This is a great line from an excerpt of Revered Jeremiah Wright’s sermons at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The quote is a metaphor in many ways, although the Reverend’s reference was to American foreign policy it captures the outlook of race in this country in context of the 2008 presidential race. It’s like the big ass blue elephant is in the room – we all see it –yet praying that the behemoth of a creature doesn’t move. Frankly, I’m not sure what all the brouhaha is all about stemming from the Pastor’s comments – he didn’t lie about anything that was said. And I’ve tried to find sentiments from average Joe’s about their feelings of the Pastor’s comments and I’ve found nothing – although I haven’t looked hard enough either. So, it has led me to believe that this is the media’s beef. Yes, mainstream media has issue with the Pastor’s comments. I believe their direct beef is the word un-American – Americans take offense to when the word is used – you hit’em in the jugular…
Aaahhhh. . . but then the assumption being made is that black folks are not American.
White folks those of you who are only aware of an America that looks like you, talks like you, and does the things you do – you are doing yourselves a disservice about what is American. If you choose to dismiss or marginalize black existence, then you have your own issues you need to deal with on a personal level. In the clips that aired on “Meet the Press” , the Pastor channeled the energy felt by many blacks due to feelings of despair, hopelessness, etc… He discussed the issues plaguing black men (crime, incarceration, etc…) and its tangible effects on the black family / community. It appears the mainstream media could not identify with the Pastor’s remarks.
So is it un-American not to espouse the same views held by the mainstream or yet who deems what is American and do they have that right?
Which one came first the chicken or the egg?
I will say I am a lil’ disappointed by black folks and the black media for not engaging in the tête-à-tête with the mainstream media over their callous characterization of the Pastor’s remarks. It was a classic case of letting others frame your own issues – and that is a big NO NO in Bellini’s book. Think about it.
What could the media have countered about the factual information stated in the sermon?
Whether or not you like Obama and what he stands for – you have to give him credit for speaking about America’s ugly truths. Where most would have tried to dodge and run, he stood there and addressed issues. And frankly, we need that. It’s not enough to discuss issues in the barbershop, beauty shop, in the church devoid of others – where our concerns never reverberate beyond our communities. I give the speech an A-. For one, he was brave and courageous to hold a press conference on race. Two, he brought back the historical context many Americans choose to ignore including the systemic acts/actions taken to preclude blacks from opportunities and their lingering effects. Thirdly, and I haven’t seen black folks step up on the plate on this one – he reminded black folks that not all whites in America are embroiled in the historical legacy of slavery in this country. There are many whites that are immigrants and their asses are struggling too. The speech was reality check 101. I’m not sure where we go from here, but for him it was commendable and speaks volumes to me about how he demonstrates leadership.
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot