Apr 25, 2013 - Issue 514

BlackCommentator.com: “Hatred Begets Hatred, and Terrorism Begets Terrorism” - Represent Our Resistance - By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD - BC Editorial Board

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright had it right! His sermons spoke truthfully about the United States and its past and current engagement with terrorism. State-sponsored terrorism was his focus in a sermon Rev. Wright delivered on September 16, 2001 (“The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall,” The Guardian, March 27, 2008):

We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye... and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

Because the books written on this history do not utter the word “terrorism.” The history books written from the perspective of the conqueror, creatively refer to the glorious victory, to heroes and to the saving lives on the conqueror’s side of the ledger, and because educational institutions do not teach, and the corporate media cannot report the truth, Rev. Wright had to speak. Someone had to think and ask - how glorious is such a victory to those residents in Hiroshima and Nagaski, those men, women, and children dead and still suffering?

And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating her citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains, the government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton field, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, not God Bless America. God damn America - that’s in the Bible - for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America, as long as she tries to act like she is God, and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent... (“Confusing God and Government,” April 2003, BlackPast.org):

Rev. Wright spoke of terrorism. Terrorism was and still is the subject. But in 2008, with Barrack Obama on the campaign trail, ABC News, after repeatedly confronting Obama about his pastor, finally heard what it wanted to hear from the Black presidential candidate:

...[W]hen he [Rev. Wright] equates the United States wartime efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced. And that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today. (New York Times, April 29, 2008).

Rev. Jeremiah Wright was betrayed by an Individual who was more than ambitious but also duplicitous with an ideology that is no less violent than fascism or communism. It is an ideology we are all familiar with because we have experienced how it rewards careerists and collaborators who work on its behalf. The betrayer received his award.

It is an ideology that believes might is right, white is superior, others are just that - others. It is an ideology that depends on the full cooperation of everyone, anyone.

It was not just one individual, Rev. Wright, who was betrayed and not just one betrayer, Barrack Obama. The opposition to state-sponsored violence and terrorism, was also betrayed. The principles, values and convictions of the opposition to violence were targeted by a discrediting narrative, a violent narrative, that condemned and denounced all those unwilling to remain silent or to lie.

When wagers of this narrative violence conjured images of raving lunatic, or the anti-American traitor, or the devil in our midst, they knew what they were doing. The U.S. had done it before because before the fascists and the communists, there was the United States and Manifest Destiny. After the fascists and the communists, there was progress in the development of mind-control and weapons technology, legal tweaking to empower law enforcement and to create a Homeland Security apparatus with tentacles stretching globally, gulag-typed sites like our communications management units, and educational institutions partnering with corporate organizations to model corporate think.

Ultimately, the betrayal and denouncement of Rev. Wright represented for all the world to see and hear, a war! What else? It represented a significant battle between one ideology and the other, between the proponents of white supremacy and racial difference, between the U.S. Empire and the people. Only one side was confident it would suceed. Only one side held all the trump cards.

Did Black people think like this Rev. Wright? Are Black people still living in the past? Are they hateful, bitter, resentful? Are they still a threat to us?  

So “Operation Black America,” let us call it (because the U.S. loves to label its warfare: Operation Condor, Operation Iraqi Freedom) to villify Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was sucessful. Operation Black America, churned like a machine. It was a sucessful operation because it not only forced the denouncement of one individual against another but also forced an entire society to denounce the individual and any alternative vision outside this madness. Anyone espousing the same thoughts, the same principles, values, and convictions is witness to the punishment.

No one can claim they did not know. They did not see, did not hear, did not participate.

But “Operation Black America” particularly targeted Black America, once again.

What did the discrediting narrative accomplish if not the obedience of Black America? It reminded Black Americans, on the one hand, of their inferiority. What else? (There is change?) Black America is impotent. Malleable. You are happy consumers! Consider all you have accomplished in the last 40 years! Consider our progress together, our post-racism era, our, the United States of America and its distance from the past. It then placed both Black men in the ring and turned its attention to Black America’s reaction.

Black Americans were forced to decide. Pick one! Pick only one! Wright or Obama! And Black America, once at the core of Left thought and action, are, for the most part, a success story: Black Americans no longer seek democracy and freedom. 

How many Black middle-class liberal leaders, coerced by fear, urged Black Americans to denounce Rev. Wright and vote for Barrack Obama? Fear works wonderfully on a people not free and who can no longer envision freedom beyond that offered by the ideology of white supremacy.

But there was one thing refreshing: Rev. Wright did not confess. He did not admit guilt.

Barrack Obama should confess. Obama’s rhetoric is the real deal. He should admit guilt for sanctioning further repressive strategies and tactics, disregarding the Constitution and human rights, escalating drone warfare, warmongering rhetoric about what sovereign nation will or will not receive recognition from the U.S., and for refusing to allow the courts to bring criminal charges against warmongers, careerists and collaborators, reaping the rewards of an ideology that continues to protect their interests.

Rev. Wright said:

We bombed Iraq, we killed unarmed civilians trying to make a living. We bombed the plant in Sudan to pay back for the attack on our embassy - killed hundreds of hard-working people - mothers and fathers, who left home to go that day, not knowing they’d never get back home. We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. Kids playing in the playground, mothers picking up children after school - civilians, not soldiers. People just trying to make it day by day. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant? Because the stuff we have done overseas is brought back into our own front yards.

America’s chickens are coming home to roost. Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred, and terrorism begets terrorism.


BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member and Columnist, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.