Jerome Armstrong and Race

Let me start with things that should go without saying-- I don't think Jerome, from reading his posts here- is racists. I don't think he is naive. I simply think he really has a hard time here understanding how someone like me, a black person, sees race in America.

I asked him in this diary:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/19/2131 47/222#commenttop

A simple question- what was so offensive about what Rev. Wright said? I don't understand it. But, then, I didn't understand what was so bad about what Ferraro said either.

So, let me say this. I think the real problem isn't that we have had enough conversation about race, and need to move on. That's certainly the smart political thing to do. I think the problem is that what is now a truism is once again rearing its head- people of color see race in general different than those who are  white.

I am told his comments are disgusting,a nd yet, let me be honest, emotionally, deep down there is some emotional ressonance with him for me. Not in the word, but in the feelings that may lead one down that path way. So, what I would accuse Jerome of is not understanding the emotions even if one doesn't agree  with the reasoning. Can you understand this?

Is it because we aren't the "magic negros" you imagine us to be? Selfless, and cluless about the impact of society and our skin color on us? I will be blunt- I am supposedly a part of what some would consider the higher income earners among African Americans. I earn at this juncture in my life a pretty good amount of money. I didn't get here without the emotional scars of being black along the way. What I felt along the way to was a kind of indifference. It's this indifference to us which fuels some to say what Wright said. So, I ask again- what about quotes by Wright are so offensive to white people?Update [2008-3-19 22:58:27 by bruh21]: Jerome attempts to respond to my question in his diary, but, fails. I asked a rather specific question Jerome. If someone tells me they are offended by something, I need specifics rather than generalized impression or explanations about "I am one of the good white people" type analysis. The standard I am holding you to about racism is the same I hold everyone too. If you don't believe that, check out my comments when the Obama supporters were attacking Ferraro. Your credentials for getting along or hanging with black people isn't at issue. Your interpretation of the situation is. By the way, your response , however, does make me think of the satire site, Stuff White People Like: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/72-study-abroad/ http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/20-being-an-expert-on-your-culture/ http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/14-having-black-friends/ It's satire, but it's also meant to drive home a point about progressives. I also want to be clear. I don't think Jerome is a racist. I do think anyone trying to silence questions by calling someone a racists needs to understand silencing people by such measures is wrong.

Tags: Barack Obama, race, rev. wright (all tags)

Comments

85 Comments

Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Frankly, just about everything I've heard from Rev. Wright is offensive. I don't even know where to start.

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

If you can't expresss it , then I question it. Define it, or don't waste my time with easy language without much meat to its bone.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Frankly, I don't have to express it. Obama already did.

"I denounce the inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents....I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies."

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Obama is a politician. I am not. And neither are you- well, given your post maybe you are.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Rev. Wright's words are offensive on their face, no matter how you spin them. You don't have to be a politician to recognize it.

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

No one is defending the words of Rev. Wright.  No one.  

He is a man who obviously has a very flawed view of the world, but that doesn't make him evil.  We can disagree with his views without calling for him to be stoned in the town square.

Obama handled the situation as well as I could have hoped for, honestly.  He made it clear that he in no way agreed with the vitrolic things that were said, but that he would never publicly destroy a man who he considered to be a member of his family for political gain.  That he understood that good people can think and say bad things, but that doesn't mean that we should abandon them when it becomes convenient to do so.

It's that kind of approach to life that we as progressives should be striving for, not vilifying.  We're going to need that kind of thinking to heal the wounds we've inflicted on ourselves over the course of this primary.

Forgive, unite and win; seethe, divide and lose.

by Capt America 2008-03-19 06:48PM | 0 recs
Offensive versus racist

You guys seem to be arguing about what offends you, and the diary poster is less offended by what Wright had to say, less troubled by his anger. I find myself in the same boat, not because I'm black (though my adopted brother is and so is my sister in law) but because Europeans are not so patriotic. We cry Goddam Great Britain/France/Germany/Italy/Poland all the time: why? Because Nationalism killed over 100 million people on this continent in the last century.

Wright's comments about AIDS and 9/11 are wild conspiracy theories - but god I hear that stuff all the time on the net.

What amazes me, and has been a recurrent meme throughout this site, has been the quick leap to assume that this kind of talk makes Wright a racists, and his church (as another poster has put it on another diary) supremacist, racist, segregationalist.

The only mildly racist comment I can find is the one about 'rich white folks'. It wasn't all white folks mind, so it's not technically racist. But it is inflammatory (to white people) and is the worst anyone, including hordes of media drones searching through every sermon, can find. One racially inflammatory remark does not make a racist. Look at Obama's grandmother.

