I’m joining the conversation late, but as I read over what’s been said, here and around the blogosphere, about the Wright and Obama drama, one line of Wright’s puzzles me more than the rest. He said, inter alia,
“Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn’t make me this color.”
Such an odd locution. Farrakhan is not an enemy because it was not he who made Wright black. Is it the work of an enemy to make someone black? (Forget God and genes there.) Does he regard being black as a punishment, rather than merely a difference, or a source of pride? Does that make any sense under the circumstances?
Or is he even talking about being black? Jeremiah Wright is a light-skinned man, a fact that is visible even in his full tribal regalia. Did an enemy do that to him, dilute the full African blood a generation or two back? Is he angry about being mixed race? Is that the source of his radicalization, his choice of religious doctrine, and his apparent dislike of whites?
If we learn anything from this bizarre act in the racial drama with which our culture continues to live, it is that a post-racial America will not come about by dint of any Tiger Woods phenomenon. Actions trump state of being. I suspect that a lot of white citizens who had been hoping we could all just get along now, are going to be wondering just how big a following Wright’s views really have. And a lot of black citizens who don’t define themselves entirely by their race may resent feeling as if they need to explain. That is not progress, even apart from what it’s done to the Obama campaign.