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Why The Delay?

We wrote about Barack Obama’s association with anti-gay Reverend James Meeks over a week ago and Perez Hilton, Washington Times and other websites are finally catching up.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Apr 1, 2008
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 27 Comments
    • Charley
      Charley

      I missed it on your blog, but did get it on Perez Hilton today.
      All these preachers are trying to make an MLK slam dunk in what they say, like it is carved in stone and they are Moses. What a crazy bunch of ignorant people, including Leah Daughtry. Wait till you see her in action.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Jett
      Jack Jett

      Certainly worth considering as we throw Senator Clinton under the bus like we did with our transgender friends.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charley
      Charley

      Jack Jett,
      The super-delegates have not spoken. Let the games begin.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rickroberts
      rickroberts

      OK, Obama apologists. Start your engines.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kid A
      Kid A

      Dear gawd, must public figures apologize for and make excuses for everyone they know? At what point do we stop holding people responsible for the beliefs of others?

      Apr 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charley
      Charley

      Must public figures make apologies and excuses for everyone they know ?
      No only those who they indicate are their “spiritual advisors”. What the fuck does that mean “spiritual advisors”? Not of the real world like economics that is for sure. It is out there in the mind of a crazy dimension of thinking, of no science or reason, just myth and conventional thinking. Obama needs votes, as does Clinton. They play to that conventional religious thinking. It is so wrong.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rickroberts
      rickroberts

      Kid A, one way to judge a person’s character is to look at the company he keeps. Barack doesn’t just “know” these people; they are close advisers and mentors. They influence his thinking and world view.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kid A
      Kid A

      Rick, I totally agree, and I see my use of “know” was a bit loose.

      But I think it is wrong for Senators Clinton and Obama to continually distance themselves from those who make statements completely independent of their respective campaigns. I have many people who influence my worldviews, but I do not automatically absorb all their beliefs through osmosis. I think the candidates are as able to wade through the mucks of opinion as we are.

      As for the company I keep, my roomate is a habitual pot smoker. Perhaps that would ruin my electability should I run for office. But I know him to be a carin human being, a terrific musician, and a dear friend. My admiration of his personal characteristics doesn’t mean that I must automatically start smoking pot.

      And Charley, I agree that it is wrong for the candidates to appeal to a deluded majority, but on the other hand, Obama seems to reach out to a broad spectrum, if you will, of voters. Whether it is sincere or not is a non-issue; the fact that a candidate is running ads in gay magazines referencing Stonewall is quite notable. By the way , I’d like to express my appreciation for your many insightful posts on the blog.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rickroberts
      rickroberts

      Kid A, well, at this point, I think it’s beside the point whether Barack is right or wrong or we agree with him or not. If he is our nominee, let’s hope the majority of voters are as discriminating as you are when they are making their judgments and can separate the wheat from the chaf.

      I want to win, and at the risk of sounding like a concern troll, Barack is damaged goods. Mark my word.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Juan
      Juan

      Just in case you didn’t read last week’s coverage here, read yesterday’s article from gaywired.com:

      http://www.gaywired.com/NewsArticle.cfm?Section=66&id=18614&CFID=21609904&CFTOKEN=80514319

      Apr 1, 2008 at 9:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      +2 KiD A. I sincerely doubt that they influence his thinking and worldview that much. Barack had that maverick globetrotting mom of his who was way ahead of her time (proposing things like microcredit) and his economist dad. It’s politics plain and simple and I could honestly see Barack on his blackberry strategizing rather than lending credence to Meeks, Wright et al during meetings/services. He’s a Harvard trained lawyer and is out to appeal the broadest spectrum as possible to cast the widest net. This is no different that the overly ambitious types who ran for student body president and wanted everyone to like them.

      Apr 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      I cannot fathom the people who will vote for McCain if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination. It seems utterly illogical and self-destructive. HRC and Bill have resorted to dubious invidious racial politics in order to amass white voters but you can be rest assured, I will be voting for HRC if she’s the nominee so that McCain isn’t in the White House. McCain is no ally of the gay community so I don’t see any merit in getting revenge because one’s candidate didn’t get the nod. Interestingly, I read that Wright’s church runs a workshop for MSM (their term) having functional relationships and dealing with HIV/AIDS issues.

      http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/02/obama-stands-up.html

      Apr 1, 2008 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      White preachers get a pass from media
      By Justin Dick

      Friday, March 28, 2008

      David Kopel’s March 22 column on media bias bring up the old canard that the media is essentially a covert outlet for the Democratic party’s propaganda. Let’s look at another recent series of stories. This one concerning Obama’s association with a radical religious figure.

