I looked into the supposedly inflammatory rhetoric of Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Is he a lunatic? Many people seem to think so, but I don't. Some of the things he says are a bit odd, but some of them have more than just a grain of truth.
I don't share his appreciation for Louis Farrakhan (and I wonder if Obama does). After all, just read The Autobiography of Malcolm X if you want to know about the Nation of Islam. But we can't paint every picture with such a broad brush--as Rush Limbaugh is wont to do. Even though Obama (and Wright, apparently) belong(s) to a different political party than I do, it's not right or healthy for me just to dismiss everything his pastor says as inflammatory and wrong. Because it's not.
So, come along with me as I psychoanalyze the Reverend Jeremiah Wright--and I'll show you the nuances.
Drugs, "Three Strikes", and Bigger Prisons
Reverend Wright inveighed against all three of these in one breath:
"The government gives [black Americans] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.'We may not be giving them the drugs, but our war on drugs is a joke, and it has the effect of getting more drugs to more people, because drug pushing has become a profitable profession. I agree with Ron Paul--and I guess, then, Reverend Wright--that blacks are treated unfairly in this drug war. If we treated them more fairly, maybe a lot fewer of them would think that Radical Islam is the only place to turn.
Let me ask you--do you think the "Three Strikes" law is sound law? I think it is a fiasco. I agree with J. Daryl Charles, who said:
To abandon the criteria for just punishment—punishment commensurate with the crime—is to abandon all criteria for punishment. In truth, the sentences imposed by many state systems bear almost no resemblance to time actually served, thus breeding disrespect for the criminal justice system...How can it be crime-commensurate punishment to levy
a minimum sentence of 25 years to life for [all] three-time repeat offenders[?]I guess Reverend Wright isn't so far afield after all...?
Reverend Wright went on in the same "diatribe" to say:
No, no, no, God d--- America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God d--- America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d--- America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."America does act supreme. A lot of Americans think we have a good reason for it, though--but I don't. How can it be that we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq, yet we can't spend a fraction of that amount to close our profusely open and insecure borders? Answer, because the American supremacists want to use our supremacist (read Establishment)-created insecurity as reason to have a military presence in about three-fourths of the world's countries.
What's worse, the fact that America acts as the world's supreme and only superpower gives a boatload of socialist countries a boatload of extra money (they don't have to have but the smallest of militaries) to continue to keep a boatload of soon-to-be failed socialist experiments afloat--just long enough perhaps for a preponderance of Americans to envy them.
Still think Jeremiah Wright is so wrong?
. . .
Don't get me wrong. I won't vote for Barack Obama, despite some previous praise I have given him on this site. But just because we don't like his politics is no reason to categorically lambaste his pastor.
To do so makes us look uneducated and silly.