"Let’s be clear. American democracy has always coexisted with vicious, state-sponsored racism. The nation’s first presidents worked to establish an innovative, flexible, radical democratic republic while simultaneously codifying enslaved blacks as a fraction human and relegating them to intergenerational chattel bondage. After emancipation, as blacks helped make America the greatest industrial and military power on earth, the country stripped blacks of the right to vote, segregated public accommodations, provided inferior education to black children, and allowed and promoted the terrorist rule of lynch-mob violence.
This week Barack Obama was pressured to denounce Jeremiah Wright. But in the hundred years following the end of the Civil War more than five thousand African Americans were lynched and not a single president denounced the atrocities. Because of this history, black patriotism is complicated. Black patriots love our country, even though it has often hated us. We love our country, even while we hold it accountable for its faults."
Monday, March 17, 2008
I have missed much of the national freaking-out about Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and so I'm in the process of catching up. In this process, I happened to read the post at La Chola by Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and I recommend it. An excerpt:
Posted by Plain(s)feminist at 3:18 PM