WHAT JEREMIAH WRIGHT AND RUSH LIMBAUGH QUOTES
REVEAL TO AMERICA REGARDING RACE
Jeremiah Wright and Rush Limbaugh quotes regarding race were used in efforts to thwart a presidential campaign and the purchase of an NFL team. Responses to the Wright and Limbaugh quotes reveal the fact that Blacks and Whites are miles apart with regard to racial understanding. Blacks and Whites often live in the same neighborhoods, work on the same jobs, sometimes go to the same churches and schools, and their children play on the same teams- we really don’t know, understand or fully appreciate each other beyond a surface level. Therefore, we need to get together in an organized and orchestrated fashion and seriously talk about the pink elephant in the room-race.
When Blacks have a discussion about race, usually there are no Whites present, so an important perspective is missing and the reverse is also true. Consequently, when the discussion spills over to our television sets and newspapers surrounding some major incident such as the recent presidential campaign and Limbaugh’s attempted NFL purchase bid, we discover that Blacks and Whites are often miles apart when it comes to agreeing on the legitimacy of racist statements or incidents. We vicariously talk to each other through quotes and sound bites, but not with each other in honest and sincere dialogue.
The recent highly publicized Limbaugh quotes surrounding his failed NFL purchase bid and the Wright quotes surrounding Obama’s presidential campaign, demonstrate that racial quotes can be damaging, divisive and detrimental to effective communication. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity used Rev. Wright’s words toward an effort to convince the American public that they should not elect Barack Obama as president. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson used Limbaugh’s words to convince the NFL that Limbaugh should not be allowed to be an owner of an NFL team. What do the Wright and Limbaugh incidents have in common?
Wright and Limbaugh are not viewed as racist, extremist or polarizing figures in their communities and among their constituencies, but obviously, they are viewed in this manner among outsiders. Limbaugh and Wright supporters believe that their quotes were exploited, taken out of context, unfairly politicized, or if they were allowed to explain themselves to an objective audience their comments would not be viewed as offensive.
In Limbaugh’s and Wright’s worlds their remarks would be rationale, reasonable, justifiable, factual and non-racist. Anybody who would think otherwise would simply be mistaken. The problem is Limbaugh and Wright, live, function and communicate in different worlds that are miles apart. Therefore, if America is to avoid a race war, Wright and Limbaugh’s two worlds must come together and dialogue.
Perhaps, out of their shared pain, Limbaugh and Wright can host or spawn a series of dialogues across the country under the banner, RACIAL REASONING AND HEALING IN THE AGE OF OBAMA. Both men know what it’s like to be fairly or unfairly quoted or misquoted, depending upon one’s politics, perspectives or process reasoning. Obviously, an open, honest conversation about race is perhaps the most difficult conversation to hold, but it is one that America desperately needs to have. Black people and White people are still to distant from one another. We need to come together and dialogue. “Come, let us reason, together.”
Respect the Office of the President
Even if you don’t respect the man or the woman in the office.
Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.
A request to President Johnny Hunt and Dr. Richard Land of the SBC to ask Laura Ingraham for an apology or to boycott her sponsors if she refuses.
While listening to talk radio on Monday evening, September 28, 2009, I heard conservative commentator, Laura Ingraham refer to President Barrack Obama as “YOU FOOL”. Shock, disbelief and utter amazement are the only words I know to describe my emotions upon hearing those words. Later, I asked one of my research assistants to listen to the archived recording of Ingraham’s show to determine if I had heard correctly, and I did. Referring to President Obama’s visit to the Olympic committee, Ingraham stated: “He doesn’t have time to speak to his General in Afghanistan, but he has time to fly to Copenhagen and push for Chicago. This is an exercise in egotism, pure egotism period…..The news over the weekend is that Colin Powell is being consulted as President Obama rethinks his Afghanistan strategy…By the way the president is getting personal on his outreach on this issue. Why doesn’t he just call all the Generals? Why doesn’t he just talk to his own General? [General McChrystal in Afghanistan] He is going to old generals like Colin Powel. Talk to the one who is actually in Afghanistan you fool.”
Referring to the President of the United States as “You fool” brings to memory the Joe Wilson bellicose statement, “You lie”. At the very least these actions violate the biblical and conservative principle of respect for authority, set a poor example for the people who listen to them -including children- and for some, raises the question of racism.
President Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, have been called by Tammy Bruce, a guest host on Laura Ingraham’s show as, “trash in the White House”. Rusty Depass, a South Carolina Republican activist referred to an escaped gorilla as, “just one of Michelle’s ancestors”.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It is time for the church of the living God to take a stand. In as much as Laura Ingraham called the president a fool publicly, I’m going to ask her to apologize to him and all her listeners who were offended publicly. Morever, I’m asking that the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Johnny Hunt and the president of the Christian Life Commission, Dr. Richard Land, join me in repudiating Ingraham’s and Joe Wilson’s remarks on the grounds of being disrespectful to the office of the President of the United States.
I am not accusing Ingraham or Wilson of being a racist-but clearly disrespectful. However, we must acknowledge that many Americans of all colors and political persuasions believe that these actions have a racist underpinning. Therefore, I am asking the Southern Baptist convention to address this issue.
As a fellow Southern Baptist, I need your help. I alone cannot influence the culture to refrain from disrespecting the President. But, if my Baptist brethren would sound the alarm it would go a long way toward furthering the biblical command to “honor the king” (I Peter 2:17). This is another opportunity to put teeth in the ’95 apology.
The Southern Baptist Convention sat on the sidelines during the civil rights movement and watched hoses sprayed on Black people, dogs barking and biting Black people buoyed on by Bull Connors bullhorn, and bombs blowing up Black churches, while Black girls sat in Sunday school, reading the Bible. Please, don’t sit by and allow this president to suffer these kind of indignities and disrespect while the church sits idly by. Please do not repeat the sins of your fathers. Step forward and boldly denounce and condemn this disrespectful, unbiblical and possibly racially insensitive rhetoric for the kingdom of heaven sake and the Great Commission sake.
Lest I be misunderstood, my appeal is not that that persons restrain from speaking the truth as they see it, but to not dishonor and disrespect the office of the President as they critique him.
Finally, if Laura Ingraham refuses to apologize for calling the president a “fool” I’m requesting that the SBC call for a boycott of her sponsors, just as the SBC called for called for a boycott of Disney World for supporting behavior that violates scripture.
As the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish as fools”.
Conservative columnist, Mark Davis, who often host the Rush Limbaugh show acknowledges that, “among Obama’s detractors are some folks who just don’t like black people.” Therefore, the convention needs to raise a prophetic voice and speak to the fringe element of the Obama opposition that is rooted in race. Surely “ you lie”, “you fool” and “gorilla” ought to move you to action as did the gay friendly polices at Disney World and rightfully so.