Friday, March 21, 2008

Mourning the post-racial moment

I'm sad that the primary race has gone racial, but I suppose it was inevitable. Every time I hear snippets of Rev. Wright's sermons, I think, "right on," "speak to power" . . . Clearly, my appreciation of him is not mainstream.

In Wright's own words: "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

What is so wrong with these words? It's hypberbolic religious rhetoric, sure, but there is nothing here that isn't true. (Look, the court system is one way our system has always conspired against black people. The sentencing differences between crack (ghetto) and powder (suburban) cocaine were only recently changed. Something like 40 years for crack, but 40 months for the same amount of powder. Even the right wing supreme court just ruled that courts have become too bold in rigging white juries.) Obama has been my choice because he embodied the history of race in this country and converted it into a message that applies to all Americans. Now, thanks to the Clintons and the cable networks, Obama has become nothing but an angry black man. What I think? The moral outrage of white America over Wright's sermons is the true face of racism in this country. It's the same old paranoid double standard that reproduces racial inequity generation after generation.

And still, Obama rises above it. I agree with The Rude Pundit who wrote during Obama's speech, "This is the straightest talk this blogger has heard from a major presidential candidate in a very, very long time, maybe, truly, without hyperbole, in his lifetime."

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