If America still has a serious racial divide, then black preachers may be the chief perpetuators.
The Power of the Black Pulpit
The preacher is a powerful, revered figured in black Christian communities (Jones, 1989). Good families teach their children to learn from and emulate the preacher's words and actions. According to Kirk Byron Jones,
The roots of black preachers’ prerogative and power are in the soils of African religion and American racism. The African reality of a wholistic [sic]as opposed to a secular and a sacred life, the place of the black church as sole as well as "soul" refuge during slavery, and the gift of oratory made the preacher the symbolic head and heart of his people.
Outside of the pulpit the African American preacher is a staple to African American families as he is called upon to participate in nearly all important family events. He is called upon to perform weddings and funerals, to bless new born children, visit the sick, console the grieving, council the confused, and is expected to be available at anytime to his congregants.
Clearly, then, the black preacher has disproportionate influence over the thoughts and actions of his congregation.
Race Hatred Commonplace in Black Churches
Some black commentators and advocates, even Barack Obama, have touched on the issue, but I haven't heard anyone address it directly: Reverend Wright's hate-filled rhetoric is accepted as given in the black Christian community. The Reverend Wright is not the exception, but the rule. The "white devil" is the center of many sermons. Inciting race hatred by black preachers is encouraged through donations to these churches, and by supposed healers, like Obama, who nod their heads in agreement with the anti-white vitriol spewing forth from African-American pulpits every Sunday.
Two women on The O'Reilly Factor on March 14 showed surprise that white Americans did not know that black ministers routinely attack the United States and whites verbally from the pulpit. They do it, according to Reverend Wright, under the self-proclaimed direction of God almighty. "God damn America," Wright bellowed to his congregants. "That's in the Bible."
The women defended both Obama and Wright, using the defense, "It's a black thing; you wouldn't understand." Bob Beckel later used the same defense on Hannity and Combs.
Therefore, we can proceed with the understanding that anti-white, anti-US speech is not an exception in black pulpits.
Racist White Ministers
Do racist white ministers exist? Of course. Very likely, they rail against blacks as Wright rails against whites. But society's tolerance for white-on-black hatred is, rightfully, condemned and its practitioners ostracized, jailed, and fined. In fact, whites are punished, not for actual racism, but for saying anything that any black person might not want to hear. One need look no further than Geraldine Ferraro, Walter Mondale's running mate and lifelong liberal activist and politician. For merely pointing out the obvious--that Obama's blackness empowered his ascendancy--Ms. Ferraro was labeled "racist" and driven from public life. Her punishment would have been similar had she mentioned, only, that she didn't like Obama's tie.
No Justice, No Peace
Hatred spewed from pulpits has a disproportionate influence on the thinking of congregants, particularly the young. Barack Obama encourages succeeding generations to sit and absorb the hateful teachings of evil men like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Obama's childishness surfaces all the more when he decries divisiveness creeping into the public debate, as Allahpundit points out on Hot Air. Obama isolates this trend to the past few weeks, ignoring his own spiritual guidance counselor's generation of divisiveness. As is his wont, Obama blames others for the race-hatred monster he perpetuates through Rev. Wright.
Obama's embrace of Wright, despite recent denouncements, demonstrates not only poor judgment on Obama's part, but a malicious, subconscious desire to perpetuate race hatred. While Obama may truly believe that he can turn Wright's hatred into inter-racial love, such vainglory only highlights his shortsightedness and ignorance. He lacks the intellectual equipment necessary to fully understand the consequences of hate speech, and he proves his glib shallowness. After all, Obama likes to remind us that "words matter."
It's the influence on the next generation that chills. As Mark Steyn wrote this morning on Nation Review's The Corner:
But that's what makes Obama's association with Wright so significant. He's not from Alabama. He's a biracial middle-class Kenyan-Kansan Hawaiian-born Indonesian-raised Columbia and Harvard graduate who chose to immerse himself in the most corrosive and paranoid end of a racial-grievance ghetto mentality that is nothing to do with him, his family or his upbringing. He doesn't have the same excuse as a Jackson, Sharpton or Farrakhan. Why would he do such a thing? I wouldn't expose my kids to the four-letter ravings of Jeremiah Wright because I wouldn't want them to grow up loathing their country. I find it hard not to think less of a man who does.
As with all of Obama's other "lapses in judgment," there are only two possibilities: 1) He's a liar, or 2) he's stupid. Neither makes a good president.