It's Only Anti-American When Y'all Do It.

(This was September 13, 2001, by the way.)

Frank Schaeffer, the son of influential Christian conservative Francis Schaeffer, isn’t surprised. “When Senator Obama’s preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association,” he wrote in a column for the Huffington Post. “But when my late father — Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer — denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.”

Consider also reaction to the newsletter filled with racist invective stamped with Ron Paul’s imprimatur to Wright’s comments that, um, America is chock full of institutional racism. Okay, admittedly, the AIDS virus thing is a little kooky, but a suspicion among many black people in America that they were guinea pigs for white scientists wasn’t exactly born in a vacuum.

But that crazy Rev. Wright, with his wild-eyed rhetoric about the growth of a private prison industry at a time of increased drug convictions, stiffer penalties and record incarceration with no correlation to crime rates! (Too bad he’s not lying.)

What good is the right to criticize government if there are all kinds of dishonest intellectual caveats about the conditions under which these critiques can be made ? How can we have honest conversations about policy and ignore the fact that America was a de jure racist country up until 50 years ago, and the ramifications of that racial stratification — and the attitudes that propped up those laws in the first place — didn’t just evaporate because those laws came off the books?



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • Nic

    Great site.

    You’re right. It’s okay for THEM to make anti-american comments. I’ve always said that there is no way Michael Moore could get away with saying the things he says about America if he were not white.

    I really, really believe that the attitude of most whites is that blacks should be GRATEFUL that their white ancestors “rescued” them from the barbaric jungles of Africa. Blacks should be thankful that they have been allowed to stay in this country and reap it’s benefits. That’s why whites get soooooooo angry when blacks make statements like Rev Wright and so many others. They see him as ungrateful.

  • ladyboss09

    i think the issue goes far deeper than the ‘grateful.’ i daresay that term may be used to describe the most racist among them. it appears to me that the so-called liberal white media took offense b/c is seems to fly in the face of their notions of ‘looking past color.’ They desperately want black ppl to believe they are color-blind. They agree to never bring race up so long as we agree to never complain about it.

  • Leebo

    I watched Rev. Wright’s comments in context. I truly did not find them anti-American at all. IN fact, he was using biblical reference to talk about how governments change.

    The biggest difference I see is that these white preachers are often preaching intolerance toward groups like gays – Rev. Wright has done no such thing. Saying it’s only ok when whites do it misses the fact that Rev. Wright has been completely misrepresented.