Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Stand with My Pastor! Here is why....

I like many have watched nervously while Rev. Wright made his appearances with the media this weekend. Feeling both joy and just a bit of pain. I'm not one to make snap judgments and try my best to think rational about all issues, especially ones that tend to drive us to highly emotional responses. Having said that, allow me to review the facts.....

  1. Rev. Wright did not ask to be in this position
    1. Never before in history has the mainstream media given so much scrutiny to ANY presidential candidates Pastor OR Church OR secret society memberships. I mean Hillary's association with 'The Family' was mentioned on blogs but never covered in depth by the mainstream media! And what religion is John McCain anyways? He didn't even seem know
  2. If Rev. Wright had not attempted to defend himself, HE WOULD STILL BE AN ISSUE IN THIS POLITICAL SEASON
    1. The North Carolina republicans were set to air 'Willie Horton' style attack ads featuring Rev. Wright against the wishes of the presumed Republican Nominee
  3. Rev. Wright is NOT a politician. and saying that I feel that it shouldn't be surprising that he wouldn't use political posturing during a press conference........
    1. It could be argued that no ones pastor really needs to be in front of the National Press Club. One should really be asking why he was invited
I won't stand by and allow my pastor to be scapegoated as a political liability without asking some critical questions of his attackers? And as I mention my points, I invite you to examine with me why we are/ are not witnessing BLATANT RACIAL DOUBLE STANDARDS..... shall we :) okay
  1. Why is it so much of a political deal breaker for Obama that one of his supporters, and former pastor Rev. Wright to say that Minister Farrakhan is someone respected by Black America and that he's not such a Bad Guy at all??? I mean event Clinton Supporter PA Governor Ed Rendell while he was MAYOR said the same thing. That didn't seem to be such a political liability for him.

    I guess the good Governor gave up trying to end racism given that he stated a week before the "Wright Controversy" started, that WORKING CLASS WHITE VOTERS WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A BLACK MAN! But that day he was really kissing Farrakhans ass wouldn't you agree???
  2. I'll reserve another bullet point for now far right democrat Joe Lieberman who also took a turn at getting to know Farrakhan the man and kissing his ass...............

  3. Okay ... Maybe throwing up an Omega signal was over the top for Rev. to do. I'll give you that.. But again he's not running for office. Whats more outrageous, Rev. Wright throwing up an Omega sign at a press conference orJohn McCain trying to WHIP SOMEBODY'S ASS on the Senate floor.. WHICH IS WORSE? Do we not swift boat McCain when he's accused of calling his wife a trollip and a c*nt??? Or how about dropping the F bomb on the senate floor? Is that not a sign of arrogance?
  4. Our favorite President George Bush has even told all of us the MIDDLE FINGER.... and acted an ass on many business occasions

    Did he just disrespect a world leader by giving her a massage???? He got away with that huh......
  5. The perceived causes for 9/11... John McCain doesn't get any flack for courting right wing preachers nominations who have blamed 9/11 on gays but the 'other' candidate doesn't

    So is the message here that the American people feel that it is more legitimate to blame 9/11 on gays, feminist, and abortionist.. and that blaming it on American foreign policy is totally illegitimate?? Is that what I should take away from this. Please engage me on this because I'm trying to be Post Racial and understand really!
The fact that we have to deal with these obvious double standards proves that the notion of POST RACIALISM is impossible in the U.S. Rev. Wright is being held to a standard WE NEVER EVEN HOLD OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TOO... this is real.......

You what I'd like to see discussed in the media right now......

  1. What do these candidates feel about the Patriot Act, Real Id, and the continuing decline of the dollar. You know the dollar is not that much in value compared to the damn Peso anymore.. Why isn't McCain Hillary and Obama addressing that. Why is the media focusing on my PASTOR and not the POLITICIANS AND THEIR POLITICAL VIEWS AND SOLUTIONS.....
  2. Out of these three candidates WHO IS BENEFITING FINANCIALLY FROM INVESTMENTS RELATED TO THE IRAQ WAR AND THE DECREASING DOLLAR??? Does McCain have stock in Black Water??? Does Hillary or her husband or ,since we're there, HER PASTOR have stock in the Defense industry?????? (Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who voted for Bush’s war, had stock in defense companies, such as Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon, but sold the stock in May 2007. How fake is that!)
  3. When will the candidates address the Global Food Shortage issue and why is Costco rationing rice for God's sake....
Will the media ever address these issues??? No they won't because they know that elections aren't based on reason.. they're based on fears and irrational emotions.

