Turns 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?