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Inauguration: Ending Prayer/Benediction by Reverend Joseph Lowery

Live blogging of the Inauguration by Kimberly Wilder (one green’s perspective):

Joseph E. Lowery did the ending prayer/benediction.

Reverend Lowery was inspired and entertaining. [Here is a link to the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights.]

He spoke of “inclusion, not exclusion” and “tolerance, not intolerance.” This seemed like a hidden message reflecting on the public attitudes of Reverend Rick Warren. Reverend Lowery’s speech was profound and straight forward. Then, at the end, he got very folksy. He actually did a list of little sayings, hoping for the day when…

“When brown can stick around”

“When yellow can be mellow”

“When the red man can be the head man”

And, when the white can…do right, I think. [Update: The exact quote was, "and when white will embrace what is right."]

It was wonderful. The AP took this to mean that there is still work to be done on racial healing. I am a white person, and I take it to mean that I should reflect on the advantages I have as a white person, and be more sensitive to the struggles of people of color. [I read a lot of the comments to this post, and I think an interesting place for white people who were offended to study at would be Erase Racism.]

And, then he did a lot of “Say Amen”‘s. And, he got lots of Amens back. I liked that because it had the rhythm, positive energy and group participation unique to the Black Church. A nice taste of a new way of being.

They are playing the Star Spangled Banner. It is my favorite song, and my mom had called thinking she was going to be playing it on my answering machine. But, she got me, live, so I got to talk to her and tell her I am live blogging.

326 Responses

  1. Congratulations to President Obama and the people of the US of A.

    As a foreigner who wants good things to happen in any and all parts of the world, I wish Americans will work more in harmony with their president. How successful Obama can be as American president will depend on how well his fellow-Americans can rein in their demands for their expectations to be satisfied.

    http://novice101.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/inauguration-and-high-hopes/

    Keep the hopes alive.

  2. what a racist pig. i demant an apology.

  3. So what’s up with Rev. Lowry and his “when white does what’s right” line? White folks in general haven’t been doing what’s right? That is a very insulting and racist sentiment from a man who has fought for civil rights most of his life.

  4. This was childish and offensive. Using sophomoric rhyme to condescend to the small minded audience who obviously can’t understand profound ideas without a rhyme scheme. It was a trite patronizing speech, not at all an inclusionary prayer of hope. Who is saying the brown cannot stick around? Who is saying that the yellow are not mellow? Who is saying the red man can’t get ahead? Who is saying that white’s don’t do what is right? Who even talks like that ! It is 2009, and we’re separating our citizens through labels of primary color?

  5. While I am not white, I do understand how his comment, though intended to be humorous, had an underlying racist sentiment. I think he could have changed his wording and thought about what he was going to say before he said it on live television. I laughed when he said it, but I understand the implications he caused when he said that.

  6. Not a very good way to unite people. If they white people all leave where will they get their public aide.l

  7. I was appalled with Rev. Lowry’s prayer. America (Black, Brown, AND Whites) just elected the FIRST Black president and Rev. Lowry ended the inaugration by slapping White Americans in the face suggesting white people have NOT done what is right? HELLO? Where has this man been for the past 60 YEARS? I do not see the color of skin but the character of their heart. Seems to me the ONLY people who judge a man not by the color of their skin but by the character of their heart are WHITE people. Sure ain’t the black people like Rev. Wright & Rev. Lowry.

  8. correction:

    “When black wont be asked to get back”
    “When brown can stick around”
    “When yellow can be mellow”
    “When the red man can get ahead, man”
    “when white will embrace what is right”

  9. Exactly Michelle, someone needed to proof read that speech. It sounded like it was written by an aspiring 5th grader trying to become a Hip-Hop artist. It was offensive as Americans. It was offensive because on the very day, at the very moment when we’re making history and showing the world that it doesn’t matter the color of your skin, you can aspire to be anything in America. And this little man has the audacity to suggest that we live in a place where the color of your skin dictates your position in life. It was completely beneath the significance of today’s events.

  10. Actually. Reverend Lowry said.. “WHEN WHITE CAN EMBRACE WHAT IS RIGHT”… honestly, i find that tacky and not in the slightest tasteful. What is this world coming to, when even our ministers and reverends are racists?

  11. I AM white, and i am deeply offended.

  12. I AM white, and i am deeply offended. If you think about what the true definition of embrace is.. a: to take in or include as a part, item, or element of a more inclusive whole. (from maerriam-webster dictionary) I basically gather that he thinks we are incompetent of doing what is right.

  13. I do not get it. “AND, WHEN THE WHITE CAN DO RIGHT”?????!!!?!?!? During the whole event, the white race is the only one who is degraded by this ignorant racist statement. Do you realize what would have happened if a white man made that statement about blacks??? The NAACP would have been there with handcuffs and we would have never heard the end of it from the media. Obama is president today because of the white race, and this man is saying that white cant do right!!. He is contradicting Obamas election as President by saying that. How ignorant can you be!! A man who makes a statement like that about any race is RACIST.

  14. It was unnecessary and childish. But, as whites we have to cut the old-timer some slack – his self-appointed vocation just became much more difficult. Getting smart people to believe that the United States is still a pit of racist despair is hopeless at best when an African American just took the oath of presidential office.

    He has to appeal to the not-so-smart now…hence the cheesy rhymes.

  15. oh get over it.

  16. he was paraphrasing a famous song:

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?sourceid=gmail&q=Big%20Bill%20Broonzy&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#

    Editor’s correction:

    The song above is great. But, it does not have words. I think you meant this one:

    http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZLw5ahxm-Q

  17. Seriously? You all can’t have a little bit of fun with this? The majority of the speeches were stuffy and the mood was uptight. He helped close out the ceremony with a bit of joy and laughter. Any man who has been fighting racism for that long has earned the right to poke fun at it.

    Also, looking back at the state of the nation can you really say right has been doing right? I’m white and while I’ll never be ashamed of who I am, I find it to be an indisputable fact that the majority of white men in power usually make decisions for the wrong reasons.

  18. And you can see the benediction here (for the the punch line you can forward to the last minute):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pEH37JIgBU

  19. “you really say right has been doing right?”

    Sorry, I meant “white”.

  20. >> Seriously? You all can’t have a little bit of fun with this?

    Do you really think that African Americans would be having fun with such a comment had it been reversed and pointed at them?

    Give me a break. We’d be hearing focus groups and race-baiters hold “conversations” on race for the next decade. At least our irritation will likely end with this forum.

  21. Not surprised by his choice of words. He is the new racist of our times. Joins the ranks of jesse jackson and al sharpton. It is sad that Lowery had to play the racist card so soon. At the inauguration! Why can’t they get beyond the color of skin and look at the character of people???
    We are in for a long four years…

  22. >> Joins the ranks of jesse jackson and al sharpton.

    Agreed. I knew it would be impossible to hold that inauguration without at least one civil rights dinosaur sneaking in a pointed remark.

    People like Jackson, Sharpton, and now Lowery long for the old days. Obama is too intelligent to risk derailing the respect he’s earned by spewing their diatribe. Unfortunately, the event planners were not as intelligent. They rarely are.

  23. UNREAL……. Glad to see this is SUPPOSE to be a UNITED nation.
    WHY WHY WHY does racism keep creeping up???
    FOR ONCE can this be about ONE NATION instead of two races.
    REV. Lowery must be living in the 60’s still…. forgive me, but I am a hard
    working WHITE person who indeed pays for all federal aid , I agree,
    I thought I HAVE BEEN DOING RIGHT ALL ALONG TO HELP YOU
    less fortunate… see… this ruins everything… be openminded, wish Obama
    luck and stand behind him, and then you get this loser seperating the nation
    again. ..PUBLIC APOLOGY!!! Would not forgive though!

  24. KARENA… GET OVER IT?
    EXACTLY… if it was a black comment there would be riots in DC as we speak!

  25. Rev. Lowery’s speech was beautiful and inspired! I can’t wait to post his rhyme on my all time favorite quotes! We are not color blind and it is childish to think we are and it is childish to claim that we are not. Lighten up whitey”s! Have some compassion…we all are different with different ways of expressing ourselves…the only thing negative about Rev. Lowery’s speech is certain individuals reactions to it.

  26. Paradigm, I agree completely. If the tables were turned, we would never hear the end of it. This was a huge day for this country and those phrases did not need to be part of it. Unite, not divide people!

  27. I am young, white, and proud of it, just like blacks should be proud to be what they are. I am also proud to have seen Obama become president, although I didnt vote for him. But yeah I am a little offended by that, I am one of the youngest Firefighter/Paramedics in my fire department, and have proudly dont ALOT of RIGHT things in my career and life. And I have also EMBRACED many things that are right. And one of my fellow Firefighters is of Asian race, and very YELLOW, very MELLOW, and DAMN proud of it.

  28. correction: DONE alot of right things in my life.

  29. True enough Karena, we should get over it, I can chalk it up to a bit of fun on his part I suppose, as there are far more important issues for us to deal with now. That being Our President’s pending policies. His inevitable attempt to transform this great nation’s private economy into one shackled by never ending and never decreasing social obligation. His inevitable betrayal of our nation’s moral clarity in the face of tyranny. As he has established with his equivocation in regards to the recent attacks on our ally Israel. So of course, I’m over it, and onto the big fight.

  30. lighten up whitey’s! Rev. Lowery’s speech was amazing and uplifting. In reality we see color and it is childish to expect us not to. Accepting one another and our differences, that is the point. This man has lived through so much. Have some compassion. Imagining how blacks would react to a speech like this, that asks them to “embrace what is right” is just that…imagining. please, see that we are each unique… in our color and our use of language.

  31. sorry for the double post…I didn’t see me before

  32. sorry blackey

  33. of course you werent offended…he didnt say anything partaining to your race…if a white man had said “lighten up blackeys!” like you just said, you’d be calling the NAACP

  34. “>>lighten up whitey’s!”
    Ok so we should notice our differences and not our common humanity. This is what’s important, our differences? You’ve exposed yourself as a marginal voice. Should I when I see you Tamarita Mae, say hello black citizen or blue citizen, or whatever your “difference mae be.
    You’re a bit too fringe and small minded for modern times.

  35. People will never change… there is just as much hatered toward whites…unfortunate since we have larger fish to fry.. or shall I say chicken….

  36. President Obama… Good luck and I wish you well.. I stand behind you all the way to support you in this great recovery period of our nation. Please be careful who you hang out with.

  37. Amen Micky Park….after a couple hundred years of racial descrimination and our country has reached this milestone and your gonna say something like “lighten up whitey’s”……how ignorant.

  38. From Kimberly Wilder:

    Many thanks for the heartfelt comments. Heck, I disagree with most. But, it is a way to think and share together.

    Here is what I posted at another site exploring the same topic:

    I am white.

    I guess I can understand how a white person could take the last line personally. But, I think it was meant for reflection.

    Reverend Lowery’s poem – written in a short, playful, cryptic way, open to interpretation, and not to be taken too seriously – says that “white” should “embrace right.” So, he could be inviting whites to commit themselves more fully – ie: embrace – addressing racial injustice. Also, it was a poem, and he did not say “white people”, he said “white.” So, by that, he could metaphorically mean that which considers itself “white, separate, better”, not the specific person, but the fact of making a separation and assigning superiority.

