Audacity in Reality
I will never cease to be amazed by White folks' (Yes, I often speak colloquially.) ironclad inability to distinguish between racism (i.e. the belief that the inherent differences between the human “races” are attached to some cosmic value system in which some “races" have greater inherent value than others) and race consciousness (per my good friend Charles, the ability to tell the difference between a cat and a chair).
Coming in at a close second on my list of amazing feats in a Western-heavy (a.k.a. Anglo-American or Eurocentric) perspective is the crazy fact that Black Americans are still treated as alien entities in the United States. I find it a bit odd that, for all the contributions Black America has made to popular American culture (and, therefore, many other world cultures as well), the people of the United States continue to perceive the Black American perspective as something so…foreign.
You see, in addition to resilient, self-induced confusion, the collective consciousness of even the most worldly and informed of America’s majority population seems plagued by a convenient and remarkably potent fantasy. This communal dreamscape appears to induce symptoms of unexplained memory loss and rampant ignorance in the heartiest of American souls. Now, add these socio-psychological phenomena up, and you’ll discover some of the sad reasons why there is so much ado about nothing over Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Despite how shocking those deliberately context-lacking excerpts from Rev. Wright’s past sermons are purported to be, we hold certain truths to be self-evident that the United States has a long history of overtly and violently oppressing particular cultural groups. Moreover, U.S. foreign policy has not always demonstrated the highest of diplomatic principles. The violent oppression I speak of was commonplace during the greater part of American history. It was the lasting complement to widespread racist ideology adopted into the organized practice of race-based discrimination in everyday American life. I am appalled that some have resolved to interpret U.S. history as one characterized by mere domestic social favoritism. Make no mistake; it was utterly unambiguous domestic terrorism, by the people of the United States for the people of the United States. (For proof, I invite you to type “lynching” into your search engine, and let the enlightenment begin. Some of you may even be surprised that many recorded terrorist strikes occurred in urban, non-Southern U.S. locations. For additional edification, type “Strange Fruit” into your search engine.) Without a doubt, American citizens were being terrorized within U.S. borders long before September 11, 2001.
It perturbs me that so many people continue to mistake 9/11 as the historically groundbreaking, first-time-ever terrorist event on U.S. soil. It also perturbs me that there are people who contest the fact that 9/11 [could have been] the result of irresponsible U.S. foreign policies come home to roost. Why does that sound so far-fetched, I ask? Isn’t vengeance the one of the oldest sins in the Book? It could very well be that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were, in fact, a retaliatory enterprise organized by tremendously vengeful minds bent on “paying America back” for perceived or real past indiscretions. I am sorry that for compensation those cruel hearts took so many innocent lives.
I am sorry that Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a charismatic and well-spoken man of God whose great church I have visited several times (Rev. Wright and my father are acquaintances, and my young nephew’s memorial was held at Trinity United Church of Christ last year.), has had to endure the base slander his name has suffered recently. Sadly, the attacks against Rev. Wright and the unnecessary controversy sparked by his words epitomizes the continued failure of the American people (Yes, I am still referring to the majority.) to effectively come to grips with an ignominious past and a suspect modus operandi. As a result, it is the innocent truth, harsh as it may sound to many, that has been sacrificed by the people of the United States of America.
My fellow Americans, we, alone, have the responsibility of forging a more perfect union. We, alone, must step beyond childish fear and loathing and rectify the transgressions that will otherwise continue to haunt our posterity. If innocent truth cannot be the foundation of our endeavor, no fantasy we concoct will save us from our inevitable ruin.