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Switch to Forum Live View Generational Divide: Wright and Obama
10 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2008 - 10:58PM #1
Posts: 13
Rev. Wright lived in a world where water fountains, restrooms, hotels, restaurants, job opportunities, education, housing, etc,, etc., was brutally and thoroughly segregated/  Forty years ago he saw the greatest "Negro" of this century shot down and killed by white hatred.  He saw civil rights marchers bitten by dogs, beaten by police batons, knocked off their feet by pressured water.  Children of his generation were bussed miles each day to subpar schools.  The Ku Klux Klan burned crosses on MLK's yard, and bombed churches throughout the south.
Children, college students, innocent adults were killed.  Since 1619, when t he first slaves were brought to America until 1964 (?) when the Civil Rights Act was signed, the black person in America lived in slavery or Jim Crow suppression and hatred.   This is the world Reverend Wright grew up in.   Still, he served his country as a United States Marine (one of the "few good men"). 

Can we whites not understand the suppression of anger and hatred which overcame all efforts to forgive and move on?  Is it so hard to believe that Rev Wright is simply an  isolated preacher with a horrid chip on his shoulder.  There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of black preachers today who have exclaimed the very same venomous condemnation of the  America they grew up in.

And then we have Barack Obama.   Born into a world where the law gave some respect and opened the doors of opportunity to the black person, we hear him say, "I could not have this opportunity in any other country in the world.  I love America."

Hear t hese words from a commencement speech at the Univ. of Massachusetts (June 2, 2006):

"Stay amazed and remain in wonder at this unlikely place we call America.  I think it's easy for some people to look at all the challenges we face . . . and to get down on this country as a result.. . . .  I ask you to remember all the amazing and and unlikely things that have happened in this country.  This is America.  A place where millions of restless adventurers from all over the world . . . have longed to travel great distances and take great risks for a chance to arrive on our shores."

Why the difference?  It is a generational thing.  Rev. Wright has lived in a world where he felt justified in calling for damnation upon it.  Barack Obama has benefitted from tremendous opportunity and blessing.  He loves and praises America.

On Meet t he Press, July 25, 2004, he said,   "This country remains the greatest on Earth, not because of the size of our military, or the size of our economy, but because every child can actually achieve as much as they can dream."

I was married in the early 1960's and on our honeymoon we went into a south Texas town.  The druggist told me I  had really missed something that morning.  "We had a dragging, right here on main street."  Now, many alive today don't even know what a "dragging' is.  Some remember the Jaspar "dragging".  But if you had been there for something like that, or a lynching, or a "tar and feathering" or other horrible events--you just might understand the polemics of Reverend Wright--and the voices of thousands of other black preachers who could find the sanctuary for their complaints only in the safety of the black church.

Yes, for the most part, Rev Wright was wrong to still be preaching a lament from the 1960s.  But, after all it was his swan song.  He is passing away from the pulpit into retirement.   And we can surmise that he preached many more sermons on faith, hope and love.  How full of respect Barack must be, as he watches this old preacher dawdle his way off the vestibule.  By the time most old preachers retire they are separated from many of a younger generation---who show their respect for their elders by listening quietly, even while not agreeing.

Can we  not understand that Barack is of a different generation?  That he demonstrates in his temperament qualities of Christian compassion and control.   That he would no more curse America than he would curse the dearest ones in his life? 

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10 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2008 - 11:21PM #2
Posts: 2,465
Well done Conrad! Far too much reality for some that dwell her at the B-Nut.
I myself being a white man understood the anger of Rev. Wright and fully accepted his reaction.
I for one, deep inside ,feel the same way, but for different reasons.
I sit in a church where the Pastor, who is also a friend of mine, goes on belittling gay people and their lifestyle. I find it totally against the teachings of Jesus Christ. And if I may, hypocritical at best.
I also cringe when he calls the church to pray for GW Bush! This is when I shout out, I can't pray for demons pastor!

What I am trying to say here is you can be a part of a church, but not necessarily adhering to the words of its leader.
It's better to be people as to being sheeple. Amen?
To "choose" dogma and faith over doubt and experiment is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid."

Christopher Hitchens

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
  - Sir Richard Francis Burton
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2008 - 1:05AM #3
Posts: 5,519
I'm a middle aged white woman who supports Obama, something about the title of your thread made me venture into it.  thank you Conrad for the level of understanding you seem to have about people and the reasons they inspire people.  Thank for the idea that we can accept things about people we love without throwing the bath water out with the baby.

Obama is an inspirational candidate.  Reverand Wright must have said some soul lifting words in that church to give Obama the spiritual compass that is clearly seen if you look hard enough.  A lot of us learn what we want to learn and disregard the lessons we don't want to learn.

Sorry bit preachy.  Thanks once again for trying to discuss this man and his pastor in such a thoughtful way!
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