    I think it would be more valuable for white’s who feel uncomfortable about that line to meditate on “white privilege” and “unaware racism”, so that they can see how they sometimes cause injustice by not noticing things.

    The example I learned from a workshop on Dismantling Racism, is two people walking up to a jewelry counter at a department store, and them and the salesperson both know the black person got there first, but it seems like the white person will have more money, and maybe even subconsciously is a higher rank, and so gets helped first. And, sometimes the white customer does not even realize they have “bumped the line”, and sometimes they realize but are too tired or embarrassed to correct the situation. That is when it would help if “white” could “embrace what is right”.

  39. black will not be asked to give back… but I have to do right….huh????

  40. I’m white too. It is funny to see how some jump to conclusions! All I am trying to say is that we are not all the same and why pretend we are. America is melting pot remember? Looking at our uniqueness is not the same as exploiting our differences. Why would you be so offended by being asked to embrace what is right?

  41. >> The example I learned from a workshop on Dismantling Racism, is two people walking up to a jewelry counter at a department store

    Ah yes – the tired department store example. The civil rights movement was about dismantling true legal barriers to black advancement. Now the race baiters are reduced to “fighting” subtle, intangible shades of racism.

    Life won’t be the same until they “overcome” these “invisible barriers.” Maybe we should push for legislation to make store clerks flip coins to see who gets served first. Or, even better yet, we should do what Chris Rock’s wife suggests and pass laws to force everyone to be attracted to darker-skinned African Americans, since the famous ones are all Beyonce-esque.

    I gave up caring a long time ago. The “yeah, but…” mentality is never going to end, so why try?

  42. The racial injustice that pervades our society, is the constant focus on skin color by the left. That’s where it begins and where it ends. Remember the republicans are the party of Abraham Lincoln who ended slavery. Republicans are the party of civil rights, because in the 1960’s when the civil rights act was put into legislation, the majority of democrats in the senate opposed it, Like Al Gore’s father. The racial injustice that exists is invented by whiny liberals who use it as a crutch, who need to feel downtrodden, who need to play the victim. It’s their favorite identity. Instead of simply being an American, and accepting the pure fact that, no matter your skin color you can be successful, prosperous and respected and live a proud positive life. Don’t focus on perceived racial injustice, focus on the opportunity of this great nation. Focus on where we are not where we were and “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”

    PS:
    The mere question implies that we are not already embracing the right ideals.

  43. While I did not vote for Obama, he is my president and I will support him in every way. This Benediction Lowery cat is another story. White guilt is over with the election of Barack Obama and while I am offended as an American by Lowery’s grade school rhyme, I am also offended by his “when white will embrace what is right” jab.
    You would think a minister who truly believes in the value and goodness of all peoples would make an inspiring comment about America’s racial graduation with the inauguration of Barack Obama. My Lutheran minister, Rev. Marty Mock, would have.
    This Lowery is old school and that school needs to be torn down. Go get ‘em Barack!

  44. Mickey, yes, we have reached a milestone, but, what is ignorant is to think that racism is no longer a problem here. The reach of racism is clear right here…just read some of these posts! and seriously, lighten up!

  45. The final statements of Lowery, in his prayer, should offend ears of any color!

    The notion that he is praying to God should have brought greater caution on his part. His civil rights activities are notable and worthy, but to make such a remark: “‘Lord, … we ask you to help us work for that day when… white will embrace what is right…” makes it clear that the work toward a proper balance of liberty and tolerance is far from done! Our new President should rebuke such a statement.

    What a dark stain on an otherwise shining day!

  46. Tamarita Mae says to read these posts and one cannot argue that racism is no longer a barrier to African Americans. That says it all. The overwhelming majority of these posts are both tasteful and racism-free. Most of the people on this forum just don’t agree with her and that makes us racists – shocker!!

  47. and, it is not a grade school rhyme…it is a para phrase of an old blues song. Check out Big Bill Broonzy.

  48. I am white and always do right? What the hell is this guys problem? I love Obama but someone should have checked out this mans “prayer”

  49. no what makes you racist is your negative focus on a line delivered by a black man regarding whites! omg..how could anyone ask whites to embrace what is right???? how could he.. the nerve of that black man!!!

  50. christina..always…seriously???

  51. TM,
    in reality, there is no way any non minority could have twisted the words from BBB’s song this way and gotten a pass. If this is racial harmony/balance/progress, then it means that bigotry, discrimination, slurs, etc. in the opposite direction are what now define “balance”. Not much of a CHANGE is it?

  52. Whitey is just uptight over having an African American running the country. Well, get over it!

    We still have a long, long way to go in overcoming the racism against African Americans in this country. None of you Whites have ever woke up in the morning and had to face the hardships, and discrimination.

    Today is a bright beginning for us!

  53. A large percentage of the POTUS’s votes came from whites–how is that not some movement toward “doing right?” This is the kind of language MLK and others vowed to remove from public rhetoric…

  54. Well, do you think asians appreciated being called yellow and being insinuated as not being yellow? referring to asians to yellow is considered offensive to them and that is a fact.

  55. Darren,
    what a reprehensible epithet–“whitey”? POTUS Obama should issue an official remark distancing himself from such a poorly thought-out remark!

  56. Hey darren, how do you like being called Blackey, if i walked up to you on the street and called you blackey would that be ok? I dont think so blackey

  57. Darren says: “We still have a long, long way to go in overcoming the racism against African Americans in this country. None of you Whites have ever woke up in the morning and had to face the hardships, and discrimination.”

    This is the same speech that one inevitably gets from African American students attending the Black Student Caucus chapter meeting at the prestigious university where they enjoy a full scholarship and stipend.

    …or were you talking about how some McDonald’s employee didn’t serve you your McNuggets as quickly as they served them to whites?

  58. Tamerita Mae:
    “Lighten up whitey”s!” ??
    Your remark sounds like a recist statement to me…
    And I don’t care what race you are, green, blue, poka-dot, or whatever…
    Get real, and get a life.

  59. Darren you are the poster boy of ignorance in america…your talking about racism against african americans and referring to us at Whitey in the same message. You have no right to use the word whitey, thats our word see? just like were not allowed to say “nigga” when we sing along to a rap song.

  60. What da!!!! get use to it my fellow people. Cause white cant be right. You freaking voted in saddams evil twin, you bunch of dummies. I got my slave name picked out. I suggest yousal do da same, you hear now. Stick around, only if your brown. hahahahahahahahahahah you bunch of fools.

  61. Very offensive to self respecting white folks so of course that means it’s no big deal. Many blacks voted for Obama because he’s black, whites voted for him because we felt he was the best choice for the job. So who are the racists?

  62. Whitey is an acceptable reference to caucasions. Blackey on the other hand, is racist slang. Such name calling to African Americans or any other racial slangs only proves my statement. Now Parker and Rudy, you may both take your White Hoods and preach your hatred else where.

  63. Well I am here to delcare racism is only a problem for those who hold the hate in their heart. In our country PEOPLE are affored the same rights regardless of race, period. If there is a racist clerk, or a foul racist comment made, that’s on them. That is a reflection of their ignorance and their diminished character. We cannot legislate niceness. But the race industry leaders will try and hold onto their dying vocation.

  64. Darren: No, it is not acceptable.

  65. Blackey and Whitey are the same word you moron….you think it is acceptable because you are either not white or are white and have no respect for yourself. Blackey IS a racist slang….and I have no right to say it, just like you have no right to use a racist term like whitey…you ignorant fool.

  66. White people are allowing themselves to become offended by this. Hey you control your emotions so if you want be pissy the rest if the day over ONE go right ahead. And it was “get in back” not “give back”.

  67. Notice how Darren ignores the tough, but very legitimate questions and zeroes right in on the vitriol. Typical of your garden-variety eternal victim.

  68. White people aren’t the only ones offended, I dont think asians are to happy about being referred to as “Yellow”

  69. thanks to Kim for the blog spot and peace and compassion to the people on earth…this is a great day for our nation and for the world!

    “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will live as one.” John Lennon

    Barack on!

  70. Maybe you should practice doing what’s right and atone for the misery you put blacks through.

  71. I wouldn’t have been offended if he had thought about the people who would be hurt by his comment. He emplies that all whites need to embrace what is right, as if all white are embracing what is wrong. He should have changed the OLD quote from a famous song, or the words of his ridiculous humor, or the words from a CHURCH SAYING, WHATEVER and WHEREEVER he got the words from…He should have changed the wording to fit the event and the message to. “A day when All PEOPLE and ALL races will embrace what is right.” Instead, Lowery is sick, infected with racism. Who would allow him to do the benediction? MLK wouldn’t have allowed that statement in his speeches.

  72. And darren I dont live in a “White hood”. Most of the people on my street are african american and they are intelligent and respectful enough to know not referr to their white neighboors as “Whitey”…unlike a narrow minded ignorant fool like you.

  73. Tamarita Mae: “and, it is not a grade school rhyme…it is a para phrase of an old blues song. Check out Big Bill Broonzy.”

    So, if I make a speech about how African American men need to take more personal responsibility and quit neglecting their children, it’ll be acceptable provided I am paraphrasing some antiquated song?

    I didn’t think so.

  74. the misery I put blacks through?? and what misery would that be?? sounds like someones a little bitter.

  75. i find it very interesting that when the tables are turned, whites are offended. So many times in the past, blacks have been offended and demanded apologies. And blacks have been told to get over it.

    Rev. Lowery was quoting an old song from African American culture that talked about skin color. Basically, in the song, the lighter you were, the better you were. I can see why you might take offense, but let me assure you… Rev. Lowery is not about to apologize.

    Get over it.

    Signed – someone who is neither black or white.

  76. I really only came here to this site cuz i was so excited to get the words from Rev. Lowery’s speech…I had no idea what I was getting myself into…yes I am too fringe for modern times…narrow minded, no.

  77. I’m sure Jesse Jackson will swoop down with and entourage and bring to light the racism of Lowery’s whole “color poem” and defend the “whites” and the “yellows” and the “reds” etc.
    For an administration that wants to end such labels and bring change, this was a poor first step.

  78. The only people making a big deal about are white people. I can’t find one site with Asians snickering about this. Stop trying make something out of nothing.

  79. yes ELoveLife the tables have turned, at least on this blog post site….cause now its all the black people using racial slangs and ignorance

  80. Darren and TM are not what the civil rights movement was meant to produce. Notice that I have attacked ideas– being respectful to persons. But in the foolish thinking of this society, attacking ideas is deemed an ad hominem attack. No real tolerance, eh?

  81. Make something out of nothing? josiah you just accused me of putting blacks through hell jsut because i am white… sounds like your the one creating facts from no substance. you dont even know me

  82. BTW, michelle malkin has written about this…and she’s asian, and she is phenomenally intelligent and articulate. Unlike the thoughts from some here…

  83. Amen Rudy

  84. You must all be white and young. As a 55 yr old black woman I can remember children singing these words – usually as a taunt for the darker skinned kids in the neighborhood.

    if you’re white you’re alright
    if you’re brown stick around
    if you’re black get back

    I never knew these words were from an old blues song. I thought it was just another example of our self hatred of our blackness and desire to be white or whiter, hoping for white acceptance. As a ‘light-skinned’ (yellow) girl these words were never aimed at me.

    But when I heard them today I only thought of how he took something that was an example of bigotry and turned it around to express it as a hope for acceptance of people of all colors.

    And no – white has not always embraced what is right. But attitudes are changing and that is what is so wonderful about this election.

