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.