Wednesday, April 09, 2008

thank ye, marse!: more on black gratitude and the rev wright nonsense

Obsidian Wings: Where's The Gratitude?

an excellent post (via Bitch Ph.D.) in response to Pat Buchanan's totally frakked up commentary on how grateful black folk should be to white folk. (roll of eyes here)

what's cool about the post is that it doesn't deal with the 'grateful' issue but, rather, gives some rather pointed criticism of Buchanan's poor grasp of public policy and the history of so-called 'generosity' on the part of the government toward blacks.

you must read it. go. do it.
this rev. wright thing clearly has some long legs and i think it's been running for so long for several reasons:
1- white folks are still surprised at instances of black anger and black folks are frustrated that no one ever takes their anger seriously
2- it's always nice drama in this country to take down an 'uppity negro' like obama (and his supporters)
3 - this country still wraps itself in knots when it comes to discussing racial/ethnic difference because it still can't acknowledge that the ideological default in this country is still white and male (and straight, for that matter.)
4 - our public discourse has been permamently polluted by the discourse of 'values' and 'faith.'

this last thing is interesting to me (and the Obsidian Wings post touches on this briefly in one of the comments, I think.) i think we can all remember the advent of the Values Voter, that poll-skewing and election-swinging voter who, rather than keep the separation of church and state sort of firmly in place, decided to pretend his polling place was a church pew and made all sorts of decisions based on how closely a candidate seemed to hew to his/her own faith background and their willingness to let their faith inform public policy.

sensing a powerful new voting bloc, politicians scrambled to appease the Values Voter and pronouncements of christianity, faithfulness, prayer, kneeling and all sorts of pharisaical nonsense started to appear all over the place. every election cycle, our candidates went through a dumbshow of evangelism, of piety and visited every major evangelical pulpit in the country. no longer content to be crazy and whacked out behind their pulpits, mini-Dimmesdales were suddenly on every major cable news show to blather on about their faith-based revolution, out to change the culture and return this country to its god-fearing roots. they wanted us to go back, before the feminists, the humanists and the gays started mucking about with things. meanwhile, the rest of us wondered how the hell 'faith' became a litmus test for public service or a new language within public discourse.

(and, quite frankly, if the feminists, gays and humanists were really in charge of things, life would be a lot more fun, if you ask me.)

as a result of all this hollow talk 'faith' is a line item in our federal budget and a pastor's sermon has become a trial of a candidate's patriotism. see how neat that is? a private utterance in a church has far-reaching consequences for someone's public, national identity.

is anyone else totally frightened that the veil separating our private, religious thoughts and expressions from our public selves is beginning to disintegrate?


Laura said...

I must say that both sexism and racism are a problem in this country. I do agree it's a problem that your religion decides whether or not you are a good candidate.

belledame222 said...

You saw Angry Black Woman's response (and the ensuing shitstorm when Stormfront linked her), no?

ding said...

i read about it and read her response to the ensuing shitstorm. i've occasionally stumbled across that site and they just make me puke. it also makes me think of serious mental illness.