  85. ELoveLife Says: “So many times in the past, blacks have been offended and demanded apologies. And blacks have been told to get over it.”

    …and so many times in the more recent past, Blacks have demanded not only apologies but that the person who made the comment be fired…and they got their wish. Maybe we should demand that Lowery be removed from his position.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  86. crickets chirping…waiting for reasonable, intelligent, well-thought-out responses from pro-Lowery’s-prayer people…

  87. Elove life hit it right on the head nuff said. Get over it isn’t that what you tell us when bring up slavery. This minuscule comment doesn’t even compare to the injustices committee against the black race so yeah get over it

  88. Sgbamb,
    I understand and relate to some of your sentiments, but to specifically target whites in this “prayer” is something so out of place, as to make it feel racist to some of us. Even non-whites…The answer to racial intolerance is not reverse intolerance, nor is it keeping mum in a sort of white self-hatred of whiteness. Yes? No?

  89. No thats not what “we” say when slavery is brought up. Some may have, but i never did, and i also didnt make some ignorant comment saying that me my self have put blacks through hell…nor do i use terms like blackey, the same thing as whitey which is what u called me. your using the same ignorance that white ppl did back then when they enslaved blacks……NUFF SAID YOU FACT DODGING IGNORANT FOOL.

  90. Josiah,
    getting over it is not the issue. Getting racial parity is about righting wrongs, not wronging wrongs…

  91. by the way…..i can list more times that as a firefighter/paramedic and “whitey” i have saved the lives of african american patients. what have you done??

  92. Parker when did I call u whitey.

  93. Paradigm –

    and how many times has a sympathetic, non racist, executive level white person offered them another job? how many times has the white person been fired in contrast to how many times blacks have been offended by bigotry, ignorance, and disrespect?

    What “position” will Lowery be asked to be removed from? What office does he hold? That man is civil rights gold. Not going to happen.

    But please, do me a favor. Hold your breath. Wait on that.

  94. Josiah Says: “This minuscule comment doesn’t even compare to the injustices committee against the black race so yeah get over it.”

    So it was you who were not served quickly at the local McDonald’s. Sorry, I thought it was everyone who has been forced to live in this dark, dreary, land of slavery where Blacks are allowed to quit ROTC in their senior year of college without paying the scholarship back, where Blacks can get whites fired for making what you called an innocent remark today, where Blacks can have a Black Student Caucus and whites cannot even breathe the words “White Student Caucus,” and where it’s considered acceptable to use the word “whitey,” when “blackey” is off limits to even the most philanthropic and open minded of Caucasians.

    To those who came here to express their distaste: It’s hopeless guys…We’re in for at least another 50 years of victimology.

  95. I would say bringing a patient who is in cardiac arrest and happens to be black back to life isnt exactly putting black through hell is it?? like you so ignorantly accused me of just because i am white

  96. Why is anyone suprised by ‘Rev’ Lowery’s racist comments? Obama attended an overtly racist ‘church’ for twenty years. Get used to it (for the next four years, anyway), my fellow ‘whitey’ Americans….

  97. actually you didnt, some other ignorant fool did, my mistake….but you DID say the thing i brought up in my last comment

  98. And here it comes…..two wrongs now make a right. ELoveLife said “he was quoting from an old african american blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”….who gives a piss what, why, how or whom he was quoting? I’ve got some quotes, lots and lots of them…wanna hear ‘em? No? Didn’t think so. Lowery’s prayer was designed to condescend to the ignorant fools in the crowd who see this as a victory for a few instead of an election for all. I’m personally offended by the inclusion of such racially charged and perverse words in THIS specific setting. The new president should respond publicly and chide this fool of the cloth for such an opportunistic and sophomorish jab.

  99. Getting over it is the issue you’re just mad cuz u want to be mad you could put all this behind if u wish but don’t cuz you’re trying to make some petty little argument over absolutely nothing
    And don’t call me ignorant cuzcom voicing by opinion that just so happens doesn’t agree with yours

  100. i agree with every thing that tamarita mae says… she is just stating what is true…. it is only a simple quote from a song… what is the problem??? you guys need to chill!

  101. Lastly,
    “civil” rights should include “civil” language, not reverse discrination/slurs/intolerance/you-get-the-idea.

    Pray for POTUS Obama, pray for this nation, pray for “civil” discourse where ideas matter, and can be discussed without personal attacks. Regardless of Lowery’s storied history, such a remark is reprehensible, and should be explained…

  102. Rudy –

    How many policies have specifically targeted blacks? those with less money and less advantages? less connections?

    I understand that it hurts to be targeted. I’ve been there. You’ll be fine.

  103. Im calling you ignorant because you stated that me being a white person have put blacks through hell merely becasue i am a white person. PPL LIKE YOU PUT ALL RACES THROUGH HELL.

  104. How so Parker?

  105. Last lastly,
    payton, it’s a modified quote from a song, seemingly designed to make a negative, politically, socially & racially charged un-civil statement from a civil rights giant. It doesn’t fit.

  106. and if you guys think that saying whitey is such a big deal, then… seriously? calling some one whitey should not offend you if you are proud of being white!!!! i am white, and there is no big deal!!! cuz…. guess what?, I’M PROUD OF WHO I AM!

  107. Elovelife says: “and how many times has a sympathetic, non racist, executive level white person offered them another job?”

    In today’s world, plenty…provided they’re qualified. But, if you’re referring to the NAACP failing to place underqualified people into positions they didn’t earn, then probably not that many. Or, are you acting like a good “civil rights” soldier and bringing up ancient history?
    ____________________________

    Elovelife says: “how many times has the white person been fired in contrast to how many times blacks have been offended by bigotry, ignorance, and disrespect?”

    Nothing could compare to the number of times Blacks have been offended, so that’s not a fair question.
    ____________________________

    Elovelife says: “What “position” will Lowery be asked to be removed from? What office does he hold? That man is civil rights gold. Not going to happen.”

    Clearly I was right – having an African American in the white house is irrelevant when you consider the plague of racism that still pervades our backward society.

  108. HEY HEY. HOW CAN SO MANY OF YOU BE SO BLIND. WHEN REVEREND LOWERY FINISHED HIS CLOSING PRAYER GOD LOOKED DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND SAID…..”MAN…. YOU’RE COOL .”

  109. You people really believe that reverend did this out if the malliciousness of evil little heart to spite u eh? You act like this is all he said the rest if his prayer us beautiful but you chose nit pick at negative

    Why?

  110. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

    this god song points out differences in skin color and it seems okay with bible school teachers of all colors.

    we are unique in many ways..including color…it’s ok..or it should be!

  111. Rudy Friml Says:

    Sgbamb,
    I understand and relate to some of your sentiments, but to specifically target whites in this “prayer” is something so out of place, as to make it feel racist to some of us.

    –Why do you feel he ‘specifically’ targeted whites? I think it is some sort of hyper-sensitive emotional reaction to something that was not meant as some people interpreted it.

  112. My my my. Who knew that something so simple would turn into such a mess. Maybe instead of whites looking to find something to be offended about perhaps we should all look at situations where someone was being oppressed and we were complacent. For whites to embrace what is right has been a long time coming. Regardless, at the end of the day it was meant to be uplifting and positive and spread a bit of joy by encouraging all people to do the right thing towards your fellow man and speak out when injustice is being done. That’s what a benediction is meant to be. These posts are heartbreaking really. Just sad and petty. If you are embracing what is right then he wasn’t speaking to you. If instead you we’re offended perhaps that’s a bit of guilt and maybe you should reevaluate the way you lead your life.

  113. Paradigm just spit in dr. Kings face by calling the civil rights movement ancient history. The work done by that movement is still present today and we see its results through pres. Obama. That’s tasteless

  114. Paradigm –

    I think we agree more than we disagree.

    Yes, racism still pervades our society. Definitely. We have made progress in our journey to King’s famed “mountaintop,” but we are not there.

    Yes, you’re right. Nothing can compare to the number of times Blacks have been offended. I’m glad to know that’s realized.

    To some, those offenses are included in that ancient history you spoke about. However, just because it happened many years ago does not make it irrelevant.

    At this moment, blacks are encouraged to know that anything is possible and to begin to MAKE opportunities for themselves. As the motto from my university alma mater says: {they will} find a way or make one.

    We’ll see what the next four years will bring.

  115. it’s a modified quote from a song, seemingly designed to make a negative, politically, socially & racially charged un-civil statement from a civil rights giant. It doesn’t fit.
    HAHAHA that’s the funniest thing i have ever heard! why doesn’t it fit? is this some kind of a joke? it is basically about not getting a job if you were black… it’s not like the song was a lie!

  116. What happened to just being American and human beings? There’s no such thing as an African Amercan.

  117. JOSIAH UR JUST A BITTER BLACKEY

  118. Josiah –

    Please don’t respond to Parker. Leave him there.

  119. Last…
    seriously, reverse the circumstances, be objective, not subjective…be honest with yourself…consider if a Caucasian made the comment–his remarks (thought-out, written down) are not indicative of, or able to promulgate civil parity, rather, it is a parody of civility…

    bye

  120. LOL Parker look at whos ignorant now. U realize u just discredited everything u said in your fight for justice by calling me a blackey. What a fool trying to you’re make a point and u resolve to childish name calling
    Shame

  121. So much for people not being “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

  122. Sorry elove life I was already typing and didn’t refresh soon enough

  123. I was saying that in repsonse to you and Darren calling us “Whitey”

  124. a symptom of the delusion we live under…honing in on the negative, while dismissing the positive.
    sgbamb, thanks for your postive and intelligent comment!
    Parker, your ego shows in your posts…wow!

  125. hey hey, how can so many of you be so blind and/or miss the point.when reverend lowery finished his closing prayer, god looked down from heaven and said….”man you’re cool.”

  126. but what does it matter according to josiah im a slave owner racist just because my skin is white

  127. I really don’t remember him saying “embrace what’s right” – I was watching it on BBC news and it was a short, pithy line and the word was “do”. I remember it because it pulled me up and I thought it was unfair on white people who do do what’s right.

    I felt it was jarring and took a moment to think about what he just said, I thought it was needlessly typecasting, I honestly don’t think embrace was what I heard.

  128. ELoveLife Says: “We’ll see what the next four years will bring.”

    I am confident that he can do some good for this country and elsewhere.

    This discussion is not all that productive because both sides are forgetting that their world view is defined by totally different things. It’s not wrong for African Americans to focus on Black history and the civil rights movement. I also contend that it’s not wrong for African Americans to want an African American in the white house. What IS wrong is for African Americans to expect other races to share their focus on race as a defining concept.

    My world view comes from what I learned from my parents, my career, my own reading, and in school. What defines and interests me may not always be race-centric. It’s ok for others to focus on that, but I may not and that shouldn’t offend them either.

    You cannot tell me that Lowery had no idea that those words would offend. A white person would have been told to either remove the inflammatory remarks or bow out of the speech. No such effort happened in this case. Now, when people are offended, they’re being told that they’re wrong, or even racist, because they don’t share his focus on racism.

  129. but hey like yall said if youre proud to be black then blackey isnt even a racist term….just like whitey

  130. The Prayer was more of a speech than a prayer. The offending line was noticed by all in the room I was in. So if we are “White” we are wrong. I pray for the day that we will live in a country that is color blind, but as long as people are trying to put the blame for things that happened 60+ years ago onto those who are much younger then we will never get there.