And yet most the posters on this site, Jerome himself, repeat the sweeping allegation that Wright is racist. Offensive he may be (but there's no law against that), angry he most certainly is, and maybe that's what causes this overreaction

That's a symptom of how tense race is in America. A black preacher criticises his government and society with inflammatory language, and sudden his whole world view is a racist one: i.e. he believes on race is superior to the others.

It's crass, dangerous elision, ill befitting so called democrats and progressives.  

by brit 2008-03-19 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

If you dont see the hate oozing from his horrible statements, then you sir, are nothing but a stupid ignorant racist.

by switching sides 2008-03-20 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Funny, nobody else seems to be able to either.

I can tell you who is getting huffy about it tho, two groups: Hillary supporters who see their candidate losing, and will latch on to ANYTHING to keep her afloat; and Republicans.  

That the two are essentially alike in tactics and strategy these days should be all ya need to know about her as a candidate.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:16PM | 0 recs
Those two groups

make up a much larger portion of this country and this electorate than any group of Obama supporters who are willing to wash over Wright's remarks and his association with Obama.

by linc 2008-03-19 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Those two groups

An alliance that I would not personally be very proud of.  

I think that many here have forgotten completely that one group - Republicans - aren't SUPPOSED to be emulated.  That it's generally a sign of the wrong morality to do so.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:24PM | 0 recs
Just because they are Republicans

doesn't mean they are wrong all of the time- they are people too and are oftentimes more easily offended.  Now, if you hadn't missed my point and skewed it to make appearances that I was in it with Republicans you would notice that this makes Obama unelectable- which was the point.

by linc 2008-03-19 06:27PM | 0 recs
OBTW...

Think Hillary can win without the black vote?

by kraant 2008-03-19 06:31PM | 0 recs
No

but haven't you noticed the polling of black Americans?  They, like the vast majority of democrats don't hate Hillary Clinton- its just fanatical Obamacrats that hate Hillary (in the dem party, that is).

by linc 2008-03-19 06:41PM | 0 recs
Approx 50% unfavorable ratings...

... for Clinton among blacks back late February...

I don't think it's gotten any better since then.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2007/02/27/AR2007022701030. html

by kraant 2008-03-19 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: OBTW...

SHe can win without the black racist vote.

The nonhating blacks will vote for her.

Let Obama have the ones who think AIDS was invented by'whitey' to kill black folk.

Let Obama have the ones who pray for G*D to damn America.

Let America have the ones who think we deserve to be attacked by terrorists.

In other words, let Obama have the racists and the nutcases.

by switching sides 2008-03-20 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Just because they are Republicans

Sorry, but it does not make Obama 'unelectable.'  That's what we like to refer to as an 'unfounded assertion.'

And, Republicans are more easily offended because it's politically expedient for them.  Not because they are deep down some sort of people with a higher moral standard.  

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Just because they are Republicans

Paul Rosenberg in a post where h shows simiilar statments said throughout American history- gets at the heart of this. Indeed one one of the quotes- that are similar to Wright about God and America is by Thomas Jefferson.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:34PM | 0 recs
Different time, different people

unfortunately or not.  So what exactly is the Obama campaign going to do against the Republicans using Wright to smear him every which way?  Run ads of Thomas Jefferson impersonators saying god damn america?  Yeah, that will work.

by linc 2008-03-19 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Different time, different people

What is Clinton going to do about the attacks on her? The problem with your comment, and the person who gave you a 2, is that it's silly. You only changing the flavor fo the attack, not the fact they will attack. I am not a supporter of either candidate, but I find argument such as this by both sides naive. CLinton has no more chance of not being attacked like this than Obama,a nd vice versa. Thats not a response, in any case, to what you originally said. You said you personally were offended. I asked, why. Now apparently what you really mean is that you personally politically think this will hurt us so you are offended?

by bruh21 2008-03-19 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

What you have heard... there is the key.  Why not research some more about the man.  he isn't a saint, but he isn't satan either.  He and the UCC have done a lot of good for that community.  They have a massive facility and outreach in a very poor area.

by yitbos96bb 2008-03-19 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

What was wrong with what Wright said? Right after 9/11, he was blaming America for the attacks. As a New Yorker, as someone who saw the thick smoke rise from downtown, it is sickening. He blames white men of creating the AIDS virus. That is ignorance. It goes beyond that. This man is Obama's spiritual adviser and mentor. He married him and baptized his children. Obama listened to him for 20 years. Obama wants us to judge him on his judgments and this makes it very difficult for me. Wright may have some honest things to say and some of it may be right, but this is a man of the church preaching to his people divisive words that does not heal wounds or try to bring people together, but make those wounds deeper and separate us. And you know what, Hillary has never been called a nigger, but she has been called a bitch, and a whore and she fought hard to get where she is today.

by RJEvans 2008-03-19 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Point by point.

