Context is Everything, posted March 21, 2008 at 12:54 AM
Let's talk about Pastor Wright for a second.
I guess I should start by saying that I was as shocked and offended as anyone by the video clips that have spread like wildfire through the media. And I've had detailed discussions about all this stuff with my colleagues, my family, and even a few strangers.
And then tonight, on a blog, I saw another video. This video is a much longer clip than can be shown on the evening news. But this clip includes one of Wright's offending statements--the one about America's chickens coming home to roost. In the news, we just saw an angry black preacher spinning around and shouting: AMERICA'S CHICKENS ARE COMING HOME TO ROOST!!!!! But watch the longer clip, and you'll see that this was not an angry black man saying America deserves to be struck by terrorists. This isn't an angry black man siding with the enemy because a point was struck against the American (white) establishment. Actually, this is just a preacher, coming to terms with violence in our culture, examining what the roots are of American violence and violence against America, and asking his god for personal guidance.
You'll be amazed that in that larger context, his anger is actually just self-reflection. In fact, the chickens-coming-home-to-roost line is him quoting a white man (an American embassador) quoting Malcom X. Context is everything. Take a look.
Please note: I have not yet reviewed longer clips of Wright's other outrageous statements. There probably still are plenty of occasions where his words were as purposefully inflammatory as the media is making them out to be. But let me ask you this: Should we trust the corporate media--the very people who told us Gore was a pathological liar, that the Clintons were murderers, and that George W. Bush was a uniter--to gives us the truth in this matter?
No. I don't think we should.
If I find more I'll let you know.
UPDATE: Seek and you shall find. Here's the long clip leading into the "God damn America" rant. Again, he's talking about the consistent love of god, as it compares with the inconsistent successes and failings of government. Something I think most people actually agree with. Unless you think the Dred Scott decision was right, of course.