Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reverend Wright's Full Sermon

[Your eyes do not deceive you. That's who you think it is.]

Well, even after Bosnia-gate, the Rebb'n Wright story still seems to have legs. In fact, after watching Hillary do the classic "but what about Barack's garbage?" maneuver yesterday, I'm more convinced than even that the party faithful will ask her to step down unless she wins PA in a landslide. At some point, it has to become obvious that she's not just doing damage to Barack, but to the entire Democratic Party. Somebody wake Howard Dean up.

The more I've thought about and watched Reverend Wright's sermons, as well as read about him, the more convinced I am that this is a good guy whom they just happened to catch on the wrong day, and hang with the wrong soundbytes. Hell, I'll be honest, in my 30 some years of being in and around the black church (including my current home), I've heard some things (many of which I agree with, some of which I don't) that would make Reverend Wright blush.

The problem with this whole debacle is that it illuminates White America's unwillingness to acknowledge that black folks just might see this country a bit differently. Centuries of enslavement, Jim Crow, Tuskegee Experiments, redlining, George Bush, Katrina, and T-Pain's vocoder tend to have that effect on people. If you surveyed 1,000 black folks (which not surprisingly, no media outlet has done), you'd find that most of us don't consider Wright's comments un-American and unpatriotic (never mind the fact that he's an ex-Marine), mainly because we have a very different definition of patriotism. And it doesn't mean wearing a lapel pin and singing Lee Greenwood songs.

But like I said when this story broke (two whole weeks ago, damn, it's still being talked about half a month later. A 7 year old sermon.), none of that matters. All that matters is 15-20 second soundbites of a black man talking very loud and very angrily. And if that's enough to derail a history making event like the Obama candidacy, then man, we are all up the creek.

Like my pastor said this past Sunday, "If any of ya'll have kids who might run for President one day, you need to find another church right now!"

Sad, but apparently so true. And is it just me, or does anyone else think it's odd that out of 30+ years leading this church and preaching 4+ times a week, this is all they could possibly dig up? That, to me at least, suggests that just maybe Rebb'n Wright doesn't go hard like this every week. I'm just sayin'.

Anyways, for the sake of context, here's an expanded look at the Wright sermon. There are more of these all over YouTube if you wanna piece together the whole thing for yourself. This video shows the full sermon, and provides a lot more context than those 10 second soundbytes being tossed around. Do yourself a favor and watch in it's entirety.

I guess Reverend Wright must not be that bad peoples, or Slick Willie wouldn't have invited him to that infamous "post-Monica" prayer breakfast (see above photo). No wonder Hillary was so mum on this whole thing last week. Of course, when pressed about her own garbage yesterday, she finally brought this up. But did any cable talking head bother mentioning said photo? Of course not.

[Editor's Note: It's times like these when it becomes to bitterly obvious that we need our own black cable news station, or at least some nightly show. You've got an historic election in progress, and watching some nightly show with your PoV would be nice. But TVOne is playing Divorce Court reruns (the ones with Mablean) and BET is just being BET as usual. What a waste! How hard would it be for one of these stations to have a 1/2 hour live nightly show when they discussed the daily developments with a panel of talking heads? It would be literally free since all you need to do is build a set and hire a host. Man, I should be a programming director somewhere.]

Between that photo and this one of the infamous slumlord Rezko, it seems like Billary and Barry have crossed paths more than anyone's letting on.

Things that make you go "hmmmmmm"...

Question: Does hearing Rev. Wright's sermon in it's entirety change any of your perceptions of him?

Photograph of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright Surfaces [NY Times]

26 AverageComments™:

I.L.L. said...

WOOOOOOOOW!!! I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts, so I'll be back later today. But WOOOOOWWW!

cinco said...

I find that this sermon provides another example of how different races may perceive the same incident. I'm tired of trying to explain that to people. It doesn't make my view right or wrong just different perhaps. I do find it very frustrating when someone is unwilling to believe that you can have a different perspective of Rev. Wright and not be racist; or un-American; or un-patriotic. This line of thinking was thrown at me when Mrs. Obama made her remarks earlier this year. IMO, Blacks are requested to justify/renounce/disagree on comments/or actions that become known to the public more frequently than individuals from other races. I feel if it encourages discussion, then that's promising. Hopefully the division among races lessens not increases.

DJ Black Adam said...

Well, I don't see or hear anything "racist" in his statements, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that White folks just don't get that Black Americans might see this country without the rose colored glasses that White folks do.

i.l.l. said...

I just watched a ten-minute clip of a man moved with love for his enemies, a man moved with compassion as he watched the faith community call for blood. I saw a man come away from a great American tragedy and become reflective of his own relationship with God: am I judging others without taking care of me? And I saw the media hang him out to dry by cutting and clipping away from that message to create the message they wanted out there.