1st, America does bear some responsiblity for what happened to us.  Now, did we make it happen?  Did those people deserve to die?  No.  But our foreign policy has CONSEQUENCES and 9/11 was a consequence of our continued and egregarious f*cking of the arab world's people for their oil for years.  It is a tremendous tragedy and a sickening thing.  But we are all partially responsible.  When we drive our cars, we pretend that there are no consequences to the actions necessary to get the oil to make the gas to make them go (as well as the emissions, but that's another comment).  But there are consequences.  Tom Clancy said as much as that the very same day.  He wondered why anyone was surprised this had happened.  It's called 'blow-back.'

2nd, given the history of Tuskegee, and the infection of black men with syphilis, intentionally, by the US gov't, it isn't as if there isn't a history of such things.  Now, I obviously don't believe that we created AIDS to screw over the Black man.  I think it's a stupid comment.  But I can see why those who have had such things done to them in the past might not think it's such a stupid comment.

3rd, N*gger is certainly worse then 'bitch' or whore.  By a lot.  It is an indictment of an entire people, a lessening based upon a judgment of one's skin.  The other insults are based upon one's actions or persona; things which are mutable or changable.  They aren't even in the same category.  And I'd love to see proof that she's been called these things to her face, as many black men and women still have to deal with to this day.  

You should try and have a little understanding before becoming so hyper-judgmental.  Please.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

3rd, N*gger is certainly worse then 'bitch' or whore.  By a lot.  It is an indictment of an entire people, a lessening based upon a judgment of one's skin.  The other insults are based upon one's actions or persona; things which are mutable or changable.  They aren't even in the same category.  And I'd love to see proof that she's been called these things to her face, as many black men and women still have to deal with to this day.  

You should try and have a little understanding before becoming so hyper-judgmental.  Please.

Look who's talking!

Let me tell you -- the biggest difference between the N word and the B, C, and W words is that the latter words are used so much more frequently. And the fact that you think that these latter words are used only in reference to one's actions or persona, and never as an attack on an entire gender tells me just how little you know.

I hate this game of victimology oneupmanship. I'm not going to try to compare my scars to yours, but I will say that if you've never been a rape victim then you have no clue about some of the cr*p that women have to deal with.

If this is the kind of dialog about race and gender that Obama's speech is encouraging, then I hope that he doesn't become president.

by Inky 2008-03-19 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Nothing worth responding to here.

I submit that Wright's comments are not as controversial as they sound as 10-second clips, if one bothers to look at the cultural history behind them.  

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Nothing worth responding to here.

Don't worry. I never plan to respond to you again.

And I understand the cultural history at least as well as you do. Do you honestly think you are telling anyone anything new here?

by Inky 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

You do not understand the cultural history as well as I do, unless you are a black man who grew up in the south during troubled times.  So keep your bullshit to yourself.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

That doesn't prevent you from being an a**hole. And you can keep your bullshit to yourself as well.
by Inky 2008-03-20 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Oh poor poor boy.

Poor guy has to dodge all those diseases invented by whitey.

by switching sides 2008-03-20 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

You think an indictment of more than half of the population is not that bad?!  They are both horrible!  The danger is that sexism is so accepted by our society while racism would make almost everybody's hair stand up.

by observer11 2008-03-19 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

a) You don't think 9/11 was a matter of blow back on America? Oh, and don't pull that 'as a new yorker' crap on me, I got friends who were in the building and got out who say something similar to the blow back point.  I live in NYC. Try again.

b) Actually we don't know where HIV comes from. I did research on it in teh early 90s. that may have chanced, but I doubt it. No one knows if it was man made or not. This is something that is not only said in the black community, but a conspiracy theory in the gay community too. The conspiracy part is assuming it was deliberate. Its extremea, but offensive? Look up the tuskgee experiement. Look up the illustrious present senator from the south who sterilized young black women without their consent. Look up the CIA's involvement in the drug trade into the US.

c) Guilt by association is a two edge that you can live and die by. Remember that last part. I am not a Clinton or Obama supporter, but I am an honest broker. You don't want to play that game. It's one the Clintons will lose.

