Friday, July 04, 2008

Jeremiah Wright and the Fourth of July

What does Barack Obama’s former pastor (now “under the bus”), think of the fourth of July? In his “Trumpet magazine” Jeremiah Wright wrote,

“What to the American slave is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham .  .  . your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless .  .  . your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings .  .  . mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy--a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. (Weekly Standard)
Back when America had slaves, slavery had been accepted practice for thousands of years by virtually every country on earth. In fact, just after America declared its independence, African Muslims were also enslaving Americans!

It was only though the efforts of white Christians--Wilberforce in Britain and others America--that the practice of slavery was eventually outlawed in the west, though there are rumors that it is still practiced in some Muslim countries.

Jeremiah Wright acts as if all white Americas are responsible for slavery when the fact is that many or our American ancestors, like mine, didn’t even come to America until after slavery had been abolished! Our families had absolutely nothing to do with American slavery!

Furthermore, just because some white Americans had descendants here in slavery days doesn’t mean those descendants were slave holders. There were many like John Adams (signer of the Declaration of Independence and second president, who never owned slaves and were always opposed to slavery.

The point is that you can’t look at a white American today and assume his or her descendants had something to do with slavery. So for Wright to pin slavery on white Americans today just because of the color of our skin is nothing less than racial bigotry and is no less despicable than the white Americans who hate black people for the color of their skin.

Unfortunately, Wright’s rhetoric actually works against Dr. King’s dream that people would one day “be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

But notice also that to Jeremiah Wright the 4th of July is “your celebration,” of “your national greatness,” i.e. your “swelling vanity”, and the celebrations consist of “your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgiving.”

Yours? Not his? Isn’t Jeremiah Wright an American too? Wright’s contempt and disgust for his own country could hardly be clearer. It almost sounds like he is renouncing his own citizenship.

And Barack Obama stayed in this man’s church for twenty years!!! No wonder Michelle Obama couldn't find anything about America to be proud of. She has been brainwashed.


Alcamadus said...

I would simply disagree on the basis that men like Fredrick Douglass, who was a slave and became one of the greatest abolitionists in American history, saw the constitution and America as anti-slave and thus fought for the hope that the liberties the document provided would be fully upheld. In other words, Wright is coming from a sense of idle bitterness and hatred while living in a 13th Amendment America. Fredrick Douglass WAS a slave, LIVED in a time of slavery, and still fought hard for the same liberty that America fought for on the Fourth of July. He didn't stay in bitterness, but worked with white abolitions, white women, white politicians, to end the civil war, and to ultimately end slavery.

I feel for Wright because he cannot tear away from bitterness and actually look toward harmony and unity in one nation. But, that is why great men like Fredrick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered. For their character, for their service to their country, and for upholding the rights that are laid down in the constitution, the bill of rights, and Independence day.

Dennis said...

Excellent point, alcamadus! Have a good fourth of July weekend!

professor ed said...

I wonder if the illustrious Rev. Wright is aware of such books as:
Black slaveowners : free Black slave masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860
Koger, Larry, 1958-
Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina, c1995
Not all slaveowners in the ante-bellum south were white!

Dennis said...

Thanks, Ed. I was not aware of that. This fact would make the payment of reparations even more complicated :-)

L'oiseau said...

I fully agree that Wright has bitterness in his heart about the injustices that his ancestors and he, himself have survived. It's hard for me to blame him. He has lived through some very trying times in this country, because it's not just slavery. Many, many white people still to this day look down their noses at black people, just because. It's disgusting.

I thought he was writing that from the perspective of a slave, and not his own experience, and I'm not sure what Michelle Obama has to do with it. I've read somewhere the Republicans are going to do whatever they can to attack her though, so maybe that's what it is.