On Hearing Sen. Obama’s Pastor: The Flip Side

I heard Sen. Obama’s Church of Christ pastor preaching today. I can hear the uproar now even before turning on the talk radio station or the news. I know without listening what they all are about to say. He must denounce and reject that man’s preaching against the singing of the national anthem. Well, hold on. There is a positive side that may not be heard.

Have we ever had indications from Sen. Obama that tell us how deep into the “culture of the black people” he is? Can that be judged by the voters? I know there is a domestic culture of black people that has language, paralanguage and nonverbal dimensions that most of us white folk know little about. I have encountered it and been found wanting in understanding the offenses that may innocently be committed without my awareness. (I know that political correctness should be defined as “cultural astuteness”. PC is an exhibition of CA.)

Since I believe one of our social goals in the U.S. is to have peace and understanding among all citizens of this melting pot, defeating in the long haul all vestiges of racism, sexism, and so forth, it is my obligation to continue my education in the best ways of communicating across cultural differences.

In that spirit, I see a black pastor preaching to his congregation with content I find ridiculous. But that’s his prerogative. His congregation accepts it rather enthusiastically. He is holding up the nation of “the man” as a villain to be disrespected. So that’s the status of our society. People need to know that. That feeling of disrespect is still strong. The report of his preaching puts it out in the open. And that’s the way it should be!

The kicker is that we might now have a President who will bring this society even closer to the problems of our racial divide. (Just as Hillary’s campaign has brought us all closer to an understanding of how a woman might campaign for President. Her campaign will constitute a model for future women candidates for President.)

Obama’s candidacy and perhaps eventual presidency may accomplish some additional healing, of the sort which I heard Bill Cosby and others talk about.

Hearing Obama’s pastor was not a bad thing. Hearing Obama’s pastor was an interesting event, not something Obama should have to show regret for. He should say that it was an event encouraged under Constitutional protection that we can all learn from, learn toleration, understanding, and something about a man who might be our President.

His incendiary speech set nothing on fire. He was asking, in a church building, his deity to damn the U.S. If there had been a tsunami or a tornado or a hurricane devastating our countrymen immediately after he uttered those words, that would have constituted, to the Jerry Fallwell or Pat Robertson types, proof of the deity’s retribution. There was no breaking of the rules of free speech by the pastor. How often and how many people everyday curse our government for this or that?

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  1. […] johnibii wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI heard Sen. Obama’s Church of Christ pastor preaching today. I can hear the uproar now even before turning on the talk radio station or the news. I know without listening what they all are about to say. He must denounce and reject that man’s preaching against the singing of the national anthem. Well, hold on. There is a positive side that may not be heard. Have we ever had indications from Sen. Obama that tell us how deep into the “culture of the black people” he is? Can that be judged by the voters?  I know there is a domestic culture of black people that has language, paralanguage and nonverbal dimensions that most of us white folk know little about. I have encountered it and been found wanting in understanding the offenses that may innocently be committed without my awareness. (I know that political correctness should be defined as  “cultural […] […]


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