      Rudy Giuliani’s priest has been accused in grand jury proceedings of molesting several children and covering up the molestation of others. Giuliani would not disavow him on the campaign trail and still works with him.

      Mitt Romney was part of a church that did not view black Americans as equals and actively discriminated against them.

      He stayed with that church all the way into his early thirties, until they were finally forced to change their policies to come into compliance with civil rights legislation. Romney never disavowed his church back then or now. He said he was proud of the faith of his fathers.

      Jerry Falwell said America had 9/11 coming because we tolerated gays, feminists and liberals. It was our fault.

      Our chickens had come home to roost, if you will. John McCain proudly received his support and even spoke at his university’s commencement.

      Reverend John Hagee has called the Catholic Church the “Great Whore.” He has said that the Anti-Christ will rise out of the European Union (of course, the Anti-Christ will also be Jewish). He has said all Muslims are trained to kill and will be part of the devil’s army when Armageddon comes (which he hopes is soon). John McCain continues to say he is proud of Reverend Hagee’s endorsement.

      Reverend Rod Parsley believes America was founded to destroy Islam.

      Since this is such an outlandish claim, I have to add for the record, that he is not kidding. Reverend Parsley says Islam is an “anti-Christ religion” brought down from a “demon spirit.” Of course, we are in a war against all Muslims, including presumably Muslim-Americans. Buts since Parsley believes this is a Christian nation and that it should be run as a theocracy, he is not very concerned what Muslim-Americans think. John McCain says Reverend Rod Parsley is his “spiritual guide.”

      What separates all of these outrageous preachers from Barack Obama’s? You guessed it. They’re white and Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not. If it’s not racism that’s causing the disparity in media treatment of these preachers, then what is it?

      I’m willing to listen to other possible explanations. And I am inclined to believe that the people these preachers go after are more important than the race of the preacher. It’s one thing to go after gays, liberals and Muslims – that seems to be perfectly acceptable in America – it’s another to accuse white folks of not living up to their ideals.

      I think there is another factor at play as well.

      The media is deathly afraid of calling out preachers of any stripe for insane propaganda from the pulpits for fear that they will be labeled as anti-Christian. But criticism of Rev. Wright falls into their comfort zone. It’s easy to blame him for being anti-American because he criticizes American foreign and domestic policy.

      If Rev. Wright had preached about discriminating against gay Americans or Muslims, there probably would not have been any outcry at all. That falls into the category of “respect their hateful opinions because they cloak themselves in the church.”

      But one thing is indisputable – the enormous disparity in how the media has covered these white preachers as opposed to Rev. Wright. Have you ever even heard of Rod Parsley? As you can see from what I listed above, all of these white preachers have said and done the most outlandish and offensive things you can imagine – and hardly a peep.

      If the disparity in coverage isn’t racist, then what is it? I guess it’s just that old liberal media thing again.

      Justin Dick is a resident of Evergreen.

      © Rocky Mountain News

      Apr 1, 2008 at 10:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Parker
      Parker

      Barack Obama’s Latest Pastor Problem: Anti-Gay Rev. James T. Meeks

      Op-Ed
      Article Date: 03/31/2008
      By Duane Wells

      Just as the dust surrounding Sen. Barack Obama’s long-term association with controversial minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright has begun to settle comes new reports of the democratic presidential hopeful’s connection to another racially divisive public figure—the stridently homophobic Rev. James T. Meeks, an Illinois state senator who also serves as the pastor of Chicago’s 22,000 member strong Salem Baptist Church.
      Described in a 2004 Chicago Sun Times article as someone Barack Obama regularly seeks out for “spiritual counsel”, James Meeks, who will serve as an Obama delegate at the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, is a long-time political ally to the democratic frontrunner.

      When Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2003, he frequently campaigned at Salem Baptist Church while Rev. Meeks appeared in television ads supporting the Illinois senator’s campaign. Later, according to the same Chicago Sun Times article, on the night after he won the Democratic primary, Sen. Obama attended bible study at Meeks’ church ‘for prayer’ and ‘to say thank you.’

      Since that time, not only has Meeks himself served on Obama’s exploratory committee for the presidency and been listed on the Obama’s campaign website as one of the senator’s ‘influential black supporters’, but his church choir was called on to raise their voices in praise at a rally the night Obama announced his run for the White House back in 2007.

