Some random thoughts. . .
1. Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a preacher.
I have known preachers all my life. I have worked closely with scores of preachers throughout my adult life. I’ve even done some preaching myself but have never contemplated it as a full-time gig. In other words, I know preachers (and love and admire most of the ones I’ve known.)
And they tend to have some things in common that illuminate the current Wright Affair.
With rare exceptions, a person doesn’t accept a call to preach without being the kind of person who enjoys being the center of attention. That’s not a criticism. It’s a fact. And as a group, they tend to believe they have things to say to others ought to hear. And the more people the better. I’ve never met a preacher with a congregation of 100 who wouldn’t be happier if it was 200; and thrilled if it was 500. (As I write this, I’m aware that 6 or 7 of my most loyal readers are pastors. No offense guys!)
Particularly in Pentecostal-ish churches (black and white) successful preachers are in one sense “performers” and carry a performer’s sensibility and a performer’s hungers. Needless to say, for a guy like Jeremiah Wright, a crowd of people with a live microphone in front of them has the gravitational pull of a super-massive black hole. (And I don’t use the term black hole in any racial. left-brain, right-brain sense.)
Today a large number of pundits, analysts and bloggers are scratching their heads trying to figure out why Rev. Wright isn’t laying low and keeping his mouth shut while his protege is running for the White House. There’s no mystery there for me. There’s an empty pulpit on a national platform with his name on it. Expecting him to leave it empty it asking more than a mere mortal is capable of.
2. Some are wondering if Rev. Wright is actively trying to undermine Sen. Obama’s chances to be elected. I think that’s quite possible.
You see, like much of the civil rights establishment and ethnic grievance culture in this country, Rev. Wright is deeply, deeply invested in world view in which blacks are noble victims and whites are evil oppressors. Barack Obama is sort of a walking refutation of most of Rev. Wright’s assumptions and talking points. Even the nomination of Obama as the candidate of one of the major parties makes much of the Wright-Farrakhan-Sharpton rhetoric seem silly.
And if Obama were to be elected, well that would expose Wright’s entire ideological framework for the hateful farce that it is.
3. A month ago, we were all told that the clips of Rev. Wright were “taken out of context” and represented a “caricature” of his real views. So over the last few days we’ve had the opportunity to hear the minister in pristine, crystalline-pure context. And guess, what? It’s worse than we thought.