The Media Lynching of Jeremiah Wright (Part 2 of 3): Crazy Talk
Do I think HIV was an experiment created to destroy black folks? I don’t.
Do I see how one might think such a thing? I do.
How can one fathom the U.S. Government conspiring against a race people, it’s own citizens no doubt? I believe these words can at least paint the picture.
For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all.
The prevalent thought in America is that racism is a bad thing that happened very long ago. But the reality is that racism is a horrible thing that continues to exist today. It is woven into the very fibers of our country’s institution and in its purest form continues unnoticed.
In the days since the media has targeted Dr. Wright, many have argued that personal reponsibility is the answer, not pointing fingers crying racism. They point to a time in segregated America when black folks worried about their own problems and less about those perpetuated by the majority population. When folks went to work, raised their children and paid their taxes.
That sounds good when you take out the fact that black boys and girls were learning from text books that were marked in and with pages torn our by students at the “city school.”
It sounds good if you forget that black fathers were put in jail for trumped up crimes like vagrancy with very little recourse in the courts.
It sound good if you forget the fact that black men and women weren’t allowed to vote or be represented in government.
It sounds good if you forget that black men feared themselves our their sons being victims of mob violence at the whim of a heated citizenry.
On second thought, it doesn’t sound so good to me.
If America would just take a moment to recognize the way the rest of the world looks at us as a walking contridiction. As a country that can be so generous during the tsunami, and be so callous after the levies broke. A country who would crush the hope of an audacious generation, in order that the same old folks do the same old thing. A country that for that for nearly 200 years celebrated “Independence Day” while simultaneous forbidding independence to a large portion of its population.
I’ll make a confession here. After the New Hampshire Primary, I had prepared to write a book called “5 Days of Hope.” The book was going to be about the time between Barack Obama’s speech after his victory in the Iowa caucuses and his “defeat” in the New Hampshire Primaries. I was going to chronicle how inspired the country was for those 5 days and how we would return to the status quo after New Hampshire.
Little did I know that hope would last into April. I surprisingly put aside my own skepticism and give America the benefit of the doubt. What’s frustrating for me is to know this country as well as it does, and to think that America would not pass the buck again and blame the group that
None of us have a monopoly on right, but in the media game that just won’t do. They have always fallen on the opposite side of those with an interest in the uplift of African-Americans. Contemporary media lambasted Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X in their day. Now Americans think Ali is cool, King is inspirational, and Malcolm is at least worthy of having a street named after him.
So I’m left to wonder how I will explain this to my 6 year old son, if all this ends the excitement he’s enjoyed during the campaign. My son, a self proclaimed George W. Bush supporter (what a terrible parent I must be) who has watched debates, election returns and even attended an Obama rally.
I’ve seen the joy he’s taken in viewing Sen. Obama on a T.V. that’s gone silent since the media attacks began. How will I explain that going to church is what could ultimately cost the junior senator from Illinois? Being introduced to Christ by the “wrong man” could save his soul but lose an election.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
In spite of that I accept the challenge made by Senator Obama on Tuesday. I was willing to go back to my corner, hunker down, and disengage from the entire process. But I will once again have faith in the promise of America. A promise, like it or not, that has not been kept to little black boys and girls across the country and across the generations. I’ll give it another shot.
Part 3 – The Fox News Crowd