      Interestingly, the Chicago Sun Times has also reported that both Meeks and Obama share a history of substantial campaign contributions from indicted real estate magnate Tony Rezko.

      The problem for Obama is that Rev. James Meeks, like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, preaches a message that appears to be directly at odds with the promise of hope, unity and bridging social, racial and political divisions upon which his campaign is built.

      Over the years, Rev. Meeks has garnered significant media attention as a result of a number of racially charged remarks he’s made from both behind and out in front of the pulpit. Most notably, in 2006, Meeks came under fire for an inflammatory sermon he gave in which he savaged Chicago mayor Richard Daley and others, including African-Americans who were Daley allies.
      (continued)

      In the course of July 5, 2006 attack, Rev. James Meeks ranted:

      “We don’t have slave masters. We got mayors. But they still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able, or to be educated.”

      “You got some preachers that are house niggers. You got some elected officials that are house niggers. And rather than them trying to break this up, they gonna fight you to protect this white man,” Meeks said in a sermon tape which he later defended in an interview with Chicago CBS2 reporter, Mike Flannery.

      Perhaps of even more concern than race-baiting diatribes like these is Rev. Meeks disturbing history of antagonism towards the LGBT community.
      Some, like CNN contributor Roland S. Martin (who, for the record, is a member of Meeks’ Salem Baptist Church), say, as he did in a recent commentary on the cable news network: “Everyone has an association that is open for scrutiny. Our real focus should be on the candidates and their views on the issues, because one of them will stand before the nation and take the oath of office and swear to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.”

      But the question remains: At what point must a candidate for the highest office in the United States be held accountable for the small coterie of individuals who make up his or her inner circle and potentially bear influence on his interpretation of the constitution? And at what point does the benefit of the doubt give way to guilt by association?

      Moreover, how can a candidate cultivate a constituency like that of Rev. James Meek, essentially espousing a shared belief in their value system, become an effective and powerful advocate on behalf of issues like LGBT rights that run counter to fundamental agenda of that constituency without experiencing severe repercussions? The answer is he can’t.

      Just as Hillary Clinton cannot cherry pick the successes and pitfalls from her husband’s administration that suit her campaign, neither can Barack Obama divorce himself from the implications surrounding the bedfellows he has made over the course of his relatively short political career.

      Put even more plainly… Barack Obama can’t have it both ways, which increasingly seems to be his campaign’s modus operandi.

      While it is altogether plausible that, in the spirit of bringing hope and unity, a civil rights leader might sit down with members of white supremacist groups to address racial differences, it is another thing entirely to propose that the same civil rights leader could count any of those white supremacists among his closest friends because he finds them to be inspirational people if, you know, you take that pesky race thing out of the equation.

      Similarly, while potentially capable of co-existing peacefully in an environment of mutual respect, the homophobe and the LGBT rights advocate aren’t likely to be found cooing at or canoodling with one another in private because they share so many other common interests. Yet these are precisely the kinds of scenarios that Barack Obama asks the American people to accept on faith each and every time unsavory questions arise about the associates with whom he has chosen to surround himself. Ultimately, it is this porous type of reaction that may be Sen. Obama’s undoing. But, then again, perhaps not.

      Obama’s critically well-received speech on race in response to the Jeremiah Wright scandal seems to have quieted mainstream concern over the senator’s views about race while simultaneously forcing the media to tip toe around discussing race as it pertains to his campaign to become the Democratic presidential nominee. So maybe talk about Rev. James Meek and Barack Obama will summarily disappear from the political radar, but one thing is for sure —it shouldn’t.

      Growing up, my octogenarian grandmother always told me, “If you lie down with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.” Life and experience have taught me she was right, which says to me that in light of his cozy relationship with anti-gay poster child, Rev. James Meeks, Barack Obama ought to be feeling awfully itchy right about now.

      A spring 2007 newsletter from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Meeks one of the “10 leading black religious voices in the anti-gay movement”. The newsletter cites him as both “a key member of Chicago’s ‘Gatekeepers’ network, an interracial group of evangelical ministers who strive to erase the division between church and state” and “a stalwart anti-gay activist… [who]… has used his House of Hope mega-church to launch petition drives for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a major state-level ‘family values’ pressure group that lauded him last year for leading African Americans in ‘clearly understanding the threat of gay marriage.’”

      The SPLC newsletter also noted that, “Meeks and the IFI are partnered with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund, major anti-gay organizations of the Christian Right. They also are tightly allied with Americans for Truth, an Illinois group that said in a press release last year that ‘fighting AIDS without talking against homosexuality is like fighting lung cancer without talking against smoking.’”

