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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rev Wright Is The New Rich Little

(Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!)

Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. was the keynote speaker in Detroit, at last night's NAACP branch fundraiser. I watched parts of it on CNN.

I say parts because I literally had to turn away, lower the volume, or just plain turn off the television set when he launched into the more bizarre portions of his address.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. I have seen NAACP events before, so I am aware that they are fiery, of course; but after all, he's on the hot seat not only for himself, but for guilt-by-association of his angry rhetoric as mentor to Senator Obama.

Surely, SURELY now is not the time to stoke the fires of controversy?

In choosing to appear on Bill Moyers' show on hallowed PBS, he signalled that he might at least wish to explain himself to audiences who needed more to go on, than damning "soundbites", in CNN reporter Soledad O'Brien's phrase.

But Sundays must bring out the hatefilled-roller in him, because he was up to his old tricks again.

How to describe his performance?

It was as if Rich Little had been crossed with Little Richard.

What with the impersonations, musical renditions, and philosophical musings, I didn't know if I should laugh or stare agape in utter shock.

One commenter at another blog summed it up with a reference a "Generation Jones" member like Barack Obama would instantly recognise:

"If this was "The Gong Show", his singing would have caused Jaye P Morgan to reach for the mallet."

That's hilarious, if it were a joke. This, unfortunately, was reality television with a dash of That's Incredible! thrown in.

Watch it yourself.









His negation that black people are not different (which, he suggests, is whitey short-hand for "deficient" -- a topic he touched on in the Moyers interview), and then going into a long discourse on how genetically superior black people are, was just for starters.

It became too much for me when he did his John F. Kennedy impersonation (to call it mocking wouldn't be amiss), seen in the 3rd video at minute 2:00, saying that no one criticised he and his brother, "Ed", for having accents, but they do black kids.

I can't believe anyone with an undamaged prefrontal cortex would suggest that poor grammar/syntax and regional accents are one and the same.

JFK asked not, not axed not...in fact, neither does Senator Obama and that's why he's successfully running for President.

Why should anyone suggest the standard be more forgiving to other black speakers, many of whom must have been cringing at the very suggestion themselves? Our country needs MORE Barack Obamas and Condoleeza Rices, not less of them.

It could be that during his PBS appearance he wanted to tone himself down, because he felt he would be speaking to a whiter than usual audience. But since the NAACP were made of more like-minded folk, both black and white let me add, despite his knowing full well all media eyes would be on him, he felt he could let loose with another outrageous salvo.

After all, he believes he's been crucified by "corporate media", due to soundbites taken out of context.

I therefore encourage you to take a gander at one of his full sermons here.

H/T: We Need To Stop!

Once again, this is a FULL SERMON, not just a selective portion chosen with rascally malfeseance by those corporate media suits.

See if you like his likening Jesus Christ to perhaps an Abu Ghraib detainee, with Roman soldiers and the "Italian" Pontius Pilate mistreating him during the 1st century occupation of Jerusalem, "Operation Israeli Freedom".

Just in case you missed the inference, Iraqi terrorists are simply like the Jews of old fighting the blood-thirsty regime of colonial despots. If Jesus were alive, in Reverend Wright's world, he would surely be an enemy combatant in Guantanamo, taunted by US servicemen, who are nothing but mindless torturers.

That's one tiny slice in Part 1 of 4 of the sermon. He was merely getting warmed up.



One sermon, ladies and gentlemen, amongst the hundreds listened to for 20 years by Senator Obama.

If nothing else, I congratulate the junior Senator on his staying power...though Obama supporter Miss Winfrey herself decided her time was better spent elsewhere.

As Salena Zito wrote about the Senator's inability to see why this story is relevant, using his now trademarked phrase, just "a distraction":

"This nation has a history of looking closely at its candidates and taking their measure before they vote for them. It is a process that Obama shuns and rival Hillary Clinton thrives on -- and therein lies the problem for Democrats."

H/T: Instapundit

In parting, let me just say this.

To those who believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, and the good Reverend is no different, that's fine. Americans can tolerate a certain amount of outlandishness of speech, and for those who think religious folk are a bit crazy anyway, they will take this in their stride.

People of all hues will even excuse behaviour such as this, citing cultural differences which might be alien to some.

This isn't the problem here.

This isn't a crucifiction, Reverend. This is an investigation.

It isn't about opinions so much as seeking out the judgement expressed by a community leader, close friend and ex-pastor of a man seeking the highest US political office. It's a big deal, because Obama is a big deal. Everything tied to a would-be President of the United States is a big deal.

And when you have a man of God crying conspiracy theories, denouncing his own country as untrammeledly racist, fascist, murderous and deserving of violent retribution for its sins, from the pulpit, the podium, the television show hot seat, wherever, that's kinda a big deal too.