I went to YouTube and saw the comments of people who still refused to HEAR the man and continue to call this a hate-filled speech. For all the criticism that the African-American community faces--our cries of racism and foul play are "too sensitive" and "race-baiting" and "refusing to get over it already"--it amazes me that any critique of the USA that doesn't praise and worship the "forefathers" is deemed un-American. And how few people dare to call anyone out on it!

Wizznilliam said...

I'm glad you put this up... I saw this last week. I was really really shocked when I saw this... They also have the other sermon out too, when he said "God Damn America!" It is taken out of context just as bad. The church has their own YouTube channel and Blog up.. I suggest everyone go check them out.. They are VERY enlightening. I am so pissed about this. I can't even watch any of those talking head tv shows anymore. They are no longer welcome in my house.

Thembi said...

"Centuries of enslavement, Jim Crow, Tuskegee Experiments, redlining, George Bush, Katrina, and T-Pain's vocoder tend to have that effect on people."


I'm so with you on the history in the making tip...I guess we'll have the internet to record it all? I expect to be telling my grandkids stories about this time in history in full detail, spending at least 10 minutes explaining who Sinbad was.

And don't forget this little nugget:

Reverend Wright received a commendation for assisting in Lyndon B Johnson's heart surgery in 1966.

I assume he's the one behind the IV.

daedalus said...

Has anyone figured out the fact that its 2008. I fully understand that the good Reverend, and alot of so-called black leaders his age, had alot of messed up things happen to them however, their message of eternal pissed-offedness and hopelessness for black people in a world where Obama and his wife make 300 grand a year and Barak wins Iowa of all places is kind of dated. In 1950 I might agree with him. However today, black culture is the primary reason more black people arent prosperous, not some kind of star-chamber conspiracy to keep black people down.

cinco said...

Black culture is not the primary reason that Black people aren't prosperous. It may be one of many factors, but definitely not the primary one.

Ciara said...

I'm tired of explaining this ish too but I still have to. My experiences, My family's experiences growing up as African-American people impact how we feel about the United States. I used to be one of the little tykes in kindergarten who would jump with the quickness to recite the Pledge. But as I grew up, did a little research and learned some things, my perception of this country changed. I can honestly say that I do not love this country but rather I'm in limbo with this country.

I'm in limbo because this country has awarded with opportunities that many children in other worlds can not afford. However, this country has participated in some of the worst acts on human kind, not only towards my people but other minorities as well.

I will never understand what my father went through as a teenager of the 60s. But I understand why he may say some of the things he does.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me but the problem is that Reverend Wright's comments not only reflect quite a few Black people but they have the possibility to sway Black people in taking an account of what is going on around them.

It's a lot harder for the "powers that be" to kick you down if your butt is not already out there to be kicked.

Anonymiss said...

My perception's always been the same: I'm still not offended and I don't understand why anything that he's said has been taken out of context.

And the "get over it" rhetoric is a tired deflection. No amount of legislation can heal the psychological wounds of socioeconomic racism. Either you wanna understand that or you don't.

Tiffany In Houston said...

Reverend Wright has had to cancel planned sermons here in Houston. He'd been coming here for 20 years prior.

Whenever he reschedules them, I am there with bells on.

shinola black said...


"However today, black culture is the primary reason more black people arent prosperous, not some kind of star-chamber conspiracy to keep black people down."

I agree only to a point.

Your assumption doesn't take into account that whites are the largest group of poor in this country.

Do we say, then, that white "culture is the primary reason more [white] people arent prosperous"?

shinola black (i know shit) said...

Hell, why would I use a 10-15 sec video sound bite, taken out of context, to form an opinion of the man in the first place?

No, it doesn't change my perception of Rev. Wright. Unlike many who leaped to call him a bigot and a racist on the basis of those sound bites, I withheld my judgment, convinced that this Christian pastor wasn't anything of the sort.

If anything, the full video presentation substantiated what I suspected, and expected, all along.

What's more deplorable is that Fox News, and probably some other cable networks, are using media hounds to follow Rev. Wright around, apparently hoping to gather other bones of contention with which to attack Obama.

And whites expect us to idolize this country in the way that they do?

Let them worship America.

Let the rest of us insist that it lives up to it's constitutional ideals.

In the end, we will have a better country for it.

In the end, we will be the true patriots.

Saladin said...

That a great many white people and mainstream, uncritical lovers-of-America are upset by their misunderstanding (or perhaps frightened, clear understanding) of Rev. Wright's anger is hardly surprising. One expects it. But what I'm getting REALLY tired of is hearing the man's 'defenders' insist that he's not anti-American or anti-patriotic.

