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Different Does Not Mean Deficient

April 28, 2008

When I was growing up, I was told that everything had to be a certain way. Everything was supposed to be uniform and nothing that was good varied. Life was predictable and dependable. Over the years, I learned that I had lived inside of a lie; a carefully concocted idea that all was well because it was somehow under perfect control. Any variance from the norms of life was somehow freakish and unacceptable. During the national prosperity toward the middle of the last century, I lived the lie that many Americans grew up with. I learned to be controlled in a “white man’s world” and to ply that control on others until I discovered the lie that I was living.

Finally, we have a man that speaks his mind and the truth that I discovered, “Different, but not deficient.” As a white guy, Linda Ronstadt’s song “Different Drum” comes to mind. Dr. Wright is a man, like MLK that doesn’t fear of being different. Millions, just like him, are different too. Undoubtedly, many African-Americans have learned the hard way what it was like to be on the outside; to be different, enforced by the color of their skin.

Jeremiah Wright has been maligned and misunderstood by the media as well as misunderstood by highly sensitized and self-protective people that are still trying to live the lie that they have learned from the past, the delusion of social control that they learned as children. Old national habits and attitudes die hard.

Dr. Wright has not troubled himself with the need to be politically correct. In fact, his lineage makes him the opposite of correctness. He is a man, like many that has been educated by his circumstances. Like MLK, he is a preacher, not a politician. Study what MLK said and strip away what everyone else says about what he ever said. You will find that he spoke as a preacher, not as someone’s political mouthpiece for political advantage. Some of MLK’s words have been strangely twisted into someone else’s dreams for political advantage to work for the political needs of this country. That period of history, led by my cousin LBJ was the beginning of a forced and uneasy national alliance.

Jeremiah Wright doesn’t make the claim to be a perfect man. He sometimes speaks over the top to make a point and he doesn’t worry about being misunderstood. He doesn’t ask you to agree with him. People of like mind understand what he says. Like many Americans, he already knows that making a difference, let alone making a change isn’t comfortable for everyone. While speaking to the NAACP, Dr. Wright was talking about the kind of change that visionaries see. Like MLK, Dr. Wright and millions of other Americans long for a change, a new generation of renewal for this country outside of the constraints of the old national social hierarchy that has been thrust upon us. He isn’t referring to unconstitutional actions, yet the idea of any kind of change, even for the better, makes plenty of people uncomfortable, especially when they don’t want to accept the truth. In the mind of Jeremiah Wright, he is running for Jesus and isn’t tired yet. He is speaking to everyone that will listen because, like it or not, people are different.

He understands that speaking about reality doesn’t divide the country. He is simply showing the polarity that already exists, while America tries to pretend the divisions aren’t in place. That is the old way of thinking that I was born into.


The idea that the country brought the attacks of September 11 on itself is not new. Just ask the millions of people living outside the United States. According to a retired African-American psychologist and world traveler I know, the U.S. is known for taking from others as it sees fit by untold numbers of world citizens overseas. From years of contact with foreigners overseas, this psychologist came to understand that not only are some people fiercely jealous of the United States, but that most people do not hold the United States out as an innocent. This is not treasonous talk, but the reality seen by many people outside of this country and some that live here. Since plenty of people are adverse or at least question the methodology and politics of the United States, it stands to reason that many people consider the U.S. as responsible for what it receives. Since this country stands today as a largely secular nation and not a religious one, many Christians in this nation reluctantly agree that the United States must reap what it sows. That is exactly the mindset that Jeremiah Wright is talking about.

Jeremiah Wright said, “It’s not about man’s acceptance. It’s about God’s approval.” He is thinking on a different level than politicians and most of the mainstream media does. He is speaking his mind, not spouting out what is popular to the political and social mainstream. Jeremiah Wright is planting the seeds of a national future.

E. Manning

22 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2008 11:56 am

    I agree, but I maintain that anyone with any semblance of rational thought would not hold his words against him or Obama. I hear you loud and clear and unfortunately, there are many people who will “fall for it.” I didn’t mean to say that Rev. Wright has not hurt Obama. I think that he has.

