Sunday, May 4, 2008

What Is Wrong With This Wright? Part Two

From Like the Man Said, Read the Whole Thing by Kathy:

Of course, the National Press Club speech was followed by questions from the press, which had been given to a moderator in advance, and the questions therefore had nothing to do with what Rev. Wright had spoken about. The questions were all the same stupid questions Wright has been getting for weeks, about the Malcolm X quote, about the “God damn America” quote, etc., etc. Nobody from the media present at the event even bothered to mention the substance of the speech, as far as I could tell, and the speech was exquisite. It was an eloquent and moving exegesis of the historic role of the black church in the United States, and of the direct line between the theology of liberation preached in many black churches and biblical teachings — especially Isaiah 61:
The prophetic tradition of the black church has its roots in Isaiah, the 61st chapter, where God says the prophet is to preach the gospel to the poor and to set at liberty those who are held captive. Liberating the captives also liberates who are holding them captive.

It frees the captives and it frees the captors. It frees the oppressed and it frees the oppressors.

The prophetic theology of the black church, during the days of chattel slavery, was a theology of liberation. It was preached to set free those who were held in bondage spiritually, psychologically, and sometimes physically. And it was practiced to set the slaveholders free from the notion that they could define other human beings or confine a soul set free by the power of the gospel.

The prophetic theology of the black church during the days of segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, and the separate-but-equal fantasy was a theology of liberation.

It was preached to set African-Americans free from the notion of second-class citizenship, which was the law of the land. And it was practiced to set free misguided and miseducated Americans from the notion that they were actually superior to other Americans based on the color of their skin.

The prophetic theology of the black church in our day is preached to set African-Americans and all other Americans free from the misconceived notion that different means deficient.

Being different does not mean one is deficient. It simply means one is different, like snowflakes, like the diversity that God loves. Black music is different from European and European music. It is not deficient; it is just different.

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