Oh my, the Jeremiah Wright "Controversy." Again.
Did it really take all of these weeks for a media outlet to actually find a copy of the sermons that the "inflammatory" sound bites were taking from? I mean, they were for sale on the church's website, right? So with that in mind, what prevented CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CNBC; the print media in it's entirety, and every other organization claiming journalistic integrity from simply purchasing a copy and listening to the sermons in their entirety? Heck, I'm sure that Trinity UCC would have given them copies if they had asked. They didn't, and what we've been left with during the past few weeks is a feeding frenzy based on the agenda of the media organization that all of the others claim to be the antithesis of, Fox News.
Because if anyone would have simply bought a tape and listened to any of those sermons in context, this "controversy" would never have seen the light of day. As a matter of fact, I'm still waiting on somebody, anybody, to show me what Pastor Wright said that was so wrong. Speculative, maybe, but I'm talking flat out wrong. Especially when viewed in the context of the overall sermons, and when they were given.
The reality is that Pastor Wright, like most Black Americans I daresay, is more patriotic than most of your flag-waving, U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A., chanting "average Joe's." Why? Because he, and we, believe in the dream of what America can and should be.
That dream is embodied in many (not all) of the words in the documents that founded this nation, and the lofty ideals that have been hoisted aloft through the centuries about freedom, democracy, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We know that America has not lived up to her ideals in relation to many of the people who live(d) here, and plenty more who don't. We accept the reality that, yes, America does have blood on it's hands and lots of it. That while our country has been a force for good in the world, it's also been on the opposing team more than once. We know that politics make for strange bedfellows, and that some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world have been touted as free and democratic by our government due to the politics of that particular day and time.
We also know what it took to get where we are now in this society, what we had to go through, and what got us here. Hint: It had a whole lot to do with the Black church, which has served as a source of strength and organization in the Black community, while simultaneously serving as the conscience of the nation for Americans as a whole. It was the Black church that held our families and communities together through slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow, and guided us and America through the Civil Rights Movement. It is that same Black church which will most likely lead our communities through the scourge of drugs and violence currently plaguing them.
As I've said before, Americans have a problem with history, but to see a firestorm of this sort erupt over the words of a Black preacher who's resume is infinitely more impressive than any of those attacking him, and whose patriotism is more verifiable and tangible than those questioning him, really is an insult to our collective intelligence. To use this "controversy" as an attack on the Black church as a whole is playing with fire. After all, there's only so much nonsense that one can deal with.
One of these days, the American people are going to wake up and realize that the mass media is, for the most part not journalism at all, but simply acting. Depending on the day your favorite anchor may be the protagonist or antagonist based upon the particular "issue." The Rev. Wright controversy demonstrates this to perfection.
Thank goodness Bill Moyers and PBS broke from the mold and, for a brief moment, showed us how this journalism stuff is supposed to work. However with Rev. Wright's appearances at the National Press Club and the NAACP, I'm sure the respite will be brief.