I know, I thought I was done on this topic too, but just like Michael Corleone's attempts to exit the mob life, 'just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in'. What pulled me back was CNN's story on the FBI's intensive tracking of Martin Luther King, Jr. during his rise as the country's most prominent civil rights leader and his being tagged by the FBI as the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country." Dangerous? To whom?
My understanding is that MLK's movement was a non-violent effort to change the way southsiders were systematically denied equal rights and protection under the law in the United States. The fact that King's home and offices where broken into and bugged - with the consent of the Attorney General of the United States - and that the FBI waged a systematic campaign to find evidence to discredit King, diminish his effectiveness and that of his cause and induce him to commit suicide speaks to exactly the type of southside governmental suspicion and mistrust that Reverend Wright spoke of during his Trinity sermons....
The things perpetrated by the FBI against MLK are truly heinous - even more despicable when cast against the fact that King was a law abiding U.S. citizen who apparently forfeited those rights when the movement he led began to upset the status quo - a status quo designed to keep southsiders relegated to second class status in America.
Non southsiders will hear fiery speeches by pastors like Rev. Wright, see the agreement to his words by parishioners and be horrified, openly wondering how people could believe such things about America. As Smooth Barack said in his speech on race, "In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed."
For every government AIDS conspiracy, we can give you a Tuskegee Study. For every paranoia uttered about how 'the man' is out to get our leaders, we can give you the FBI wiretapping MLK - invading, cataloging and dissecting every aspect of his personal life - not to keep him safe, but to take him down. MLK - the dangerous Negro. You don't think we have more than a little bit of fear over the safety and well-being of Barack Obama in 2008 America? Don't fool yourselves - we do. Paranoia? Maybe. Justified? Definitely.
As Smooth Barack also mentioned, Pastor Wright came from an early day - he lived the 40's, 50's, and 60's. He's seen firsthand both the good and the bad America has to offer and, in addition to filling the pews by addin' a little special sauce to his sermons, he also diligently challenged the congregation not to get to comfortable, not to get too complacent and keep their eyes wide open because they still have yet to get to the Promised Land. There are still dangers along the path.
The New York Times 'unearthed' a 2007 letter Rev. Wright wrote to them takin' them to task for editing some of an interview he had given. It speaks to the point that he neither shaped or formed Smooth Barack. Indeed, if you read the mentioned New York Times, April 2007 article titled, "A Candidate, His Minister and The Search For Faith' (read it, y'all - it's good) you'll see how it's possible for a reasonable man to attend sermons at Trinity and be able to draw his own conclusions. It does a grave disservice to not only Smooth Barack, but to every congregate at Trinity to assume that they were under the spell of Rev. Wright - hypnotized to think, act and speak just like him - all unable to distill a message and take from it all, a little or nothing at all.
No - that type of mindless behavior is reserved for conservative talk radio listeners who remain sadly satisfied to keep the nation divided and turn politics into a winner-take-all bloodsport that leaves no middle ground. I don't know about y'all, but I'm more than ready to 'turn the page' on that nonsense.