Not at ALL What You Thought

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two Black People Talking About Current Events

I sent this to my favorite big brother (and others); we're trying to keep up with the Obama/Wright ticket. So far, only my favorite brother has responded. Here's our conversation (through email because we live in different states).

FBB: Saw this on the news this morning. I really wish he had not done it. I don't think it serves him or us well.

ME: Done what? Submitted to an interview? Answered the questions? What? What? What?

FBB: Uh the speech he did at the NPC mocking Kennedy. Not being able to see this link, I assumed that was the source of this conversation????

ME: "Mocking Kennedy"? Is that all you heard? PLEASE don't tell me you're satisfied with media soundbites!

Here. This is the entire thing, from the brilliant speech to the Q&A.* (Scroll down.) Take some time, when you get a chance, and listen to all of it. Then make an opinion:

Or, you know, not.

FBB(next morning):
Ok. I read it. The man is brilliant, and being so, he definitely should not have stooped to the level he did. His anger is overwhelming his principles.

ME: I don't see any anger. I see charity, pride, and an accurate sense of the ridiculousness of the situation. Y'all the ones stoopin. Exactly what principles are you talking about? What level? Do you know?

FBB: Yeah, I know. The principle of peace that he purports to believe in, the principle of patriotism that he mires in his cynicism, the principle of caring about his flock that he is subjecting to this ridicule.

Yes, the situation is ridiculous. Yes, the media are distorting reality - as they always do. Yet in his brilliance, he does not do them ANY damage. The one he does harm to is Obama, and ridiculous or not, foolish or not, that is the fact, and this he also knows.

His timing is atrocious. If, in fact, he considers the medias attack to be against the Black Church (not, I point out THE CHURCH - the body of Christ), then I say his rhetoric does nothing to alleviate that attack or its result - the 'most segregated hour in America'. On the contrary, it fires it all the more.

I was not angered by what he said, but saddened that this great man of God - and I do believe he is that - would stand in this forum to create more division.
Finally, his point that Obama had to distance himself from him because he (Obama) is a political move (though it is, it had to be), is directly damaging to someone he claims to care about. It is not like we didn't know that; it is something that is a part of our social strata - unfortunate as that may be, it is so, and what he has done here is 'tit for tat'. He could not have done more harm if the Clintons had orchestrated him.

ME: I see what you call Wright's principle of peace acted out in his church, by feeding the poor, educating the ignorant and otherwise manifesting Christ in this earth by recognizing and giving succour to the Least of These.

I see what you call Wright's cynicism as realism. The man sees what is and tells the truth about it. But he's doing what he can to make America a better country, as someone who loves it would. (See above.)

If his congregation's being ridiculed, it's not Wright's fault. It is the fault of those whose habit is to ridicule people of color, and the other disenfranchised, to make themselves look better.

Obama distanced himself from Wright; Wright supports that distance by explaining it truthfully. If Obama and his supporters can't deal with that, it's a sign of his and their weakness, not "tit for tat."

If you tell me somebody stepped on your foot and broke some bones, should I be saddened by the fact that you didn't mention the rest of your body? The black church is a limb of The Body of Christ. Don't despise it --or those who make mention of it.

Wright's is a "hard word": so were many that came from the mouth of his Savior. Mostly, the man reminds me of Jeremiah, speaking the truth in faith that some hearers will repent and serve the Living God. It's easier, though, to swallow the racist, elitist media spin. But we can agree to disagree.

FBB: I see the action in the church, I see the works speaking for themselves. I don't think he needs to blow their horn, nor use those works as a platform for his anger...and yeah, we can agree to disagree..."Obama and his supporters"?! Who are you supporting in this election???

ME: You don't think Wright needs to blow the horn of the church he's so proud of because you're clearly not paying attention. A slew of us do good things on the community level, and you seldom hear about it (unless we blow our own horns); folk say, "What are you people doing about your community's problems?" But let one, just ONE, of us do something wrong or "embarrassing" or "inappropriate," and we're all painted with the same brush.