Most Americans look at this man, and flinch in horror.

His views will only be acceptable and make sense to those who believe what he has to say -- and the worry here is that amongst those people, Senator Obama shared those views by tacit, weekly approval.

A Senator from Illinois is bad enough. But a President of the United States, never.

Related

Soledad O'Brien Says Wright Hit a "Homerun"
HipHopmusic.com Commenters Weigh In
Taylor Marsh Sounds Depressed
Michelle Malkin Wonders What Rev. Wright Says in Private
FiredogLake Talks About Everything But the NAACP Speech

Labels: , ,

13 Comments:

  • Okay, lemme have a go here...
    First off, I've only watched the videos. And yes, there is a discrepancy between his mantra (different is not deficient) and the behavior at the end of the video.
    But let's come to that later.
    First: A lot of what he says does have its merits. Yes, the educational system in most first-wolrd countries is Euro-centric, it is white-dominated. Yes, the term different has been used in a way to mean deficient for a long period of time. And even the parts about language have its merit.
    Yes, Africans have created a number of new "languages" from the language of their European "masters", however - and I say that as a linguist-in-training - the status of these creations is not completely solved yet. To my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that any of these new "languages" are fully fledged languages of their own, as many do not have those 5 elements that he mentions, but only some of it.
    It is a fact tho, that the American pride of having their own language, their (often well-merited) attempts to differentiate their language from Commonwealth English has generally been applied only to the white populace.
    Yes, the language that African Americans speak is not Standard English, it is not even General American - but, generally, the perception of linguists is changing away from a prescriptive system of what a language should be and how it should be a used, towards a more laissez-faire attitude that centers upon the question: Can an individual be understood properly? Many linguists these days do no longer subscribe to the theories that brought about Received Pronunciation or General American in the sense of social prestige.

    Having said all that - what is disturbing is Rev Wright's mockery of White attitudes and practices which is in stark contrast to his mantra, as I've said before. Also, while his statements re: language bear some merit, he does fail to grasp the difference of using a different accent within the same grammatical-lexical system and of using a different grammatical-lexical system and a different accent than what society expects/requires. Whether society -should- be allowed to require a given grammatical-lexical-accent system is an entirely different question.
    I've not said anything about his statements on education, because I frankly don't know enough about that.
    In the end, it is certainly justified to see him in a critical light, however, I fail to see the reason for your rather scathing critique. But as you know, we at times have not exactly compatible points of view.

    By Anonymous madcynic, at Mon Apr 28, 10:11:00 am GMT-4  

  • Shouldn't we (or, indeed, Obama) be more worried about the crowd's reaction to his batsheet craziness?

    By Blogger JSU, at Mon Apr 28, 11:44:00 am GMT-4  

  • Vic, apparently Wright spoke *again* this morning at the National Press Club.

    Were you able to grit your teeth and watch it? Apparently the CNN anchors were beginning to worry aloud about his nuclear-level crazy.

    By Blogger JSU, at Mon Apr 28, 01:57:00 pm GMT-4  

  • First, thank you so much for taking the time to watch the videos, read my post and compose such a comprehensive reply, Malte! :)

    Let me try my best to reply.


    First: A lot of what he says does have its merits. Yes, the educational system in most first-wolrd countries is Euro-centric, it is white-dominated.


    What happens is that when people start arguing his points, they are using his squirrely logic in their replies. This is what he wants, Malte.

    He wants to frame the debate by giving you fait-accompli facts from which he can then shepherd you to his mode of thinking.

    I refuse, outright flat out refuse to think like he does.

    So I'll just say here that obviously our educational system comes from our shared Western heritage. Black Haitian immigrants thrive in this system when they come to the US. And their first tongue is a patois of French.

    Black Brazilians are few and far between in their Universities, but that's because of economic problems -- not because they find the Portuguese tongue an alien language. It's theirs too!

    It's mind-boggling how anyone could suggest what he does about his own people.

    Note, they're my people too.

    I ridicule the concept of race, and thankfully, there is no such thing in biology. He later used race differences in relation to genetics that would've brought a smile to many a Nazi anthropologist's face. Absolutely sickening. Jimmy the Greek must be turning in his grave.

    Yes, the term different has been used in a way to mean deficient for a long period of time.

    That period of time ended in the 1960s.

    It's not that the past should be discounted, and as an Historian you will never hear me say such a thing.

    But people like Reverend Wright concentrate so fully in what was, that they never accept that there has been a substantial change in the way people think, since BACK IN THE DAY.

    And even the parts about language have its merit.

