Pastor Wright's Fantasy World of Hyperbole
While I'm not fond of Pastor Wright, my experience with "the Wright stuff" has been limited to the various sound bytes and YouTube videos which have circulated, and that's been quite enough. I have had enough of Wright, and I have not wanted more.
Before I begin, I think it's fair to point out that I don't think Obama is responsible for what Wright says, nor do I think Wright is as egregious as Ayers and Dohrn. However, his judgment in having such friends is another matter, and I don't blame Obama for trying to shed himself of these ties. (And what was this Chomsky clone doing at the Clinton White House, anyway?)
Earlier today, however, I was asked by Pajamas Media to write about this morning's appearance by Reverend Wright at the National Press Club. Fortunately (so I thought), I didn't see the email until after the event was over, so I replied that I'd missed it, although I did venture that if I could find the video online I'd watch it and write a piece if it wasn't too late.
As it happens, it didn't take me long to find the Wright event on video in six YouTube segments.
Er, now that I've watched them all, I should say, six sickening YouTube segments .
20 minutes in, I was just about ready to throw up. The more I watch this malignant man, the less I want to watch. For starters, I find myself unable to stand Jeremiah Wright's smarmy, sing-songy voice. Now, lest I be accused of racism in the way some have been accused of sexism for not liking Hillary Clinton's voice, let me say that one of the things I most like about Barack Obama is his voice. He has a pleasant speaking manner, in stark contrast to Hillary's screechy braying.
I'm no Hillary fan, and I may regret saying this lest it sound favorable to her, but Wright makes Hillary Clinton's screeching and braying sound almost pleasant.
His supercilious insincerity, and mocking, deriding tone -- all while he spews hateful and vindictive far left claptrap -- belongs on Berkeley's Communist controlled KPFA radio, if it even belongs there.
Wright talks about events of hundreds of years ago as if they're happening right now. His tripe is some of the vilest demagoguery I've heard.
As I watched him, it occurred to me that I'd rather be getting a colonoscopy. (Or maybe even watching Ann Coulter, assuming that's a distinction with a difference.)
But then another sickening thought occurred to me.
What sort of person could watch this crap for 20 years?
Now now, Eric! To each his own. One man's soothing words of healing are another man's poisonous rhetoric.
Somehow, I don't find anything soothing in statements like this:
Reconciliation, the years have taught me, is where the hardest work is found for those of us in the Christian faith, however, because it means some critical thinking and some re-examination of faulty assumptions when using the paradigm of Dr. William Augustus Jones. Dr. Jones, in his book, God in the ghetto, argues quite accurately that one's theology, how I see God, determines one's anthropology, how I see humans, and one's anthropology then determines one's sociology, how I order my society.
Now, the implications from the outside are obvious. If I see God as male, if I see God as white male, if I see God as superior, as God over us and not Immanuel, which means "God with us," if I see God as mean, vengeful, authoritarian, sexist, or misogynist, then I see humans through that lens.
My theological lens shapes my anthropological lens. And as a result, white males are superior; all others are inferior.
And I order my society where I can worship God on Sunday morning wearing a black clergy robe and kill others on Sunday evening wearing a white Klan robe.
(More on Jones here; he called Giuliani a fascist, helped Tawana Brawley avoid testifying, mentored Al Sharpton, and provided a platform for anti-Semite Leonard Jeffries.)
This is apparently Wright's view of American religion. The very worst and most bigoted aspects of the past are treated as if they're alive today in the form of "the Christianity of the slaveholder." What's with the wild cheering he got for saying things like that? As I wondered, the announcer said "the applause and the comments you hear from the audience are not necessarily those of the working press." Well that's a relief.
It would be hard to imagine any Jew talking this way about Germans, and the Holocaust is still within recent memory. Wright not only never lived through the stuff he excoriates white America for, he grew up in middle class affluence, with a pastor father and a mother who was vice principal of Philadelphia High School for Girls.
I'll give a few more examples. (Forgive me if I can't stand giving too many; I don't want to spend two days fisking every one of Wright's utterances.)
Asked to explain his post 9/11 "chickens coming home to roost" statement, Wright claimed the moderator's answer "nullifies that question" (even though she had only read the question from a list):
You have said that the media have taken you out of context. Can you explain what you meant in a sermon shortly after 9/11 when you said the United States had brought the terrorist attacks on itself? Quote, "America's chickens are coming home to roost."
REVEREND WRIGHT: Have you heard the whole sermon? Have you heard the whole sermon?
