Obama's ideal of racial relations

Discussion in 'Congress' started by jreeves, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Obama has defended his religion and church. He encouraged an open discussion on racial relations, is this what he had in mind?

    As noted by Spengler in The Asia Times (3/18/08) Senator Barack Obama’s Reverend and mentor, the bigoted Jeremiah Wright, invoked James Cone, repeatedly, during a now infamous interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News

    James Cone, quoted in William R Jones, “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology”, in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, ed Cornel West and Eddie Glaube, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, pp. 850, 856.

    Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

    From James Cone’s own, Black Theology and Black Power, 1997, Orbis, p.150:


    For white people, God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ means that God has made black people a beautiful people; and if they are going to be in relationship with God, they must enter by means of their black brothers, who are a manifestation of God’s presence on earth. The assumption that one can know God without knowing blackness is the basic heresy of the white churches. They want God without blackness, Christ without obedience, love without death. What they fail to realize is that in America, God’s revelation on earth has always been black, red, or some other shocking shade, but never white. Whiteness, as revealed in the history of America, is the expression of what is wrong with man. It is a symbol of man’s depravity. God cannot be white even though white churches have portrayed him as white. When we look at what whiteness has done to the minds of men in this country, we can see clearly what the New Testament meant when it spoke of the principalities and powers. To speak of Satan and his powers becomes not just a way of speaking but a fact of reality. When we can see a people who are controlled by an ideology of whiteness, then we know what reconciliation must mean. The coming of Christ means a denial of what we thought we were. It means destroying the white devil in us. Reconciliation to God means that white people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto).

    http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/20...’s-church-breaking-the-james-cone-of-silence/
     
  2. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Ohh come now, it just means something different to black people, we can not understand that when he preaches death and destruction he just means it metaphorically. When he calls all white people spawn of Satan, he is just saying that to emphasize a point. He doesn't REALLY mean all whites are evil and must die, that all whites worship Satan, we just do not understand him is all.

    By the way, I have this Bridge I can sell ya cheap......
     
  3. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    I wouldn't so much suggest that it means something different to black people. I think it might mean something different to people who understand black liberation ideology today (black or white). I think Wright's words may have conveyed a deeper and more nuanced reading to his parish than we can understand from a few snippets.

    I did look at the Hannity interview transcript. The interview itself was pretty pathetic (partially because Wright kept interrupting). However, this is what Wright did say.

    He also says:

    Nothing I read in that "infamous" interview leads me to believe Wright's beliefs can be boiled down to the simple idea: "Hate Whitey"

    Of course, another issue is how much one can attribute any of this to Obama, who is his own person, regardless of his connection to Wright.
     
  4. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    The whole chuch is based on theology of black liberation. Which takes it's roots in Black Power and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which in itself are contradictory. Dr. King denounced the Black Power movement as being divisive and too angry.
     
  5. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    First, the whole question of general ideology is separate from the question of what this parish actually preached (and I don't mean just snippets from 20 years of sermons). One could come up with a general ideological statement to describe Catholicism, but it is actually interpreted and practiced in different ways in the US, Africa, South America, and within each one of these regions (not to mention differences that may exist between churches next door to one another).

    Second, if the theology takes its roots from Black Power and Dr. King, in what ways is it influenced by each of these belief systems? How does it combine them? Do different churches focus on different aspects of each belief system?

    I don't know the answers to these questions, but it seems silly to discuss this in a vacuum, attributing the worst (or the best) of each system to a single church that we know little about, and making judgements about the attendees of this church based on our assumptions.
     
  6. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Ok, first off James Cone has stated that Dr. Wright's church reflected his views of the black liberation theology.
    Secondly, I think we can tell from Cone's statements it is more closely alligned with those of black power.
    Lastly, couldn't you say the same thing about the KKK, I mean I don't know a ton about their idealogy either, but I know their racist.
     
  7. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    I don't know much about James Cone, and I wouldn't expect you to either. However, one probably shouldn't distill Cone's beliefs into one quote or one statement. That is a bad approach to understanding anyone.

    Here are some quotes from a Bill Moyers interview with Cone about a recent book he wrote on lynchings. They convey a much more nuanced approach to race relations than you have heretofore painted.

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11232007/transcript1.html

    This is an even better one.

    The man has written many books and given many speeches. In order to understand what he believes and espouses, we should start by reading some of these books.
     
  8. RetiredGySgt
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    And yet you ADMIT you have read NONE of his books. Have no understanding of his beliefs, no idea what he stands for or means when he calls for the "destruction by any means" of all white people. No understanding of what he means when he states all white people are evil.

    Lets try this.... what would you think if a white man made those statements about the black race? Ohh wait, I forgot, he is black so he gets a pass.
     
  9. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    I have read none of his books. I am quite sure that you haven't either. I admit that I don't have a full understanding of what Cone believes. I wish you would do the same.

    I have at least looked at an interview that he gave last year that gives me greater insight into what he believes. The interview was contextual - not just quotes pulled out of thin air.

    Yes, I would view similar statements made by a white person differently. However, even in that case, I would be open to being persuaded from my original interpretations if the context called for it.
     
  10. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Do you know about the Jena fiasco?

    Also those statements I posted are out of his book on 'black liberation theology' which led the founding of the black liberation theology. Like I have said Dr. King didn't approve of this hate language.
     

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