      On a more personal level, Meeks has reportedly blamed “Hollywood Jews for bringing us Brokeback Mountain” and actively campaigned to defeat SB3186, an Illinois LGBT non-discrimination bill, while serving in the Illinois state legislature alongside Obama. According to a 2006 Chicago Sun Times article, his church sponsored a “Halloween fright night” which “consigned to the flames of hell two mincing young men wearing body glitter who were supposed to be homosexuals.”

      And so here we are again confronted with a situation in which Barack Obama’s choice of allies is likely to confound voters. Though his relationship with Rev. Meeks is not nearly as significant as his affiliation with “spiritual mentor” Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Obama’s ties to Meeks are nonetheless disconcerting, particularly in the wake of his recent address on race in America and his campaign’s early fumble surrounding the decision to invite homophobic gospel artist Donnie McClurkin to perform at a campaign Faith and Family Values fundraiser in South Carolina.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6Kz-_IaFyU&eurl=http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?ArticlePage=2&Section=67&id=18614

      http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?ArticlePage=1&Section=67&id=18614

      Apr 2, 2008 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Snoodle
      Snoodle

      I’ve noticed especially Perez Hilton has been very late to a lot of queer-based issues lately…

      Apr 2, 2008 at 1:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charley
      Charley

      Kid A
      Thanks for the compliment. The feeling is mutual. As long as I stay away from the white wine on an empty stomach I’m OK, cuz then I am likely to say things I wish I hadn’t.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • todd
      todd

      It’s time we stop insisting our candidates believe in the sky god and have spiritual advisors? They are all crackpots and charlatans who rake in the cash to fund their prejudices. Charles Barkley for President!!

      Apr 2, 2008 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Heh Todd! I AGREE with you!

      Perez is so pro Hilary it’s boring. And yes, the Dems are fucking themselves up big time. Ah well. Nice one Hilary.

      At least McCain isn’t Bush? Right?

      Apr 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whites Against Racism
      Whites Against Racism

      W.A.R.
      Whites Against Racism

      Open letter to my fellow whites

      It was famously said that in order for evil to thrive it is only necessary that good people do nothing……………………

      What can we do about the racism that disfigures America?

      1. Look out for your Asian, African, Latin or other minority group neighbors.
      2. Whenever appropriate, let people who may fear racism know that you are not racist, and go out of your way to show that you are not antagonistic or hostile to them.
      3. If you know people who have racist views, let them know that you do not share their opinions and if possible show that you find such views distasteful, ignorant or stupid.
      4. Take any opportunity to show racists that their views are irrational, unfair, and based on lack of education about the history of our country and the world.
      5. Leave no room for anyone to think that racism is acceptable in any way shape or form.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rickroberts
      rickroberts

      W.A.R., I especially like number 5 in your list:

      “5. Leave no room for anyone to think that racism is acceptable in any way shape or form.”

      Barack could have used your advice over the 20 years he sat in a congregation and listened to a racist pastor. His leaving would have been a powerful example. Do you agree?

      Apr 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      +1 W.A.R.
      I feel like many of the white people on this site (which I’ve said in further detail in the thread on Black Is/Black A’int) have such tunnel vision or rose colored glasses when it comes to matters of race, class, privilege, etc. which is quite dispiriting but it’s reality nonetheless. In not speaking out on these issues or not challenging their friends or even other people on this site (Abracadaver for example), it sort of makes them complicit in maintaining the status quo and I detect such double standards (note all the other pastors affiliated with other white politicians). You’d have to be a complete rube to think Barack was an avowed homophobe, was going to stack the Court with anti-gay judges and set the course of gay rights backwards because of his so-called “affiliation” with Wright et al and then posit “I’m voting for McCain before him” as if that’s going to secure a better future for you and “your people.” This is a popularity contest for freakin’ Christ’s sake of who attracts the most people or “broadest spectrum” as someone else put it. It’s the reason why my guy, Kucinich (Let’s Impeach Bush Cheney for War Crimes; let’s have gay marriage, as they are just as good as us; yeah, I saw a UFO and think there could be intelligent life out there in the universe, what makes us so special; let’s exert more financial pressures on big business) could never win although I co-signed with most of his views. Anyway, it’s well documented that Wright is progressive on gay issues (although people focus all their energies on his rantings about god damn America which in light of Peck’s speech, is not offensive in the least to me or discussing — albeit perhaps vulgarly — the plight of the Palestinians which, last I checked, they were people like all of us). White people can take umbrage at Michell Obama saying “For the first time I am REALLY proud of my country” (Fox edited out REALLY) but don’t get bent out of shape when Barbara Bush has the audacity to dismiss Katrina victims and the legacy of race/endemic poverty as “Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.” No, she probably gets excused as “oh, that old Barbara, she’s such a hoot, lol”. Kathy Griffin summed it best when she said (loosely), “oh, gurl, when I saw that Katrina footage and the state of our American people down there, Hell, I became Black!” Although this is pure supposition on my part, I feel that there is such fear of black anger on the part of some whites because they instinctively know that if the situation were reversed (i.e., Blacks having subjugated whites across the GLOBE and displaying such intolerable cruelty for centuries), they would feel such hate and mistrust was well deserved and would not be preaching, get over it. How convenient.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rickroberts
      rickroberts

