Warning! This blog contains strong language, so you might want to take notes!
Geraldine Ferraro, I hope you are paying attention, because I am about to jump all over Jeremiah Wright just as I jumped all over you a few days ago.
Dr. Wright, what in the hell were you thinking? I only met you once, but I have a hard time from that brief meeting believing that you said what you seem to be saying in your now infamous sermon about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Maybe you were pandering to your audience. I would say you might just have gotten carried away, but in the video that I saw you seem to be preaching from notes and so I find it unlikely that you got carried away. In any event, the record needs to be set straight.
There can be no denying that African Americans in this country are discriminated against. In your sermon, however, you mention a few curious things that seem to indicate you believe might be unique to the black experience, among them single parent households and poverty. You also seem to want to characterize Obama as poor, and while I have no doubt that his family was poor, there aren’t any poor folks in Congress, much less running for President. You mention that Hillary Clinton has never been called the “n word,” and while I don’t know I would assume that’s probably true. I would counter by saying that Barack has never been called the “sl”, “bi”, “wh”, “tw”, or “cu” words – so what’s your point? (And, as an aside, how sad is it that we have to resort talking about words by using only their first letters?) Surely we aren’t falling into the old vacuous argument about whose pain is worse, because anyone with a lick of sense learned long ago that pain is pain and arguments about who has it worse are only thinly disguised pity parties that only distract us from healing. This kind of sensationalist preaching, while it may play well to the home crowd, is in the end only destructive.
Now, in fairness, I have also listened to what Dr. Wright said about 9/11, and I couldn’t agree with him more. America made its own bed, and now we are laying in it, and will continue to lay in it. That is important to mention in this context because we can never gauge an argument by how well it is received. The fact that an audience likes a message doesn’t mean that it is a good message any more than the fact that a message makes an audience mad means that it is a bad message. In fact, good preaching should fire people up and get them engaged. However, preaching that is good and responsible must also not play foot loose and fancy free with the truth or be so biased by the cultural circumstances of the preacher that it becomes divisive for the sake of attention, and that’s precisely what has happened here with Dr. Wright. The shame of it is, he’s better than that.