Saturday, May 10, 2008


I was stopped at a red light in far north Dallas yesterday and as the light turned green a grizzled gentleman wearing jungle camo fatigues defiantly strode out into the street and taking special pains looked straight at me with a scowl and smirk on his face all the while muttering to himself, walked in front of my car, again, against the light. I let him pass. I then drove through the intersection and looked at him in the rear view mirror naively wondering if he would look back at me to acknowledge my politeness or just to see who I was. He never looked back. He looked the part of a Vietnam Veteran who after taking one too many licks has now copped to an ultimate cynical and rebellious attitude or in my opinion is now just plain nuts.

It then struck me that he was the personification of the Jeremiah Wright that we have seen, preaching his hatred for years. While the rest of us have moved on, Wright has stayed firmly in place dwelling on the past rather than the future. While there really is no need to comment further on the defiant rantings of Wright and his recent performances at the National Press Club and the NAACP, I’m going to do it anyway.

While Wright tried unsuccessfully to deflect criticism directed at him as an attempt to smear the African American Church and its religious traditions, it all seemed nothing more than a combative and sarcastic attempt to defend himself replete with immature adolescent posturing and facial gesturing behind the back of the moderator to include a mocking salute after he made reference to his military service. If he accomplished anything, he further reinforced and refueled the already negative perceptions that many have of the man. He looked and acted just like the sound and video bites of the old pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ once again preaching his Afro babble. Wright obviously had brought a large entourage that fawned over him in front of the cameras and generated raucous applause and exclamations for Wright at critical points, even completing biblical passages aloud for Wright, all seemingly on cue as Wright on one occasion leaned forward smiling, hand to ear in anticipation of the response.

Then there were the occasions when the egocentric Wright jokingly offered himself as a vice presidential candidate we guess on the Obama ticket? The way things have been going it would appear that he was in cahoots with the Clinton campaign who we are sure must have loved to see this play out. And what about Obama’s repudiation of Wright and his rhetoric? Wright’s response was that Obama acted only out of expediency. "He had to distance himself, because he's a politician..." So now he has dragged Obama down to his level. No wonder the harsh tone of Obama’s latest refutation as Wright basically called him a liar and man without integrity. We haven’t seen Wright’s reaction to Obama’s latest denunciation though it probably would be the same as before.

Though not the candidate, I thought the effect of Wright’s rantings oddly reminiscent of Howard Dean’s "screech heard round the world" when following his third-place finish in Iowa in 2004 he went out of control, loud and visceral, reminding the voters of his, then, angry rhetoric, now much subdued. Now he’s seeing the other side of the coin as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. If Obama wins the nomination the Democrats may have a candidate that’s unelectable. And, that’s the only card that Clinton can play at this point.

Wright is obviously delusional and a racist of the first order fomenting a dissent almost as bad as the bigotry perpetuated on the African American Community. He is the product of a segregationist society and a bitterness and cynicism that he just can’t shake. The sad thing is that Wright deliberately missed the boat and is trying to convince other folks not to get on the boat either. Many are buying into his rhetoric, hooting and hollering and laughing all the way down to his level. Look at him folks and then look at yourselves in the mirror. We made him what he is and gave him the ammunition to preach his vitriol. He is us. He gives credence to his own version of the American Dream by his toys that now include a one million dollar (US) plus home and a ten million dollar (US) line of credit.

We heard last week on Meet The Press and have also seen on many blogs that young African Americans, many at traditional African American Colleges and Universities around the country, are angered at some of the recent “negative” press about Obama especially stories about his relationship with his mentor and pastor of twenty plus years, Jeremiah Wright. They say that all this is just an attempt to smear Obama. Well, here we go again. With an obvious disdain for the truth, it certainly appears that anything which keeps them from achieving their Afro centric agenda is foul whether it be the truth, or not. These are the same folks that probably picketed the Duke University lacrosse players (No, I’m never going to let that one go) or celebrated the acquittal of OJ Simpson. It surely appears that they are supporting Obama for no other reason than he is Black. Obama’s platform, politics and associates appear to have little with their loyalty.

I probably don’t agree often with the very liberal Joan Walsh, Editor in Chief of a San Francisco based on-line magazine. In her Monday April 28, 2008 post, I Was Wrong About Wright, Walsh hit the proverbial nail on the head. She recanted her previously stated opinion where she had expressed sympathy for Wright.

“I regret that I hedged my observation about Wright's narcissism. He may be wounded, but this is a man of enormous self-regard, and he's clearly trying to hurt Barack Obama. His national rehabilitation tour started fairly sympathetically with the Moyers conversation, but it's devolved into self-pity and self-glorification ever since. His Sunday night talk to the NAACP was mostly silly, from the questionable science behind his insistence that black children are right-brained (creative) while white children are left-brained (logical and analytical) to his mocking the way white people talk, dance, clap, worship and sing. I understand and agree with Wright's notion that "different is not deficient," but mocking white people, including JFK and LBJ, doesn't seem like the best way to get his point across (yes, he was talking to the NAACP, but he knew -- and relished -- that he had a national audience). At his Monday speech he insisted attacks on him were really an attack on the black church, a typically Wright-centric view of the world, while his security was reportedly provided by the Nation of Islam.”

It would appear that one of the most important aspects of this story is the reaction and opinions of those in our community. It is an honest endeavor to seek out the opinions of those men and women wth responsibility and authority in our society. The reverend Wright has allowed us an opportunity to make some significant observations and rather dramatically so. Once such opinion that appears to rise in the face of the majority (Black, White, Yellow or Brown), follows.

The Crisis is a “respected journal of thought, opinion and analysis, the magazine was and still remains the official publication of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and is the NAACP's articulate partner in the struggle for human rights for people of color.” Their words, not mine. /span>

Jabari Asim, Editor in Chief of Crisis commenting on Jeremiah Wright’s recent performances, “continues to be impressed by him” and wondered as he sat in the press gallery “that was about 90 percent white” wondering, “how much of his message was actually sinking in.” Incredibly, Asim was more concerned about indoctrinating the press corps than covering the substance of Wright’s address. Asim appeared totally detached from reality when he stated that Wright’s address had little to do with Obama. In contradiction, Asim then counseled Obama that, "He should not let his former pastor’s comments distract him or those who would vote for him from the issues and problems that continue to challenge all Americans, including the failing economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” This not so deft deflection was embarrassing from any quarter.

Other Wright supporters since his debacle at the National Press Club and the NAACP include Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, head of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights who has been accused by the Dearborn Underground of defending Wright so that he can “exploit Wright's useful-idiot value as someone who can be counted on by Israel's enemies to lend his voice—the voice that “represents the mission of Jesus”—for parroting Hamas propaganda and other Jew-hating misinformation.” I don’t know if that’s the truth as the Imam appears to be a moderate voice save his support for that bastion of hate, Louis Farrakhan.

It sure appears that even Wright and his hate mongering won’t be able to derail Obama who as of this writing appears to be assured of the Democratic nomination for President.

Obama has conceded that the Wright issue is a legitimate political concern and we agree with him. And so the real debate begins. As for Wright? There appears to be no in between. He either really believes all the crap he preaches or like our good Friend at the red light, he’s nuts.


Ned Buxton

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