Here's Jasmyne Cannick and Hermine Hartman's appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show to discuss Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I think this shows that the ways we talk about and understand identity, politics, patriotism, and history are entrenched in race, whether we like to admit it or not. (Make sure your high-ball glasses are in another room so you don't throw one at your computer screen when Bill-O is talking.)
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It's funny how the one guy there who champions any politician who ignores most Americans to focus on white, straight, rich ones is the one who wonders if Obama can be everyone's president. It's also funny how Mr. "I've been taken out of context" won't even consider the possibility that Rev. Wright might have been talking about something substantive and not just saying "God damn America."
But Rev. Wright has to be Swift-Boated by the likes of O'Reilly because he isn't participating in the "America's 100% perfect" orgy. He hasn't been true to his I-can't-decide-if-I-love-Jesus-or-America-more-so-I'll-just- say-they're-the-same loyalty oath that he apparently took by being associated with a prominent politician, so it's time to brand him an America-hater so that he and his complaints can be dismissed and privileged people like O'Reilly can go back to their little bubbles where the only problem with America is that it hasn't destroyed the rest of the world yet.
Andrew Belonsky said today:
Voters, pundits and politicos were appalled by Wright's statements, particularly when he implied the United States deserved the September 11th terrorist attacks. Obviously Obama needed to distance himself from Wright.
I suppose, I mean, if we're talking about play-by-the-rules politics where nothing changes. But it just goes to show that the right wins even when it loses elections by making certain people off-limits because their ideas haven't been approved by them.
Obama (and Clinton or any other Democrat, for that matter) had better be thinking about the stars and stripes and how America's never done anything wrong while he masturbates or he can't be president. Even knowing people who don't means that he's unfit for service. I mean, if he knows them, then someone might tell him that America's government and history are somehow imperfect. And we want another president like GWB who hides out at his ranch for three days while a city's being destroyed because he can't possibly even turn on the TV and hear about what's going on and no one will tell him that the levies broke.
This whole thing has been driven into the ground by anyone with a soapbox, including those people who are supposed to be under the direction of a higher power. Instead we've come to know Christianity in the media as mainly a tool to further privilege, to placate the powerful into thinking that whatever they're doing is alright. But Devilstower reminds us that there was one dude in history who disagreed with the idea that government and power can do no wrong:
Damn you who are well-fed! You will know hunger.
Damn you who laugh now! You will weep and grieve.
Damn you when everybody speaks well of you!
A rant from a radical preacher? Without a doubt. Someone on the Obama campaign? Well, Sen. Obama says so. That's the Scholars Translation of Luke 6:24-26, and the speaker is Jesus of Nazareth.[...]
Don't take this to mean that I agree with every word that Wright spoke (e.g. the United States did not create AIDS), but neither do I feel like his words require that "his church should lose it's tax exempt status" that he's a traitor, or that he's an embarrassment to his church or to Senator Obama[....]
The purpose of a good sermon isn't to placate, ease, and make people comfortable. A dangerous religion isn't one that challenges people and makes them squirm. Makes them angry. A dangerous religion is one that is too amicable to what you already think, one that pats you on the head and sends you forth in assurance of your own righteousness. If you want to search for "traitors" in the pulpit, turn your eye toward those who never find anything wrong in the actions of this nation.
But this is the state of American politics, and it's one of the big reasons why those with power never lose elections even when their preferred candidate doesn't win, why talking about democracy without addressing the fact that anyone who challenges those with power is relegated to the fringe as an evil person furthers the sham.
And it's not going to stop until we refuse to participate in it.