to sit up and take notice.

It makes me admire even more, though, how Obama responded, how he didn't throw him under the bus, and instead used it as an opportunity to have an honest conversation about anger and race. That's a leader.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing this won't be covered on "In Depth Tonight"?

Mr Furious said...

I've been thinking about this a lot since I posted this last night...I thought, "maybe 60 Miutes" could handles something like this." But I'm not even sure about that. They tend to devote 10-15 minutes to a segment, and these videos are too long for that.

It'll take a guy like Bill Moyers to provide the thought and insight needed to accompany the clips and spend the time to do the job right. Of course, that means no one will see it...

Unfortunately the longer this is a story, the more damage it does to Obama. As Smitty says, this is a view that should be shared, and opens a discussion that needs to be had, but not at the expense of Obama's candidacy.

If this stuff came out a year from now, and Obama was able to use the pulpit of the President to address this, it would be that much more powerful and would come without the price...

From what I understand, these videos were offered for sale by Trinity once Wright retired earlier this year, and ABC News is the outfit that broke the story and showed the clips.

Thanks for that, dicks.

Toast said...

I never found Wright's remarks all that "outrageous" to begin with, but perhaps that's because I spent a good part of the late 80's and early 90's listening to guys like Chuck D and Ice Cube tear America a new one on a regular basis.

steves said...

I found his HIV conspiracy theories to be pretty outrageous, but his other stuff isn't all that bad. I find it no big deal though. Obama has never made the staements himself, nor has he ever endorsed or said that he agrees.

This election seems to be full of accusations dealing with people that are only minor figures in the lives of the candidates. I saw an interview with Obama where he pointed out that he sometimes misses weeks of sermons and that he is pretty sporadic in his attendence. They are making it seem like Wright is one of the most influential figures in his life, which I seriously doubt.

steves said...

"Adding context will do nothing to convince a great many Americans who cannot handle the truth, self-introspection or brook ANY criticism of the country."

The other possibility is that many Americans do not share Wright's view or that they only partially agree. Obama has positioned himself as a candidate that appeals to a wide variety of people and heal some of the divides. I like the fact that he has ideas beyond just bitching about what is wrong.

Mr Furious said...

steves,

It's not either/or. I mean that there is a certin percentage that will only look at the whole speech as anti-American, because it is critical, period. The additional "context" will only serve as more anti-american speech, just quieter...

There are more (most?) people who might view the entire sermon and come to a less extreme conclusion than from just the clips, but would still say Wright went too far.

steves said...

I see your point and agree completely.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, brother. It's just like, if you watch all of Hitler's speeches and put those in context, they make a lot more sense. At that time Germany had suffered from years and years under the Treaty of Versailles, an illegal document that had led to horrible hardship for the German people. All they were asking for, really, was fair treatment. Same with Jeremiah Wright. You have to put so-called ''hate speech'' in context.

Mr Furious said...

Yeah, because Wright's call for self-reliance for the black community is JUST LIKE Hilter.

And morons from the right calling for the heads of anyone who dare question The State is NOTHING like Hitler. Or the Soviet Union. Or Communist China.

Jackass.

Chris Howard said...

I never found Wright's remarks all that "outrageous" to begin with

Me neither. I was thinking about doing a post about it, but now I don't have to :). The HIV comment was a bit much, but overall, even just the clips we see on tv aren't so bad. He's not telling people to get their guns and rebel. If he hadn't used the phrase "God Damn America", I doubt this would have gotten so much play. That line makes a great soundbite for the controversy whores.