Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In your heart, you know he's right

If I could just weigh in with a voice of reason here, let’s try this:
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?


Blogger Unknown said...

In our hearts we all know he's right .... Please keep writing your column. A voice of sanity in a crazy world. I'm even getting the Reno News & Review now.

Jan Holland

9:21 PM  
Blogger nancyp said...

I couldn't understand why everybody was so surprised. I wasn't surprised at Wright's words, I thought they were justified. And I thought Senator Obama's speech was justified too.

It's just like real life out there.

10:23 PM  
Blogger angelosdaughter said...

In Reverend Wright's time, so many had to swallow their anger and their pride and accept treatment and loss of opportunity that no human being should have to take. Their tormentors saw color instead of fellow human beings with feelings and basic rights. We are indeed lucky that more people of both genders are not as angry or choose not to indulge it. The anger is justified. I hope some healing can come of such expression.

10:49 PM  
Blogger wally & lisa said...

We think it was one of the best speeches given by a politician in a very long time. I just hope Rev. Wright didn't screw up Obama's chance for the presidency.

9:41 AM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

Most Americans are absolutely clueless about the long term social implications and costs associated with slavery; generations of broken families being the most obvious one.

There are no easy answers for past grievances. Only through education, tolerance and understanding can we achieve some resemblance of social and economic justice in this country.

America is a work-in-progress so I am hopeful on this front - naive maybe - but hopeful nonetheless.

10:34 AM  
Blogger anobody said...

Instead of trying to save soul's, the good reverend Wright is trying to stir political controversy. Islamic "holymen" do the same thing. Whatever happened to separation of church and state? Slavery's history goes back thousands of years, in all societies, aided and abetted by many black tribal leaders, I expect. So to blame g-d-america (me) is unacceptable. I think perhaps donations go up a lot when the crowd is in a frenzy. Yes, I doubt the good reverends motives. So-called Reverends bless you with one hand and take your money with the other.

11:21 AM  
Blogger sabjoro said...

What do people like Wright expect from Obama if and when he is elected president?

With an executive order Obama is going to make all the whites stand in back of the bus?

Wright can be justified in what he and others who have been oppressed have said in public and in private but happens now?

There is a lot of racial anger out there in the country that most white people have chosen to look the other way when it was presented to them on a silver platter. Now when there is a chance a black person who was raised in the presence of such anger could be president some whites are getting scared.

The country could have done a lot to release the anger during the Watts riot in the 60s but when the smoke cleared everyone went back into their holes and relieved the problem was going away instead of starting a dialog.

The conservative radio talk shows are using Wright to defeat Obama instead of trying to help heal the country's racial strife - getting a conservative elected is more important than any social issues.

Such is the way of politics these days.

2:29 PM  
Blogger euodia said...

My comments are probably moot. This thread is kinda old by the standards of these things and people have moved on.

But... In my heart, I know Rev. Wright is dead wrong.

I was there, Mr. Farley. I was a little white girl in Montgomery, Alabama. I remember the bus boycott, segregated water fountains, public bathrooms, and movie theaters, not to mention my all-white grade school. My parents had the challenge of raising 3 kids to be respectful and honorable human beings when the world around us countered everything they taught us.

Look... please believe me...nothing like Jim Crow exists in America today. Consequently, in order to maintain that it does

1. requires invention of new crimes of similar magnitude (AIDS and crack are new white inventions for black genocide)

2. trivializes what others suffered a generation and more ago.

3. creates lucrative careers (preacher, polemicist) on the backs of those that lived through institutionalized segregation and state empowered hatred.

3. keeps people enslaved. I mean it in this way;
Encouraging rumination on what others have done... slights, injuries and crimes, real or imagined... promotes surrender of thought lives to others. It's a voluntary slavery. In essence, Bull Connor and his modern incarnations control the lives of willing blacks today.

Rev. Wright et al., profit from the today's slave trade... in a postmodern sort of way.

8:38 PM  

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