Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Open, Honest Discussion about Race
And Other Stuff

I am quite delighted that contender Obama and his corner men are opening up a frank and earnest discussion concerning American race relations. Senator Obama's cut man, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has been using some classic techniques to heal the wounds incurred by both the rough and tumble political selection process as well as those wounds and scars received in everyday American life.

America has indeed committed various and sundry fouls within the rings of national and international bouts. In a sense, 9/11 could be considered a warning and judgment against these activities. God has often used nations or persons of greater evil to warn other nations of their own wickedness. I'm sure the Reverend Wright would have said the same thing had one of the planes slammed into his church during the Sunday sermon and murdered thousands of his parishioners. He would have used as a text Luke 13:4-5:
Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Reverend Wright's Black Liberation Theology has been entirely misinterpreted. I'm certain his actual thoughts match those of Booker T. Washington:
With God's help, I believe that I have completely rid myself of any ill feeling toward the Southern white man for any wrong that he may have inflicted upon my race. I am made to feel just as happy now when I am rendering service to Southern white men as when the service is rendered to a member of my own race. I pity from the bottom of my heart any Individual who is unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice.

There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.(1911)

I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.

My experience is that people who call themselves "The Intellectuals" understand theories, but they do not understand things. I have long been convinced that, if these men could have gone into the South and taken up and become interested in some practical work which would have brought them in touch with people and things, the whole world would have looked very different to them. Bad as conditions might have seemed at first, when they saw that actual progress was being made, they would have taken a more hopeful view of the situation.(1911)
Unfortunately, the intellectuals and their theories of which Mr. Washington speaks are not limited to race relations. Similar slugfests have broken out in venues such as the environment, education, crime and punishment, and many other subsets of 'social justice'.

In the early rounds one or many concerned citizens begin working on a problem. They work in the trenches WITH those effected and FOR those effected. In the later rounds the intellectuals take over with their grand theories from a desk, luxury suite, congressional seat, or judicial bench comfortably outside of the trenches. They will occasionally foray into the trench to take advantage of a photo op or find and use an oppressed soul for their own purposes.

Former Vice President and Presidential contender Al Gore is a prime example. He lectures, wins an Oscar, and is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while producing a 'carbon footprint' the size of some small countries.

Jesse Jackson is a classic. He learned at the feet of Dr. Martin Luther King. After King was murdered, Jackson continued his methods, but soon devolved into just another intellectual with a utopian/critical theory. Although he turned King's vision on its head by stressing the color of the skin more than the content of character, he was, indeed, able to keep his job and keep himself prominent before the public.

Certainly Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright are not like Gore and Jackson. They would never resort to grand utopian or critical, guilt spewing theories.

UPDATE: Obama's bus sure provides a bumpy ride.

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