black autonomy network community organization
working for economic and social justice in Benton Harbor, MI
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Herald Palladium Lies Again
The HP reports here that 150 were in the audience for this important event. In reality, at least 350 attended. What a slap in the face to the organizers of the event.
The Rev. Wright: The burden lingers for black America
By Kate Genellie Monday, Nov. 12, 2012
BENTON HARBOR - Black people in America are still in chains, but they are the chains of the mind, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright told an audience in Benton Harbor.Wright, who was President Barack Obama's pastor, spoke Saturday to about 150 gathered in the Crystal Star Square Entertainment and Conference Center.Wright, pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, married Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their daughters.Obama cut ties to Wright in 2008 after Wright made a series of controversial comments. Wright spoke at local activist Edward Pinkney's Justice Freedom Fund dinner Saturday. The night featured speakers on racism, singers, musical groups and a Tae Kwon Do demonstration by local youths."Physical enduring freedom and psychological freedom are as different as night and day," Wright said.With the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement in 1965, the chains came off African bodies, but the chains didn't come off their minds, Wright said. Wright spoke about how racism in America was built into its foundations.Before they formed a country, America's colonies were making laws pertaining to the African people in their midst, Wright said. The laws were based on the customs at the time, not on what was fair to people of color."The laws were outright racist. All of them," Wright said.And so when America was built out of those colonies, with those laws, "how could you hope to have anything different?" Wright asked. When you bake a cake and include the flour, the butter and the eggs, but leave out the sugar, you can't just sprinkle it on after, Wright said. It still won't be a cake.That's what the Constitution's amendments are."The amendments are only sugar," Wright said. Sugar that's sprinkled on and easily scraped off.That results in the legal doctrine of separate but equal, the Jim Crow laws, disparities in drug sentencing between black people and white people and disproportionate numbers of black men in America's prisons. "Justice is more than what is legal. Justice is equity," Wright said.Wright asked the people in the room to stand if they, or someone in their family, had lost their job, lost their house or knew someone in prison.When most of the room was standing, Wright said, "It is easier to be Moses than it is to be Nathan."Both spoke truth to power, but Moses spoke to the Pharaoh, a man of a different race, while Nathan spoke to King David, a man of the same race.Black people spoke up about America's problems under George W. Bush, Wright said, but they've been quiet under Obama. Wright urged them to not just celebrate in 2012, as people did in 2008, but to do more."It's not the person, it's the policies that have you standing in this room tonight," Wright said.