When “Wright” is Wrong

In recent months plenty has been written about the Black Church complete with snippets of Barack Obama Pastor Rev. Wright’s sermons’ all over the internet and television news.

It ain’t pretty when Reverend Jeremiah Wright “God Damn’s” America or when he moves his hips in-motion as he discusses Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton.

A strong pastor doesn’t need to gyrate his hips to simulate sexual activity or curse to make a point.
“You’re overreacting” is the retort from Obama supporters between throat gagging swigs of Obama Kool-Aid.

I can’t imagine a worse case Civil Rights scenario, someone like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. operating in such a selfish manner. You’d assume from Wright’s rhetoric that we were right smack dab in the middle of 1964 and that nothing’s changed. (Alabama Gov. George Wallace is blocking the school door, y’all.)

So, you’ve sat in the Black Liberation Theology Church and the pastor has convinced you that “the white man” is the root of your problems. Now what do you do?

Wright assumes that all black churches are like his. They aren’t for every Rev. Wright there are a thousand local Rev. Turners, Rev. Carters, Rev. Johnson’s and Rev. Montgomery’s who empower their members to take ownership of their lives not to whine or cast blame.

I’d always thought the best spiritual leaders are those who spend their time and mission empowering others – preaching toward strengthening those who have to face adversity in their everyday lives, providing strength through teaching about Jesus or who/whatever you may believe in.

A powerful preacher influences the teacher, the politician, the sanitation worker, the public health nurse, and the President as they teach about God.

What has changed or am I missing something?

Imagine Dr. King at a time when Voting Rights were not the law and there were no such things as Civil Rights protections. Schools were separate and unequal, housing for many African-Americans in the south didn’t even have indoor plumbing. There were Poll Taxes for those attempting to vote and lynchings for those who stepped out of line.

In April 1968 when Dr. King lent his name and support to the Memphis, Tennessee Sanitation Workers strike it was because of inhumane working conditions. Before the strike there was an incident in which black sanitation workers were crushed in the belly of a garbage truck where they sought refuge attempting to get out of the weather.

The most influential spiritual leaders are quiet and are the spiritual force behind some of the most powerful people in America.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of America and its responsibility to African- Americans he quoted from the Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill of Rights and countless revered documents citizens hold dear.

In stark contrast to the legacy of Civil Rights, Rev. Sharpton has vowed to “shut down” New York City down because of the verdict returned by a court reviewing actions of detectives that resulted in an unarmed African-American man killed as he left his bachelor party with friends in New York City. In this case the victim and several officers were African-American.

Since the people have no recourse in New York City they need a preacher like Rev. Sharpton to lead the way. Oh, woe is us.

Rev. Sharpton and others have logged thousands of frequent flyer miles rescuing me and others from the mean and terrible white man and racist society. (Visual: cut to Tears, streaming down my face.)

King also talked about a check that if written by this country it would be returned marked, “Insufficient funds” in regards to “what’s owed the Negro.” But at the front of every Civil Rights protest was an American flag flying proudly regardless of how we arrived at this point in history.

And instead of saying God Damn America, Dr. King and an entire generation of African-Americans said God Bless America and set about securing these blessings for the rest of us.

Now, that’s a pastor leading and empowering a flock. Wright is wrong.

Ken Jackson is the award-winning columnist and the editor of Urban CNY