Monday, April 28, 2008


The Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Some of Mr. Wright's sayings have been widely repeated in commentary and ads on TV. Pundits agree that he is being a hindrance, not a help to Barack Obama's campaign for the nomination to the Presidency. One pundit says that the problem is that Barack has been trying to play down the racial aspect of his candidacy, but that Mr. Wright's sayings remind people that, in Black Churches at least, race is a very important topic.

From what I've heard, mostly from interviews that Mr. Wright has given lately, he is saying that Black people not only have been treated very badly by Europeans and European-Americans, but that bad treatment still occurs. He has also said, or quoted someone who said, that the 9/11 attacks were pay-back for some parts of American foreign policy in past years.

I find nothing wrong with either of these statements. No one can deny that Black people were kidnapped from Africa and brought to this country to be sold into lifetime slavery. No one can deny that many slave owners treated their slaves in inhumane ways. No one can deny that, even after the Civil War and our constitution was amended to banish slavery and guarantee equal treatment of former slaves Black people were subjected to humiliating forms of discrimination and worse. Black men were periodically lynched to serve as examples to other Black men.

With regard to 9/11, it was reliably reported that the organizer of the attack was a Palestinian who was angry with the United States for its uncritical favoritism toward Israel. No one can deny that the United States has never lifted a finger to stop Israel from continuing its secret plan to squeeze the native Palestinians out of their part of what is to be the restored biblical state of Israel. No one can deny that in any confrontation between the Israelis and the Palestinians the United States has always sided with the Israelis.

It is known that the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, is angry that Saudi Arabia has permitted Americans to establish a military base in Saudi Arabia. He is angry at both the Americans and the Saudi government. The attacks that his organization have made against American installations are a result of this anger.

This is not to say that there have been reasons for American foreign policy in the region containing Israel, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other neighboring countries. Some of the reasons may have been good ones, others not so good. Whatever the reasons, our foreign policy does have consequences, some of them unexpected. That is my understanding of what the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is saying. I also believe that our foreign policy can have unexpected consequences, or "blow-back" as the CIA says.


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