    Yes, Africans have created a number of new "languages" from the language of their European "masters", however - and I say that as a linguist-in-training - the status of these creations is not completely solved yet. To my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that any of these new "languages" are fully fledged languages of their own, as many do not have those 5 elements that he mentions, but only some of it.


    In fairness, a lot of black people decry this idea that "Ebonics" should be considered a foreign or separate language.

    I alluded to that fact in my post.

    It is a fact tho, that the American pride of having their own language, their (often well-merited) attempts to differentiate their language from Commonwealth English has generally been applied only to the white populace.

    Speaking as an Englishwoman, I know my fellow countrymen are very derisive of American English. They consider it a subset, and a badly-spoken subset at that, of Shakespeare's tongue.

    But many a Brit would be far more tolerant of black English, even suggesting it merited study or at least hoping others would not deride it.

    It is this double standard which so many of us detest -- if anything is perceived as the province of white Americans, it's fair game, but hands off if it's a minority one.

    I'm not arguing for derision, just to be crystal.

    I'm denouncing the politically correct double standard.

    Yes, the language that African Americans speak is not Standard English, it is not even General American - but, generally, the perception of linguists is changing away from a prescriptive system of what a language should be and how it should be a used, towards a more laissez-faire attitude that centers upon the question: Can an individual be understood properly? Many linguists these days do no longer subscribe to the theories that brought about Received Pronunciation or General American in the sense of social prestige.

    Thanks for the points! I do understand where you are coming from here as a linguist.

    Having said all that - what is disturbing is Rev Wright's mockery of White attitudes and practices which is in stark contrast to his mantra, as I've said before.

    Bingo.

    Also, while his statements re: language bear some merit, he does fail to grasp the difference of using a different accent within the same grammatical-lexical system and of using a different grammatical-lexical system and a different accent than what society expects/requires. Whether society -should- be allowed to require a given grammatical-lexical-accent system is an entirely different question.

    Heh. Magnificent. :)

    I've not said anything about his statements on education, because I frankly don't know enough about that.

    Fair enough.

    In the end, it is certainly justified to see him in a critical light, however, I fail to see the reason for your rather scathing critique. But as you know, we at times have not exactly compatible points of view.

    I am heartened by the fact that you see SOME inconsistencies (as you suggest they are) of his logic and presentation.

    I am also pleasantly surprised that many other centre-left bloggers, and commenters find his points discomfitting, to say the least.

    It means that his views are so extreme for the mainstream American public which Senator Obama wishes to court for votes, that they either genuinely disagree with the pastor -- or they are afraid others will find him too outré for words.

    An older gentleman like Reverend Wright is not the problem. He clearly suffered tremendously prior to the Civil Rights movement's social victories, and wishes to remind everyone of it every day of his life.

    The problem is just what how much of what he preaches is shared by, approved by, and echoed by Senator Obama and his other ex-parishioners?

    Because as sure as I am sitting here, there can be NO WAY a person walks away from 20 years of hearing the viewpoints he espouses ABOUT EVERYTHING racial, and not have been brainwashed.

    I am Roman Catholic as you and others know, Malte.

    We have a different catechism and rhetoric, tone and timbre to our services.

    I don't begrudge anyone their cultural traditions. If they want to fling themselves body and soul into their sermons, by heavens, good luck and God bless. More power to them.

    But in both the Moyers interview, and in last night's NAACP fundraiser, as well as the FULL SERMON I linked to, Reverend Wright doesn't let up his anti-white, anti-American rhetoric.

    And the obvious question follow is this:

    Just how many Reverend Wrights are there, in black American churches?

    It troubles me enormously.

    Is this what they learn at home or at church?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Apr 28, 02:38:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Shouldn't we (or, indeed, Obama) be more worried about the crowd's reaction to his batsheet craziness?

    Hey JSU. :)

    No. And I'll tell you why.

    Not only is crowd mentality at play, where people get into the moment, the happening, rather than echo his sentiments, but they are also praising his PERFORMANCE.

    This is the thing with black pastors, I've finally realised.

    The crowds are rapturous not just or only about what the preachermen have to say.

    They appreciate the spectacle, the energy, the passion which they believe, I feel instinctively, is Christian conviction.

    This is why Reverend Anthony stood up and hovered appreciatively when Reverend Wright did his little "European" and "African" dances.

    (I swear, for a second I thought he would bust out a moonwalk)

    Yes, he liked it. But he also liked the spirit which moved the Reverend to do what he did.

    That is black, that is REAL, that is authentically part of the black American experience, this kind of crowd reaction seems to say.

    Don't you agree?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Apr 28, 02:49:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Vic, apparently Wright spoke *again* this morning at the National Press Club.

