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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jeremiah Wright: Rhetoric and Reality

The sermons of Jeremiah Wright reveal an anger that was described by Obama as the product of years of bigotry and despair. According to a report by Ronald Kessler of Newsmax, that anger may have been nothing more than a creation because his upbringing and his entire life appear to be nothing but comfortable...

Wright was born in Philadelphia in 1941. He lived in a racially mixed section called Germantown, which consisted of homes on broad tree-lined streets in northwest Philadelphia. The owners then were middle-class families.

For 62 years, Wright’s father, the Rev. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, was pastor at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. He was one of the first blacks to receive a degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Wright’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Henderson Wright, was a schoolteacher. She was the first black to teach an academic subject at Roosevelt Junior High, the first to teach at Germantown High, and the first to teach at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She became vice principal of Girls High in 1968.


Rather than attend the more racially mixed Germantown High School at 40 East High St., Wright traveled a few miles to the elite Central High School at 1700 West Olney Ave., graduating in 1959. Opened in 1838, Central High has a distinguished past and admits only highly-qualified applicants who are privileged to attend from all over the city. It is comparable to the Bronx High School of Science and Boston Latin School, both public schools known for academic excellence.

When Wright attended Central High, the student body was 90 percent white, according to students who attended around the same time. At least three-quarters of the students were Jewish. Former students of the period say racial tension did not exist.


In retirement, Wright will continue a life of privilege that dates back to
Central High. As a retirement gift, Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ is
building him a million-dollar home abutting Odyssey Country Club and Golf Course
in the nearly all-white Chicago suburb of Tinley Park. The home sits on land the
pastor purchased in 2004 for $345,000. In December 2006, Wright sold the land to
his church, which took out a $1.6 million mortgage on the property.

In April 2007, the church applied for a building permit for the brick and
stone structure.
Wright’s new home has 10,340 square feet of space, about
four times the size of a typical suburban house. It includes four bedrooms, an
elevator, an exercise room, and a four-car garage.

His new home is in the middle of a neighborhood that is overwhelmingly white. Wherever his anger comes from, it certainly doesn't seem to originate from either his upbringing or his station in life currently.

Wright's antics remind me of Jesse Jackson. Jackson has made a living preaching to African Americans that the white man is keeping them down. A couple years ago I went to see the movie Munich. Next to where I sat, there was 12 seats that had were covered with paper and the word reserved was written on them. Right before the movie started a white employee of the theater lead Jesse Jackson and his entourage into the theater where they were seated in these reserved seats. I have never before seen seats reserved for anyone in a theater. Yet, a white employee made this jesture to Jackson. It was clear that this particular white guy wasn't bringing down Jackson, himself African American.

The sort of race baiting and America hating that Wright peddles is bad enough, however if it is nothing more than an act that he has cashed in on, as Kessler clearly implies, then it is downright despicable.

This story is nowhere near done and events remain fluid. Stay tuned for updates.

1 comment:

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