Friday, April 25, 2008

White America can't handle the truth

My many years in the black church, listening to Pastor Jeremiah Wright's take on the gospel as it relates to his ministry with Bill Moyers tonight was no new information to me. Perhaps, it was nothing new to you, too.

To put it quite simply, he spoke the truth. However, I am afraid, just like in that great Jack Nicholson line, white America “can’t handle the truth”. I’m sorry, but regardless of how well Pastor Wright makes or does not make his case, this failed generation who is passing judgment on him will never understand the gravity of his thought or any other prophetic black speaker.

Understanding is developed through association. We all know that the 11:00 hour on Sunday morning has been, historically, the most segregated hour in America. Most church members talk to other members like family, because it is family. If one has never experienced a black church, one will, perhaps, never understand the meaning of the church in our community. And by the same token, we will never understand the worship culture of a mosque or of a temple if quality time has not been spent in these homes of worship.

As I write, I am still wrestling with the question of whether or not it was worth the effort on the part of Wright and Moyers to attempt to explain the thinking of the Jeremiah Wrights of the world, especially, at this critical time in history. At one point, I said to myself, ‘oh, please pastor….don’t go there. It will only confuse white folks and they will take it out on the O-man at the ballot box’. But, I’m reminded of how each new generation grows a little taller, reaches a little higher and runs a little faster in order to improve our place in society.

Pastor Wright and Senator Obama have just raised the bar, again, for a serious dialogue about painful and unspoken truths that go to the core of these disunited states on race.

3 comments:

Brian said...

Watching Reverend Wright Sunday night on CNN at the NAACP convention I felt a sense of pride and comfort in knowing that he had acquitted himself so well; he was truly speaking the truth. As someone who lived in Chicago and had been to Pastor Wright's church I knew the powerful voice he provided for not only the downtrodden and depressed but also those who objected to the political and economic direction of the country.

I felt that Senator Obama had possibly escaped a bullet and that his campaign for the presidency would continue to gain traction. After watching segments of Pastor Wright's National Press Club interview I'm not so sure about Obama's viability anymore.

Free wheeling answers to questions about Reverend Wright's post 9/11 chickens coming home to roost comments, qualified defenses of Louis Farrakhan and his condemnation of US government policies pleased the assembled crowd, but won't I fear, play well with that sector of the electorate that Obama desperately needs to secure, white, blue collar workers. Hillary apparently prevailed with 70% of that voting bloc in Pennsylvania.

As one Republican strategist proudly cackled on CNN today, we(the Republicans) now have the opportunity to define Obama before he defines himself. Translation: The vast right wing conspiracy propaganda machine comprised of Fox News, neo-fascist radio talking heads and bloggers, similarly inclined think tanks, PR firms and ad firms will slice and dice the good Reverends comments to make Obama look like Satan's beloved son.

Couple this with the Supreme Court's decision announced today to permit states to pass photo identification laws whose effect will be to disqualify en mass large numbers of black, brown and senior voters and we have the makings for an ugly November election. I pray that I'm wrong.

microbrother said...

Brian,

Thank you for your insight. As I stated before, it’s necessary to spend some time (or at least hear and see what Pastor Wright is about “unedited”, over time) with a person before you can have the audacity to pass judgment on someone else.

I don’t know if last night’s airing of Pastor Wright’s speeches will change anything. I sense that those who are against Senator Obama will remain against him. Those voters who are on the fence will, probably, vote their narrow and conservative self interest because it is less taxing on their conscious.

My baby boom generation is too consumed with baggage of old to appreciate the gifts that Obama is bringing to the table. My hope is with the young, the enlightened and the progressive members of our society.. How many times have we heard our children and grandchildren say, “Dad/granddad, you got to vote for Obama”? Our young people are concern about their future. It is not about us anymore. It is about them....their future!

Thanks for visiting. Come back, again.

Anonymous said...

SO WE SPEAK

As a Pastor for only a short time of eight years compared to Rev. Wright's long and rich pastorate, I was disheartened when I heard and saw his actions.

As Pastors, we are set apart by God for a work in which its foundation is one of love and truth. Our God has given us His authority to speak for Him. So, we speak to those who are lost and give them God’s direction. We speak to those who are hurting and bring His words of comfort. We speak to the blind that have no vision and give them God’s insight. We Pastors speak even of the injustices of this world and deliver God’s truth. Speaking the word of God can and will offend many. Pastors who have pastored for any amount of time know that we will be lied on, misunderstood, disrespected, mistreated, as well as rejected by those inside and outside of the church because of what and for whom we speak. Jesus tells us in His word that offences will come. If they reject Him, we, who follow his will, as well be rejected.

Pastors learn that we are not and can not fight many of our battles the way others fight and if we fight it must be guided by God. Our battles can not be fought because we are being tried and WE PASTORS DO GET TRIED for other people and their situations. We must be as gentle as a dove, but wise as a serpent. We can not allow our attacks to be taken personally and it appears that Rev. Wright thinks that this is about him and his ego. The word tells us that pride goes before destruction or a fall. Rev. Wright’s retaliation has placed him below the attacks and attackers. Let us all learn from this and pray for him.

I would like to encourage Senator Barack, his family, supporters, and Rev. Wright – do know that it is God who places men in positions. Stay focus on the goal, trusting God to bring it to pass. God is a miracle working God – He works what no man can work – He is a jealous God and will not allow anyone to take credit for what He does. So, some people and things will be moved out, moved in and away.



Pastor T

Washington, D.C.