jeremiah was a bullyfrog


First up, yes, there will be another xtcian tournament pool, and yes, the winner will get to guest-blog about anything and everything they want for one day. So, all you regulars and lurkers, just do this:

1) Comment below. In the “email” field, please leave your actual email (if you don’t do so normally). Nobody but me ever sees those addresses, and I’ll email you the special invite with the password. Even dook grads!

2) The link will take you to our ESPN page where you can sign up and submit your picks. It’s JUST that easy!

On a completely different note, very interesting stuff on yesterday’s blog, even if you conservatives forced Matt to do most of the heavy lifting – personal emails to me don’t count, kids. Ideas are always better in a big forum, right?

The way some Republicans (and some Hillary supporters) have gone after Obama on this Jeremiah Wright issue smacks of desperation, and I don’t believe this story has legs. Sure, there will be an instant poll taken after hearing Wright say “God damn America” and there will be the usual righteous indignation, but most rational people come to their senses after a few days and blink: “Wright WHO?”

I think it taxes the imagination that six months from now there will be a grassroots viral video showing Wright’s Kraziest America-Hating Sermons, and further, that it would have the slightest effect on anybody but evangelicals, who wouldn’t have voted for Obama even if Jesus himself came back wearing a “Si Se Puedes” slim-fit vintage tee.

In the meantime, I’d hope people understand the vast chasm between the beliefs of your loved ones, and your beliefs. My Uncle Chris believes Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from reformed Egyptian on gold tablets using two rocks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him utterly and dearly, and seek to use his advice, his preternatural calm and unwavering good heart in my own life. One of my bestest friends in the world married an Episcopal priest named Cathie, and while I’m an asshole’s agnostic, I adore her unpatronizingly, and the stunning influence she’s had on Chip’s life.

Besides, what part of Wright’s comments ring false? That we’ve caused an inordinate amount of suffering in the world, and that black people are still hobbled by institutionalized racism? While the right-wing sensory-deprivation tank trumped up outrage and umbrage, I could barely summon boredom – Wright isn’t a revolutionary anymore, he’s a Shouter of the Patently Obvious. Frankly, all this hand-wringing by conservatives is actually kind of cute.

The reason I call Matt’s question a high slowball is because Matt is a better study of history than he lets on. Jeremiah Wright’s thoughts were forged in the hot molten iron of the 1950s and 60s, and knew an America that whispered death to socially and politically-charged smart black men. While George W. Bush likes to quote the phrase “soft bigotry of low expectations” (with the mindless sing-song repetition of a toddler who doesn’t quite know what it means), Jeremiah Wright knew the ACTUAL bigotry of water hoses and war zones. That radicalization can turn someone into, as Obama says, “an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with.”

Yes, in his 40 years at the pulpit, it’s easy to cherry-pick some of his crazy shit. And his way of seeing the world in terms of unwavering tribalism, the ubiquity of “us” and “them”, certainly doesn’t jibe with me. But your ability to feel shock or dismay at his remarks rests squarely on a firmament of acceptance that people like Jeremiah Wright helped build. You’re able to call him racist because people like him fought hard enough to make such a turnaround possible. We all live under the penumbra of our crazy uncles who occasionally say something insane, but god damn or bless America, they’re still our uncles.