Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tim Wise : Of National Lies and Racial Amnesia

I've been following Tim since I was a youth. Again he demonstrates a white man who's actually taken the time to look at racial issues through an academic lens. He needs to visit trinity. Trinitarians would totally love him! Read the entire article HERE

But here we are, in 2008, fuming at the words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago--occasionally Barack Obama's pastor, and the man whom Obama credits with having brought him to Christianity--for merely reminding us of those evils about which we have remained so quiet, so dismissive, so unconcerned. It is not the crime that bothers us, but the remembrance of it, the unwillingness to let it go--these last words being the first ones uttered by most whites it seems whenever anyone, least of all an "angry black man" like Jeremiah Wright, foists upon us the bill of particulars for several centuries of white supremacy.

But our collective indignation, no matter how loudly we announce it, cannot drown out the truth. And as much as white America may not be able to hear it (and as much as politics may require Obama to condemn it) let us be clear, Jeremiah Wright fundamentally told the truth.

Oh I know that for some such a comment will seem shocking. After all, didn't he say that America "got what it deserved" on 9/11? And didn't he say that black people should be singing "God Damn America" because of its treatment of the African American community throughout the years?

Well actually, no he didn't.

Wright said not that the attacks of September 11th were justified, but that they were, in effect, predictable. Deploying the imagery of chickens coming home to roost is not to give thanks for the return of the poultry or to endorse such feathered homecoming as a positive good; rather, it is merely to note two things: first, that what goes around, indeed, comes around--a notion with longstanding theological grounding--and secondly, that the U.S. has indeed engaged in more than enough violence against innocent people to make it just a tad bit hypocritical for us to then evince shock and outrage about an attack on ourselves, as if the latter were unprecedented.


The Pocono PC Doctor said...

This too shall pass. I hope that we all can join in the celebration - when Senator Barack Obama is sworn in as President of these Unites States.

In Hope and in Peace,

Jim Lyons

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a real find for me. Congratulations to you for speaking Truth!

Mark said...


Gary said...

What goes around comes around? Doesn't that imply that what comes back is at least roughly equivalent to what goes out? Is it wrong to feel indignant when someone punches you in the mouth for an unintentional fender bender?

I'm no historian, but I really don't think that America has ever deliberately mass-targeted civilians, with no war being declared or in progress. Sure, one can point to all kinds of side-effects of America's involvement in the evolution of nations and their relationships, but hasn't that involvement been as a whole with the purpose of preserving peace and prosperity for all? Hasn't the ultimate wish of America and its guiding force been to nudge, or at last resort force, oppressive nations into being democratic ones?

The "indignance" of America after 9/11 was indeed justified. Just as it was after Pearl Harbor. This "what did you expect" attitude is grossly erroneous, IMHO.

I don't know if Obama has really commented specifically on this, but from what he has said in response to Wright's "controversial" comments, I strongly suspect he would disagree with Wright on his attitude after 9/11. I would like to see him questioned on this, if he hasn't been.

Anonymous said...

My Pastor IS NOT A RACIST. Our congregation has welcomed worshipers from around the globe(and Pastor has greeted Germans in German;Swedes in Swedish and Italians in italian) throughout the years.

What we DO stand against is the engraved notion of white supremacy and black inferiority. As we and more churches should. Race IS ingrained in American society no matter how some wish to whitewash it's presence.

In fact; non white Americans ARE classified as "minority" Americans. Why? Besides skin color; what makes one part of the majority and another part of the minority?