d) I have a friend who goes to church. His preacher voted for Bush. Says that Iraq to this day is the right decision and believes that gay marriage is a sin. My friend still goes to that church. Does that mean that my friend believes everhything the preacher says? If you said yes, you would be both ignorant and wrong.

e) Love love love how you tact the irrelevant crap into the last sentence.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:24PM | 0 recs
I think I'll send this whole thread to Faux News,

Yep, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Proof positive that Obama's candidacy is doomed because of racial tensions. Thanks for providing the platform. By the way, you pissed off the wrong person by trying to play the my-disenfranchisement-is-worse-than-your s meme.

"N*gger is certainly worse then 'bitch' or whore.  By a lot.  It is an indictment of an entire people, a lessening based upon a judgment of one's skin.  The other insults are based upon one's actions or persona; things which are mutable or changable."

You can kiss my lesbian feminist ass.

by Soitgoes 2008-03-19 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I think I'll send this whole thread to Faux Ne

Nothing worth responding to here.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I think I'll send this whole thread to Faux Ne

Put down the crack pipe and learn to read.

by switching sides 2008-03-20 05:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

You asked what people considered to be offensive...

You got several answers.  You then proceeded to argue that those things should not be offensive.  That is not good form ~ if you want ANYONE to accept that those things are not offensive to you, then you should be willing to accept that those things ARE offensive to most people !!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-19 07:36PM | 0 recs
well, you'd have to show me where...

wright blamed america for the attacks.  or, hell, just tell me how you jumped to that conclusion from (what i assume you're thinking): "America's chickens are coming home to roost."  i don't see it, and i worked with someone who died in the towers.

the aids and drug conspiracy theories are widely held in the black community, both in and outside of chicago.  if you have proof they are wrong, please post it.  i think it's kooky, but i don't buy into conspiracy theories anyway, white or black.

but i'll be blunt.  you are the problem.  it's laughable that you are offended at some black minister who's job is to challenge his congregation, get them thinking and to make their lives (both spiritual and physical) better.  but you'd rather keep them down because it offends you.

i don't know if you think of yourself as a democrat or not, but if you do, get over it.  democrats have a real problem among a core constituency because the most loyal segment of the democratic constituency feels taken for granted, as if they've gotten nothing from their loyalty.  this precedes barack by quite a bit.

the anger you see from wright and his colleagues is the anger of a community betrayed.  and it's time for you to get out of your safety zone and realize that, well, they're offended, too.  you don't feel any responsibility that most blacks in their country came from slaves and live in a society that remains racist at it's core.  but you can't be bothered.  and you wonder why there are angry black men out there.

look in the mirror and you'll know why.

hillary has lead an extremely privileged (and charmed) life.  so what, she's been called a bitch?  any person with any strength of character gets called names.  there is no equality between being called a nigger and being called a bitch.  personally, i think it's pathetic that you'd even try to render them equivalent.  frankly, i find it offensive.

by your logic, i guess i'm supposed to think really evil things of you.  surprisingly, i'm better than that.  you ought to try it...

by bored now 2008-03-19 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: well, you'd have to show me where...

both terms are offensive in their own way. I dont play trade the slander. A the end of the day, however, its a thin reed here.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 07:05PM | 0 recs
if you have proof they are wrong, please post it..

LMAO

The ignorant racist wants us to prove  a negative.

Is this the measure of Obama supporters?  A bunch of uneducated idiots who don't even know how debate works?

by switching sides 2008-03-20 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race
So you aupport the notion that the United States Government developed the Aids virus to kill Blacks?
Do you think there are concentration camps in the U.S. with white captors and black captives?
and when you go to sleep at night to you say a prayer and end it with God Damn Amerikkka
God Damn Amerikkka?
If the answer to any of those is yes there is something very seriously wrong with you.
by coolofthenight 2008-03-19 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I support the idea that people can get frustrated and believe silly things, but I don't assume that that is all they are. interesting idea that is.

Uhm- slavery did happen. So I have no clue what the concentration snark was about since uhm- yeah it was a genocide that killed millions of slaves transporting them over here, and millions over the decades and centuries it existed. Moreover we aren't even getting into Jim Crow.

If I believe there was slavery there is something very wrong with me? If I believe the following diary by Rosenberg (not an Obama supporter and neither am I for that matter) there is something wrong with me?

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=4576

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=4565

To that I say, okay- but then there is probably more wrong with you that you engage in such hyperbole but then condemn others for the same.

