Its awful damage has been done, which cannot be undone no matter how one spins this story...
I don't quite agree with that. There IS a historical context that needs to be taken into consideration and the sooner that context is weaved into the Wright narrative, the further on the road towards Reconciliation wil this society be.
McPeak is discussing as a military person & providing ideas and arguments to be taken into consideration when using US military power. A fuller quote on the question of the length of occupation is this:
Is Iraq the last country we confront in the Middle East?
Who wants to volunteer to get cross-ways with us? We'll be there a century, hopefully. If it works right.
I'll tell you one thing we should not hope for (is) a democratic Iraq. When I hear the president talking about democracy, the last thing we should want is an election in Iraq. We're not very popular. So I don't think we'll see any open elections in Iraq for a long time.
Hopefully over time they can be brought along like Japan and Germany -- Japan and Germany were relatively easy, I think, and South Korea.
Yeah, it's cold and calculating but it is clear from the above quote that he is thinking of a presence of American forces in Iraq along the lines of Japan and Germany and South Korea, not as an aggressive presence as is current in Iraq! Take into account that he was not in favour of invading Iraq in the first place.
Myself, I would take from this interview these particular quotes:
In my judgment, you can fight a war on terrorism and do it legitimately (and) do it without sacrificing civil liberties in the United States, but it requires a certain intelligence and sophistication be brought to the table.
I believe that one of the elements of power is the ethical and moral authority that is conferred on forces when their use is seen to be legitimate. It's as important as bullets, in my opinion. - - Link
I'm not "militaristic" but in a real world, it's good that Obama has this military person on his team.
The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times. He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. He has been a vocal critic of the racism, sexism and homophobia which still tarnish the American dream. To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize. This is a critical time in America's history as we seek to repent of our racism. No matter which candidates prevail, let us use this time to listen again to one another and not to distort one another's truth.
Dean J. Snyder, Senior Minister
Foundry United Methodist Church
March 19, 2008
You know what? Should there be, heaven forbid, another deadly terrorist attack on American soil or on Americans overseas, at least this time people will not be able to say that they have not been warned. Agreed that Rev. Wright could have refrained from the "Damn America" rhetoric, but everything else that he utters in the videos is pretty close to what many other critics of American policies have already said, albeit in more subdued manner and mostly in conferences or in books and articles. Most Americans have not been made aware of those criticisms of American policy voiced by Rev. Wright. Now they know!
I find it tragic that, in the last video, there is a frame (at 2:03) reading "Welcome to reality" and the "reality" presented is a group of singing and dancing cartoonish characters obviously trying to silence those voices that have suddenly emerged to awaken America out of its deadly slumber. And they do succeed in silencing those voices. Now that, unlike the 3 a.m. ad, scares the bejesus out of me!
Your frustration is understandable but it addresses the symptoms, not the causes. Consider this:
One of the most awful consequences of racism is when it can make a child of God exposed to so many negative experiences, end up doubting that they are a child of God. They end up filled with self-hatred, with self-disgust, and have a negative self-image. And that leads to internecine violence.
I hate myself and project that hatred on others who resemble me, and so the phenomenon of black-on-black violence rears its ugly head. But anger against myself and those like me had its genesis in all sorts of negative experiences, not least how one was spoken about. - Link
Particular experiences can differ obviously, but it is the institutionalization of inequalities that still remain a problem, especially because of the quite insidious result of making racism so ingrained that we often fail to recognize even when it is staring us in the face.
Hey! I did NOT say that your "saying 'typical black person' is racist". What I wrote is that there is an inherent racism in saying that the THOUGHT and subsequent UTTERANCE of "a typical black person" is racist (hence that's why you would never go there, you said).
Take, for example, this study on German mentality. It is, of course, a cultural study related to the business world. It's an interesting study. Nothing very controversial. Do you think it would be the same if the study was dealing with Nazi Germany? I don't think so.
What I am saying is that the concept of "typical whatever" becomes damaging when it contains within itself negative attributes. So, when YOU say that you will not even think about the concept of "typical black person" because to do so would be racist, I say you are already a racist because even as you are conceiving the notion of "a typical black person," you have ALREADY attributed "bad things" to it. In other words, given the way that you've been socialized, you cannot help being racist.
See, I bet you don't even realize that you just wrote something that is quite racist:
i would NEVER say "typical black person." i know that is racist and wouldn't even think of saying something like that.
Why would you think that saying "a typical black person" is racist? Could it be it's because you associate "bad things" to the idea of "a typical black person"? And therefore your brain tells you that this is not a good thing to "think" (too late, by the way) nor to say?
Does calling someone "a typical white person" bring forth images of "bad things" also? In the case of Senator Obama, he explicitly specified that he was not referring to anything racist, but to defensive behaviour when confronted with the unknown. That is a question that needs to be answered.
All speeches, sermons and documents need to be understood through the setting, historical moment, issues and audience they address. Religious leadership always includes the prophetic responsibility to speak and act in behalf of God's justice. As a religious leader, Wright's preaching is clearly in the broad stream of scholars and preachers who stand on the biblical foundation of prophets such as Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jesus who also spoke words of God's judgment to the political and religious community of their day.
Such prophetic preaching is especially valued in the tradition of the black church, which serves for many as the only safe place where African-Americans may speak honestly about the experience of racial injustice in this country. The righteous anger of a prophet, as shown in scripture, must not be confused with hate speech. - Link.
As for the "typical white person" remark, methinks you are beating a dead horse. Senator Obama has already explained what he meant to say. Race is a very awkward subject, even more so in a society that has kept those issues under wraps for so long. It is therefore to be expected that there would be gaffes made whenever it is discussed. The question is whether we deliberately convert those gaffes into loops from which we hope never to escape for fear of what lies ahead. Or we move on and confront the challenges.
I don't think there's anything to be sad about, maconblue. This is what happens when people are empowered. At the end of the day, nobody (except the ignorant ones) votes against his or her own interests.