In Chicago, Mr. Obama embraced Christianity under the tutelage of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., known for sometimes inflammatory views.
Mumia Abdul Jamal
When was the last time that you saw a politician asked to denounce a
religious leader with whom he or she was associated?
For generations, we have seen a succession of presidents, from both
political parties, under the wing of the Rev. Billy Graham.
Historians have recently reported that Graham and his Oval Office
acolytes have spoken in racist and xenophobic terms about both Blacks and Jews.
The Rev. Graham recently was lionized as the personal spiritual advisor
to presidents, in times of stress, pressure, war and peace.
Neither he, nor his presidential prayer pals have ever been damned or
denounced for profoundly racist speech in the palaces of the powerful.
Now, as a Black man begins to climb the greased pole of American
political power, he is asked to either defend or denounce a man whom he has known
and admired for a generation.
Barack Obama opted for the latter.
He has all but jettisoned the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright from the close
circle to the cold periphery of the political realm.
Whence comes this demand for denunciation?
If we are honest, it arises from the specter of white fear, that demand
of Black people a higher standard than that of their own.
For what reason has Jeremiah Wright been jettisoned - if not for his
proud, open Blackness?
Rev. Wright is an advocate of Black Liberation Theology - a school of
Black religious thought that sees the hand of God in the liberation of Black
people from bondage.
White Americans are so used to hearing Blacks speak with quiet and
pacific tones, that when a man expresses himself fully, as did Rev. Wright, they
are, quite frankly, frightened.
(What do they fear, that Blacks will dare remember?)
Through the corporate media talking heads, they demanded that Obama
"distance himself" from that scary, Black (uppity?) preacher - and do it fast.
The politics of denunciation is, ultimately, the politics of betrayal.
It asks - no - it demands that the candidate denounce those whom the White
If they don't, then they are presumed to be a supporter of that person,
Meanwhile, white conservative preachers can say virtually anything, and
calls for denunciation are swallowed into silence.
Former presidential candidate, and Republican supporter, Rev. Pat
Robertson, called for the killing of a foreign head of state! (I speak here of
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.)
Did the White House denounce this prominent religious supporter? Not to
my knowledge (in fact, it would be rather difficult, given the current
regime's failed coup d'etat against him).
But Barack, the son of a continental African, cannot be seen calling for
Black Liberation; for he seeks not to become leader of the Black Nations, but
the world's leading White Nation.
Once again, Blacks, and their deep indigenous concerns, are pushed to the
periphery. Their free expression ain't free, for there is a cost.
When I saw his latest dis' of the Rev. Dr. Wright, I thought of a
question posed in the Bible, in the words of Jesus of Nazareth speaking to his
disciples (in Matthew 16:26): For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the
whole world, and lose his own soul?...
What would you do to get a job?
--(c) '08 maj
[Source: Holy Bible, St. Matthew (King James Version.]
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