Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rev. Wright - madman or the voice of many?

So this Rev. Wright thing has become a real shitstorm for Obama. Amazingly enough, every opinion piece I've read has dismissed Wright as a lunatic, without further inspection of what he is saying. In my earlier post, I commented on Wright's 9/11 statements.

Here, let's talk about some of the other stuff, which I'm sure most of white America thinks is sheer madness. How about the suggestion that AIDS was engineered as way of killing blacks? Crazy, right? Well, imagine if your ancestors were dragged over to this country to be slaves and were freed only hundreds of years later. Oh, but it turned out freedom didn't mean much as the South instituted sharecropping. That lasted until well into the 20th century. And it wasn't until the Civil Rights Era that meaningful legislation barring racial discrimination was on the books. And let's not forget about the Tuskegee experiments - imagine if your grandfather was a subject in that study. Does Wright's comment about AIDS seem so crazy now?

What much of non-black America doesn't get is that many blacks place very little trust in the government. And after the black experience in this country, I don't blame them. Perhaps if the rest of us were a little less trusting of government, we could have avoided the Iraq war.

But nevermind that. And nevermind why Wright's seemingly crazy statements resonate with black Americans. The rest of us can't relate to what Wright is talking about, so he must be a fringe lunatic.

Obama gets what Wright is saying - that's why he's been in Wright's church for twenty years. That's why he's been bringing his kids to that church. But Obama also gets that he's not gonna be able to explain it to the rest of America (not that many Americans would accept it if he tried), so he's doing the only thing he can do - run like mad away from that crazy Rev. Wright.

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