    It seems that some are looking more for an apology than a real dialog on what we can do to make things better. As one who is responsible for children of all colors, economic, and cultural backgrounds there is hope in the children of today who are not looking for people to blame that are already dead and gone.

    Stop blaming the culture of today for the sins of the past.

    And let God bring about a spirit of forgetfulness to us all.

  131. Judi, et. al. ,
    such thought-out, pre-written, purposeful comments, directed at Caucasians do not “fit” the fight.

    Benedictions are supposed to be prayers to God, not politicized rhetoric. This is the outcome of aberrant Liberation Theology intermingled with Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

    Seriously, reverse the situation, and tell me his last phrase would pass muster with any sieve of civility…

    bye…

  132. my ego? u obviously werent here when josiah was spitting his ignorance

  133. But now parker I’ll do what you can’t and put what you said behind me and move in with by day. According to you two wrongs make a right. Retaliation triggers retaliation. So Parker showed your true colors and u need to embrace what’s right nor wrong

  134. I have read the speech and the comments about the same. As long as there are people who make a distinction based on the color of others skin there will be discord among the races. I was raised in a military family in California and moved back to the Deep South in 7th grade. The only issues with color were when people made comments like what I am hearing today. On the whole I have seen relations between different races deteriorate over the past several years. A person should be first accepted based on ANYTHING other than skin color. 95% of people I polled on who choice of presidential candidates said they voted for President Obama BECASE OF THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN. Has he no merit other than that? It saddens me to think that the next generation will LEARN this nonsense from their ancestors. We all came from somewhere… People need to THANK GOD for however they got here…otherwise some of us would still be living in other countries wearing rags and loin cloths. Shame on Joseph Lowery for not moving forward and looking ahead. What a WASTED opportunity.

  135. I don’t recall calling u a slaveowner either parker

  136. * not wrong

  137. Paradigm –

    I never said you were wrong to be offended. In fact, I said I could see why you would be offended. And I said that blacks have been offended for years. I seriously doubt that there will be an apology. I don’t know that I feel one is deserved because I know the context.

    My life experiences have also taught me not to only focus on my ethnicity as the basis of my views. I don’t expect others to understand my method of thinking or my views because they haven’t lived the life I have lived.

    I personally think that blacks who think all whites are racist are close minded and haven’t experienced much of life outside of their bubble. I think that all whites who think all blacks are stupid and lazy are the same way. Along the same token, anyone who says they do not prejudge is lying. Perhaps you don’t judge someone by the color of their skin, but you may snap to a conclusion because of the clothes they wear or their chosen career path.

    Perhaps we don’t agree as much as I thought. I’m tired of debating. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if you were offended, I empathize. I’ve been there. Again, you’ll be ok.

  138. ELoveLife Says: “Perhaps we don’t agree as much as I thought. I’m tired of debating. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if you were offended, I empathize. I’ve been there. Again, you’ll be ok.”

    Fair enough. I’m tired of debating too. And, we’ll all be ok.

  139. why do we assume that not seeing color is good? I want to see color… and culture and to learn from others…. to try and understand their customs and humor and language. Why can’t we see that taking this away from us only makes us less interesting and causes us to lose sight of our unique cultures. If we are all working toward a common goal of acceptance and understanding wouldn’t that be better then focusing on all this fake offense to whitey. yea, I wrote whitey 1st here and wow the reaction!

  140. I am absolutely offended that this man could preach tolerance and make such a statement in the same speech. BTW, the last time I checked a benediction was not supposed to have a political, social, or racial agenda. I think it’s funny that the new president has already started distancing himself from so many people he used to call friends. After all, he did smile while the “reverend” made this comment.

  141. tamarita mae Says: “I want to see color… and culture and to learn from others…. to try and understand their customs and humor and language.”

    Does this high-powered desire to celebrate other cultures include Caucasian culture? And, please do not try to use the rotting argument that every day celebrates white culture….or that every day is white history day.

  142. sue, nice poll percentage! It is just like a poll I would see on Fox Noise, I mean news!

  143. Paradigm, of course, white culture is amazing in soo many ways. I don’t understand why you would think I would discriminate?

  144. Can’t you feel the white liberal guilt oozing from the white people who defend this? They have somehow bought into the idea that because of the past blacks have a right to say racist things against whites. Then when it happens the excuses such as “consider his past experience” flow.

  145. Comment to Steve Slocum:

    If any individual feels guilty, generally it is because they have done something wrong. Many are not directly or indirectly responsible for some others actions; yet, if an injustice or just socially uncomfortable situations is witnessed, no one will step in to do anything about it. This is not an issue of white, black, yellow or red. It is simply bringing attention to the fact that we all need to do some soul searching and play our part in making ourselves better, reaching out of our comfort zones to explore other things: people, cultures, ideas, etc. Then we have the opportunity to broaden our mental, physical and spiritual horizons… just something to think about. Go Barack!

  146. Glen,this is not about guilt, it is about reality! where one victim falls away, another is there to take up the cause. why are you offended?

  147. Whites have to work really hard to avoid saying things that might possibly somehow someway maybe be interpreted or construed as racist. Our conversations are constrained by this realization. Seriously! This itself limits our ability to unite and be colorblind. Right beneath the surface lies the sensitivity monster. Always ready to pounce.

  148. glen says: Right beneath the surface lies the sensitivity monster. Always ready to pounce.

    ain’t the truth and pounce it did…right on Rev. Lowery. Yes, we should all settle down and if we ALL were coming from a place of love and compassion(ie, Rev. Lowery) maybe we could see our way clear of this monster

  149. Tamarita, This is about a double standard. If the tables were turned and some white person said something similar about blacks there would be no end of trouble.

  150. Just give Lowery a watermelon……..he’ll feel better.

  151. ain’t that the truth..I meant

  152. Tony…seriously???

  153. Glenn, what have we ” whites” done to work soooo hard to avoid being racist? are you saying that right now if it wasn’t so mean that you would share how racist you are, is that what you are saying? you have no right to go around and practically say that you are racist… but yet, say that whites are trying so hard to avoid it? what does this mean…are you trying to tell others not to be racist against whites, but it’s okay to be racist against blacks?

  154. But who is doing the pouncing? Is it the same people who would pounce on the white person? It should be. There should be no difference in response because of color or political persuasion. This is an area that needs attention so that we can progress even further in our race relations.

  155. TONY! are you for real?

  156. if the tables were turned….blah, blah, blah. the tables are not turned and really…what if they were?
    what does that even mean? what if the money grew on trees? what if the sky rained gumdrops?

  157. Glenn… so you think that blacks are the criminals here? whites are the ones that treated blacks horribly!!!!!! is that what you think?
    that is so low!

  158. tamarita- i would say the exact thing!!!

  159. Payton, Careers have been destroyed and livelihoods have been ruined. Some appropriately so. Some not. I guarentee you that someone will take something you say to be racist. And they’ll say that you just don’t realize that you are racist. I happen to like Soul Food. But, if I walk around talking about it the way I hear my black friends talking about it it will be interpreted as mockery. I have to be careful to express my appreciation in a white way.

  160. Interesting, eh? how TM’s position is ‘love & compassion.’ But, even-handed, calm dissent expressed here, has been labeled as the opposite.

    And there’s the rub. The perception one might get is that for people of TM’s way of thinking, equality isn’t the goal, but rather, there seems to be a desire for some sort of dominion or upper hand in what words mean, and in civil context. And so ‘balance’ is defined as ‘doing the same injustices to the oppressor as they did to us.’

    The issue is important because ideas, attitudes and mindsets have consequences in shaping the minds of the future society.

    Also, the point isn’t that we shouldn’t dispute and disagree (as some have tried to define “harmony” here), but that we can do so without ad hominem attacks, and play by the same rules. It does not feel like Lowery is playing by the same rules…the rules I thought he was fighting for…

  161. “…blacks the criminals here?” No!
    Me, the white guy has treated blacks horribly? How? When?
    The responders i’m talking about are predominantly the media. Their standard for what gets their attention and what and how they report should be the same regardless of race. It’s not.

  162. What would our world be like if everyone thought the same things all the time? said the same things all the time? wore the same clothes as the next? This day was wonderful in that it broght so many races, creeds, colors, etc. into the possibility of thinking and seeing differently. The time spent posting could have been spent trying to put your foot into another person’s shoe. Internal reflection is so necessary right now. Using racist words is never acceptable; having a narrow mind is always a problem. But we can all learn from other view points… if the bickering stops. If there was ever an example that racism still exists, then one can just read the posts here. As soon as a poster got upset, felt uncomfortable or didn’t agree with another opinion, the gloves came off. Come on people; the “change” has to start with individuals. Obama is responsible for himself, Lowery is responsible for himself, and we are responsible for ourselves. Stop seeing what’s in front of you… and start seeing what’s in front of you!

  163. Glenn, i highly doubt that i would say anything racist, because, one, i am not. and two, i think before i speak, but i guess you don’t. so maby you shouldn’t judge me, and maby i shouldn’t judge you either. and the fact that i am only 12 years old, i don’t think i would be talking about race very much in my life.

  164. i’m talking about the past, and “whites” don’t only refer to you! and it kinda sounds like you are saying blacks are bad… do you really think that, or am i getting the wrong idea?

  165. Lowery is a racist. Yes, I’m serious.

  166. tony, why do you think that?

  167. Rudy says: The perception one might get is that for people of TM’s way of thinking, equality isn’t the goal, but rather, there seems to be a desire for some sort of dominion or upper hand in what words mean, and in civil context.

    I am all for equality but equality does not mean lack of self or individuality or does it mean censorship
    so no one gets their feelings hurt.

    my ancestors were not forced into slavery, whipped, chained, taken from their families, were yours?

    it is compassion..not dominion of words!

  168. i mean, i am only 12, and I understand that he is not racist… he did nothing to put that name on him!

  169. hey Payton, aren’t you something…politically blogging at 12! Barack on!!!!

  170. You’re reading this whole thread and ask me why I say that? Did you not read his prayer?

  171. To note the blatant inconsistency of a CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER’s use of premeditated language, and to simply wink at it and chalk it up to old age, or some other excuse, is to engage in the very same mental activity which keeps prejudice, intolerance & hatred alive between different people groups.

    The irony and the inconsistency is the issue. The young especially should learn this, or this will be repeated in different people groups in the future.

  172. Payton says…i mean, i am only 12, and I understand that he is not racist… he did nothing to put that name on him!

    do you mean Rev. Lowery?

  173. For a CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER to make such a purposeful statement is not a mark of individuality, it is a mark of inconsistency and possibly prejudice.

    No one, including me, says to censor him, but a censure would be appropriate.

  174. tony, just because he said a line from an OLD blues song you judge him…. that is not the way to judge a person! the man has gone through a lot, his speech was AMAZING and very sweet!!!!!!!

  175. How could I be saying blacks are bad? I’m talking about the response by white people of something said by one black man. He may have said it in jest, or because it’s a poem that’s been around awhile and felt appropriate at the moment. Whatever.
    The difficulty is that it can’t occur the other way in our society at the present time without the outcome being different.
    But, those that would blow it up into a big problem would be white reporters and white anchormen… Subconsciously or consciously trying to prove to each other and everyone else that are sensitive to it. Their actions will be and are heavily influenced by what they percieve to be the perspective of the minority. Never mind that they probably don’t have a clue.

