Saturday, November 27, 2010

Context

Hardly a day goes by without the demagogues in the American right-wing attacking Obama for being different from ordinary Americans, or characterized as having a different set of beliefs or being foreign born or some such rot. It's a testament to the failure of the various media that they allow themselves to be used to propagate this slander and thinly veiled racism all the while pretending that it's being done in the name of "balance."

Always included as part of the narrative is Obama's relationship with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. There are a litany of quotes taken from a post 9/11 sermon that are always served up as "proof" that Obama was listening to anti-American screeds all these years and hence must be anti-American too. It is of course absurd on its' face but as far as media narratives go that doesn't prevent it from continuously being spread to the unquestioning viewing and hate-radio listening public.

Back when this story broke and the right-wing media were playing those selected clips around the clock I went looking for and found the entire sermon which I played on my radio show several times to put context to the oft repeated sound-bites being played. Interestingly, the sermon was not anti-American at all. It was a presentation of the American foreign policies he believed led to the attack and the folly of seeking revenge. The most controversial statements in the sermon do not belong to Reverend Wright but are him repeating what former US Ambassador Edward Peck had said while being interviewed on the Fox network -- save the phrase "America's chickens are coming home to roost," which was an embellishment of the part of the Reverend.

In some circles these ideas may be somewhat controversial but certainly not in all and so I've wanted to post the video for some time but the full video is no longer available but I did find a ten minute snippet which indeed does put enough context to put the lie to Obama's pastor was a radical anti-American. It's a speech delivered with passion and a certain amount of flair which I do not believe is that uncommon in a lot of American churches. Have a listen and please tell me what you think.

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