This blog is about what road I'm on and my journey in getting there. Maybe with a little work, I'll end up in paradise.

The World has gone Mad and I’m Crazy – Well Maybe I’m not

Balance – there’s that word again.  Every time I think I have it, something happens to remind me that it won’t be here for long.  A friend said that I’m obsessing over Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Maybe I am, but I really want to understand this guy.  Why?  Who knows. 

I printed out his speeches last night, one from the NAACP and the other was the one he gave at the National Press Club.  I saw the interview on the Bill Moyers show Friday, April 25th.  To top everything off, thanks to YouTube I was able to follow along on the written speech from the National Press Club and see it at the same time.    Am I obsessing? 

I haven’t seen a lot of the press releases on how inflammatory Rev. Wright is, but I got the gist that many think this guy is crazy and Obama needs to distance himself from the reverend.  So Obama did exactly that by saying Rev. Wright’s speeches are not what Obama is about.

Here’s how I interpret Rev. Wright.  I see the reverend as loving his congregation, wanting our society to change, for the white folks — I’m generalizing here and he may very well mean everyone, but I think he has focused on the whites and their ancestors — to openly admit all the bad things our ancestors did, and to accept each other’s differences.  I think Rev. Wright sees our society as ready to move forward.  Truly seeing and accepting the truth will bring a better and healthier society. 

He states that the black church is practicing the principle of “different does not mean deficient.”  Let’s think about that for a minute.  Imagine that you have been abused and suppressed as a child for years.  Your own parents and everyone around you has ingrained in you that you are “different,”  a person of a lower class, your life is valued as unimportant.  Now you’re an adult, and they’re telling you that they shouldn’t have said that to you.  They don’t apologize for what they did but they tell you to stop feeling that way, and even though you feel badly, they say “get over it.”  Do you think your life is going to change?  I believe not.  I think you’ll continue to feel the way you were taught to feel, unless, someone who truly cares about you tells you over and over and over again that “different does not mean deficient.”   When you finally start to believe that you are worthy, that you are a precious child of the world, and you can be proud of your ancestry, what emotions do you think you’ll be feeling?  I think I’d get angry at the fact that these people suppressed and treated me so horribly and now aren’t sorry for it.  It takes a big person to be able to put the anger aside and live a peaceful forgiving life from that point.  Meanwhile, serious consequences like mental illness, hate, family dysfunction, and who knows what else has transpired after years of this kind of cruelty.    

I believe Rev. Wright has good intentions.  I believe he’s angry because most of the people he talks to are not listening, they are taking little bits and pieces, “soundbites,” of his passion and misinterpreting what his message is — hence inflammatory statements.

I once had a professor that said his goal was to change our paradigm.  He felt it was important for us to see the world as it truly is and not in the little safe place that we were brought up in.  He did this loudly and with a lot of passion.  When we got angry, it was then that we were able to climb out of our comfortable little box to understand what he was talking about.  This professor was a priest that changed my paradigm forever.  I will be forever grateful!

The next question is why the heck is Rev. Wright picking now to do all this.  Is his goal to ruin Barack Obama’s chances of becoming president?  I think not.  I think Rev. Wright is doing it now because he can.  I believe he feels his message has nothing to do with politics.  I also think he feels or is beginning to realize that we are not ready for this change in our society.  I think we will find him saddened after all is said and done.

 

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5 responses

  1. Sandy,
    I see you’re following the Wright story very closely, so I thought of you when I came across this in the Religion & Ethics (PBS) newsletter this morning:

    ———————————————————
    Jeremiah Wright and the Black Church
    ———————————————————
    Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright continues to dominate news headlines with several public appearances, including a PBS television interview with Bill Moyers, intended to give the American public a fuller picture of who he really is. Rev. Wright, who recently retired from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, became the center of controversy after clips from some of his most inflammatory sermons surfaced over the airwaves earlier this year. This week, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as part of a summit sponsored by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Rev. Wright charged that the attacks are not about him or Senator Obama, but are being launched against the black church itself “by people who know nothing about the African-American religious tradition.”

    Bob Abernethy is joined by Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, associate professor of Applied Theology at Howard University School of Divinity, for a studio discussion on how black churches are responding to Wright

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week1135/perspectives.html

    May 3, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  2. These words of yours, Sandy: “I believe Rev. Wright has good intentions.  I believe he’s angry because most of the people he talks to are not listening, they are taking little bits and pieces, ”soundbites,” of his passion and misinterpreting what his message is — hence inflammatory statements.

    (concerning your professor): He felt it was important for us to see the world as it truly is and not in the little safe place that we were brought up in.  He did this loudly and with a lot of passion.  When we got angry, it was then that we were able to climb out of our comfortable little box to understand what he was talking about.”

    You’ve got me thinking. I still think that Rev. Wright has let his anger get the best of him – but you know, I really don’t know what it’s like to black in America. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to have people look at me with suspicion, or prejudice. So, I’m going to think about what you’ve said here.

    Thanks for putting those links up, by the way. I just printed up the NAACP speech as I haven’t heard or read it. I’m going to follow Sandy Carlson’s PBS link, too and see what that has to say.

    A good post here and I appreciate the thoughts very much. Thank you.

    (These readings are good diversions from the anxiety that is my life right now.)

    May 4, 2008 at 11:13 pm

  3. I think the press has had a hand in controlling the outcome of Obama’s presidential race. Sad how we get manipulated and don’t see it coming.

    Such is life I guess.

    May 6, 2008 at 11:57 am

  4. This is so true. From the time of the debate when the networks–oops–cut some contenders out of the conversation because there wasn’t room at the table, our decisions were being narrowed for us.

    The Wright issue has intrigued me because it seems so silly. I think it’s handy for the folks who don’t want to like or support Obama. It’s a thing to throw at him. Ask those same people if they feel accountable for everything their priest or pastor says, and they’ll tell you no. Ask them if they are responsible for the words or actions of a longtime mentor, and they say no. So why do they apply a different standard to Obama?

    I’ve settled (for now) on this: If the worst that can be dug up on Obama is that his former minister is tired and angry, Obama’s pretty clean!

    Wright was right when he told Moyers that by focusing on him, nobody had to think about the stuff that needs fixing in our country–problems concerning food, fuel, unemployment, environment.

    May 7, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  5. Boy, Sandy you hit that right on the head when you said “Ask those same people if they feel accountable for everything their priest or pastor says, and they’ll tell you no. Ask them if they are responsible for the words or actions of a longtime mentor, and they say no.”

    What really is the difference? Maybe society wants to know if he holds some deep dark secret that will come out once he’s president. Maybe there’s an unspoken implication that Rev. Wright is the person that holds the truth to Obama’s inside thoughts? Or maybe it’s because he’s black and he’s “different.”

    Anyway, he didn’t do too bad Tuesday, May 6th. He won South Carolina and now again the press is trying to predict who will win, and they’re leaning toward Obama, again. They bounce back and forth like a rubber ball. It’s a little humorous.

    The weird thing in all this is, I still don’t know who I’m voting for. I haven’t begun to look into McCain. If you look at my other blogs, you would think I’m going to vote for Obama. Maybe I’m just looking for a little hope that the United States will overcome the crisis that I believe we’re in.

    May 8, 2008 at 2:25 pm

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