Pastor Wright You taught me to be unapologetic... I am. You did the best you could in a no win situation and I am PRAYING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY and our church.

Please stay encouraged.

NOW BLOGOSPHERE BRING IT ON............................................

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Missed Rev. Wrights Interview with Moyers? Watch it Here!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rev. Wright to be interviewed by Bill Moyers

Written by J. Bennett Guess
April 19, 2008

In what will be his first interview since snippets of his preaching became a central issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. will speak publicly to veteran journalist and fellow UCC member Bill Moyers.

The interview will be broadcast on Friday evening, April 25, on Bill Moyers Journal, a PBS news series that airs nationally. Check local listings at

Wright retired in March after 36 years as senior pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity UCC in Chicago, where U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has been a member for more than 20 years. Trinity UCC is the largest congregation among the UCC's 5,700 churches.

Moyers, a member of Riverside Church (UCC/American Baptist) in New York City, is a critically-acclaimed public affairs journalist who is known for his thoughtful attention to the intersection of politics, religion and the media. Last June, Moyers and Obama were among the presenters at the UCC's 50th anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Conn.

Following his appearance on Bill Moyers Journal, Wright is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP Detroit Branch on Sunday, April 27. He is also slated to speak on Monday, April 28, to a breakfast gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., followed by a teach-in at Howard University School of Divinity and Shiloh Baptist Church, which also will host an ecumenical prayer service.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"They Bring in the Drugs and Build Bigger Prisons" : Why did Dr. Jeremiah Wright Say this? Part 1

Because he watches the news maybe!!!

I've already shed some light on why Black America is suspicious of the Medical Industry (related to the AIDS statements). My next few posts will focus on mainstream investigative reports regarding government complicity in drug trafficking and the prison industrial complex so that the statements "they bring in the drugs and build bigger prisons" can be seen from the perspective of African Americans

Trinity United Church of Christ : The importance of Culture with Dr. Asa Hilliard

Many people ask, why does Trinity United Church of Christ insist on expressing African culture? Because of the norm in western society, when African Americans in particular, express pride in their African culture, they are seen to be anti-American radical black supremest (which is totally ridiculous)! Now I'm not sure if the same rule is applied to Irish Americans, who although they may be many generations removed from Ireland, practice and celebrate their culture. Or Greek Americans who do the same. I think that as stated in the documentary below many Americans believe that all of the 'African' in American Blacks has been stripped away during slavery. But studies reveal otherwise. Take some time and watch a few segments of the documentary African - American Culture: A Second Look. Produced by Dr. Asa Hilliard with appearances by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, John Henrick Clark, and Dr Randall Skelton and many others!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Trinity United Church of Christ Press Conference

Let's Discuss

Rev. Dr. John Thomas, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ

Rev. Otis Moss III Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ

Rev. Michael Kinnaman, General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Media Q&A

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Psychology of Racism - I'm not a racist. I think???

I think it's very important that we strive to understand why we do what we do as a society. While promoting this blog, I've seen many crazy comments regarding people's perception of Rev. Wright, Trinity UCC, and people's ideas about racism in general. Do we all have the same understanding of the concept of racism, and if not, where do we draw our understanding of the issue? Based on my very limited study of psychology and sociology, it would seem that many feel that the masses don't even have the time to think that deeply about these types of things which would explain, for me, the very emotional and irrational reactions I've seen from folks over the last few weeks. I'm praying that since the nation has been given this "directive" to attempt to understand the issue of race and racism, that I might offer something beneficial.

Harvard psychologist, Dr. Mahzarin R. Banaji, delivered a lecture titled "Paradoxes of Mind & Society" at the Yale University Department of Psychology. Dr. Banaji describes her research into the unconscious prejudices that human beings may carry below the threshold of consciousness. She is also a key contributor for the development of the "Implicit Association Test" (IAT), which is used in a range of experiments to measure the magnitude of prejudices that may lie in the subconscious of the test taker.
I think her lecture could even give some insight about the responses I've seen to Jeremiah Wrights 30 seconds of controversial sermon...

This video may be viewed in it's entirety along with a description and transcript at the following link. I've also provided other resources so that those who care to understand can begin to see the issue of race through an academic lens.

