Rev. Jerimiah Wright: Wheat and Chaff

I heard the Rev Wright speech before the NAACP meeting. I heard the Bill Moyers interview. I heard the mostly negative reactions coming from all the reporters. What did I hear?

I taught intercultural communication. I would not grade the reporter-critics very high in their cultural understanding. They roasted Wright for the chaff, but did not show any understanding of the whole grains of wheat he presented. They threw out the wheat with the chaff. Pastor Wright has very personal and selfish gains to make from becoming controversial and without much care for Barack Obama’s campaign. I understand that. But Wright did make some points that teachers of intercultural communication teach, e.g., the principle that difference is not a deficit. He was both funny-ha-ha and funny-peculiar in getting across that message, wheat and chaff. Now that his credibility has been lost, he may be one who will not be listened to, to get that crucial message across.

I hope that point does not get lost in the excoriation of Rev. Wright. Good critics might have made the distinction between the constructive parts and the bad parts. WHICH PARTS WERE OUTRAGEOUS, and WHICH PARTS WERE NOT? WAS THE WOLE SPEECH OUTRAGEOUS? Absolutely not! I’ll tell you what’s outrageous. The accusation of guilt by association in many critical comments by commentators takes us back to the Congressman Joe McCarthy era of witch hunts for “fellow travelers”.

I would like to have seen one fully functional deliberative mind operating as a critic, but I heard no one except Bill Moyers in a thoughtful probing of Wright. Wright made some criticisms of the United States government’s actions. Many people have done that. Black people have much cause for many discriminatory actions by governments of the past. Those points of Wright’s speeches were not taken up in anything I heard. All I heard was ad hominem attacks, name calling. That’s outrageous! The nutrition is in the kernels, but all I saw was the vultures feasting on the chaff.

THE DELIBERATIVE MIND IS A WINNOWER OF IDEAS, CAN DISTIGUISH GOOD FROM BAD. Most speakers and writers have a mix and need readers and listeners who do not throw out the good with the bad. Be judicious!

As I have said before, this election season is in the care, almost exclusively, of the ham-handed reporters wannabe pundits. They do not know how to moderate discussions nor listen respectfully as participant-panelists. They steamroller their fellows and blur disgustingly all others on the panel. Gibbity-gibbity, yackety-yack. The McLaughlin group is the worst of the worst. Chris Matthews as a hard-baller presses hard his view onto his selected toadies. But I have heard the soft-baller Matthews (see elsewhere on this blog) where he dropped the ball.

Bill Moyers had the requisite intelligence to manage an interview with Rev. Wright. He got to the wheat and stepped over the chaff. Sound bites were coming from everyone else.

I believe that Obama needs to give a speech on religion in politics as a counterpart to his racism speech. I believe Clinton needs to give a speech on gender in politics. Obama has proven he can hold forth on a critical issue and have a very satisfying result. All that Clinton can do is perform dirty tricks. One sneaky one is the use of a red hot branding iron, burning “elitist” into the hide of Obama, putting her brand on him and now she owns him. Hillary is the master of cliche, the thoroughly mundane as her head bobbles incessantly. Mundanity. Cliche. Ascribing traits, characteristics to her opponent, and then the label hangs there like the tag on Minnie Pearl’s hat.

I believe that it is much easier to get into trouble in the U.S. if you are black than if you are a female.

(I will write later about one basic course of training I would institute for reporters.)

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One Comment

  1. Amazing job! Adore experiencing the movement as well as understanding how most of these scaled-down websites do the job. Thanks!


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