    I know! I was hoping to watch it via Mess-NBC or Faux News (fair and balanced, me!), but alas...guess what happened?

    My mother's sister arrived at the airport from Germany. She's staying until tomorrow, so I'm in a right tizzy.

    I only mention this since of course, I was Malkinlanched just before I left. I had wanted to include something extra, but I think I'll let the blogpost stand as is.

    Were you able to grit your teeth and watch it? Apparently the CNN anchors were beginning to worry aloud about his nuclear-level crazy.

    Oh yes. SEVERAL left-blog commenters were desperately embarrassed about the situation.

    One person even suggested he's secretly resentful of Obama, since he "had" to retire as preacher, and is in the pay of Senator McCain's campaign!!

    And a few said that they would not vote for Obama now.

    Presumably, they will vote for no one, because Senator Obama will be without a doubt the Democratic Nominee.

    I fear a violent, apocalyptic Civil War in their Party, if he somehow doesn't make it through insider influence.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Apr 28, 02:59:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Heh, the length of my comment obviously goes to show that I have to much time on my hands, what with two presentations next week, a holiday coming up and no time at all to get stuff done on the next weekend (footie, yanno how it is ;) ).

    Now obviously you are more experienced re: other Black-hyphenated communities (apologies for the term, but it's late, and I don't know better right now), but I wonder if you may not, to some degree, see the advances that American society in general has made towards that equality thing everyone is so proud of in an all-too-favorable light.
    My outside perception is that there's still a long way to go, and while I do agree that Rev Wright might not be helping the issue, I firmly believe it still is one - and I also believe that there are flaws in the educational system that contribute towards the problems that still exist. The reasoning behind his arguments is obviously flawed (while there are people who may be described as being left- or right-hemi dominant, the division most certainly does not run along any racial borders), but the general fact that -there- is a problem remains.

    As to the use of the term different as meaning deficient: I'm not so sure that this has died out with the 1960s. Indded, I would suggest that with the rise of P.C. speech, the opposite is true: Many who in earlier times, more "honest" times would have used the term deficient or inferior will nowadays use the term "different" to signify the very same thing.

    Finally, I'm not so sure as to the degree that the statements of his former (and pardon my ignorance, but how long ago did Obama stop attending his sermons?) pastor can be used as conclusive evidence regarding Obama's stance on the issues. Mind you, as a European, I don't very much care who gets to be President this time around, general feeling here seems to be anyone can do better than the current one, but I do wonder at times whether issues and debates as such do the democratic process (which is sort of unusual in the US of A anyway) much good.

    By Anonymous madcynic, at Mon Apr 28, 06:20:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Let me briefly explain my earlier remark about how I have a feeling of sadness about Obama. It's not because of nutters like Wright, it's that Obama's reaction to people observing their relationship is sadly, sadly, sadly an academic one. He lacks the true political instinct to realize he has to separate himself from any and all loons, and to do it quickly and forcefully. Instead of listening to people and responding to their concerns, he gives me the impression that he wants to tell people how they should feel about things, and if they feel different than what he knows to be true, the problems are theirs, not his. I have found it dismaying over the years when academics make so many things not about the knowledge they may have, but about themselves and their perceptions, in which they assume a degree of enlightenment over us great unwashed!

    Even if the association with Wright is a harmless or meaningless one, (which I don't think it is!) Obama will doom his campaign if he tries to tell people which of their feelings/impressions are valid and which are not. That's the condescension of elitism speaking there.

    By Blogger Ron, at Mon Apr 28, 07:00:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Can Huckabee be the new Johnathon Winters?

    By Blogger Ron, at Mon Apr 28, 07:01:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Batsheet racist crazy. The only way this could avoid sinking Obama is if Wright goes farhter wacko and Obama does a full sista soldjah moment.

    By Blogger The Drill SGT, at Mon Apr 28, 07:04:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Ah, there's another topic to write on "elitist condescension", no offence meant, Ron, it's just that you reminded me of something I was gonna do a lil research on.

    (Also, I can try again to get this url thingie right, bloody blogger no likey subdomains ;-) )

    By Anonymous madcynic, at Mon Apr 28, 07:09:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Vic, what a fascinating perspective you suggest -- particularly for an opera fan like me.

    But surely even under religion's rubric there has to be a limit to the acceptable content, no matter how spirited the style. As Benedict (or Paleologos, if you like...) noted, religion that doesn't abjure monstrosities via reason is itself monstrous...

    By Blogger JSU, at Mon Apr 28, 09:25:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Hey Vic,

    Did you see Bobby Jindal on Leno last night?

    He's also speaking at the National Press Club on Friday. Ahem.

    By Blogger JSU, at Tue Apr 29, 02:47:00 pm GMT-4  

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