  176. sgbamb,

    Thank you kindly for your thoughtful and very personal reminder of recent history. Our history is what we all share, no matter the distance we find between us. Let it bring us together.

    A 40 yr old white-on-the-outside.

  177. Glenn, sorry i had the wrong idea… do you think what Lowery said was right or wrong?

  178. Glenn says: The difficulty is that it can’t occur the other way in our society at the present time without the outcome being different.

    yes, because of the past, a past we cannot erase…compassion!

    Glenn says: But, those that would blow it up into a big problem would be white reporters and white anchormen… Subconsciously or consciously trying to prove to each other and everyone else that are sensitive to it. Their actions will be and are heavily influenced by what they percieve to be the perspective of the minority. Never mind that they probably don’t have a clue.

    here we agree!

  179. tamarita- yeah, i do mean Lowery, he only said a quote… that is it.

  180. Posted by Kimberly:

    To the white people,

    What is white?

    Look at your skin.

    Is it white? Like a piece of paper?

    No.

    The whole concept that there is “white” is racist and exclusionary.

    Someone made up “white” to mean “They are in the in group. They are pure. Anyone that looks different or exotic is ‘other than white.'”

    So, the good Reverend Lowery did not use the term “white people.” He only said “white” period. He used the term white as part of a metaphor. How do you know he was referring to you?

    The good Reverend Lowery’s light-hearted and mischievous critique was a poke at that which is “white”.

    And, if anyone could look at people, and call one set of people “white” — people who are actually beige, pinkish, bluish white, or white-ish — and if someone identifies themselves as “white”, they have clearly bought into the racist system.

    So, the joke is on you. You have exposed yourself by owning a phrase that was put out there metaphorically.

    If you think you are “white” and Barack Obama is “black”, or Barack Obama is “half white”, than you are saying that there is a difference. And, no difference exists. So, you are the racist, and not the good preacher, who was only talking in the abstract about colors.

    The preacher was not saying “yellow people are mellow”, he was saying, let’s imagine a time when we see “yellow” on a person or in a picture, and not think of yellow people, who we have assigned a race to. What if we saw yellow and responded to it as simply a pastel color…something mellow…something not racially charged…

    There is no such thing as race. Race is only as real as the rhyme on the lips of a preacher philosopher…

    Race is only as real as your indignation, and your defensiveness, when someone points fingers at the system you believe in.

    If you do not identify as “the superior and separate white race”, then Reverend Lowery wasn’t even talking about you…

  181. Payton, I think that what Reverend Lowery said is consistent with what he has always said. It is consistent with what several civil rights leaders say all the time. I think that either he doesn’t understand what will be the reaction to his words or that he intends for there to be a reaction and further discussion and that advancement in race relations can be achieved thereby. However, I’m joking now, sorta, I think that he thinks he’s still marching on the road to Selma.

  182. Glenn, he probably did think of what peoples reaction would be, but he didn’t care, he probably amused that people would just figure it out, that it is just a song, it’s not like he wrote it. and even if he did use it in his speech, one of the reasons he did it is because it is an old song about races, it’s not like he went up there and said it to get people to argue!

  183. kim, that is beautiful sentiment..thanks for the voice of compassion and distanced reason. adios!

  184. Payton…how insightful!

  185. i know! kim, you are so right! i love the way you think!haha:)

  186. It made me chuckle in the face of seriousness. Spiced with equal parts of humor, compassion, and sincerity. Hopefully we can all move forward my brothers, and sisters of the human race. Today, January 20th, 2009 brought us closer together than we have ever been. May we continue to be inspired, and focused.
    Thank you Mr. Obama and Rev. Lowery.

    I loved it so much, I made it into a t-shirt: (NON PROFIT INTENTIONS)
    http://www.zazzle.com/joseph_e_lowery_2009_inauguration_speech_quote_shirt-235235849124754262

  187. Tamarita Mae, I am aware of the past. The past will always have been the past. What can we do about the past? I’d like to solve the past, but it’s too late. It’s through and I wasn’t there to try to make a difference. My ancestors fought to try make a difference. Does that mean anything? One problem with refering to the past is that there is nothing we can do about it. So, when it’s brought up one wonders what is the expectation. What response other than acknowledgement is desired? What would fix the past?

  188. People people! Have the Jews not suffered enough! When will there be progress?! Or will we just continue in this circle of hatred fueled by difference.

  189. Jews?

  190. we can not “fix”the past, but we can come from a place of compassion when speaking in the present to a group of people that share a common past.

    ie: if a person you knew and were speaking with had just had his wife leave him..you, probably would..out of compassion…not tell the divorce joke you just heard, because you know that wound is still raw..

  191. If the ideas and approach of the majority of the pro-Lowery (or “leave-Lowery-alone”) posters are any indication of how some Americans see racial harmony, then true harmony will not be achieved.

    Glossing over racially prejudiced attitudes, or winking at words which are indicative of fundamentally racially prejudiced attitudes, in the name of “compassion” will lead only to more abuse, disharmony, disunity and strife, NOT solutions.

    Payton, L’s words were premeditated, and they weren’t the original song–he changed the part about “whites”. What he said about whites does not “fit” what he says the struggle stands for, nor for what this day stood for. As I said, I am not saying he should be censored–he has the right to say as he pleases, but someone with some political stature should censure him. Please note the difference in the words.

    Harmony is achieved when both sides are held to consistent rules of rhetoric, logic and the meaning of words and intent. When truth is spoken–confronting the false notions of either side of an argument, then progress can be made. Giving Lowery room here is some type of backstepping. It is odd, so many seem to think that to censure (again, note the word choice) Lowery’s thoughts is somehow uncharitable, or unloving. Since when is it unloving to challenge ideas? I have not spoken to his character or person, but only to the ideas he promulgates.

    To the blog author–I understand some of the places you have come from and are going. But, you are assuming that some of us took this personally–I have not. Lowery was invoking a politically charged prayer asking some ecumenical ‘god’ to ““help us work for that day when… white will embrace what is right.” It does not take a Caucasian with a chip on their shoulder to realize his context and meaning. To ascertain that meaning does not automatically demand one is chip-shouldered either.
    In our best moments, no Caucasian would disagree that blatant & unrealized racism is still expressed from whites toward blacks. But, giving a pass to Lowery gives him or others some license to do that which Americans are against–a disparity in the handling of justice, and freedom to speak in a similar fashion to those who oppress minorities.

    And that is no way to reach ANY semblance of harmony, racially, or otherwise.

  192. and I am done…seriously…

  193. Will we ever embrace our commonalities or will we always focus our energy on these petty differences? We could learn so much from history, unfortunately all it appears to teach us is that it repeats itself. When will we make the tough choice and finally forge a road of togetherness?

  194. and I don’t go around talking about slavery or discrimination, but is that enough? I actually have gone out of my way to hire, when equally qualified, people of color. Not because of guilt of the past but because it’s my way addressing of the real economic situation such as higher unemployment and less capitol that exists within the black community. Is acknowledging that there are such problems itself a problem? I don’t say “Hey I hired you because of the disadvantages experienced by members of your race” That’s not fare to the individual. But I do want to try and contribute to actual equality.

  195. You guys aren’t advancing any struggle by bickering over the net. It’s time to let it go be the hell on. Think about we could all be reading a book or doing something that’s actually beneficial right now.

  196. i can see how this is a wast of time, because there is no way anybody is gonna change each others minds, but it still gives us something to think about!

  197. Josiah, I see what your saying, but I think that it’s very beneficial to talk about your views and opinions. Payton is only 12 years old and its great that our youth is talking about politics in this way.

  198. Jordan (and Payton also), bring up some great points. This is not a pointless discussion because we are getting people to talk and defend themselves. 12 years old is a wonderful age to start thinking about the world, out side of middle school. What i got from reading her inspiring posts is that she cares about something.

  199. Gary, thanks. You see things the way i do.
    While most kids don’t care about politics,
    rather they are obsessing over their figure
    and hair, Payton is taking time out of her day
    to talk about the things she feels are important.
    (:

  200. Thanks to everyone for the great dialogue.

    Thanks to Payton for the many comments and for the compliment.

    Hope people come back and visit.

    About the usefulness of this conversation, a friend of ours who is a Climate Solutions organizer notes, “Talk is work.” In the world of politics and ideas, discussing things is accomplishing things. Publishing something is fabulous. Listening to others is earth-shattering…

    -Kimberly

  201. Reverend Lowery’s prayer was about a cheap shot at white people. Rick Warren’s prayer focused on God’s supremacy and His love for us.

    I do have to say that Lowery seems like a good man, I just didn’t agree with his line about white people. I prefer Warren’s prayer.

  202. The reaction of white people to Reverend Lowery’s song/poem, reminds me of a zen story.

    http://www.trivia-library.com/a/educational-stories-two-monks-and-the-beautiful-woman.htm

    TWO MONKS AND THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

    An old monk and a young monk were walking through a forest when they came to a river bank and saw a beautiful young woman standing at the edge of the bank.

    The woman told the monks that she was afraid to cross the river because she might slip and be carried downstream. She asked if one of the monks might help her across.

    Now it so happened that these 2 monks were members of a sect which practiced celibacy and they had both taken vows never to touch a member of the opposite sex. But the old monk, sensing the extreme anxiety of the young woman, lifted her onto his back and carried her to the other side of the river.

    The young woman thanked him and went on her way. The 2 monks continued on their journey, but the young monk was shocked and disturbed at having seen his older companion break his vow so nonchalantly. Finally, after 3 hours of walking and thinking, he could contain himself no longer and he burst out, “Tell me, old man, what did it feel like to break your vow of so many years? What did it feel like to allow sensuality to tempt you from your spiritual path? What did it feel like to have her smooth warm thighs wrapped around your waist, her breasts brushing against your back, her arms around your neck and her soft cheek almost one with your own? Tell me, old man, what is it like to carry such a beautiful young woman?”

    The older monk remained silent for several steps and then said, “It is you who should tell me what it is like to carry such a beautiful young woman. You see I put her down 3 hours ago at the river, but you are still carrying her.”

    To the frustrated white people who have posted here: If we are post racial, why do you care so much when someone reads a little poem about colors? If you are not racist, why do you cling so much to the identity of “white” that you are having a temper tantrum when someone makes a comment on whiteness?

    If all is calm and well, and you are ready to move forward, why can’t you ignore and/or forgive the comments of an old man whose past experiences included having to fight for the right to sit at a lunch counter or take a seat near the front of a bus?

  203. I praise God for this opportunity to be able to witness this historic moment. And believe it or not, this dialogue (as indifferent as it may seem) is a step toward progress. The main thing about it is that we’re talking amongst each other and sharing our feelings.

    To my white brothers and sister, I APOLOGIZE for your offenses in that portion of the speech. I, an African-American woman who wants to move toward a better America, wants to link arms with you to be help and not a hindrance for unity. All Caucasian people are not bad and from what I saw today, MOST Caucasian people are embracing our new President who I see as a distinguished gentlemen before I see a black man. His character has been so outstanding that his color never made a difference to me. In years past, I’ve always held the highest respect for John McCain and still do.

    We’ve seen many people during this Inauguration that have experienced a lot. Some have been around since horse and buggy and Ford Model T’s. Some have witnessed some horrifying things and most of us know that it’s the most negative things and most positive things that often get sketched in our minds.

