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Loren Jenkins's comments:
When I began to see the clips of Reverend Wright all over the internet and on all the TV channels and they were the same pejorative clip over and over, I cringed inside. It is a funny sensation, that cringe. Black people feel it and know it. The cringe is what we feel when we hear about a mass murderer killing 14 people on an Amtrak train. It goes like this, "Oh Lord, PLEASE don't let that murderer have been a black man, please Lord". That cringe is the hunching of the shoulders and the ducking of the head in anticipation of the blows to follow. It was the disappointment when the helicopters turned out to really be following OJ.
When I saw the clips of Rev. Wright and understood, I was not surprised to see and hear the wide gaping, but very unequal, interpretations being pounded at us by the purposeful media like Fox and the lazy media that just replays their clips and opinions like nearly all other media outlets. I cringed because I have seen this script before. The endless replays. The mockery and humiliation that leads to accepted "truth".
I began yesterday to see the reactions to Obama's speech. Some said the speech was brilliant. Some, like Fox, said, "Obama refuses to denounce unpatriotic Black preacher". Most local news and takes said something very mild and played a very small clip.
So, I went to the source, and watched the speech myself. What impresses me, what refreshes me, is the courage of Obama. He is honoring the people by not giving them a dumbed down sound bite denunciation of Rev Wright. He is by one part loyal and by another part refuses to allow the simple characterization of himself or Rev Wright. When he said, Rev Wright was of an older generation that sees the world thru the lens of their time and not by the lens we, who are younger and forward looking, use I understood. And I forgive. Just as I forgive when I have the older white patient who says "Nigra" or "coloured" or expresses some pejorative view about black people. I understand, and don't think that view or those words are a reflection of their true heart; they speak as their world was at one time not knowing another way.
The speech takes on the complex problem of race in America. I too, am a biracial man, and I got everything Obama said down to my bones. I felt proud to see him addressing everything about our country, the good and the bad, for white people, black people, brown people, native people, Asian people, and all the variations in between. I too, want us to form a more perfect union, to live up to the greatest document every produced to establish a people, the constitution of the United States of America. I reject the divisive zero sum game, as Obama said, we have been fed through the 70's and 80's. I felt proud to be an American after seeing this speech and full of hope for our country.
So, see the speech for yourselves and don't just rely on the views of others.
posted 5 years, 2 months ago
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