Tuesday, March 18, 2008


White America apparently is shocked, shocked I say, by comments of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Barack Obama's church in Illinois. But what has Wright said that is off base? Here are some of his quotes as provided in an AP story in The Washington Post:

" In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States:

""The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.""

So what is wrong with Wright's assertion. Has America killed innocent people? Go no further than Harry Truman ordering the Enola Gay to drop a nuclear device on Hiroshima. More than 100,000 women, children and innocent civilians were incinerated that day.

Here is another quote from the AP story:

"In a sermon after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001:

""We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Wright does not minimize the terrible loss of life in the Trade Centers on September 11th. But what he does do is to draw attention to the militaristic policy of the United States in fighting a war almost every 10 years. Wright also points out the de facto discrimination against Palestinians by Israel and the injustice against blacks in South Africa.

Here is the last quote from the AP:

"Promoting Obama's candidacy in a sermon last December:
"Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain't never been called a nigger." "

Please tell me what Wright says here that is so objectionable. Americans adopted slavery in the 17th Century or earlier and slavery has been part and parcel of life in many areas of the United States long after it was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. It is a central dominating fact for descendants of slaves. Those of us not in this category can hardly grasp the emotional, social and economic effects that still linger.

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