And, again, I didn't see any anger. I saw amusement. Wright was clownin, signifyin, doing things which went over most of the audience's heads.

I haven't decided yet whom I want to support. I don't like Clinton. Obama (to quote a pastor I admire) scares me (especially his support for abortion). And McCain's out of the question: he's crazy.

I've even considered not voting at all. But the idea's abhorrent to me, as is the unadulterated enthusiasm some of us have for our respective candidates. Hey, can I quote you on my blog?

FBB: What on earth would you want to quote that I said?! Especially since you so clearly disagree with it?! I don't mind if you do, just am surprised that you would.

Still, I have to say that if you missed the anger and retribution, some of Wright's best work went over your head:-)!!!

HMM, seems to me that Christ was pretty adamant about blowing yo own horn - as was the Ecclesiater!

ME: Actually, I was thinking of posting our entire conversation, as a conversation, on the blog.

Again, in my opinion, Wright was not angry. He was defiant. And I feel that what he was deliberately and laughingly doing went right over YOUR head.

If I recall correctly (and I do), God the Father, Christ the Son, and Paul the Apostle blew their own horns whenever they thought it necessary.

[And there, for the nonce, the matter rested.]

Dear Jesus, my brother, help us to see the events around us clearly, to understand their significance.

*NOT the whole thing. IIRC, the Tribune offered the speech, while Huffington offered the Q&A.


  • At 1:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well, what if I were to say that I agree with both of you?

    I see anger, righteous anger but anger. Why wouldn't he be angry? Of course he's angry.

    I see cynicism but why shouldn't he be cynical at this mess, especially the crap he's taking for being "anti-patriotic" when those who are the most vociferous about such nonsense are hypocrites?

    Jesus got angry, the apostles tooted their own horn, and because of that we know their names. Those who did not, who were they? Where are the words of the rest of his followers? Where are the words and deeds of those who attended the Sermon on the Mount? Where are the words and deeds of the women by the women in their own words? They didn't toot their own horn and now, those things are all lost to us. They trusted that people would see and know and guess what? They became instead ciphers--backdrops or foils for the "more important" greater story--as told by and for the men, just for one example that happens to be near and dear to my heart.

    No, beyond Obama's candidacy, Rev. Wright needed to get out there and defend his church, his people, his words. Barack Obama either will or will not be POTUS in 2009. The Black Church is eternal.

    Besides, it is well beyond time for those white Americans in middle America to see themselves from the perspective of another--for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. For example, when Rev. Wright did that clapping thing about white friends at the NAACP, The Girl and I laughed long and loud--it's true! But Keith got all "Hey, don't talk about my mama like that" about it. Those websites Stuff White People Like and Black People Like Us are hysterical, but only to people with the emotional maturity to laugh at themselves. Racism has kept my people emotionally, spiritually and intellectually immature. Time to grow up, IMO, and that is entirely more important than Obama's candidacy to me. YMMV and I can see why that would be and respect that.

  • At 7:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am glad you posted this.
    I have to say I agree with you. I always saw Jesus as calling out those who puported to speak in Gods name yet practised hypocrisy.

    I see Wright doing the same.

    Calling out those who use God and Jesus for their purpose while blatantly ignoring the log in their own eye.

    I took his behavior as clowning as well. How else can you respond to ridiculous outrage of the media?

    I see him as a man who loves his country and is not damaging people by telling them the truth but protecting them from being led blindly by a false God. One that will ineveitably chew up your soul and spit it out if you allow it to.

    I believe a person who follows and believes Hitler was a great man is anti-patriotic and we have lots of those folks here in America just doing their thing and totally believing they are doing the work of God.

    There are a lot of folks serving in our government now I would consider more unpatriotic then Re. Wright. The finger pointing and downright fury of this is amazing.



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