      Afro, you make me think. Thanks. And for what it’s worth, I was disgusted and ashamed of Barbara Bush’s ignorant comment.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      Rickroberts, perhaps it’s because it seems that “the other” (whether the black, Moslem, Palestinian, or the gay) is always in the position of mollifying the concerns of the one occupying the seat of privilege and not the other way around? Barack said unequivocally, loosely “I don’t condone or sanction what he’s said as this country has made considerable progress…just look at my candidacy. But people need to realize that he comes from a different time and different set of experiences and that anger is very real.” He then went on to discuss white resentment and saying we need to look at that from the other side. This all just boggles the mind.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      Yeah, were you up in arms and going off like you are now about Barack’s pastors? Did it incite this fiery passion of “I cannot believe this, this is unacceptable.” I’m sorry, where’s my xanax . It’s just that I expect much more from white gays on this front. The white heteros I sort of give a pass of “ignorance can indeed be bliss” but gay men know what it’s like to be on the outs.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whites Against Racism
      Whites Against Racism

      RickRoberts, I have seen posts by you on this site and the only thing I have to say to you is read No. 3 from the list:

      “3. If you know people who have racist views, let them know that you do not share their opinions and if possible show that you find such views distasteful, ignorant or stupid.”

      Apr 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr C
      Mr C

      Afroguapo be careful sweetie,

      Don’t consider them being biased then you’ll be wrong. Because Jerry Falwell said it was God’s will that races stay separate. And then God allowed 911 to happen because of homosexuality.

      Then teleminister Pat Robertson said that God steered Katrina towards New Orleans because he was disgusted with open homosexuality acts in the city (Southern Decadence)

      Also John Hagee, leader of a San Antonio megachurch, has referred to the Roman Catholic Church as “the great whore” and called it a “false cult system” and “the apostate church” — “apostate” means someone who has forsaken his religion.

      Then there is Rod Parsley Then Ohio megachurch pastor who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it.

      WOW…Strong words for Pastors being affiliated with McCain as well as the REPUBLICAN PARTY for years. And you don’t have to a member of a church to be taught racism. Ask some of their Parents who referred to us a NI@@ERS amongst other statements now we also know that this not all non-blacks that feel this way. But of course for the ones that do I’m getting all up in arms over these types of statements which is noithing but words.
      THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HHHHHHHHHHHHH

      But AfroGuapo. Have you noticed none of these Pastors has had death threats against them? I’m scratching my head…Why??
      But Jeremiah Wright had to gain extra security and cancel engagements for his safety.

      Is it because he is a Black Pastor making these comments and other brothers on the other side feel they are the only ones who can?????
      THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMMMMMMMMM

      And why are they so adamant to connect Barack to a Pastor whom they consider racist. So they are saying Barack is racist????? Also because Jeremiah Wright he is no longer Bi-Racial but BLACK???
      THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMMMMMMMMM

      Barack is rasing 1,000,000 every other day. Why?? Is it because there are people of all races who are looking beyond RACE at accepting CHANGE he could bring and feels this is the time to.

      Hillary is presently 400,000$ in debt. Why is it because she has Harold Ickes calling Super Delegates and saying “Remember Jeremiah Wright”? Is it because there is a new ad about 3AM and you get a call about fixing the economy. REALLY? The Damn stock Exchange, is CLOSED, every economist and Fed Chairman BEN BERNANKE is asleep with that beautiful ass “beary” beard (fine Old Dad…..had to sneak that in). So who the hell going to call ya Hill at that hour about finances……LOL FUNNY

      But on a serious note Whites Against Racism says it all best and if we all apply that this race will come out good in the end for the Dems!

