Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rev. Wright -- preacher, comedian, lunatic, or what?

Too many agendas have been in play during Part One and Part Two of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright flap for me to sort out where the racism starts and where the opportunism ends. At this point this bizarre bump in the road to the White House for Barack Obama seems unprecedented.

So, who knows how it will play out?

Obviously, Wright's point that all black churches have been attacked in the process is a stretch. Nonetheless, the media’s suggestion that what goes on in most black churches is so exotic that most white people would get apoplexy if they knew the half of it, is ... well, it’s silly.

On the other hand, what some black preachers say to their congregations, sometimes, is probably rather different in tone and substance from what some white preachers say to their congregations. But so what! There are white preachers ten times crazier than Jeremiah Wright ... and that's saying something.

What about good ol' Rev. Pat Robertson, to start with? Or, what about those Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints screwballs down in Eldorado, Texas, with all those pregnant teenagers? Do you think maybe there is a nutty white preacher in that mix, somewhere?

Wright, himself, seems to be auditioning for something, but what that might be isn’t clear. Minister without portfolio? Perhaps somebody will have to throw net over him, eventually.

Not unlike Rev. Al Sharpton, regardless of how Wright first got into the spotlight, it seems he means to remain a national figure. It looks like Wright is pretty good at being mean. That it is coming at Obama’s expense, at least in the short run, is striking and sad, because there is an element of betrayal.

Still, it seems to me we are talking about race, again, even if much of what has been said is not meant to lead us closer to the truth. Once the dust settles, we may find that looking deeper into the differences and the similarities in black churches and white churches will eventually allow for more understanding, even more tolerance, regardless of what got the discussion going.

And, I‘m not at all convinced this punish-the-candidate-because-his-pastor-has-lost-his-marbles business will actually torpedo Obama’s chance to win the nomination, or the general election. This is something new and the pundits don't know where it‘s going, either. Sure, they will milk it for ratings, and Obama's opponents are glad Wright is still ranting, but we're all in uncharted waters.

This much I do know -- as a performer, Rev. Wright is every bit as unabashed and willing to go for a cheap laugh as Bill Maher, or Rush Limbaugh, or any other political comedian working today.

1 comment:

Waxlips said...

One thing is clear. Rev. Wright is, at least at present, misleading anyone who listens to him for spiritual wisdom. His views not only opposed the spirit of American equality, they oppose the essence of the teachings of Jesus Christ. If he really wants to see a cheap talking "mack daddy" pimp, he needs only to look in a mirror.