OK, so race is an issue in the current presidential campaign. It was, from the beginning, along with gender. When both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton proclaimed that neither should be considerations, I scoffed in my column here. How absurd! In the first ever campaign to pit an eloquent young black man against a driven, older woman — how could both not be considered?
And now, Obama’s minister of 22 years, Jeremiah Wright, with his shocking, even blasphemous tirades, has assured that race will be on the table, prominently, right up to — and beyond — Election Day. As many, including Newt Gingrich, have offered: It’s simply not credible that a man whom Obama credits with deep and personal spiritual guidance for almost a quarter century has never expressed his brand of seething anger to his supposedly faithful parishioner Barack.
Or his wife, Michelle. It seems very reasonable to me that Wright’s angry preachments contributed to Mrs. Obama’s confession that “for the first time in my life I’m really proud of my country” — completely discounting her own privileged upbringing, law degree and career, and her husband’s already significant career in politics.
The liberal media have given Barack every chance to disavow Wright, and to distance himself from his personal father-confessor. And a main ingredient in his delicate explanation, his high-wire act, is his contention that there are still deep wounds in the black community at large. He himself feels that while America has made significant progress in racial matters — that there’s still much to be done in healing those wounds and erasing hurtful perceptions.
Well, senator, how about the perception that your party, the Democrats, are the friends of the black community and certainly not the stiff, uncaring Republicans? That’s been a common, assiduously promoted, media-fed perception for several decades. As a result, Democrats have felt they had black voters perpetually “in the bag.”
But as I pointed out in a recent column here, a growing number of black Americans are thinking for themselves—and coming to decidedly different conclusions. Like my esteemed friend, Rev. Wayne Perryman.
What a man this minister is, and what a welcome and startling contrast to Obama’s minister, Jeremiah Wright.
Perryman is variously a publisher, a radio talk-show host, a political consultant, and a fact-finding investigator in discrimination cases. He’s an inner city minister, a leader in the black community, and an exciting, successful, and provocative author.
His books include "Unfounded Loyalty: An in depth Look Into the Love Affair between Blacks and Whites" and his latest (2008) "Unveiling the Whole Truth: What the Media Failed to Tell American Voters."
In his own recent Internet column, Rev. Perryman asked, “Do Hillary and Obama owe blacks an apology for their party’s racist past?” And he charges — point blank — the Democrat Party with policies and actions that have resulted in the death of millions of blacks. He doesn’t make these statements with hysterical rage; he quietly but firmly points to historical facts.
On Jan. 6, 2006, he sent an open letter to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and several other Democratic leaders, asking them to issue a formal public apology for their party’s:
1. support of slavery
2. support of the Dred Scott decision
3. support of segregation and Jim Crow prejudice
4. opposition to anti-lynching laws
5. attempts to destroy black schools and colleges, and the burning of
6. efforts to defeat the Reparation Bill of 1866
7. efforts to defeat every piece of Civil Rights legislation from 1863
8. efforts to have the 1875 Civil Rights Act declared unconstitutional
9. support of the Ku Klux Klan and its vile and violent racist agenda
10. participation in the lynchings of thousands of blacks.
Go to www.wayneperryman.com for more information.
These aren’t my statements or charges; I don’t have the facts and figures to substantiate them. But Wayne Perryman does, and he has been extremely courageous in bringing the facts to light, all of them based on scholarship and investigation.
I only learned recently that the Ku Klux Klan had been created by hooded Democrats, specifically to terrorize and keep blacks from voting. And of course, when Republican Sen. Trent Lott was forced to resign after he spoke approvingly of Strom Thurmond, the public was reminded that venerable Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia had been a powerful leader in the Klan, before he entered the Senate. While Lott resigned, the Democrats rallied to Byrd, making excuses for his past, much as Obama is doing now for Jeremiah Wright.
But Wayne Perryman, in his quest to free his fellow black Americans from misguided, often blind allegiance to the Democratic Party, has gone further. He points out that, from 1852 to 1860, the Democrat platform emphasized their support of slavery and fugitive slave laws.
In 1894, they passed the Repeal Act to repeal portions of other Civil Rights laws that were designed to help African Americans.
In our troubled and turbulent ’60s, it was Democrat Govs. Faubus and Wallace who barricaded restaurants and schools to prevent blacks from entering — and Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who sent in troops to provide them safe passage. And a cursory study of our more recent history shows that there was much more active support of civil rights legislation from Republicans than their counterparts; appropriate for the party started by Abraham Lincoln specifically to oppose slavery.
So as the pace quickens toward the nominating conventions and the election itself, as American voters stir themselves to make conscientious and extremely crucial decisions, it’s very helpful to look back a little further than the wild and incendiary charges of a Jeremiah Wright and the uncomfortable attempts of Obama to “explain” and perhaps justify his minister (and his wife’s claim to only recent pride in her country).
It will be helpful, productive, and instructive to absorb what black minister Rev. Wayne Perryman has to say about the history of blatant racism in this country.
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