As I have predicted for two months now, the second stage of racialized attacks on Senator Obama has now begun. Mainstream media presentations (here and here) and many bloggers (for example, here) have in the last few days critiqued, if not raged against, the views of Senator Obama’s minister and friend, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. They pick and choose Wright’s statements. often out of context, to make Wright look wild and unusual–with no attention to the fact that millions of Americans have good reason to think like he does. (They may be the vanguard for more organized Republican attacks to come soon against Senator Obama.) Reverend Wright and his church have for decades articulated a Black Liberation theology grounded in the anti-racism, civil rights movement tradition of African Americans. These commentators cared nothing about Black Liberation theology–with its strong and necessary accent on family values, self-respect, and liberation from racial oppression in this highly racist society–until there was a political campaign with a black candidate. Not one of these mainstream media commentators has shown any serious knowledge of this Black Liberation tradition, or in fact serious knowledge or understanding of the data about racial oppression in U.S. history, in the past and present.
I challenge any of these commentators to carefully read these books (here and here and here), among others on our highly racist present and past, and still argue that an anti-racism counter frame and movement, as represented by Reverend Wright and millions of other Americans of African descent, are not still reasonable for the U.S. today.
The mainstream media commentators are, for the most part, sadly illiterate on racial matters. They show no concern about racism today, and its destructive effects on this society. That is the real political and educational problem facing this country today.
With regards to your last paragraph, one has to conclude that with all that is known or available in matters of race and the “west”, that the illiteracy of recuperative racial justice and the reason for it in the first place, reflected in the American MSM particularly, and this society generally, is willful ignorance and, obviously, self serving.
March 14th, 2008 at 6:32 am
With regards to your last paragraph, one has to conclude that with all that is known or available in matters of race and the “west”, that the illiteracy of recuperative racial justice and the reason for it in the first place, reflected in the American MSM particularly, and this society generally, is willful ignorance and, obviously, self serving
And may I add further…is it not possible for the media and commentators to tear into Clinton’s and McCain’s church going history and flare criticisms on their Pastors, theology, etc.? Come on now. Not that two wrongs make a right–but sheesh…. I’ma justa gonna keepona working grassroots style and encourage others to do the same….
The blog entry linked above makes the point that the Obama campaign worked the media into a frenzy over the comments of Ms Ferraro, and now they are going to have to deal with their own insensitive comments. But I didn’t see the Obama campaign stir anything up. If anything, Ms Ferraro was a one woman show, appearing on a number of talk shows to defend her comments as soon as she stepped down from the campaign. There is no way she would’ve done this without the Clinton campaign’s blessing.
One other point: the media generally does not need to have a thorough knowledge of a subject to talk about it. That is not the function of news talk shows like Hannity and Colmes. The argument that you and the reverend seem to be making is that a journalist can’t even ask the reverend a question about his teachings without reading multiple books on liberation theology. Why not?
The MSM’s take on Wright is typical of its generally white and/or white-conservative bias. Not one single white (and a large majority of all hosts/regular commentators are white) commentator in the MSM, that I have seen or heard about, has bothered to examine Wright’s comments in the full context of what he said, or to ask why MILLIONS of Americans in fact agree with most or all of his views. MSM white commentators almost never are able to look at the world from anything but the white perspective, from the white racial frame. They are so isolated in their white world that they cannot even ask, was Pastor Wright “right” in terms of the evidence for some of his contentions, or is he making what are rather common arguments in many black communities?