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Behind Reverend Wright’s Recycled Rage
© Jack Cashill
On the occasion of the 15 th anniversary of Waco, it seems an appropriate time to review the way in which Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, responded to that tragedy.
Given his famous sensitivity to racial slights, one would think that a tank assault on a multicultural religious community would have caught the good reverend’s attention.
After all, more than half of those incinerated at Waco on April 19, 1993 were ethnic minorities, 39 out of 74 to be precise, six of them Hispanic, six of Asian descent, and a full 27 of them black, ages six to sixty-one.
After considerable research, however, I could find no evidence that Wright ever so much as questioned the Clinton administration about this unwitting bit of slaughter.
A photo taken of Wright’s one recorded meeting with President Clinton five years later shows a smiling, sycophantic pastor too enthralled to be enraged.
Indeed, in reviewing Wright’s record, one discerns a consistent pattern: the reverend ignores real injustices like Waco in favor of recycled racial myths that seem to have no greater purpose than to scare his flock into the folds of the Democratic Party.
In this regard, Wright’s so-called black liberation theology owes less to the Reverend Martin Luther King than it does to that maestro of paranoid racialism, the Reverend James Jones.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the very white Jones fed his largely black congregants such a steady diet of race-based anxiety that they came to believe only death would spare them the wrath of the “man.”
Jones, at least, was an original. He exploited the Democratic Party to buffer his self-professed communism.
As to Christianity, he used that as a front to pave the way to a materialist Utopia.
“Free at last, free at last,” he would lead his temple comrades in prayer, ““Thank socialism almighty we will be free at last.” They eventually found that freedom in cyanide-laced Kool-Aid in the jungles of Guyana.
To be fair to the Kool-Aid drinkers, in the 1970s institutional racism was not a distant memory. Many of his older congregants had come of age in the Jim Crow south. Jones rubbed fresh salt in real wounds.
Wright’s congregants, Obama especially, have no such excuse. The shopworn racial myths that Wright peddles are not just deranged, but, in the age of the Internet, easily disproved, every single one of them.
Wright tells his people that Hillary Clinton never had “a cab whiz by her.” What he does not say is that virtually all of the cab drivers in Chicago are people of color—mostly African and West Indian--and have been for years.
Hillary, says Wright, “never had to work twice as hard” as her classmates--as if Obama actually had to. In fact, he and wife Michelle glided through their Ivy educations on a track fully greased by affirmative action.
Beyond affirmative action, Obama owes much of his apparent academic success to the swank private school he attended in Hawaii from 5 th grade on.
Had he gone to the broken public schools that his allies at the NEA mandate for less privileged black kids, he would not be running for president.
Hillary, the reverend tells us, never had “a car pulled over” by the police. If Obama ever did, it may have something to do with the fact that a tragically disproportionate number of 911 calls come out of the black community—seven times as many per capita on murder alone.
Wright’s government, we are told, “gives” African Americans drugs as an excuse to imprison them. Even Jones would not have insulted his congregants with that canard.
More absurdly still, Wright credits the government with “inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”
That same government, says Wright, as proof of its implicit evil, “purposely infected African American men with syphilis.”
No, wrong again. The notorious Tuskegee experiment allowed a control group of already infected black men to go untreated.
Bad as it was, this experiment grew out of the same casually racist eugenics that Margaret Sanger championed. Sanger, of course, founded Planned Parenthood.
If Wright or Obama truly cared about genocide against people of color, they might protest the very real deaths of 13 million black babies since Roe v. Wade.
The mentor and mentee, however, oblige their Democratic pals at Planned Parenthood much as they do those at the NEA.
About the war on terror, Wright has been notoriously unforgiving. “America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he insisted on the first Sunday after 9-11, adding, “What we are doing is the same thing as Al Qaeda is doing.”
At the time, Wright attributed the “chickens” quote to former Carter ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck, who said no such thing.
The original source, of course, is Malcolm X. What we respect Malcolm for today, however, is not his barnyard allusion to the assassination of JFK, but his bold and eventually fatal decision to stop drinking Elijah Muhammad’s racist Kool-Aid.
“I was a zombie then—like all Muslims,” Malcolm told Alex Haley about his twelve years in the Nation of Islam. “I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march.”
The Reverend Wright and his flock are still hypnotized, still marching, and still applauding people like Farrakhan, who was admittedly “complicit” in the assassination of Malcolm X.
If Wright is heeding some master mesmerist other than the Democratic Party, it is simply not evident.
His silence on issues that would embarrass the party like Waco, his eager embrace of anti-Bush conspiracy theories, and his submission to Democratic Party allies like the NEA and Planned Parenthood lead to no other conclusion.
As was true with Jim Jones, the media and the Democratic Party indulge Wright because he is so effective at harvesting votes.
Like Jones, too, Wright will come under real media scrutiny only if he embarrasses the party and that will happen only if Obama loses the nomination.
Given Wright’s obsessions, however, even if Obama wins the nomination and is elected president, his congregants will find little relief.
The un-retired Wright will remind them every Sunday of the unique injustices that black President Obama suffers at the hands of white Republicans, the media will gleefully echo him, and the promised racial healing will have to wait another day.
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