      We can at least try!

      Apr 3, 2008 at 8:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Afroguapo
      Afroguapo

      Just conjecture on my part but the other pastors despite their impassioned speech don’t receive death threats because white anger doesn’t get the same visceral response of being perceived as threatening or scary as black anger/rage. It’s a byproduct of our “birth defect” per Condi in that it perhaps makes us think of historical references of black anger manifested in the extreme (Haiti slave revolt, Nat Turner)and my theory that if the shoe were on the other foot, those whites who preach, “aren’t we beyond this already for Christ’s sake, get over it”, wouldn’t be so cavalier. Seeing Jeremiah Wright speaking with such force combined with the two black men and the congregation of black faces behind him throwing their hands in the air freaks certain white people out although he was critiquing American domestic and foreign policy across a broad spectrum as opposed to a diatribe against white people.

      Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, in Southampton County, Virginia, the week before Gabriel was hanged. While still a young child, Nat was overheard describing events that had happened before he was born. This, along with his keen intelligence, and other signs marked him in the eyes of his people as a prophet “intended for some great purpose.” A deeply religious man, he “therefore studiously avoided mixing in society, and wrapped [him]self in mystery, devoting [his] time to fasting and praying.”

      In 1821, Turner ran away from his overseer, returning after thirty days because of a vision in which the Spirit had told him to “return to the service of my earthly master.” The next year, following the death of his master, Samuel Turner, Nat was sold to Thomas Moore. Three years later, Nat Turner had another vision. He saw lights in the sky and prayed to find out what they meant. Then “… while laboring in the field, I discovered drops of blood on the corn, as though it were dew from heaven, and I communicated it to many, both white and black, in the neighborhood; and then I found on the leaves in the woods hieroglyphic characters and numbers, with the forms of men in different attitudes, portrayed in blood, and representing the figures I had seen before in the heavens.”

      On May 12, 1828, Turner had his third vision: “I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first… And by signs in the heavens that it would make known to me when I should commence the great work, and until the first sign appeared I should conceal it from the knowledge of men; and on the appearance of the sign… I should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons.”

      At the beginning of the year 1830, Turner was moved to the home of Joseph Travis, the new husband of Thomas Moore’s widow. His official owner was Putnum Moore, still a young child. Turner described Travis as a kind master, against whom he had no complaints.

      Then, in February, 1831, there was an eclipse of the sun. Turner took this to be the sign he had been promised and confided his plan to the four men he trusted the most, Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam. They decided to hold the insurrection on the 4th of July and began planning a strategy. However, they had to postpone action because Turner became ill.

      On August 13, there was an atmospheric disturbance in which the sun appeared bluish-green. This was the final sign, and a week later, on August 21, Turner and six of his men met in the woods to eat a dinner and make their plans. At 2:00 that morning, they set out to the Travis household, where they killed the entire family as they lay sleeping. They continued on, from house to house, killing all of the white people they encountered. Turner’s force eventually consisted of more than 40 slaves, most on horseback.

      By about mid-day on August 22, Turner decided to march toward Jerusalem, the closest town. By then word of the rebellion had gotten out to the whites; confronted by a group of militia, the rebels scattered, and Turner’s force became disorganized. After spending the night near some slave cabins, Turner and his men attempted to attack another house, but were repulsed. Several of the rebels were captured. The remaining force then met the state and federal troops in final skirmish, in which one slave was killed and many escaped, including Turner. In the end, the rebels had stabbed, shot and clubbed at least 55 white people to death.

      Nat Turner hid in several different places near the Travis farm, but on October 30 was discovered and captured. His “Confession,” dictated to physician Thomas R. Gray, was taken while he was imprisoned in the County Jail. On November 5, Nat Turner was tried in the Southampton County Court and sentenced to execution. He was hanged, and then skinned, on November 11.

      In total, the state executed 55 people, banished many more, and acquitted a few. The state reimbursed the slaveholders for their slaves. But in the hysterical climate that followed the rebellion, close to 200 black people, many of whom had nothing to do with the rebellion, were murdered by white mobs. In addition, slaves as far away as North Carolina were accused of having a connection with the insurrection, and were subsequently tried and executed.

      The state legislature of Virginia considered abolishing slavery, but in a close vote decided to retain slavery and to support a repressive policy against black people, slave and free.

      Apr 3, 2008 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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