Tag Archives: Jeremiah Wright

Reverend Jeremiah Wright… a Place in History?

I’ll start saying that I like Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I just mean that he seems to be a nice person and probably a very good pastor for those who might need his spiritual advice or support. Same as millions of Americans, I don’t know much about him but the couple of YouTube video clips that everybody has seen (most probably courtesy of Hillary Clinton) and his two appearances on TV… and that is what I want to talk about.  For some reason I thought of the Nicaraguan poet Ernesto cardinal yesterday while I was watching the reverend’s speech. I thought of Ernesto’s poem “Cuidate Claudia”

Be careful, Claudia,
when you’re with me,
because the slightest gesture,
any word, a sigh
a minor oversight,
perhaps one day
will be examine by scholars
And this dance Claudia
might be remembered for centuries
Claudia… I’m telling you.

I wonder if Jeremiah Wright is conscious of the place that he was taking in history.  Seems to me that thirty years ago the tickets he bought were for upper balcony seats, and at the end of the show he found himself sitting in the first row wondering how did this happen?  Or maybe just like a basket ball player finds himself with the ball in his hands a second before the game is over… what do I do now?Same as thousand of people across the country, I followed yesterday’s (Sunday, April 27, 2008) speech with curios attention. Not just about what he would say on his relationship with Barack Obama, but wondering, what does this man have to say to the world?  Why he didn’t say anything before? What makes him deserve national attention all of the sudden? There are dozens or maybe hundreds of pastors just like Reverend Jeremiah Wright in the United States, and I know for certain that they are no different from one another. I have had my share of black gospel on TV and I have dropped in from time to time to a black church just to see what is going on… so I can say with certainty that they don’t differ from one another by much… just some differences in the show, the people on stage, the choir, the band and the gesticulation are different, but the spirit is the same. So the question is what makes Reverend Jeremiah Wright different? Some people had become famous for free, not having to do anything.  An example would be Paris Hilton who’s only merit was to be born into the Hilton family or Nicole Richie who’s only merit was to be friends with Paris.  Well, Jeremiah Wright was the pastor of the church where Barack Obama went from time to time. Now we know that Barack Obama didn’t listen to the pastor because he said that “if he had listened he would have distanced himself from the church”.  So, he went to that church but he didn’t listen to the sermons, just like most Sunday churchgoers… but the reverend is now a celebrity.TheNAACP awarded the reverend because he is the “hottest brother”. Isn’t that the most lame reason ever heard of?  If Barack Obama never attended that church, would the reverend still be awarded?     Like most people, I wasn’t taken by surprise by the sardonic sarcasm he used in his effort to look smart, his defiant position, his allegory, his poor use of somebody else’s studies (Do you speak American? by Robert MacNeil and William Cran), and surprisingly, his simplistic view of the African American culture and religious tradition.Hewasn’t asking people to take him at face value, but to take him “as is”. He didn’t show to the world anything that we didn’t know … or maybe something, he showed to us that he hasn’t earned the position he is taking right now… if I am wrong, he will use this position to propel himself to a place in history… if I am right, tomorrow nobody is going to remember him… not even his name.