YES, HE IS! And, when 'patriotism' means defending a nation that has, from its inception, been a white supremacist, world-raping evil empire and continues to be one down to the present day, being anti-American is good and healthy. Being anti-patriotic means being pro human race.

Wright said "God damn America" very clearly, and he MEANT IT. He compared the Palestinian cause to that of Black South Africans (as did Mandela and Tutu before him) and he MEANT IT. Obama's attempt to recast these utterly legitamite beefs with the US and its policies as the bitter, distorted grumblings of an old man who lived through Jim Crow is insulting to his former pastor's clear-headedness and intelligence -- as if the man was so bitter he couldn't see the truth when, in fact, he told more truth about America in those fiery moments than Obama has in his whole campaign.

Obama wants us to come together, but for what purpose? So White people don't have to feel guilty? So that a handful more of Black people can get in on the 'rape the third world game'? Bump that.
If you tell me you want unity but you react to someone calling you a Muslim as if they had called you a piece of dried cat poop, how am I supposed to believe you?

Personally, my Arab Muslim ass wishes it were Rev. Wright that were abut to snag the nomination...

ebw-educated black woman said...

I too saw this last week, and are glad you posted it in entirety. There are a few media outlets Huffpo being one, who have posted it--and touched on the fact that it was totally taken out of context and used in an inflammatory manner. Don't know how true it is, but a co-worker told me that he'd heard one of Hannity's minions is taking credit for the editing job and releasing it to the media.

AverageBro said...

@ wizznilly,

Shoot me the URL for that church Youtube site, please.

@ saladin,

Nice PoV. Stick around and comment more often, please.

@ daedalus,

I don't think anyone would argue that black culture needs to shift, but c'mon, it's not THAT simple.

As one commenter also stated, if it were that simple, wouldn't all of white America be prosperous? what's THEIR excuse?

jjbrock said...

Great article and post. I have always listen to pastor Wright on Sunday morning before going to my own church. I would never call Pastor Wright a racist because he is not. If he was that bad he would not have been there that long. Black folks will put you out of a church in a minute.

This is an attack on the last thing that Black America has to identify us. If we let them silence The Black Church we might as well give up. How do we think our ancestor made it through those hard times?

Jeremiah Wright is an great teacher of the word of God. Were was white America when he was in his community working for his people empowering them for over 3o years?

I love Pastor Wright for his honesty and his love for his people.

daedalus said...

@Average Bro and Shinola

I am not white so I cant speak to what will fix the hillbillies, rednecks and trailer trash.

@Anonymiss you are so correct in your assessment that there is no amount of legislation that is going to heal the wounds (so, if you would, call a few black leaders and tell them to stop asking for it) now that we understand what it is to be black, what are you going to do, whine like its 1950 or, be prosperous like the Obamas in 2008.

@jjbrock Nobody wants to silence the black church but seriously, the foolishness that comes out of the mouths of these men (the government created Aids and other mess) and the hoplessness for our people they preach in a world where Barak makes 300grand a year and winds Iowa, needs an update.

spool32 said...

I gotta +1 daedalus on this. Not much more to add, except to say that it seems the reasonable people all commented in the Racefest thread, and the wackos seem to have congregated here, with precious little crossover from the former to the latter.

TalentedTenth said...

@ saladin...

are you the same saladin who waged in on the discussion over at on the story of the pope baptizing a Muslim? if so, kudos on the comment!

Saladin said...

@ talentedtenth

Damn. And here I thought I was the only loudmouth political-blog-haunter named 'Saladin'! Me and this other guy might have to have words... :)

Anonymiss said...

Daedalus said:

you are so correct in your assessment that there is no amount of legislation that is going to heal the wounds (so, if you would, call a few black leaders and tell them to stop asking for it) now that we understand what it is to be black, what are you going to do, whine like its 1950 or, be prosperous like the Obamas in 2008.
Who's whining? And I don't side with those who complain and sit on their butts.

You act as though there aren't any valid complaints when double standards are addressed. Anyone that works twice as hard to be considered half as good is well within his/her right to be bothered by conditional rules.

Anonymous said...

*rolleyes at spool32*


shinola black said...


I am not white so I cant speak to what will fix the hillbillies, rednecks and trailer trash.

Now, who's the poor one here?

Wealth is not always measured by the size of one's bank account, but often by the size of one's heart.

Think about it....

Heather said...

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to thank you for this post. I have the opportunity to hear Rev. Wright speak in a couple of weeks, and I'm taking my whole family to see it.

This makes me feel a bit better to know that things are not as hateful as Fox wants me to believe. (Not that I buy well, anything Fox has to say.)

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