Democratic Vistas

Lecture Date: January 23, 2001
Additional Research Information:

Harvard University: Research Matters See No Bias

Scientific American: The Implicit Prejudice

Project Implicit®

University of Washington: The Unconscious Roots of Racism

University of Michigan Health System: Your Child & Television

The Media Awareness Network: Kids & Racial Stereotypes The Second Mind (Blink)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rev. Dr. Brenda Eatman Aghahowa: Barbara Jordan on the Wright-Obama Controversy

As a Barbara Jordan scholar, I have written extensively about the late Texas Congresswoman’s style of political communication, one characterized by Celeste Michelle Condit and John Louis Lucaites in their book, Crafting Equality, as that of an “egalitarian consensus builder.” While never skirting issues of race, the Congresswoman addressed these in such a way as to attempt to lower, rather than raise barriers, in a way that would bring people together, rather than divide them.

In recent weeks, the media have sought to vilify and crucify the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s now-retired pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, by endlessly airing out of context a few controversial remarks he has made over the years while sermonizing. By now, we all are well aware of the caricature the print and broadcast media have proffered of Dr. Wright as a race-baiting madman. (Of note, the current pastor of Trinity, the Rev. Otis Moss III, told members during a recent worship service that persons who had gone to the Trinity website and listened to controversial sermons in their entirety have since written to apologize to Dr. Wright, now clear of media distortion of his words and ideas.)
I have sat ruminating, wondering what my “sheroe” Barbara Jordan would think of all this, if she were alive. Even as her voice of reason was so critical during the Nixon-Watergate Impeachment Hearings, such a voice is desperately needed at this juncture in our national life, even if it must be heard from the grave.

If I may speak for Congresswoman Jordan after nearly a decade of wrestling with her life, work and legacy, after studying her papers in the Barbara Jordan Archives at Texas Southern University in Houston, and after interviewing at length family members and colleagues who knew her, I humbly offer some conclusions here.
First, as a serious Constitutionalist, Barbara Jordan would defend Pastor Wright’s First Amendment right of free speech and his right to be controversial. She would point out, as others have in various columns and forums over the past few weeks, the double standard that has been applied to Rev. Wright. Specifically, she might comment that white right-wing ministers in this country have said the same and worse kinds of things since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, and few if any media persons have castigated them in similar fashion.
Even though Congresswoman Jordan would not use the same style of expression if she were alive, she likely would defend to the death Dr. Wright’s right to express himself as God has fashioned him to express himself.
Secondly, Jordan was a consummate, balanced researcher. Her famous Statement on Impeachment, delivered before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on July 25, 1974, carefully juxtaposed President Richard Milhous Nixon’s actions with the criteria for impeachment. Given this, Jordan likely might be scratching her head as to why many Americans have not had the intellectual or emotional (indeed, as a preacher’s kid, the spiritual) maturity to do their own research with regard to Dr. Wright and the Trinity congregation – a church that some have disparagingly mislabeled as “crackpot” in the media in recent weeks. She would wonder about the knee-jerk reactions to brief sound bites that have reduced and mischaracterized 36 years of incredible ministry leadership to headship of a heretical cult. She would muse, “Aren’t Americans smart enough to investigate for themselves?” For, if those Americans who knee-jerked had gone to the Internet (even if they had to go to their local library or other location to access it) and visited the church’s website, rather than simply buying wholesale what the media have offered, they would know, “The Truth About Trinity".

As a member of Trinity for the past 12 years and as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ for 20 years, I am well acquainted with the teachings and writings of Dr. Wright, a well-respected theologian, scholar and seminary professor who has written several books, all theologically and biblically sound. A man of letters, he has two master’s degrees, an earned doctorate, and several honorary doctorates. I also am well acquainted with the 70-plus ministries of outreach at the church that help folk spiritually and practically, offering assistance especially to those marginalized and disenfranchised ones whom Jesus called, “the least of these.” Research would reveal that Dr. Wright has grown the church from 87 members to more than 8,000 over the past 36 years. In addition, Rev. Wright has mentored and ordained hundreds of men and women to preach the Christian gospel. Of note, Trinity’s membership has included, and currently includes some white members. One of those white members was the former UCC Illinois Conference Minister, Jane Fisler Hoffman, who has taken another denominational post in California. A white male member of more than 20 years, William A.Von Hoene Jr., wrote compellingly in a March 26, 2008 editorial for the Chicago Tribune of how Dr. Wright counseled his African-American wife (then his fiancĂ©e) for four hours, trying to get her to
stick to her original decision to marry Von Hoene after Dr. Wright learned she planned to back out of the marriage because he is white.