By the way- when I was growing up I worked for a guy who called me nigger each time I got into work. I've experience racism in the form of how my mother was treagted when she was diagnosed with cancer. You can certainly dismiss all of this by whatever means you need to, but at the end of the day. The only thing wrong with me is that althoguht I don't agree with Wright's words- I understand them. Whereas your analysis pretends as if there is no reason whatso ever anyone would ever feel the need to feel this.

Let me close with this- a medley of various quotes by American leaders who have said over the top things about America and god:

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=4582

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:31PM | 0 recs
It was the blatant sexist

fetishism that Wright expressed that discussed me the most.  

On the race question, it seems that you misunderstand Jerome as much as you think he misunderstands you.  To me, Wright's comments are racist for this exact point.  I have never been anything but for all things empowerment, be it affirmative action, be it civil rights in general.

Wright is completely willing to group me and everything that I believe and stand for into a single homogeneous group that is 'white'.  That, is the fundamental aspect of all racism- the basic stereotype.

Well, Mr. Wright and all those who don't think that his comments are racist or offensive, I am more than the color of my skin.

by linc 2008-03-19 06:18PM | 0 recs
oops! disgusted n/t

by linc 2008-03-19 06:24PM | 0 recs
you clearly don't understand what racism is...

it is not merely a stereotype.  wiki's definition is a place to start: racism usually denotes race-based prejudice, violence, discrimination, or oppression.  feel free to show how wright's comments expressed any of these...

by bored now 2008-03-19 06:55PM | 0 recs
you must have missed the second sentence
of that wiki definition:
Racism inherently starts with the assumption that there are taxonomic differences between different groups of people.
by linc 2008-03-19 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I think that when Wright blamed white people for giving black people AIDS, it was clearly offensive. That statement he said is not worth defending.

by HillaryKnight08 2008-03-19 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I am not going to repeat myself. Read above. Par tof the problem with Americans is the phrase "I think." Try "I know" for a change, and then it would probably produce better electoral outcomes.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I'm sorry that I might have misunderstood you or that you might have misunderstood me. You did say at the end of your diary something to the effect of "What exactly did Wright say that was offensive?" I answered that question.

by HillaryKnight08 2008-03-19 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I can say pink t-shirts offend me. that's anymore of an answer than you gave. i think you know that. and, i am certain you aren't confused.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I might give a more elaborate answer to the question, but I don't think that the phrase "I think " is the problem that you suggest it is. The problem here is that you misunderstood my original post and when you understood, you passed over your misunderstanding and continued to criticize me again.

I give a more a more elaborate answer here:
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/18/2231 3/2487#readmore

Mr. Wright's sermons were crafted in a way that prepared for misunderstanding. I feel like Wright excludes all whites from his efforts. I can understand why some whites are offended, because they have acknowledged the injustice in this country and have sought to fix it. Unfortunately, to Wright, their efforts don't matter.

by HillaryKnight08 2008-03-19 07:18PM | 0 recs
pink shirts

Yes, it wouldn't surprise me if you hate gays as well.

It would fit the pattern.

by switching sides 2008-03-20 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

when did  he say that, I heard him say that govenrment created AIDS which was kooky, and odd. but I never heard the white people part.

by Socraticsilence 2008-03-19 09:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

wright's comments are outrageous and offensive, when much like islamic terrorists he invokes God's name to "damn" america..

by tofriends 2008-03-19 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

so another person not able to explain why the comments are offensive. got it.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

The sentiments expressed in this diary will be reasons why Obama will lose if Democrats choose him as their nominee.  These feelings only serve to racially polarize this country even more than it is currently polarized.  

by izarradar 2008-03-19 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Well put, Izarradar.

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

The sentimenets of asking open questions is why we will lose? Well, I hate to tell you this, if asking a question is why we will lose, we lost before we even began.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Apparently applying progressive principles (openness, understanding, respecting other viewpoints, etc) to politics is a sure way to lose.

