OBAMA PASTOR WRIGHT 2008Turns out reparations aren’t only on the minds of Jamaicans this week. Unfortunately, in America the person we least want to hear speak on the subject is the one making headlines: Revered Jeremiah Wright.

We all know there is plenty of love lost between Wright and President Obama who used to be a member of his Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. But while President Obama severed ties with the pastor in one fell swoop in 2008, Revered Wright still has plenty of criticism for the Commander-in-Chief and he isn’t afraid to air his grievances publicly, which is exactly what he did at the United Church of Chapel Hill this past Saturday. During a lecture on racial reconciliation, one woman asked the revered whether black Americans should receive reparations for slavery and that’s when things went real left, real quick.

 “One of the reasons America has never confessed to its original sin is that confession means repentance, and repentance means you gotta pay,” he said. “That’s not black people getting a check next week—it’s structural issues.

“My daughter and granddaughter call him (President Obama0 our Halfrican-American president—he don’t want to talk about reparations. It’s not personal responsibility. It’s not ‘pull your pants up.’ Don’t get on Fox News and lecture black men. You’re missing the point. Let’s talk about white-on-black crime. Until we have a hard dialogue, it’s all gonna be superficial, ‘Kumbaya,’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’”

Even if Wright has a point about America atoning for its racist sins, he lost us — and most of the public — at “halfrican-american.” As The Atlantic points out, Wright never once even uttered President Obama’s name but it was clear all along whom he was speaking of especially when he went into “an extended metaphor about sheepdogs—’once they’re trained to protect a flock, they’ll fight against even dogs from their own litter.'” He also said, “We got a lot of sheepdogs in the African American community.”

That all may be well and true, but nobody told this man you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? If you want President Obama to take the concerns of the African American community more seriously you might want to leave the inflammatory criticisms at home. Thoughts?

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  • Respectability politics hasn’t worked and will never work to solve problems. While, I don’t agree with calling the President Barack Obama out of his name in public (when Dr. King criticized LBJ on Vietnam, he never called LBJ out of his name in pubic via his speeches like in his Beyond Vietnam speech, etc. What Dr. King did was exposed the truth strongly that the Vietnam War stripped necessary resources that could have been used to rebuilt urban and rural communities show suffer poverty. Dr. King was right to say the the United States government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today). Yet, I have no problem with Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s views on reparations at all. African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans should have reparations as we are the victims of centuries of structural racial and economic oppression. We have to honest and tell it like it is. Evil people have called us every name under the sun, so we should be accurate and express the truth in a strong fashion.

    I definitely agree with Reverend Wright on the truth that President Barack Obama should not only address reparations, but talk about revolutionary change, and have a hard dialogue on race. “Sheepdogs” is rather tame as compared to what white racists have called the President. Therefore, we shouldn’t sugarcoat the situation that we’re in. we face gentrification, economic inequality (which relates to class oppression), struggling schools, and other evils. We have the right to show the truth in an uncompromising fashion.

  • Rizzo

    obama had 8 years to take the concerns of the aa community ‘more’ seriously. as mr. marvin gaye said, ‘got to give it up’ now and look to somebody else who ‘might’ give a damn about white repentance, the concerns of the aa community and reparations.

  • CoolChic

    Rev. Wright has not forgiven Obama for throwing him under the bus.