    To give some insight on Rev, Lowrey’s position, his prayer was good and sincere. This is a man that has gone through things that most of us cannot imagine going through. Those things that he said, if you really caught it, was almost like ideals or even mindsets, not people. If you really listened closely, he mentioned colors… Black, Brown, Yellow, and White. The whole time the ceremony was solemn and surreal, and he having gone through the Jim Crowe era and making it to this moment, I thought it was a neat little thing to slip in. Sometimes, we also have to get to know the person behind the words to get to know their heart.

    Again, I would like to apologize and would like to walk in unity with all of you to a new America with HOPE and PROMISE.

    Thank you Kimberly for sharing and allowing us to share in your post.

  204. I am insulted by this “prayer”. Obama should also because he is NOT a black man. If anyone looks up his genealogy you will find he is 50% WHITE, 43.25 Arab and 6.75 black. This makes him black???????????????? At best he is mulatto. Or has that word been banned. I pray for the country to be able to survive his actions towards socialism.

  205. I don’t care if people want to call Obama “black.” If I can’t count electing a black president as an accomplishment America has made, then I will count having a black First Lady as an accomplishment.

    And, more importantly, I am glad that the White House–which is my tax money as a resource, my tax money nurturing the government–is giving shelter to and training in life and diplomacy to two adorable and bright children of color.

    No matter what color President Obama is, our most valuable national resources of prestige, title, power, privilege, and even shelter have now, finally, been shared with people of color. And, I think that is awesome, and a start.

  206. I am of Greek descent, with light skin. And yes, my ancestors were taken from their homes, enslaved, beaten, raped or forced into harems, and many other horrors (including janissaries) for over 400 years. We, the descendents of the ancients and the Byzantines, were forbidden to read, write, or practice our religion. During the years of black slavery, my people were enslaved by the Turks. Only in the last 20 years have Greeks (and Italians and Spaniards) been considered ‘white’ in this country. We, too, were beaten, verbally abused–and, though few know it (one of those few is Obama himself, as he said in a speech to Greek-Americans)–lynched. We had no part in either slavery or the abuse of black people. Now, however, we are considered white. Our ancestors, in studying always ‘what is right’, which was a chief question of theirs, invented democracy. This, too, is history. History is more widespread than most Americans seems to know. Do they think Swift wrote ‘A Modest Proposal’ for fun? Or that centuries later the IRA made car bombs for a night out? Do they think Hugo made up ‘Les Miserables’ for a lark? Or that the Ashkenazi Jews were of a different color or spoke a different language than their murderers? Even tiny, frozen Finland has been invaded twice. The history of humanity is one of people hurting other people. Not just whites on others, but ‘people of color’ have killed millions and millions of their own and other people. Even the Anglo-Saxons needed a Robin Hood. The main thing is doing what is right has a meaning to white people. It means that 2 wrongs, an eye for an eye, a double standard, and hypocrisy are all evils. When we hold a balck man to that standard, we are, infact, giving him respect, because we are holding him to the expected virtues we hold each other. But ‘minorities’ don;t want that kind of equailty or justice. They have instead tasted, as so many conquerors before, the sweet sweet taste of power. Even victimhood and guilt are kindsof power–but they only work if the object is a person with moral values. An immoral man would feel no guilt at all. Would Hitler care about the sufferings of the blacks? No. Yet millions of white people do care. And this is why they are hurt by such a comment, regardless of its intent or origin. They also care because at the root of western culture is a striving for what is true. If balck people don’t know these fundamental things about white culture, they have been living in mental isolation for hundreds of years.

  207. What is clear in those who want to give Lowery a pass, or who want to say that those opposing Lowery’s comments are overreacting–what is clear is that at least in this conversation, reason, logic, rhetoric, and the rules of language and civil discourse have no place. What reigns is feelings, good intentions, and a mislabeled version of compassion. Holding people to truth (always) is what solves problems!

    Foolish, self-centered, emotion-based attitudes, words & actions are what made men put on white hoods, pass Jim Crow laws, lynch black husbands, sons & fathers, and overlook black job candidates for white. Hatred among these people wasn’t born in them, it came from a promotion of self over the needs of one’s fellow. No forward motion in harmony will occur without truth, and holding each other to be consistent to the rules of civil discourse.

    Good luck building a useful community on emotion and a postmodern ethos…it will not work.

  208. Whether there’s a greater difference between “hope” and “hype” than just one letter, will be shown probably sooner than later. Pray for Obama. This “appointed one” is gonna need the help of “The Annointed One.”

  209. Allrenellis: Thank you for your understanding that this statement offends people. HOwever, I must say that we can not make excuses for people. This man has been through alot. All the more reason that he KNOWS that his statement is wrong. I can’t belieive he took advantage of his chance to pray to God and speak to millions of people in order to say those words. How hypocritical of him. He did mention all colors, BUT only one of those colors did he declare needed to “embrace what is right.” I know he has tried to forgive a people (that would be a time era, not a race) who exhbited hatred. However what he stands for (so he says) does not include his statement in that prayer. He says he was all to be equal…. then he should stop seeing colors. He didn’t say, “TODAY, we don’t have to say, Black get back, etc.” He said that he is PRAYING FOR A DAY…as if all whites today not embracing what is right.

  210. Elly, you said it very well.

  211. Wilderside: Yes, it’s a start. I’m excited about that. However, I hope it isn’t a start of racism.

    If you ask Lowery what he meant by “white,” I assure you he’ll say he was stating a caucasian person. Since he didn’t define WHICH caucasian person (“White” of 1960’s and “white” with hats and robes), then he is stating “all white” of today. He prefaced his “poem” with “we pray for a day WHEN..” meaning today “white needs to embrace what is right.”

    He statement was wrong. He proof read it and KNEW it was wrong. If is was a mistake, then that is what it is. However, every person who is not racist should agree his statement was wrong.

  212. People taking offense to Rev. Lowery’s words are either 1) ignorant of American racial history and/or 2) racist.

    The Rev. did not–nor has he ever–condemned “white people” for the savage treatment of African Americans in this country. But he has fought all of his life against social injustice, which in this country–and in the experience of Rev. Lowery and the people he has led–has largely meant the oppression of “blacks” by “whites”. That’s an historical fact. Period. Huffing and puffing about it doesn’t make it less true. It also doesn’t mean that all whites are racists or oppressors — back then or now.

    It’s also an historical fact that the ‘whites’ in general–of course, not every individual and certainly not to the same degree–have benefitted from the oppression of blacks and other groups–that’s the point!

    But many whites have joined Rev. Lowery and other civil rights leaders in fighting for justice–just like many of Obama’s early supporters were “whites” committed to doing right.

    For a more honest take on Rev. Lowery’s words, see “Lowery grateful that nation believes ‘yes we can'” posted on the conservative website RealClearPolitics: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2009/Jan/20/lowery_grateful_that_nation_believes__yes_we_can_.html

  213. Any person who has traveld outside of the USA will understand the message.

  214. To Gerry,
    I found that Lowery contradicted himself. I am neither Ignorant nor racist. You paint with too broad a brush when you paint yourself into a corner like that. The reverend started out about unity but made it a point to say that “white” will embrace what is right. When you make a statement like that, you are saying “ALL” white are doing what is wrong. He may have been speaking in jest but what is spoken with a laugh often reflects what is in the heart.
    As one who works with Children of all races, nationalities and creeds I hope that as adults we can teach our children that bias and racism on either end of the spectrum is wrong and when we are trying to be inclusive and build bridges over a past that frankly not too many alive today is responsible for, still blaming people of today is no way to build a bridge.

  215. You people still bickering about that guy? Lowery’s prayer was just a flash in the pan. The real test will be whether or not Obama can live up to the hero worship.

    It’s like when the Boston Red Sox finally won the world series in 2004 after nearly a century of failure to do so. They had become the “lovable losers” in Boston. But, after that victory, they had the curse of having to repeat the 2004 triumph. Obama must do the same. The honeymoon celebrations are over now and he has to perform, lest he become a flash in the pan too.

    Again, I do not have anything against African Americans wanting one of their own to lead this country. But, they must remember that there are wildly successful Indian Americans on the rise (Bobby Jindal (R) Louisiana). It won’t take 200 years for Indian Americans to earn the same spot that Obama has…more like 8 years or less. If Obama doesn’t live up to his promises for change, he won’t last and the next African American won’t enjoy the “first Black president” enthusiasm that he has. The Indians will grab that spotlight.

  216. Well said Paradigm and true

  217. Yes I agree wholeheartedly, I await the day an Indian Prince with mixed blood takes leadership in this country USA. I would like a half black / half Indian, “Indegro” president. I believe this man would more thoroughly bring the peoples of this nation together in racial harmonies. A halfrican american cannot accomplish this.

  218. Gary and Jodi,
    Thank you for posting your replies. Again, this dialogue is so wonderful because we get to hear, talk, and make way toward healing.
    Jodi, your one line is very powerful. What most people don’t understand is that some of us have and continue to try to do things in our life like finding jobs to move up in our careers but I’ve heard it said that sometimes because of a name, resumes get thrown in the trash. While there may not be racist people of ANY color in this dialogue, the fact of the matter is that there are some out there.
    We tend to act like some of the things that happen today are supposed to be a salve that will instantly heal and old, deep wound. You are talking about a 400 year old wound that is really deep and in most cases inherited genetically. For some, it is easy to heal and for others it’s not so easy. A good example is anyone who has been abused. Yes, they are able (in most cases) to move on… but the [mental] scars are still there. We cannot just tell people to get over it. We have to take some time to find out how we can help that person heal. Yes, we as African Americans, have come a long way and we are embracing the unity and most of us have always wanted that. There are some times that you see things on TV and on the internet that just turns you around from that and makes you not even want to unify. The media never talks about the presence of most supremecist groups and their hate but they tend to highlight the one word or phrases that get us all rowled (sp?) up. I am not speaking in defense of anyone just trying to share some insight.
    Good example: I’m 36 years old. When I was 18 (not long ago, back in the 90’s), I was on break from college in NC and went to stay with my grandmother. I was sick and needed to see the one doctor in town. I remember waiting in the waiting room and wanted something to read. I didn’t see anything in the sitting room that we were in which happened to be much smaller and darker than the one on the other side. I went into the other room and my grandmother did a combo of whispering and yelling for me to get back in there because the room she took me to was for the “colored people”. I remember when I was seven, the bus station they had down there still had the colored and white signs. In school, I went through somethings with white teachers in Maryland schools that we didn’t experience in DC schools. And. yes, there are still scars there. That’s why I homeschool my son because I want him to know his potential and no one is going to steal his dream from him.
    Again, this is not to bash or create any additional bickering. Please understand, it’s some insight to let you know that we aren’t mad but we still deal with painful scars that take different techniques to move toward the healing.
    God bless you all.

  219. To Paradigm —

    I think that your belief that what Reverend Lowery believes doesn’t matter compared to Obama, is another problem in logic that leads to the ills of society.

    Every person matters. Not just celebrities, the rich, and the powerful. Americans sometimes get blinded by that which is big. What is small and local matter. People who are the little guys matter.

    While Obama is now “The President”, his actions do not define America. Other people matter because their actions and beliefs will add up to what happens. And, other people matter because they are human beings, and they matter.

