|I cried when they shot Medger Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I’d lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a
— Phil Ochs’ Love Me, I’m a Liberal
I heard the sound bits and then searched for the whole sermons. Anyone familiar with the tactics of the corporate media, know to do this
homework. Black Americans know to double check.
I was impressed with Rev. Jeremiah Wright after I read about his contributions to the Black community in Chicago. I was more impressed after his
appearance on Bill Moyer (April 25, 2008).
What is lovable about a country that practices torture, that incarcerates more citizens than any other nation, that steals the votes of its citizens, that
wages war for oil and other material resources, that leaves its citizens to drown and live in formaldehyde trailers, that allows its children to got to bed
hungry in its borders, that allows for children elsewhere to be targets of “collateral damage” and its “free market” system, and that demands that
everyone pretend its corporation domination is good for the whole world?
The corporate media continues to repeat a description of the way to see and thus objectify Rev. Wright. Every commentator (liberal ones
included, and especially) has to renounce and reject him, thus denouncing and rejecting his attitude toward U.S. domestic and foreign policy. They
have to denounce and reject his focus on the experiences of Black Americans.
Rev. Wright speaks of a particular American experience: it is the experience of Blacks living in America, living invisible in America. Should this group
find voice, it is typical for the corporate media to vilify the messenger, the spokesperson. This, too, is part of that living invisible, Black experience in
Rev. Wright is no longer a pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ. He is no longer a pastor to Sen. Obama, who appeals to the interests of White
Americans. Are people like Rev. Wright, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Rev. Al Sharpton — each who represents the interests of most Blacks — to keep
As Rev. Wright said in his appearances, he is a pastor, a follower of the Black Liberation Theology, but he is a separate being from Sen. Obama!
He has a right to speak about the experiences of a particular constituency. But, of course, his constituents, those voices silent, bodies invisible can be
sacrificed for the great good. And the great good is the election of Barrack Obama and the hopes of White Americans.
For many Black Americans, this experience — the railroading of Rev. Wright — is a painful experience. “Rev. Wright’s comments,” “Rev. Wright’s
divisiveness,” “Rev. Wright’s talk of race” are hard “sound bits” for most Blacks to hear. But we don’t control the media, do we?
Justice is an interest of Black Americans. If there’s justice for Blacks in America, then there’s a possibility that there’ll be justice for Africans, Asians,
Arabs, Muslims, Chicanos, and Latino/as elsewhere. Equality is an interest of Black Americans. If there’s equality for Blacks living in America, imagine
the possibilities of ending pillaging and wars elsewhere.
But it’s these very interests that must not receive voice. That must be discredited when it is heard in America. Rev. Wright, speaking from the
prophetic Black tradition, speaks of this experience of repression. It’s not a generational experience — limited to a “Civil Rights” era.
We live in a world where Empire depends on a consistent representation of the Other as villain. In the narrative, there’s a good guy and a villain.
Black politicians playing the game with the “good guys” can’t afford to be seen as villains. White liberals wrung their hands of a “Rev. Wright” long
ago. Angry over the take over of the “right wing” cabal, liberals secretly blame the “Civil Rights” era for the rise of a fascist Empire.
Rev. Wright has been asked what he meant when he said a few days after 9/11 that the chickens have come home to roost. There’s an echo of
Malcolm X that hits a nerve among White liberals. He meant “blowback.” He meant what Noam Chomsky and Chalmers Johnson have written about in
their books. But Chomsky and Johnson are White. It’s assumed that their audience is White. While Rev. Wright, standing at a pulpit on the Southside of
Chicago, has an audience not privy to such dialogue, such are “incendiary” thoughts.
Rev. Wright understands what is happening and critiques a society that continues to demand that Black Americans “assimilate” or be damned.
“Process” is assimilation — annihilation of Black resistance.
Fascism has come for Black Americans. Who will be next?