The Empire Strikes Back

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“Hillary ain’t never been called a n-gger!”

Have you noticed that, of all Jeremiah Wright’s decontextualized quotes, this one has been completely dropped out of the mediated discussion of his statements?

When USA Today‘s Donna Leinwand, vice-president of the National Press Club, moderated the now-infamous Q&A with him on Monday, she asked him about Farrakhan, AIDS, “chickens coming home to roost,” etc., but not one question about this statement.


Beyond its impolitic, impolite quality, I say that the reason is obvious: Most of the reporters there didn’t want to talk about it.

This statement by Wright, gets closest to the heart of not only the struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary, or between Obama and Wright, but it gets most inside “America’s problem with race.”

If you were journalist at the NPC this week, it’s the statement that most neatly summarizes the difference in career and life arcs for white and non-white journalists.

It’s the statement that, even devoid of context, relies least on it.

But in any event….

I am thrilled to see someone from Trinity United Church of Christ throwing their hat into the fray. This post, titled, “My Name is Nicole and I Stand with My Pastor! Here is why….,” is from a woman who says she’s a member of Wright’s congregation. In it, she takes apart the attack against her leader with clarity and piping-hot brio, asking the reader to “review the facts”:

Rev. Wright did not ask to be in this position

1. Never before in history has the mainstream media given so much scrutiny to ANY presidential candidates Pastor OR Church OR secret society memberships. I mean Hillary’s association with ‘The Family’ was mentioned on blogs but never covered in depth by the mainstream media! And what religion is John McCain anyways? He didn’t even seem know

If Rev. Wright had not attempted to defend himself, HE WOULD STILL BE AN ISSUE IN THIS POLITICAL SEASON

1. The North Carolina republicans were set to air ‘Willie Horton’ style attack ads featuring Rev. Wright against the wishes of the presumed Republican Nominee


Okay … Maybe throwing up an Omega signal was over the top for Rev. to do. [NOTE: Did any media catch that?-HA] I’ll give you that.. But again he’s not running for office. Whats more outrageous, Rev. Wright throwing up an Omega sign at a press conference orJohn McCain trying to WHIP SOMEBODY’S ASS on the Senate floor.. WHICH IS WORSE? Do we not swift boat McCain when he’s accused of calling his wife a trollip and a c*nt??? Or how about dropping the F bomb on the senate floor? Is that not a sign of arrogance?

Then, from of all places, The San Jose Mercury News, we get “The Rev. Wright has a right to defend his reputation,” by Ruben Navarrette, in a glib, sarcastic tone:

Just who does the Rev. Jeremiah Wright think he is, anyway? And how dare he try to tell us who he isn’t – especially when many of us have made up our minds about him and the political damage he has done to Barack Obama. How dare someone who has been so deftly caricatured by the media try to defend himself and show that there is more to him, his life and his ministry than fits into a video clip on YouTube. And, in the process, how dare the former pastor come across as witty, engaging, self-assured and even funny. Imagine someone refusing to conform to stereotype.

The nerve!

I’m lovin’ it.


1 comment so far ↓

#1 clay on 09.13.08 at 7:40 pm

The myths some hold onto regarding how America came to be, as well as how much progress has been made in race relations is fascinating to watch…. it is clear to me that color issues remain the elephant in the room which many are attempting to ignore…

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