    Reverend Lowery had not been someone I had really heard about or thought about before. Now, his moment in the spotlight caused me to learn that he Co-Founded the Southern Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King, Jr. Wow! Reverend Lowery has experience. There is something to learn not just from what he did this day, but from his history. So, I am excited for the attention to Reverend Lowery’s thinking. I am going to study more about him.

    -Kimberly Wilder

  220. To Elly –

    You said:

    <<>>

    I don’t think anyone is saying not to hold Black people to the same standard of fairness and justice. Unless you think that there should be a law about old, black preachers saying mischievous or controversial things…And, I think we are far away from black people in our country having enough power to hurt white people.

    I do see great validity in some of the history you are talking about and some of what you are saying. And, I understand that various groups of people have been oppressed. That is an important perspective to keep when considering social justice issues. I would just quibble with the fact that you seem to worry that because of a few words from Reverend Lowery (that I think have been misinterpreted) or because there is now a black president, that there will be some great rush for black people to switch into the oppressors. We should always feel sorry for the downtrodden and try to help. In America – and especially in Long Island, NY where I am from – the downtrodden are currently black people and Hispanic people. Those people are segregated here into certain neighborhoods, given less opportunity (unless, by chance they are of a certain economic class, which is another agent of complication in the story), and have worse schools, and some Hispanic children people try to thwart from going to school. So, we are just not in the time in history to move on, and say blacks are equal. Maybe that time will come, but it ain’t now.

    With all the knowledge you have about how different groups have been isolated and oppressed, how can you apply that and use it to help people now?

  221. To Kimberly,

    Point taken, but I didn’t say that Lowery himself will be a flash in the pan. Rather, I stated that his prayer (and the heavy attention given to it) will be such.

  222. Paradigm-

    Ok. Thanks for the dialogue..

    (Do you have a blog you do? And/or a favorite place you go on-line?)

    ;)
    Kimberly

  223. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a blog. I am the father of a toddler and have a baby due in July, so my free time is pretty limited.

    But, if anyone here wants to contact me, I have no problem giving out my e-mail address (paradigm@pathfindermail.com).

  224. To enlighten some who feel that most of us African Americans worship President Obama, the ONLY one I worship is God, who has proven Himself significantly to me throughout my life.

    President Obama is a blessing for many of us because he let’s other people see that we are capable (which most people don’t believe we are of anything) of doing what we put our mind to doing, we are intelligent, and we have potential. He’s exhibited a great character within himself and we are proud of him. We are not worshiping him and we’re learning how to celebrate our accomplishments because we don’t always see ALL of the great things that are accomplished by African-Americans in the realm of the media and instead we see mostly negative which shapes the minds of people about us.

    I still love my brothers and sisters with all different hues, but this has truly given me an inspiration to reach for higher heights. I feel like I’ve accomplished some things in my family that no one has ever done (as far as women). My mom graduated from high school and taught me more than my teachers did in school. I graduated from high school, went into the Air Force, have my Associates Degree and was thinking about going but stopped. But, now, this makes me want to get loans if I have to but didn’t want to and go back and get my Bachelors and Masters.

    We’ve come a long way but don’t be fooled, we have a long way to go, too.

  225. To allrenellis:

    Merriam Webster Dictionary
    Main Entry: hero worship
    Function: noun
    Date: 1774
    1 : veneration of a hero
    2 : foolish or excessive adulation for an individual

    Hero worship is not the same thing as attending a service to praise a god or deity. Keep in mind, my use of the phrase was not limited to African Americans. There are a lot of white people out there who heap hero worship on Obama.

  226. Those remarks which were either pro-lowery, or “forgive the man” or the “you’re a racist if you believe what he said was racist”, etc., are actually more disturbing than what he said.

    That is the greater travesty against the value of the meaning of language, and the need for reasoned, thought-out, dispassionate dialog. It is not dialog when the rules applied to one side do not apply to the other–it is (in this case) a furtherance of prejudice, and will (left unchecked) lead to more and greater racial issues. Reason, and the love of truth have been replaced with emotion and an inability to discern ad hominem versus legitimate argumentation.

    Foolish thinking based on relativistic notions and self-centered worldviews…aaaiiii!

  227. Rudy and Paradigm, thank you both. I’m willing to silently read what you and other have to say and take some consideration. While I may not have stated it myself, I can immediately reach a point of agreement with your statements.

    I see that there are times that we will not be able to reach an agreement and that’s fine “with me”. I know we all have our own beliefs and experiences that makes us who were are (good or bad).

    My next focus is: How can I contribute to the solution and not the problem? What can I do to show love to my brothers and sisters? Love can cover a multitude if sins and some just require a LOT more LOVE than others. :-)
    I love you guys and have enjoyed this conversation and the different viewpoints.

  228. Contributing to the solution involves holding each other to the same standards. Giving a pass to Lowery, and those who condone him involves the use of multiple standards, and no progress will be made, sadly.

  229. Lowery did nothing wrong.

    Hence no pass is needed.

    Red. Yellow. Turqoise. White. Brown. Pink.

    There, indict me.

    -Kimberly Wilder

  230. You can’t be indicted, you have no standards by which to hold you accountable…the rules change, the Pole Star moves, the magnetic field shifts in the direction which produces the least resistance for those who don’t want truth…postmodern drift into a postmodern quicksand…intolerance is the new balance…

  231. Rudy,

    Yes. You have intolerance for Reverend Lowery.

    He expressed his views. In the form of art, no less–an old song.

    And, you are trying to insist that you alone understand his views and you should be his judge.

    And, you even judge those of us who dare to make our own interpretations of his words…

    -Kimberly

  232. The white man is the world minority. At what point will “whitey” get to stop bearing the brunt of all these so called “minorities” and be allowed to have open pride also. This stuff is so pounded all the time in one direction. I feel like I live in a black country already with all the media hype. What of the crimes against white people? What of all the black crime against whites? You can research it and you may find that its all slanted against the whites.

  233. [...] الدنيا ريشة في هواهِ “.سعد عبد الوهاب في الباك الإسلامي . خد لك فيلم باك “ {يناير 21, 2009}   العضو النفسجسمي هل يمكن أن يصح مع زمن الباك الإسلامي !?!  gu [...]

  234. Dear Philip,

    What is white?

    Do you have a certain nationality? Where is your family from?

    What is your families religious or spiritual background?

    Under the category of white, most people would put:

    People who are Christians
    People who are Jews
    People whose background is European
    People whose background is Australian
    People whose background is Eastern European

    But, at various times and in various cultures, some people would not include Jews in “white.”

    And, we wouldn’t think of Australians as being the same as “white Americans”.

    So, what does white mean to you?

    Please, describe the group- “white” – that you are saying is now a minority.

  235. When will the Arabs show us what they can build instead of what they seek to destroy?

  236. Again, I have judged ideas, not words. In this postmodern society, too many cannot tell the difference between judging ideas & people. If I have spoken to his person and not his ideas, then I was incautious. I am not insisting upon anything other than fair play, rather than emotional oprah-esque goo. It feels good to make a public jab like he did, but it will not further his stated cause.

  237. Primarily European ancestry. Whites are at a disadvantage in most of the world when it comes to expressing a pride in heritage. It is shoved back as racism. When whites become the minority in 2042 will it be OK then to have any organization in the U.S. under the heading of white? All of the minorities in this country are encouraged to exhibit pride openly. I don’t see that when it comes to the white people.

  238. Philip Says: “When will the Arabs show us what they can build instead of what they seek to destroy?”

    The Arabs have some impressive cities that are very westernized in the smaller places like Qatar, UAE, etc. It’s the larger countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. that are so dysfunctional.

    Unfortunately, the recent reduction in oil prices from OPEC has all but destroyed the commerce in cosmopolitan cities like Dubai. So, those may also become havens for extremism.

  239. Blacks certainly judge whites by skin color. There is little mention of the fact that Obama is half white, only that he is black. There is little consideration given to the heritage given by his mother other than what he has mentioned himself.

  240. Where are the moderate voices on Islam extremism? Where would the world be if there is were no longer a Western civilization? Will it be up to China then?

  241. Philip…

    So, let’s think about this organization that whites deserve because they are white…

    You said that whites are primarily European.

    So, why couldn’t you just have an organization called “European Cultural Heritage Foundation”, and people who were of European culture celebrate things they have in common such as foods from Europe, Proestant, Lutheran and Jewish religions, etc.

    When black people have black cultural events, part of the background is that of being from the African diaspora. Or, sometimes it is coming from the place of having been enslaved and that history.

    No would would stop you from having a network or group that celebrates “Dutch heritage.” I know people who have Hungarian societies. Then, there is the Steuben Society for German-Americans. And, even Irish culture enclaves and clubs, including step-dancing circles. Those are all fine.

    When you say “white”, you want to combine several of these groups that you think are more connected, and more like each other, and better than things you assign the title “non-white.”

    Please, think about it. Make a list for yourself. On a piece of paper put “white” on one side and “not white” on the other. What is your definition of white? Who is not-white?

  242. There will always be a Western civilization. People have worried about their countries and societies collapsing throughout recorded history. Winston Churchill said that he would not preside over the fall of the British Empire. Yes, their imperial hegemony is gone, but British civilization and culture is still very much alive and celebrated worldwide.

  243. I am a white 21 yr old. I was watching the inaugration with my fiancee. When we heard what this man said ‘be it a paraphrase or not,’ we were offended. This man is supposed to be an advocate for civil rights and has dropped hisself down to the level of that. It might have been humorous to him, but he should have thought about that long and hard before he said it. If it were a white man saying something about black men doing whats right and staying out of jail and things along that… there would have been heck to pay. Thats my opinion and what I think.

  244. wilderside Says: “When you say ‘white,’ you want to combine several of these groups that you think are more connected, and more like each other, and better than things you assign the title ‘non-white.'”

    There is no way to know if that is what Philip is hoping to accomplish. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be around people who are like you, and that includes everything from physique to personability to socio-economic status to family values…right on down the line to one’s race.

    That is why I tune out when I hear the arguments like the department store example that you mentioned yesterday. Of course people are going to prefer interaction with people like them. About 10 years ago, when I was a tech support guy in Dallas, I had a couple of African American women tell me that they wanted my African American tech support colleague to fix their machines, and that they didn’t want me. Yes, it came across as obnoxious at the time, but I can’t say I blame them now.

    If people are going to continue the futile quest for a society without a hint of this behavior, they’re in for a frustrating life. And, the rest of us might as well get comfortable for the long haul. There has never been a society in recorded history without these sorts of preferences and there is no evidence to suggest that there ever could be one.

  245. People from Egypt, are they Arab or African? All this debate over what’s white and what’s wong is silly. Pardon my pun. African American is silly, I am tired of groups being grouped. I am especially tired of people grouping themselves. It’s voluntary segregation. What’s a “Black” Church? That’s the height of nonsense. God for sure has only one church, and it’s certainly colorless. As a previous caller mentioned, she’s Greek and considered white. And someone mentioned citizens from India, they could most certainly be considered black, no?

    So I do not hold any disillusions that this will ever end, but the hypocrisy lies with those who make racial injustice their pet issue, while at the same time constantly filing people into segregated colors. STOP IT, and the world might live as one.