  2. April 29, 2008 8:51 am

    Reverend Wright Advocates Separate but Equal at NAACP Dinner to Thunderous Applause – “Different is NOT Deficient”

    “A statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races-a distinction which is founded in the color of the two races, and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color-has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races” the Plessy v. Ferguson majority opinion enshired in law that different is not deffient.

  3. April 28, 2008 2:54 pm

    Regardless of what any of us think about Reverend Wright, he is clearly hurting Obama.

  4. April 28, 2008 2:53 pm

    “In the end, reasonable people won’t fall for it.”

    Not so sure Joe. I heard him today speak. A great speech. Lot to learn about biblical story of liberation. Very eloquent speech. He gets carried away and say things that can be taken out of context so easily. You have to watch or listen to at least 5 to 10 sentences to know what he is talking about. Any one sentence along can be used against him. That’s not good in politics. Unfortunately every time he opens his mouth it can be politicized.

  5. April 28, 2008 2:52 pm

    Like he said, “Barack is a politician, I am a pastor.” I think that pretty much tells the story. The Rev. Wright story pleases those with a sinister agenda because his words can be taken out of context and used against him. In the end, reasonable people won’t fall for it.

  6. April 28, 2008 2:50 pm

    The reality is we celebrate MLK day. Please to all those criticizing Wright, go check MLK speeches. Please don’t come back with quotes from “I have a Dream” speech. That’s the one they want you to read. Read the other ones.

    As far Rev Wright, I would like to hear about him a lot more but not right now. The media is linking him to Obama and his message, I feel very important, is being lost. That’s just a political reasoning. I think he hurts more than he helps because people are not going to listen. No one has time for that. The media plays the sound bites of his speeches and interviews and when you do that, you lose the context.

  7. April 28, 2008 2:25 pm

    people don’t want to hear the truth and he’s telling the truth

  8. April 28, 2008 2:15 pm

    Thank you for your wise words. He gave a wonderful speech last night.

  9. April 28, 2008 12:37 pm

    How in the (removed) did this election become about who likes or dislikes Rev Wright ? Anybody who thinks that you agree with 100% of what you hear from your pastor must be a member of some cult where that is in fact the case.

    This country has gone so far down the wrong road with blinders on that it will inevitably end up in civil war. White folks know that there are a lot of black folks who don’t trust them, and black folks know that there are a lot of white folks that don’t trust them, all because of skin color. But hell-fire to the person who actually starts a conversation about it. Its funny how the media likes to claim people are playing the “race card” and now for the past month the media has been playing a whole deck of race cards.

    Although I could care less about liking or disliking Mr. Wright, I do care about facts.

    Mr. Wright said
    1. Hillary Clinton has never been called a (removed). Guess what ? That’s probably true !

    Then he said..
    2. Hillary Clinton has never had a problem getting a taxi in New York. Guess what… Thats probably true too !

    Then he said this country brought 911 on itself… That could be, who knows but the people who did it.

    But thats the reason this country is going down the tubes… they want to rush and condemn anybody who says the country isn’t the glorious nation it once was. And what the does Wright’s comments have to do with Obama ? Nothing…. When I think about it, there are a lot of things my pastor said that I didn’t agree with during my 20 year stint in that church, so what ? I still don’t agree with them and it doesn’t change who I am. Who do you know that you agree with 100% of everything they say anyway ?

    I also feel the same way about the election…. if people, and primarily the media wants to play dumb and act like its taboo to talk about our differences, then they should just vote for Clinton or McCain, it won’t matter, things will just keep heading in the same direction and eventually we won’t be able to “talk” about anything. We will be too busy fighting each other and buying guns to defend our beliefs and positions like in the Middle East.