Really goes a long way towards explaining a lot of things about this country, doesn't it?

by Capt America 2008-03-19 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

ok, here's what i don't like about wright's statements. he believes:


1) that AIDS was deliberately developed by whites to infect blacks

2) that drugs are deliberately distributed by the US government plot to hurt blacks

this is crazy talk. it's as crazy as the pseudoscience the white bigots use to "prove" their claim that whites are superior.

all wright needs to say is that white were developed from blacks by an evil scientist using genetic experiments, and he'll have the full farrakan trifecta.

by campskunk 2008-03-19 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

see above. Many of you have you talking points down. I admit they may work with a lot of white low information voters. But, I asked this question not as a politician trying to score points, but out of consideration for the quotes and subject matters discussed. I didn't asked whether Wrights comments were false or over the top. I asked what made the OFFENSIVE. This is the word many of you keep using;. It's a higher standard than what you have provided so far.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

shorter bruh21: i am a troll.

by campskunk 2008-03-19 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

so basically you don't have anything to add other than yo uare offended. got it.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
It really is crazy talk

And what inside Obama drove him to seek advice from Wright?

One more comment.

His father died when he was a boy.  To survive and to feed his mother and family, he did various jobs on the streets of New York, never completing his education.  A Jew who married a practicing Catholic, he and his wife found themselves snubbed - she was disinherited by her family.  He celebrated Christmas in his mixed marriage but this day was always sad for him --   his namesake son died in infancy on Christmas Day.  He could have become a bitter cynic, like Wright.  Thoroughly patriotic, he made his living creatively as a self-taught musician, and wrote songs honoring another religious tradition -- Easter Parade, White Christmas, and he wrote God Bless America.

Not God Damn America.

Maybe Irving Berlin is the guy Obama should have gone to for inspiration.

by katmandu1 2008-03-19 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I've responded in the post.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-19 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

i read it. not really a response so much as evoking your creds

by bruh21 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
I guess you're okay with the idea that U.S

created AIDS to kill off Blacks??? (he forgot about the gays, obviously the U.S created it to kill them! DUH!)

by rigsoHC 2008-03-19 06:42PM | 0 recs
I can't begin to understand

your life experience because I'm not black.

I suspect that you can't begin to understand my life experience because you're not white.

Isn't that the common ground that we're all trying to find?

by Coldblue 2008-03-19 06:46PM | 0 recs
Isn't that the common ground...

Not really.

The common ground we're trying to find is that on which we can each admit that wrong has been done and we as a culture need to deal with it and move on.

Handwaving "apples and oranges" statements don't really move the dialogue forward in the least.  They just push us back into the holding pattern of mutual resentment that we've been in since the 80's.

We need to have an open, honest, inclusive discussion about what race really means in this country.  Obama, win or lose, initiated that conversation yesterday in Philadelphia.  Love him or hate him, he's just opened the door for what is hopefully the final and, god willing, ultimately successful era in the Civil Rights movement.  It's been far too long in coming.

by Capt America 2008-03-19 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I can't begin to understand

Actually, I'd venture to say that non-whites understand white people more so than whites understand non-whites. Consider it a residual benefit of having the white worldview dominate for the last 600 years.

by beve83 2008-03-19 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I think you are wrong, but I am rec'ing your diary.  I hope you can get the dialogue you seem to be looking for.

I am happy that Jerome has responded to you!!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-19 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

God Damn America, and the US created AIDS to wipe out blacks?  And you are asking Jerome what is wrong with what Wright said?  Give me a damn break.

by Scotch 2008-03-19 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Rev. Wright said "God damn America for treating its citizens as something less than human".  And I would agree.  Whenever any of us treat each other as something less than the ourselves, God should damn us.  If we are to be damned by anything, it should be that.

by Piuma 2008-03-19 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

If you have to ask, you haven't a clue about the larger culture you live in.

by Scotch 2008-03-19 07:14PM | 0 recs
im not OFFENDED by any of it.

and the only thing that I view as patently false is the idea that AIDS was developed specifically to exterminate black people.

you respond above by saying that we don't know for sure where HIV comes from, but cmon, thats not an argument. It is widely believed that it was a mutation from primates in Sub-Saharan Africa.

however i definitely agree with your larger arguments.

I think it is largely about white people being scared of black identity. I think of it like this: if the 24 cable networks with Wright using the EXACT same tone and EXACT same forceful preaching style that reminds them of black nationalism in style it would scare the shit out of white people regardless of the content.

the content is an excuse for the image of a strong, angry, black pastor demanding justice.

just my opinion.

by omar little 2008-03-19 07:18PM | 0 recs
above comment isnt clear.

im saying that it is more about the image than the words.

