Friday, March 28, 2008

Deadly Sin

Kool G. Rap is about makin' armies and crews look like Girl Scouts.
Cuz when I start rappin', I keep the people clappin'

--Jive Talk
, Kool G. Rap

Tell me no secrets, tell me some lies
Give me no reasons, give me alibis

--Don't It make My Brown Eyes
Blue, Crystal Gayle

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul

by making me hate him

--Booker T. Washington

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist

--Golda Meir


The press and other apologists explain away Obama's preacher and mentor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's vitriolic rhetoric as being representative of black America's private dialog on race. I beg to differ.

Having attended several different predominantly black church services both at the invitation of congregants and on my own, my experience is different. The sermons were not censored for my presence; no one knew I was coming. I understand that one person's testimonial does not a weighted survey make; however, I feel moved to speak my own experience.

Never was the message one of being riven from their country. Always the message was one of hope for a better tomorrow, becoming a better person, a better neighbor, a better friend, a better servant of God. The spirituals contain the undeniable truth of a subjugated past, but the sermon's message is always one of deliverance and a better day ahead for the righteous and the meek.

That has long been the power of the black church: a deep and abiding faith in the redemptive power of belief and striving, persistence and humility before one's God, a God who sees all of his children as equals, regardless of and especially because of their all-too-human failings on this earthly plane.

Dialog about hate crimes ensued only outside of the church services. The dialogs I have been a part of on such topics have at times been raw and painful, but always with the intention of understanding. Accusations hurled without such intent are nothing but vituperative, something dangerous which unleashes anger and resentment unless carefully channeled into something productive and helpful.

Martin Luther King said in his prophetic Mountaintop Speech, "We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words." He knew change would be effected via direct action and righteousness of purpose, and not hateful words and resentment.

"Acting bad with our words" is the tack of the GWB administration in Iraq, as well as Jeremiah Wright. Sometimes they don't do right in Washington, and sometimes, not in Chicago -- and that ain't right.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright's anger is not simply "honest talk" representative of how blacks talk among themselves. It is how some blacks and whites talk among themselves. But it is always racist, and does not have a higher good. If you have a different experience, please share it.

And what of Obama, who claims to be a unifying force? His mentor Mr. Wright, delivers a message of dissension and anger. The two seem at odds.

A man of the cloth should be leading his flock to a higher ground.

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Blogger DirkStar said...

Well said!

Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 9:37:00 PM GMT-5  

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