Trinity is not monolithic in terms of race or culture. It has members that are Latina/Latino, that are Spanish-speaking, French-speaking, and that are from many countries, including Columbia, France, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan and England. It is perhaps one of the most diverse congregations in the country.
The usual Bible studies, choral groups, and benevolence efforts that one would find at any Christian church are supplemented at Trinity by ministries of employment, housing, food sharing, legal counseling, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS support, drug and alcohol abuse recovery, food sharing, television and radio, etc. The church’s outreach is local, national and global. As a result of Rev. Wright encouraging members to exercise faithful stewardship with respect to tithes and offerings (financial giving), the church burned the mortgage on its $12 million worship center some years back.

The Christian cross has two axes or dimensions, the vertical and the horizontal. Some Christian church leaders of conservative bent act as if issues like abortion and gay marriage, which are related to personal choice and personal spirituality (the vertical dimension of faith), are the only issues on which the church should act politically. Dr. Wright, however, is spiritually clear that Christians ought to pay attention as well to the horizontal dimension of faith, that is to issues of sociopolitical significance that affect more than one individual at a time – matters such as institutional racism and global warming that, when acted and legislated upon, positively impact millions and billions of persons at once.
His is a holistic approach to the gospel. He is clear that the church must be concerned and vocal on any issues that affect persons’ spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing and not just those that conservative churches have chosen to focus on.

As a minister and parishioner, when I hear Dr. Wright speak out forcefully on issues of social justice, I always hear echoing in my spiritual ear the words and stridency of biblical prophets Micah, Amos and Jesus, who also bucked the status quo while speaking truth to power. When he speaks out from a biblical perspective on issues like employment discrimination, war mongering for oil profit (be aware that Pope Benedict XVI also opposes the War in Iraq), environmental racism, racial profiling and the like, I clearly hear the paraphrased words of these biblical prophets, who have intoned:
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream.”
Amos 5:24
“What does God require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.”
Matthew 25:40.
Dr. Wright’s is an intelligent and spirited gospel that requires Christians (who are commanded to love God with all their hearts and minds) to think deeply about issues with impact far beyond “us four and no more.” Worshiping and “critical thinking,” as we call it in academia, are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they must go together.
In short, and this is the third and final point, Barbara Jordan, who, while at Boston University Law School, sat under the erudite teaching and preaching of Rev. Howard Thurman (an African-American minister who was one of the nation’s greatest preachers of the 20th century), would be clear that Rev. Wright is in good spiritual company. For he follows in the footsteps of fiery prophets before him in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Not all prophets have a call to diplomatic consensus-building as did/do Barbara Jordan, Barack Obama, Andrew Young and other politicians of that ilk. Witness Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple because they had, in His words, made the house of prayer a den of thieves – a marketplace and a currency exchange, in effect! (See Matthew 19:45-46.) Anyone who has read the gospels knows that Jesus was not politically correct, and neither were the biblical prophets and apostles who preceded or followed him.
I ask along with Jordan, who queried an audience at a race relations conference in Dayton, Ohio in 1990, “White America, what’s bugging you?” In other words, why are some so uncomfortable with the truth that Rev. Wright speaks on issues of race and politics? Has he said anything that is not true? Of course, truth often hurts, and if we are not mature enough to handle it, we lash out at the person purveying it.
As Barack Obama noted in his profound speech addressing the controversy involving Rev. Wright, race still is a huge issue that cannot be ignored in this country. Anyone who believes the playing field has been leveled in education, housing, criminal justice and other arenas is deluding himself or herself. Ask almost anyone who lives in Black skin.

Barbara Jordan, one of the most spellbinding orators in our nation’s history and one whose biography is lined with firsts, would be the first to affirm the truth of what Dr. Wright has said, although she would have packaged the material differently. Jordan’s bottom line here for Americans? “Shape up! Stop being intellectually lazy and relying on 30-second sound bites from media that thrive on sensationalism! On any given issue, do your own research and think for yourself!” It might take a little extra effort on the part of any elderly and others who are not computer savvy or who are not mobile or healthy enough to get to a library. These persons will have to rely on friends, family members and perhaps even nursing home staff to help them secure as many perspectives as possible on any given controversial issue. Since these persons constitute a major voting bloc, however, it is imperative that they make this extra effort to try to be fully rather than partially informed.
Jordan would concur with Trinity’s Pastor Moss, who told the media and Americans recently to get not just a “bite” of Trinity, but “the whole meal.” Amen,

Amen and Amen!

Brenda Eatman Aghahowa, Ph.D., D.Min., is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and Chairperson of the Department of English, Communications, Media Arts and Theatre at Chicago State University. Her book, Grace Under Fire: Barbara Jordan’s Rhetoric of Watergate, Patriotism, and Equality, is due out from Third World Press, Chicago, in May.