by omar little 2008-03-19 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race
OK I'll bite.
I am offended by Wright's implication that we deserved to be attacked on 9/11 because of past transgressions (perceived or real).
I am offended by him spreading the ridiculous conspiracy theory of AIDS being a government attack on black people.
I am offended by a man of the cloth stumping for one politican by attacking another while on the pulpit.
I am offended that he stands in front of his congregation and feeds them a lot of bullshit under the guise of spirituality.
Actually Jeremiah Wright just offends me in general and that is with my having full knowledge that he has done good in his life because that doesn't make up for the vitriol he spreads while covering himself in the protective shield of the black church.
And this is coming from an interracial man (black mother/white father) who grew up in the inner city so spare yourself the trouble of telling me I don't understand how a black person sees race in America.
by big poppa smurf 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I was open to what you were saying in the first part of your post, but when you got to "Stuff White People Like" in relation to Jerome talking about his experience in the Peace Corps, you lost me. What a nasty, cynical, petty way for you to end the post.

by cc 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Sorry you haven't gotten very many

sincere responses to your question.   I'll try to do it though.  
The history of race in this country is an abomination.   Horrible things were done by the ancestors of many white people living today.   My ancestors owned slaves and I'm sorry to say I don't know how they treated them.   On the other hand, many white people living today are the descendants of Jews persecuted in Europe, or the Irish persecuted by the English (I'm in that bucket too), or other oppressed groups, and these people's ancestors did not own slaves or contribute in any way to the oppression of black people.   So we all have to consider how long guilt is supposed to last.   How many generations down the road?    

Secondly, I grew up in the South and I've seen racism first hand.   It is ugly.   On the other hand, in the last FORTY years the South has made some improvements.   The races do mix there as friends and colleagues (though maybe not in church or around the kitchen table).  When I lived there I had several black friends and I did attend black churches which I always loved.   They were not hate-based.   Were they "uncle toms"?  Maybe.  As a white person I don't claim to know the insides of the black soul.  

However, as a woman I think my experience has some parallels with the black experience.   Girls, too, are denigrated by the larger culture (or at least they were back in the 50s and 60s, explicitly).   There are a lot of mean-spirited words for women (the "C" word and the "P" word -- synonym for cat) are not related to behavior but just used to describe any woman you want to insult.   There's also "chick" and "broad" which are not as deeply insulting as the N word but not very nice either.  

Women are the victims of intense violence, domestic violence as well as random predatory violence, as we see every night in the news.   Women have many reasons to fear the world, and to have paranoid theories about who is "out to get them".  Look at how Britney Spears & Paris Hilton & Lindsay Lohan are trashed in the press for doing what a lot of young men do without anyone commenting.   So, therefore, I think I know how it feels to be demeaned by a larger culture who seems to hold all the cards while I hold none.   Can this cause hate?  Yes it can.   Can this cause weird paranoid theories to erupt?   Yes it can.

So, back to race and my own burden.   I have lived an ordinary life -- not one of public service -- but I have taken every opportunity that presented itself to have black people in my life because I love their contribution.  I love the culture.   Without trying to stereotype here, I recognize the contribution of blacks to music and the joyfulness that comes in praising the universe in song.    I love the black sense of humor, like the jewish sense of humor sometimes unexpected to my whitebread sensibilities and so that much funnier.  I had a black boyfriend in 1976, in the South, who was a beautiful person.   He was rich, his mother drove a Mercedes.  I was poor and felt inadequate in their presence.   A role reversal, but nothing of particular note.   Even 30 years ago, there in the South, it was not that unusual for blacks and whites to be together.  

When I go back home to visit my dad in the South, the contours look different than they are here on the west coast.   Black people are everywhere, dressed like me and acting like me.    They live ordinary middle class lives, go to work, contribute to city and state governments, education, teach in colleges, have professional medical and legal practices, science, the arts, music, and sports.  They donate to worthy causes, they go to the sunday ice cream social and yell for their kids at little league and peewee football.  They eat hotdogs and popcorn and drink Starbucks lattes, just like white people do.   And I find it difficult to believe that ALL of these people walk around with their hearts full of hate.  

But maybe I'm wrong.  

by mnicholson0220 2008-03-19 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I'm not offended by him saying them.  It's a free country, mostly.  I think I might have been offended by some of those things if I were attending the church at that time, but it depends on the context.  I don't remember verbatim what he said and what is important, we didn't hear the whole sermon.

I'm not offended by someone saying their own opinion or what they feel no matter how strongly I disagree with them.  It's better to listen and think about it.. at least, if they're saying something you haven't heard before (a lot of comments on the internet don't fall into this category..) rather than jump to take offense and take no interest in why they're saying it and where they're coming from.

I do get offended when a speaker speaks in a way that makes the audience complicit in what they are saying, that deliberately assumes the audience agrees completely with what they are saying, and requires, if you don't agree, that you make a statement right there (maybe by walking out) to show that you are not complicit and not part of what the speaker assumes.

