Jeremiah Wright — Fine Tuning Racism?

Anyone who knows the Protestant tradition (and few these days seems to know the details of their own religions, let alone others’) would be aware that Jeremiah Wright’s preaching is directly in the tradition of hell fire and brimstone sermons deriving from the prophetic Biblical roots which not infrequently concerned injustices — including the state of Israel itself — suggesting that the wrath of g-d would descend on same — so was in fact interpreted the Babylonian captivity when Israel was conquered and its elites taken off as hostages.

Add to this tradition the sense of injustice that African Americans have felt in this country where lynching continued well into the 20th century (and Wright’s’ formative theological years) and one must expect some condemnations — yes, of the U.S., itself, the nation that has waged wars against small states by means foul as well as fair, e.g. destabilizations, assassinations, invasions and occupations of nations that threatened our economic (read corporate) interests. Look up United Fruit on Google, if one wants a sample.

Back a bit in history, this was the preaching style of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. He would stir up the congregation with angry stuff and then at the last moment pull back with a Christian appeal for forgiveness or whatever. I was at one of these and felt damned uncomfortable as one of the few whites there. Afterwards I told Powell how I had felt and he said, “but I didn’t mean you.” And apologized for having made me feel targeted.

I think this attack, however, is really directed at Obama — the race card getting more finely tuned by Fox News and others who should know better.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]


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