In your heart, you know he's right
What kind of oblivious jackass do you have to be not to understand the anger that drives the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the man who may have cost Barack Obama the presidency?
I’m not saying he was right, though in many ways he is. What I’m saying is: How can you not see where he’s coming from?
Wright, if you haven’t heard (and if that’s the case, just stop reading right now, why don’t you?), is the pastor who married Barack and Michele Obama and who christened their children. Lately he’s been seen on YouTube, Fox Noise and elsewhere sounding like . . . .
Well, an angry Black man. Which pretty much takes us back to my point: Who can be so oblivious as not to see the reasons a thinking person of African heritage and Wright’s generation would be angry?
Let me make this as basic as I can: You know how you feel when somebody cuts in front of you in line? You’re waiting in the rain for a movie, say, and somebody approaches, finds a friend and runs himself and five companions in front of you, with a little wave and shrug in your direction to show you he’s really a good guy, but, you know, he’s him and you’re you, so what can he do?
Pisses you off, doesn’t it?
But what do you do? You let it slide, but for the next two days you eat your liver because you weren’t man enough to force the issue.
Now, think about this: Many Black men of Wright’s generation have spent their whole lives being shoved back in that line. They haven’t been able to get decent jobs or proper educations. In my lifetime, they weren’t allowed to sit in the front of a bus, stay in good hotels or eat in restaurants where their ebony presence might offend The White Folks.
We shouldn’t be surprised when one of them stands up; we should be thankful they all don’t. Which may, in fact, be one of the reasons this incident has provoked the response it has: Deep down, we know Wright’s anger, however injudicious, is justified.
Sure, things are different now, though perhaps not as different as a lot of us confidently assume. But if you had those days in your memory, how long would it take you to get them out?