Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nobody silences Jeremiah Wright! Particularly those who try hardest

I couldn’t help but be amused when I learned Wednesday that the Chicago Teachers Union has thrown its lot in with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright – the man whose rhetoric has offended ideologue America because he’s willing to call them out on their past sins against black people, rather than just let the past be the past.

WRIGHT: Obama's "kill" list??!?
The people who now go about accusing Wright of “reverse racism” are probably the grandchildren of those who would have referred to him as “uppity” in decades past for his oft-harsh rhetoric.

WHICH HE GAVE samples of on Wednesday.

For the teachers union held an event in the Roseland neighborhood meant to jump-start their political efforts concerning proposed changes in laws for special education class sizes. To help get the crowd aroused, they brought in Wright.

Whom the bulk of us remember as the pastor of the black-oriented church that Barack Obama and family attended when he was still a lowly state legislator and nowhere near a national political figure.

“God Damn America!,” is the phrase that the ideologues always want to stuff into Wright’s mouth. He did say it. But when you consider some of the things that have been done to black people throughout our nation’s history, it’s a wonder he didn’t say something even more harsh.

ON WEDNESDAY, HE told the union gathering (which also had many pastors of South Side black-oriented churches) that he wants to see a rejection of the “three-headed demon” of “racism, militarism and capitalism<’ which is what he thinks Western society has become about.

He even accused Obama (the man whose wedding to first lady Michelle he presided over) of planning peoples’ deaths. “Every Tuesday morning, there’s a kill list that the president decides who they’re going to kill this week,” said Wright, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. How much of a headache did the president have Wednesday night after learning about that line?

OBAMA: Reaching for aspirin bottle?
That part amused me because the notification I was sent by the teachers union (with instructions about where and when I needed to be in place if I wanted to cover the event) specifically said Wright’s speech was off-limits.

But someone as outspoken as Wright is just too loud to be ignored. What he has to say will come out. And what he still is – even though he’s now technically retired and the Trinity United Church of Christ is now being run by others – is someone who views our establishment critically.

AND FOR GOOD reason!

KING: Hated just as much in his own time
Personally, I find the rhetoric that we often get from the far right of our political spectrum to be more subversive in nature than anything Wright has ever said.

It also doesn’t help the ideologues attempts to sway me in that I have heard many black preachers speak throughout the years. There is a certain cadence to it, and a certain rhetorical flourish.

The trick to comprehending it is to realize how much of it is actually of substance, and now the bulk of it is for show – to ensure that the message sticks in the minds of the parishioners or other people in the audience.

GO SO OVER the top, and some of it might actually be remembered. The larger message might get through.

So personally, I’m not about to condemn the Chicago Teachers Union for associating with Rev. Wright. I’m sure there are some people who will do exactly that (I’ve already read some of their comments – anonymous, of course – on various Internet sites).

But then again, none of those people were ever going to vote for anything in line with what an organized labor union wanted. Heck, these are the people who probably think of the teachers’ union as being led by a loud-enough mouth herself in the form of Karen Lewis.

Of course, all of this was timed to coincide with the birthday anniversary of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (which is Wednesday, even though the officially-designated government holiday won’t come until Monday).

WHICH MAY HAVE some people try to claim that King was about peace and equality while Wright is about stirring up hatred and resentment.

Then again, I suspect the people saying this now were the same ones who, back when they were younger, were the ones who used “Communist agitator” as their label of choice to describe King.

That is, when they weren’t using their preferred slur for King, Wright, Obama and just about anyone else whose melanin level is more intense than their own.


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