MODERATOR: I heard most of it.
REVEREND WRIGHT: No, no, the whole sermon, yes or no? No, you haven't heard the whole sermon? That nullifies that question.
The moderator was simply reading a question from the many which had been submitted. How does whether or not she heard the sermon "nullify" the question, which simply asked what he meant?
Well, let me try to respond in a non-bombastic way. If you heard the whole sermon, first of all, you heard that I was quoting the ambassador from Iraq. That's number one.
According to Alan Colmes, Wright was not quoting the ambassador from Iraq, because the ambassador (Ed Peck) never said that. I'd say Wright nullified his answer.
Another example of the man's total demagoguery is his response to the questions about Louis Farrakhan:
...I am not going to put down Louis Farrakhan anymore than Mandela would put down Fidel Castro. Do you remember that Ted Koppel show, where Ted wanted Mandela to put down Castro because Castro was our enemy? And he said, "You don't tell me who my enemies are. You don't tell me who my friends are."Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains. He did not put me in slavery. And he didn't make me this color.
OK, I accept it as a given that Louis Farrakhan did not put Jeremiah Wright in chains, nor did he enslave him.
The point is, no one did.
That's the whole problem with Wright. He's living in a fantasy world of hyperbole where the most monstrous examples of lynching, torture, and extermination are all attributed to the United States government, and presented as if they are all occurring in the present, and still being lived now by an ever present "we" -- consisting solely of white AmeriKKKan oppressors and black victims.
Speaking of "we," perhaps the worst aspect of Wright's message was his thrice repeated claim that the criticism of him is "not an attack on Jeremiah Wright; it is an attack on the black church." (Perhaps I'm not keeping up with current events as I should; did someone make Wright the pope of all black churches?)
Of course, in Wright's fantasy world, deranged conspiracy theories are passed off as truth, even as scientific facts. A perfect example was his handling of the AIDS remark:
MODERATOR: In your sermon, you said the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. So I ask you: Do you honestly believe your statement and those words?
REVEREND WRIGHT: Have you read Horowitz's book, "Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola," whoever wrote that question? Have you read "Medical Apartheid"? You've read it?
(UNKNOWN): Do you honestly believe that (OFF-MIKE)
REVEREND WRIGHT: Oh, are you -- is that one of the reporters?
I guess she got nullified there too. Asking the moderator (or whoever asked the question) whether they read the Horowitz book is a trick question, and should not disguise the fact that Horowitz is one of the rankest of conspiracy theorists. Anyone who doubts this need only visit his web site, and read stuff like thus:
TODAY'S BIOCHEMICAL WEAPONS, VACCINE, AND DRUG INDUSTRY IS PART OF THE SAME GLOBAL PETROCHEMICAL-PHARMACEUTICAL CARTEL THAT HAS SPONSORED NUMEROUS ACTS OF TERRORISM. THIS LIKELY INCLUDES THE MOST RECENT DEBACLES IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS CARTEL IS A DIRECT DESCENDANT OF THE ROCKEFELLER/I.G. FARBEN MONOPOLY THAT INSTIGATED THE HOLOCAUST.Please stop what you are doing, and link to my publisher's website at http://www.tetrahedron.org/. Review the articles, news stories, and intelligence reports I have posted to share potentially lifesaving knowledge. You will see that I am not making this up.
All right then? You can't say you weren't warned. (And now that you've read Horowitz, by Wright's logic you have now earned the right to ask questions!)
Once again, this assignment has been about as pleasant as a colonoscopy, and while I realize not all things in life are pleasant, at least when they do a colonoscopy they give you anesthesia. (I haven't had so much as a drink, although after listening to this malevolent clown I need one.)
I guess if Barack Obama could sit through 20 years of Jeremiah Wright preaching when he didn't think the world's eyes were not on him, it's only fair that I watch him when he's theoretically showing his best side for the press.
Now there's a scary thought.
What I watched was Jeremiah Wright at his best.
UPDATE: After writing this, I learned that a number of commentators are now wondering whether Wright might be sabotaging Obama. (Or "is the whole thing being cleverly staged" to give Obama a Sister Souljah moment?)
Eric Scheie is a licensed California attorney (UC Berkeley '78; USF Law School '82) currently living in the Philadelphia area. A registered Republican, war-supporting, small "l" libertarian and self-styled "culture war traitor" he writes (often satirically) about cultural issues and politics at ClassicalValues.com.