Monday, April 9, 2012
From the Files of Stating the Obvious: Reverend Wright Suggests That White Supremacy Drives World Policy
I never understood the controversy about Reverend Jeremiah Wright: his interpretations of race, politics, and American history are (to my eyes) rather matter of fact and obvious.
Apparently, Reverend Wright is bringing the ruckus again. The beauty of this latest manufactured controversy is that even in the efforts to selectively edit and "compile" Reverend Wright's various sermon(s)--which were delivered over a week-long revival at Metropolitan Baptist Church--the truth still shines through.
Moreover, Wright's observations about American imperialism, the intellectual origins of neo-conservatism (for a moment I though he was going to talk about Leo Strauss), and his analysis of how white supremacy is central to Enlightenment era political thought, were an object lesson in his deep bonafides. Ultimately, Reverend Jeremiah Wright is a fascinating figure both because of his love of the limelight and penchant for theatrics, as well as his breadth of training and knowledge.
I have no doubt that Jeremiah has some Charles Mills and Emmanuel Eze on the bookshelf. I also have no doubt that many conservatives, especially those invested in a chauvinistic and reactionary white populism, cannot stand Reverend Wright because he is confident, brilliant, and more than a bit "arrogant." He is smarter than they are; and in the sin of sins for black manhood as seen through the White gaze, Reverend Wright loves to demonstrate his superior intelligence whenever given the chance.
There is another irony at work here. While many have tried to smear President Obama by virtue of his association with Reverend Wright, most of his Right-leaning centrist corporatist policies are anathema to the radically humanistic tenets of Black Liberation Theology.
But then again these are details which are of little concern to those who want to put Reverend Wright and Barack Obama on the same enemies list. Facts be damned. In all, for many in the Right-wing echo chamber, ideology trumps empirical reality.