That is a bit complicated, but.. philosophically, right now, if I were in that church and Rev. Wright was giving a sermon, on his views and how he reads the Bible and how he views America, I'm not offended by that.  Even if he's trying to teach me those things, I'm not offended by that.  But if he's up there saying WE believe these things, sometimes I might be offended (for lack of a better word) and might have to walk out, I'd just feel like I would have to express that I don't believe them.  I get offended much more by political speeches telling us what WE all think, than I do about a sermon trying to teach me something, or tell me something, no matter what it might be.

Also.. I wonder about the implications of his (or any other person's) role when preaching to his congregation.. The sermons, what do they do?  What are they for?  Are they bringing his congregation something positive, all told?  Are they expressing negative emotions and not giving them anything to do or anywhere to go, from that?  Are they building a tight knit community around these views but closing that community off from others?  Or are they leading the community to.. something positive and uplifting, in the end?  I don't pretend to know the answers here.

by daria g 2008-03-19 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race
Let me preface this to say i am an Obama supportere, but I am also a Gay man. I was really insulted by his use of the AIDS Virus as a weapon the governemnt created to eliminate the Blacks in America. What about the many who died early on while the disease was ignored. Wright should have been more scripted and not so out there. I do feel sorry for his family and associates, that this is how the man retires. Rev Wright was one of the early pastors in a largely Black congregation to open his doors to gay people. He should have been more sensitive.
by daninpa 2008-03-19 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

OK, I'll give it a shot.

A simple question- what was so offensive about what Rev. Wright said?

The primary issues here is that your question is one that can't ever be answered to your satisfaction. Several people have given thoughtful answers, but you have dismissed each of them as incomplete or unsatisfactory.  The fault lies in your expectations of the answer. People tend to be offended on a gut, emotional level - it's visceral. Some comments can reach inside you and twist in your stomach - you're offended.  It isn't usually a logical reaction, and it's often impossible to explain it to another person. It's like asking why someone finds something funny.  How do you answer that question?

Your question isn't simple at all. It quite complex and I doubt most people would be able to clearly articulate the reasons for feeling as they do. That doesn't invalidate their feelings, as you seem to think it does.  The real question you're asking isn't "what was so offensive", but rather, "why were you offended".

Wright's comments are offensive to many people for many different reasons, but I suspect that was his goal, at least in part.  I think he really does want to move the conversation forward, but I think he ultimately fails in that. I found some of his comments to grossly irresponsible and ludicrous, especially his comments about AIDS.

I've read the response from several people referencing Tuskegee, but that's not an excuse for what Wright said.  Yes, Tuskegee happened, and there is no possible excuse for that kind of abominable behavior.  But we can't then expand that to say that AIDS was created to exterminate black people.  What about cancer? Was breast cancer created by the US government to kill off women?  High blood pressure?  It's a reprehensible thing to say, and I have no problem understanding why people are horrified by it.

Your explanation that we don't know where AIDS came from, and therefore Wright's comment was so terribly outré is ridiculous on its face. We have significant scientific evidence about that, and even if we didn't, Wright has exactly zero evidence to support his claim. That offends me because it's nothing more than propaganda of the worst sort.  This kind of inflammatory rhetoric doesn't help advance our cause.

by Denny Crane 2008-03-19 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

BTW, I did rec your diary because I think this is an important discussion to have, although I certainly don't agree with your view on this.

by Denny Crane 2008-03-19 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

Denny thanks for your response, I think its the most thoughtful of them on here.

I too was wondering why people, in particular white people, were offended by what he said.

by beve83 2008-03-19 10:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I like how he said he was in the Peace Corps in Africa, therefore "whatever fascination or feeling of difference simply from skin color I had from growing up in the US, was replaced by a deeper bond of human familiarity."

As an African born immigrant, I find this pretty revealing.

by beve83 2008-03-19 10:17PM | 0 recs
Jerome is not a Rascist...

...He is merely feeling the pinch of the calendar versus his love and support for HRC.  He has been growing ever-more bellicose these days, and has been making some rather stunning leaps in rhetorical balance and logic.

That's all.

I give him credit for his contributions, but lately he has been a bit unhinged.  We'll ALL get better.

by a gunslinger 2008-03-20 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome Armstrong and Race

I think everyone should watch this:

http://www.brainwaveweb.com/diavlogs/959 0

by beve83 2008-03-20 10:08PM | 0 recs

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