|As I See It? 7-9
Monday, May 26, 2008
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the opinions of The New Citizens Press.
By Joseph Harris
Dear Right Wing Pundits,
If this were not real life, I would almost be tempted to find the situation humorous. If the highest office in the nation, and arguable the highest office in the FREE WORLD were not up for grabs, I would be tempted to call it laughable. But the blatant hypocrisy, and double standard that Senator Obama, Rev. Wright, and the black church have found themselves in as a result of the slicing together of words… the journalistic equivalent of photo shopping Oprah's head on some random nude body and calling it an expose' is absurd. The media's coverage of the Rev. Wright situation is ridiculous, and only proves the point that there are some biases that we as a country have not yet quite dealt with.
All clear headed citizens, and fair-minded people must agree upon a variety of facts. A person should be judged by their body of work, and not by a few snippets craftily chosen by FOX news. Whenever we judge people who have a body of work it is in fact their entire BODY of work that is their litmus test, whether we are discussing artists, sports heroes, politicians or political figures. No one accuses Pope Benedict of being a Fascist because he was associated with the Hitler youth movement, nor do we vilify Thomas Jefferson for owning slaves, nor do we abuse George W. Bush for being a recovering alcoholic, nor Tom Brady for not winning one Superbowl, nor Colin Powell for”misspeaking” before the United Nations concerning the non-existent weapons of mass destruction. NO, clear minded citizens on the left and right judge a man or woman on their entire body of work so that one may be able to form a better understanding of that person, their causes and their motives.
For right-wingers to loudly proclaim Rev. Jeremiah Wright a racist, anti-American demigod, and then to further exclaim that Sen. Obama should have left the church, and that all Americans finding themselves in such a place of worship should similarly embark on such an exodus, is the basest form of hypocrisy.
I point out that Rev. Wright's text was taken out of context, and that if one were to indeed use any of the most fundamental rules of journalism, one would find that he was indeed quoting another man when many of these “anti-American” statements were made.
But, let us for one brief moment suspend reality and assume that everything reported about the story was indeed Rev. Wright true statements, and feelings. All LEVEL headed citizens would agree that none of these statements bordered on the criminal.
But when the Catholic Church was embroiled in scandal after scandal, when indeed there seemed to be an EPIDEMIC of child molestation cases, when in fact last year the Catholic Church settled numerous cases for 660 million+ dollars, was there a similar call for white Americans to leave their churches, abandon their mass and renounce their parishes? When it was found out that there were archbishops, who were at the very least accessories to these CRIMES by way of hiding evidence, and sealing the records shut of known predators hiding under the guise of shepherd; did right wing pundits extol their listeners to abandon the Catholic Church? No, they did not. Were there any attempts by the media to have all, or any catholic politicians leave their churches? Of course not.
Moving on to the protestant fundamentalists. Pat Robertson (founder of the 700 club) prayed for God to “move in his way against the liberal judges on the Supreme Court”. Stating that one justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition. When this very Pat Robeson called for the ASSASINATION of a foreign ruler did republicans ask his congregation to leave, did they return funds solicited by his 700 club? Did Republicans stop soliciting his endorsement, or support?
The recently deceased Jerry Falwell blamed the September 11th attacks on a variety of groups saying “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.”
And while there was some media backlash, he never lost his position as a political power broker, and was courted by John McCain in the beginning of this present presidential run. It is a measure of the power Falwell still wielded that McCain courted his endorsement despite McCain having once labeled Falwell as an “agent of intolerance”.
We have here an entire religious institution being implicitly involved in child abuse, a well known republican fundraiser publicly praying to his GOD that members of our Supreme Court be “removed” from office and another fundamentalist protestant blaming the 9-11 attacks on liberal elements within our society. And yet, the Bill O'Reillys, the Glenn Becks, the Fox News's, have mostly stayed silent. Their guns remained unloaded, their anger, nowhere to be seen. I wonder if this would be the case if there was video of Rev. Wright praying for the Supreme Court to be smote by the hand of The Almighty.
A fair-minded citizen must wonder where this current righteous indignation was and why it lay dormant until now. Why was it not present when any of Wrights fair skinned counterparts of the cloth spouted ridiculous notions, and hateful speech? We must further wonder if these pundits on the right really have a problem with Wright, or if their problem was that Wright wasn't white.
Joseph Harris is studying for his Master’s degree in American History at Michigan State University.