  10. April 28, 2008 12:27 pm

    Wright’s whole demeanor and dismissive attitude speaks louder than his actual words. In one of the videos where he is asked to explain his 911 comments, he completely dismissed the girl who asked the question and says that since she didn’t hear the whole sermon, it “nullifies” her question. It is arrogant behavior like this that makes me sick. He’s not an uniter of anything. This guys spews hatred and Obama buys into it. I would never vote for Obama–even if he wins the nomination.

  11. April 28, 2008 11:40 am


  12. April 28, 2008 11:06 am

    As a seventh-day adventist christian, I agree with Rev. Wright’s speech. Everything he said regarding the bible is true. People have a difficult time dealing with truth. If things aren’t sugar coated and if they are Not lied to, then everyone else is viewed as the “enemy”. The question Americans must ask themselve is who is the “TRUE enemy”.

    Ignorance goes a far way. People need to study their HISTORY, the answer lies within. Rev. Wright should NOT be viewed as the adversary because people lack knowlege. Knowledge is FREE for ALL.

  13. April 28, 2008 11:03 am

    I agree with you. He is a spiritual leader who speaks on behalf of people who are underserved by dominant society. There are multiple perspectives that form American reality which contributes to the melting pot of this country. We can’t be accepting one sociopolitical reality and then villanize another. Our fear of listening and accepting the differences of our experience is a crucial step in healing and advancing our country.

  14. April 28, 2008 11:01 am

    We are right here, my brother

  15. April 28, 2008 11:00 am

    It’s so wonderful and inspiring when our Caucasian brethren understand – well said.

  16. April 28, 2008 10:59 am

    Difference does not mean Deficient but in Wright’s idea – Difference mena I get to Screw you and you take it.

    Pastor Wright is a RACIST Pastor and Obama sits in his pews for 20 years and never hears it. C’mon, spare me the intellectual insult.

    Obama – Osama, the difference is the BS.

  17. April 28, 2008 10:57 am

    Well Actually I’ve seen a CNN reporter saying this morning that Reverend Wright Said Arabic is not ONLY a religion it is a languague too.

    And That’s not what The Reverend said , He said Arabic is not a religion it is a Language.

    Isn’t that Misinformation Reporters please do your Jobs every word has to be used carefully

  18. April 28, 2008 10:56 am

    Neither. I listened to each and every word that Wright said at the NAACP dinner.

    It was THE MOST excuse filled “sermon” I have ever heard.

    Incidently, IF people do feel that way (especially Wright…….) stop finding excuses and laying blame and do something constructive about it.

  19. April 28, 2008 10:54 am

    Why do talk show host think they have to interpret the news for the public? I am tired of your hosts telling me how to think about Rev. Wright. Journalism is not about telling people how to think. It’s about presenting the story and leaving the public to draw their own conclusion. Why do hosts think that Rev. Wrights comments will be damaging to Senator Obama? I for one fully understand what Rev. Wright is saying and I have certainly learned a lot from him since he has started speaking out. I think America will benefit tremendously from his input into the race debate.

  20. April 28, 2008 9:53 am

    With respect to Reverent Wright, if you are interested in finding out the truth, then you hear to the whole story. Unfortunately, there are those in America that have been brought up with a right brain hemisphere functionality that are “different” and so, we who do understand, should not condemn but try to reach out and lend a helping hand. Kindness becomes kindness, evilness becomes evilness.

  21. April 28, 2008 9:52 am

    I agree with Rev. Wright on his statement last night! He was on fire last night with his speech! He should have left it at that! But this morning when he start answering questions, his big mouth messed himself up pretty badly! He got caught up with the media and showed off in front of the media like it was a circus acted! Does he want Obama to be president or not? I dont think he was doing Obama any favors by acting a fool this morning. Now some of his answers I did agree with but like I said, The speech last night about change Difference does not mean Deficient was brillent and that should have been his last speech !!!!! I hope the voters realize that Obama is his own man and that he’s not Rev. Wright !!!!! And that Barack Obama is running for president not Rev. Wright! I just pray that the people know the what Obama really stands for !!!!!

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