The Jeremiah Wright “Goddamn America” controversy came to a close when then-Senator Barack Obama and his family left their long-time church during his successful presidential campaign in 2008.
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Billionaire Joe Ricketts was suppose to back the proposal, but has now backed off of it. “The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, according to the NY Times. Mitt Romney has spoken out against the proposal, saying he wants this election to focus on the economy and not Obama’s character.
But that says nothing about right-wing Republicans in Mitt’s party hellbent on racializing this year’s election. As Washington Post writer Rahiel Tesfamariam notes, the possibility of any attack on Obama’s relationship with Wright can tap into America’s ignorance of the Black church and Blacks in general.
The Jeremiah Wright controversy was about much more than what many believed to be unpatriotic sound bites coming from an Afro-centric sanctuary on the Southside of Chicago; it was also about advertising campaigns and conservative media outlets capitalizing on mainstream America’s discomfort with and lack of knowledge about black identity, culture and spiritual practices. The controversy sought to situate Obama outside of the “normative” American religious narrative by implying that he embraced a radical strand of Christianity, black liberation theology, that was not only subversive – but also hateful.
For Black America, this is a non-issue, but, given the sluggish economy, and relentless attacks on Obama’s identity, a proposal questioning how influential Wright’s views are in Obama’s current thinking is not so farfetched.
When President Obama remarked that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” for example, the latter could be enough to make some question whether Obama is truly the closeted Black racial the GOP “warned” that he would be as President.
It is a ridiculous assumption, we know.
But, given how aggressive the Tea Party has been about the “Birther” issue, nothing seems out of line for right-wing fanatics with money. But the real test for “post-racial” America is this: Will we fall for it, again?
I sure hope not.
What do you think?