Monday, March 17, 2008

Obama/Rev. Wright and The Black Church

I'm sad today as an American citizen and a fellow bi-racial citizen, like Barack Obama. I cried last week as I watched CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, & Fox News network debate the issues about the Rev.'s Wright's comments and their unfair link to Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.
No matter what your political or religious beliefs, I believe we all have an obligation to do 2 things if we call ourselves true Americans before we abandon support for Obama over this insidious situation.
1. Take a real look at the African American history of slavery here in the US and be sensitive to the fact that AAs have looked to the church for many years to make sense of their oppression. There are legitimate cries of outrage, sadness, tears and disappointments about discrimination the AAs have suffered for hundreds of years. The black church is where AAs go to vent these frustrations and seek peace to continue to work through these "private" issues. That is what the Rev. Wright was voicing. Those are issues Obama understands being 1/2 black and asks other Americans to try and get past.
2. Take a look at the melting pot of ethnic diversity all around the US to know that every race has a similar story of oppression which led their families to this great land. Arab-Americans, Russians, Jews, Haitians, Rwandans, Polish, Japanese, Koreans, Cubans, Italians, Yugoslavians, Albanians, Chinese, etc...All speak in "private" of their experiences with discrimination and trying to get ahead against adversity in America.
Why is it okay for Jews to speak publicly and privately about their feelings of the Holocaust, but it is not okay for African Americans to voice their hatred for the the atrocities of slavery and how it's devastating effects have followed them and continued on to this very day without being taken out of context and seen as hate mongerers?
Barack Obama has been forced to denounce these passionate (yet true) words spoken from a man he has respected for over 20 years all in the name of running for President instead of speaking to his need to align himself with Rev. Wright while attempting to help the underserved community in Chicago which Rev. Wright's church has successfully served for many years.
Barack stands for a new tomorrow where all people of all races can get past the atrocities of yesteryear that we all can somehow relate to. He also knows the plight of African Americans - that's why he fore went a well-paying job as a corporate lawyer to serve his own people for no pay. That's an admirable person who knew what it was going to take to get his feet wet in a town he wasn't originally from, but saw a need. He needed Rev. Wright and saw something else in him we didn't - something wonderful.
Unless you've gone to an African American church (anywhere in America) and listened to the passionate sermons coming out of the pulpit that speak to the African American community and their unique situation as citizens here in America, you don't really know your African American neighbor, co-worker, or passers-by on the street.
Everyone knows AAs are not hate-mongerers of any sort. They are loving people who know and carry the weight of their slave ancestors who were oppressed by the American affluent (a sad but honest truth). Just as Jews say, "never again" why can't African Americans.
I am sad that we are in this place to rip down a good man for speaking the truth (albeit passionately) and for trying to make another good man denounce him unfairly.
Research Rev. Wright and the good he's done in Chicago before you make a snap judment based on 30 sec sound bites put together by people who don't understand, don't want to understand and have a different agenda all together.
This man has given thousands of sermons over the course of 30 years "in the name of Jesus and love" and does not sit there and bash America in every sermon.

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