I know I'd be angry. Imagine being an ex-Marine who served six years in the military being ordered to do God knows what, then became a respected religious leader serving a vast congregation and a community for 36 years. You retire a respected, celebrated, pillar of the community.
Then, because an old friend just happens to be on the brink of making history, and completely changing the world for the better after the country has slipped into some of the darkest times in its history, some old remarks you made several years ago during an impassioned speech surface. Suddenly, enemies of this friend start using your past remarks to derail a miracle in the making.
Now, I have to ask myself, would I be so angry that I couldn't admit to myself that I should have seen this coming? Would it shock me that the press would only air a segment of my speech which, when standing on its own, could be twisted into something seditious? And here is the bonus round question: Would I be so upset that I would help my friend's opposition by coming out swinging, thereby adding fuel to a fire that could easily have blown over?
I have a hard time answering all but the last question, to which I give a resounding no. There is no way that I would be in the position Reverend Wright is in and screw my friend the way the Reverend's recent public appearances have undoubtedly hurt Senator Obama.
I don't pretend to know what is going on in the mind of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I do know that he is giving a very typical response in the midst of a not-so-very typical circumstance. His pride has overtaken his ability to reason. He's playing 'the dozens', while everyone else is playing chess.
Citizens of this country are supposed to be able to criticize our government. That's one of this country's bigger selling points, if memory serves. So when Reverend Wright was first criticized for his remarks, my reaction was to see this for what it is a chance for those in power to finally derail Barack Obama.
Once I listened to the entire speech, I did what I do with most speeches I nodded at the stuff that made sense and puzzled quietly over the stuff that seemed a little over the top. Overall, the sentiment behind the speech was very close to remarks made by Malcolm X, which left me feeling as though I hadn't really heard anything new. This reinforced my feelings that the right-wingers and supporters of Senator Clinton were being opportunistic and the press was doing what the do best, which is going after ratings and selling newspapers with the same sensationalism over substance mentality that they always have.
Now, I will say that calling for God to damn America is a poor choice of words. However, in terms of being inflammatory, the Reverend's remarks were no more awful than several things I've heard Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News sycophants say. The point I'm making is if handled in the right manner, this so-called scandal would already be blown over.
So I don't understand why, at this critical time in our history would Wright come out with more remarks? Why is your need to save face more important than you not harpooning your friend when he is not only running for President, but when he is clearly the best choice the ENTIRE country has to heal itself after eight years of corporatism disguised as the United States Government.
A real friend of Barack Obama's would have simply said, "My words were taken out of context, and regardless, were my words, not Senator Obama's," and disappeared faster than Houdini. Someone with a grasp of the grand scheme of things, someone who should be able to see the peril that the working class people in this country are facing would help diffuse this matter, not make it worse.
It's called taking one for the team. It's called a little public humiliation for the sake of the public good. When Barack wins, come back to public life triumphantly and say, "Hey, I knew you people were trying to use me to hurt my man. Now here's what I really have to say about the history of this government that my friend is going to fix."
I have always said that it is hard for famous black men to have real friends. The Reverend is proving me right.