Jeremiah Wright

Regina Reynolds

Most Americans love their country and why shouldn't they; we are some of the riches, freest people in the world. However, it is very possible to love one's country and at the same time see its faults. Much as a mother loves her children while being fully aware of their shortcomings and past discretions. This is very much how I see the current accusations against Barack Obama's preacher, Jeremiah Wright. I went to the web sites and listened to several of his sermons and yes to my very white ears they were sometimes harsh in deed. However, on consideration of his words, I find that for the most part I agree with him. We are a country that covers up our discretions with sweet sounding history, never taking responsibility for what we have done both in our own country and it other countries. We don't call what we did to the American Indian, Apartheid even though it is exactly what it was. We rarely recognize the corrupt, immoral dictators that we have helped put in power in foreign countries. We jailed Japanese Americans and kept slavery long after the rest of the industrialized world had abandoned this inhumane practice. Currently we are militarily involved in Columbia without media coverage or populous support. The United States spend less than one percent of its budget on foreign aid, while the United States People consider their country the most generous in the world. We continue to have the death penalty, while the majority of the world's first world nations have outlawed it as morally wrong. The United States caused havoc in Latin American during the Cold War without advancing democracy one iota. Our Black Brothers and Sisters were first slaves, then noncitizens, then second rate citizens; being treated in ways that none of us could possibly understand. And please don't compare The African American Experience to that of other immigrants, because even though the Irish, Italians, and all others were not treated equally and often unfairly, they were not slaves, they were educated and given jobs before our Black People. The Black Experience in the United States was singularly different. I believe that this is what Preacher Wright was saying, that this country has not always done what is right and moral and wonderful. I believe that it is time that that the citizens of this country dig their collective heads out of the sand and say,"Yes, I love this country but we have done some terrible things to many people and we need to work to not let that happen again." At a speech by Denise Kucinich, he spoke of peace in the world and spending more money on foreign aid rather than military aid. He said don't you want a country that you can be proud of again. Yes, I want a country that we all can be proud of. I am not proud of our current stand on torture or our involvement in Iran and other countries. All Minister Wright was saying is how dare we become outranged when we are attacked, without acknowledging the fact that we have often been aggressors. What he was saying was taken out of context in the worst possible way. It was taken out of context of the Black Community; a community that I hope I will get to know and understand better and perhaps even see represented in the White House. I am a mother, I love my sons and will always stand by them, but they are not perfect and never will be. At times I am very proud of them and at times I am not so proud. I will continually work to help them be decent human beings. I see my involvement in government, and the democratic process as one of the ways I instruct them. My final thoughts, do you believe that everyone in the United States agrees with what your minister said last Sunday? Is your spiritual leader always correct? Are we going to start going to church with all our political candidates? -- Regina Reynolds