Rev. Wright Speaks Truth To Power

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[Elections 2008: Supporting Rev. Wright]

I am appalled at those people of African descent who would question a Black man for courageously speaking out against the horrors of America.

I wholeheartedly support Reverend Wright and I am extremely disappointed in Senator

Barack Obama for denouncing him. The time is always right, no pun intended, for speaking truth to power.

This sounds like a conversation we would be having in the 1800’s – not in 2008.  We need to really examine the idea of Black progress if we are willing to allow ourselves to be whipped into playing some ridiculous minstrel game of “when,” “what,” “how” and “if” we are to speak about the horrors, pain and suffering that people continue to endure in this country so as not to upset the White establishment.

And that we would be having these conversations on the heels of the Sean Bell acquittal is especially painful.  

What does that say about our so-called first “potential” Black president when in light of Katrina, the Jena 6, the recurrence of hanging nooses, and the Sean Bell acquittal, that the only one he has denounced is Reverend Wright for telling the truth about this country? What does that say about us as Black people if we accept this from him? What does that say about us if we are so weak; if we are so desperate for acceptance that we are willing to water our voices down even more than they have already been?

What does that say about us if we are willing to allow our truth to be defined through the lenses of our oppressor? Our faces in religious history have already been replaced with White ones. Already too many of us celebrate without question holidays that pay tribute to slave masters.

Far too many of us have accepted as our independence a day that marked independence for White people only and continued enslavement for Black people. We have accepted as our day of thanks a day that has its roots in White supremacy and the genocide of indigenous people. These are all truths that need to be spoken and Wright was following this tradition.

It has been to the detriment of Black Americans that most of us speak the language of our enslavers, while any cultural remnants of our motherland have been completely obliterated from our psyche and our soul. Now we have those among us who expect our voices to be silenced even more? We cannot afford to become weaker in any way.

We need our voices to raise the roof. We need to stand with Black people, such as Reverend Wright, who have the courage and the conviction to do that.

Denying the realities of Black America so that Barack Obama doesn't have to talk about anything that will make White America uncomfortable so that we can have the first “Black” president in office is disempowering and is a losing strategy.

One thing the history of this country has taught me well is that no matter what happens, no matter who is in office, no matter how many wars the US engages in, regardless of feast or famine, plagues and diseases, White America always comes out on top and unscathed.

There might be those who suffer individually, but the politics of culture and race is about the group in its entirety. White America always manages to thrive.

The hard reality is the complete opposite for Black America and other oppressed communities. For every crime America has committed Black people the world over bare the scars. The damage, bloodshed and loss to African people due to the rise of US/European racism and imperialism has been incalculable to say the least.

The real issue for Black America is not choosing between Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain or Obama. It is about making strong socio-political choices and developing strategies that will empower the Black community for generations to come.

It is a political embarrassment that the only strategy that our community employs around election time is “voting for the lesser of two evils.” It is under this losing strategy that many of the gains that were accomplished in the past are being reversed fast. Our ancestors did not die for Black people to vote for evil.

Amos Wilson reminds us that whole communities have been wiped out and that the survival of the Black community is not guaranteed. And if we don't re-evaluate our relationship to the electoral process, change our direction, and begin to build a strong political power base comprised of people with the courage and conviction to represent our issues, then I fear we are fast tracking our political annihilation.

Watering our issues down to accommodate White folk has never worked for us. For us to think that we can put a Black person in the highest office of this country and hold him accountable to our communities when we haven't even been able to hold most Black people elected to city council accountable to us is engaging in imaginary thinking.

Luckily there is a silver lining in this election. And that is Cynthia McKinney – a strong sister that has a long political history of standing up for all oppressed people. She has earned my vote.

In fact, she has earned the vote of every Black person. The question is whether or not they will vote for her. However if the only way that we can elect a Black person as president is by watering down our politics, appeasing a White racist establishment, and denouncing Black people who speak truth to power, than I sincerely hope that day will never come.


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"Speaking Truth To Power."

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