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Friday, July 2, 2010

Malignant intent

The Reverend Wright was in the news again this week for some of his more incendiary comments while teaching a seminar in Chicago. Wright evidently said, "White folk done took this country. You're in their home, and they're gonna let you know it."

He did his best to advocate racial harmony to his mostly African-American audience by saying, "You are not now, nor will you ever be, a brother to white folk. And if you do not realize that, you are in serious trouble."

Wright called Italian-Americans "Mamma Luigi" and "pizzeria."

And he said that the educational system in this country is designed to mis-educate blacks "not by benign neglect but by malignant intent."

Wright also criticized Martin Luther King for advocating nonviolence.

White America was shocked when they first heard Wright quoted in the summer of '08. They were shocked because they've never hung out with black people.

I had an argument with a black friend once about Obama. My friend, trying to defend Obama, said that Obama had to establish himself with the black community in South Chicago, and to do this needed to join a black church, and it was virtually impossible to find a black church where they don't talk like Wright.

In other words, Wright was not some weird anomaly, but merely spouted the standard black attitudes.

(One must keep in mind that the light-skinned Wright must have felt at some level that he had to prove himself to the community by being blacker than thou; nonetheless, his rhetoric, as my friend pointed out, is typical.)

I was in Las Vegas once with the above-mentioned friend. When we were with the young Italian-American casino host who had been assigned to him (my friend was a high roller), my friend was content to listen to his various stories about women. (If you want to be a womanizer, get a job as a host at one of the casinos.) But when talking to the one black host who worked there, my friend casually mentioned that he used to be a card counter. I suggested later that he shouldn't mention that to a casino employee (casinos are constantly on their guard against counters). My friend said dismissively, "No brother is going to turn me in for that."

He was right, of course. The attitudes and loyalties of black people tend to run far more along tribal lines than do those of whites. I alluded to this a while back:

When news of Barack Obama's association with Wright first surfaced, Obama claimed ignorance of the attitudes expressed by Wright. After all, this was only a man whose church he had attended for seventeen years; who had married him and Michelle; who had baptized his children; and to whom he had donated fifty-six thousand dollars. The American public accepted Obama's explanation at face value and soporifically pulled the lever for him that November.

A year and a half of Wright's acolyte occupying the Oval Office, however, does seem to have finally woken the electorate up. (At least those who are wake-uppable.)


Anonymous said...

How do you think Wright would explain the education and advancement of Mr. and Mrs. Obama? Julie

John Craig said...

Julie --
That's a very good question and I wish I could ask him. Though personally, given Obama's policies, I'd have to agree with Wright that Barack was "mis-educated."