Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Glib Racism or a Voice of Experience
One of my favorite parts of the Inauguration ceremony was the benediction offered by the Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, a former NAACP head and 60's civil rights leader who knew Dr. Martin Luther King. He's since become of voice for all oppressed people's of any color, or so I have read.
I enjoyed his prayer, like I enjoyed the rest of the ceremony at length. His eloquent words breathed life into a time and place I know little of. Life in the 60's for African Americans. Before and during the Civil Rights Movement.
He ended his words rather jovially with this little quote that brought some laughter from the crowd.
"We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”
While scanning the news articles about the Inauguration today, I've discovered that more than one conservative is offended with the "white will embrace what is right" statement.
Surprise, surprise. Glib racism! Post racialism!
Do I believe his comment was racist? No, because I look at the man who said. He grew up in a segregated, repressed world. He lived it. I did not, therefore I will not make judgements. Like so many white people of his generation, perhaps he has a hard time letting go of the past. Perhaps white just happens to rhyme with right.
I wonder how many other Democrats feel these comments were racist? I would venture the number to be extremely low if non-existent. How many Republicans? From what I've read this morning, a lot are offended.
Why? I'm just as white as some of these conservatives. I'm not offended. I don't feel threatened by his words. In fact, I find this to be a perfect example of being overly sensitive.
Perhaps it goes back to the Civil Rights Movement and Linden Johnson in the 60's. Republican opposition was fierce. Some thought the Communists started that movement. Some still blindly believe that no matter how ludicrous it sounds. (Those dreaded Commies are always up to no good.)
Perhaps a few needed something to be mad about and this is what they chose because they could find nothing else wrong with the ceremony. Nothing in President Obama's speech. Nothing in the music. Why is no one happy that Justice Roberts screwed up the oath of office? I bet he did it on purpose because Obama voted against his nomination! (wink, wink)
Call it blind faith, but I enjoyed the ceremony. Alot of people did. Democrats and Republican's alike. Every word of it. Whether he just wanted his poem to rhyme or he had some secret political agenda, the man's in his 80's. I say let him voice what he's been denied so often in his long life.
The right to express his opinion.