  246. I compare to all of the groups in the U.S. that are denoted by race. Some that come to mind are the Black Congressional Caucus, Miss Black America, Black Entertainment Television, Back Music Awards, Black History Month and on and on. I am constantly reminded that to say you identify with Blackness is OK but if you say that about white people you are racist. One day this has to change for the sake of white people who are not racist. Whites cannot be a melting pot for all other races and continue to exist. Is it OK to imagine a world where whites are continually blamed for all of our ills? Where is the equality in all this?

  247. Don’t forget the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. That’s a great organization for racial De-quality.

  248. Imagine white being considered a color too by colored people.

  249. Gerry: I read the website you posted about Lowery. I’m not swayed that this man’s statement is ok, just because he believes in “a change.” I believe in a change too. However, a person cannot make a blanket statement about a certain race and then expect people to “understand because this man has been through so much.” I don’t understand how he could go through the civil rights movement and still say “we pray for a day when white will embrace what is right.” No person can use a blanket term for a race and say that he himself is not racist. Maybe his hatred from the things Lowery has experience has caused him to hate white, because he is still praying “for a day when white will embrace what is right.”

    Wilderside: I cannot believe you would make the statement that “black people don’t have enough power to hurt white people.” Are you serious? All people have the power to hurt. THey can do so through words and actions, no matter what color they are.

  250. If I am not mistaken, a WHITE radio personality was severely criticized for making a similar statement in which he referred to female black atheletes as “Nappy headed…” and yet this is tolerated! Talk about REVERSE DISCRIMINATION!!!!

  251. I agree.

  252. All we need is love.

  253. Lizzie said:

    “I cannot believe you would make the statement that “black people don’t have enough power to hurt white people.” Are you serious? All people have the power to hurt. THey can do so through words and actions, no matter what color they are.”

    —-
    KW’s reply:

    Of course, all people can hurt each other.

    What I meant is that our country is not at the stage where a white person will go to apply to get an apartment, and find all the doors closed because the landlords are prejudice.

    Overall, people who identify as “white”, meaning that they are the majority, status-quo, have more money, power, resources, and elected office.

    So, overall, whites can exclude black people. And, that constantly leaves black people out in the cold, or in a bad school, or in a bad neighborhood, or out of work. And, while there are some black people who have been able to beat the system and succeed, black people don’t have the market wrapped up on most resources or most elected governments yet.

  254. Why not type in “black on white crime” and tell me what you find about people hurting others. Tell me where you feel OK to walk alone at night and if you think you want it to stay that way.

  255. To tell the truth, I enjoyed the entire inauguration. That one woman’s poem was a little abstract, but his speech, Warren’s prayer, and everything else was wonderful.

    Until that comment. Reverend Lowery had a pretty good prayer, until he integrated race back into it. Obama deliberately kept race out of his speech. This is not about a black man being president, it’s about New Beginnings in America.

    Check out my New Blog!
    http://theriverjordan.net/why-im-not-a-people-pleaser

    Jordan.

  256. I truly hope that we will elevate our social mindsets and eliminate the racial construct. It divides, limits and kills us as a species. As we all know, racism is the scourge that has divided humanity since time without beginning. It has come in many tribalistic forms before the white supremacy paradigm. Let us extinguish it as we move toward the first quarter of the 21st century. Think of that crowd on the national mall, think of the conversation Obama had with us without referring to the racial paradigm. We have to be about character building: how do I treat you and how do you treat me with utmost respect no matter what station of life I come from.

    Lowery’s poem at the end is something kids of color used to taunt each other to make themselves feel better than others. The derogatory version was used commonly on playgrounds, in neighborhoods in the 60’s and 70’s. Black kids were on the lowest fung of social acceptance (if you’re black get back – the darker you were the more this pertained to you), if you’re brown stick around (meaning, we’ll find some use for you because you are winning in the bedroom and we’re being outnumbered) if you’re yellow (asian) you’re mellow (the model minority), if you’re red you’re dead (meaning – total annihilation of a people – victims of genocide) and if you’re white you’re alright (meaning the lighter you were, or whiter you are – you are in an elevated state of acceptance without regard to character. What Lowery meant was that we should advance as a species and eliminate these differences.

  257. I agree. It would have been nice not to hear a racial dig in front of millions the world over. Too bad he didn’t leave that on the playground.

  258. Philip…

    Now, I am thinking you are so full of fear and prejudice you can’t hear…

    But, maybe you just skimmed Michelle’s post and did not read it…

    The playground chant IS NOT what Lowery read.

    The playground chant was a dark version of people telling people of different skin colors what there rank should be, and that if they were white they were alright. Evidently, it is a construct of racism that has haunted people of color, and bothered Reverend Lowery.

    So, what Michelle pointed to is that Reverend Lowery addressed the feelings that the dark playground chant had raised for people, and Reverend Lowery changed it up and made it more positive and hopeful.

    “Leaving it on the playground” entirely would be a good metaphor for never acknowledging that racism and race-hatred ever existed. And, extending the metaphor, Reverend Lowery heard the pain, was affected by it, and transformed it into something better.

    -Kimberly

  259. The Reverend changed it up some. His only dig however was when he said “when white will embrace what is right”. If all this talk of racism doesn’t get put in its proper place where do you think it leads? Have you ever seen or heard of black racism? That’s what is on the other side. Not only do I hear but I have seen. It has to become a 2 way street and not always the finger pointing at new generations of white Americans, as they quickly become the minority.

    If not, your children’s children will be blamed also and the hope is that their constitutional rights will be protected as well. Are there any societies on earth that are as progressive as the U.S. in terms of race?(None that I know of as most are pretty homogeneous outside of the West). No country other than Tibet maybe has changed as radically as the U.S. in terms of shifts in its population in recent times.

    The question is what will the future hold for our descendants? Saying whites need to embrace what is right goes for everyone else too, as two wrongs don’t make a right.

  260. Anyone who is white and shortsighted enough to take offense, simply needs a lesson in history, current events, and emphathy.

  261. So what are you doing that is right that you haven’t been doing already?

  262. First I hate it when people state their race, “I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.” quote from Obama. What does it matter what race you are, we all are people. I feel blacks want revenge and they think they don’t have to work because their great great great grand parents were slaves. Well I have done research and white people were slaves too. I do agree that segergation was wrong but it is over now. The only racist comments today are made from the blacks. They are always pitying themselves and not trying. “When brown can stick around”

    “When yellow can be mellow”

    “When the red man can be the head man”

    And, when the white can…do right, I think. [Update: The exact quote was, "and when white will embrace what is right."] Also, this statement totally proves my point. What kinda of country is this? TO FIGHT RACISM WITH RACISM IS WRONG. WE NEED TO END THIS MADNESS!!!!!!

    I am not racist, but feel EVERYONE should contribute to our country and I also feel no matter who is president, or their skin color, THE PEOPLE choose how we live.

    =] enjoy

  263. Oh my goodness, I am white, and I am appalled and embarrassed by most of the comments on this blog space. Thank you Claudia for your comment, I couldn’t agree with you more. I can’t believe that some of you are actually trying to take offense to the Reverend’s closing prayer. What’s more, I can’t believe that some of you actually think his speech needed to be proof read. In case you don’t realize, the people who spoke at the inauguration are professional speakers. If anyone thinks that any of them went up to that podium and spoke off the cuff, I’m sorry, but you are mistaken. Their speeches are proof-read multiple times. I suppose what I’m getting it is that many, many eduated and professional people approved the speeches that were to be orated at the inauguration. Anyone who actually has enough arrogant bile in their being to read that much into it, and use it as fuel for their own confrontational desires – well I’m sorry to say that you are the problem-people who the Reverend was praying for. Also, in order to qualify the post that I’m making, just know that I have spent years devoted to professional study and I have experience with not only public speaking, but also public service. Please do more to stregnthen your cultural sensitivities – the United States is in desperate need of change from people like you.
    Thanks.

  264. This was so insulting! It seems to me the White Man did right when the 12 white men got together in England to start to put a stop to slavery. Only four percent of the slaves that went out of Africa came to the United States, the rest went other places in the world. However when they approached the chieftains in Africa, they did not want to put an end to islavery because it was too lucrative for them. Of course it still must be due to the fact it still goes on to this day. Were the White Men of the Union Army doing right when they give up their lives to help free the slaves? Well of course let us not forget not all southern slave owners were not terrible in fact some were pretty decent not all slaves wanted to leave, they were given their own plots of land, they were given holidays, and last but not least. there were also Black Slave Owners. And as several people have pointed out a large portion of the white people, just helped elected a man that is 1/2 black even though they knew basically nothing about him. Even at that it did not seem to be enough for the racist black person. You have to give them credit for one thing, they do band together. When will the white person? Before we lose all of our rights?

  265. I could easily say that if you so agree with the Reverend than you feel your own guilt in dealing with other races. But like Johnnie Cochran said, “If it doesn’t fit than you must acquit”.

  266. Last post was for Douglas

  267. I have no response for ignorant comments. Good luck to you all.

  268. I agree with Douglas; however, I’ll add an additional point: dealing with posts on this blog spot is a waste of valuable time. I suppose (Douglas) this is what happens when you leave the more educated blogging arenas – we’re better off sticking to what we’re good at, the law. Note to ecl1, good job on twisting other people’s words into a black/white argument (when that was no where close to the point he was making). And to Phillip, I’m sorry, I didn’t take the time to read your comments. Best regards.

  269. Be glad for your conscience that the old laws of segregation and slavery have changed. That way your guilt is lessened. Be cautious in your trust that you may live long and prosper!

  270. Hmmm, I just came to this site b/c I was looking for a script of the Reverend’s words. I thought his prayer was amazing, to say the least. I’ve skimmed over some of the comments and read the last couple of posts, and I’m CERTAIN that I’m making a good call by getting out of here ASAP. The only comments that I’ve read that make any sense, at all, come from Karena, Douglas, and Claudia. The rest of you should spend more time doing things that are productive, and less time spouting off at the mouth via a keyboard.

  271. Hahahaha, I’ve never read so many whiney, self-indulgent comments! RUN FOR THE HILLS Karena, Douglas, Claudia, and George, we’ve got to stick together because a “certain group” of whites will rise again! (leaves the unofficial meeting that is about to begin and feels pretty sure that Philip is about to be appointed grand master).

  272. Damn straight Reduls! This blog stream is the worst case of “group think” that I’ve ever seen!

  273. Read your census forecasts.
    It won’t be long and no group of white opinion will have much bearing. By 2050 the black, yellow and brown will be roughly 90% of the world’s population. Do you really think that they need or even really want your empathy? Your people are on a collision course with a destiny that will look upon them as a relic. Then the real competition begins.

  274. God forbid the life-toiling, 87 year old Reverend be able to say one public word, in jest, against those in majority power who still marginalize. What a bunch of selfish b*&$% on this site. It’s just like selfish people to take it personal… way to take a historical moment, a great day in our history, and make it all about yourselves! Anyone with half a brain knows that the Reverend didn’t intend to make that statement against ALL whites, just like he wasn’t saying that ALL browns HAVEN’T been able to stick around. OMG, you all need to stop making things all about you. Get lives!

  275. I live in Texas and there’s plenty of brown here. More than black or white. The only group not sticking around are the whites. Maybe you say so what? Maybe as opposed to the proud races you loathe the color of your skin or even this planet, I don’t know, it’s just the trend.

  276. None of the above. It’s all in the politics!

  277. Well, I guess I’ll explain this one to the grand master (a.k.a. “Philip”) since it seems everyone else had enough sense to make their comment and leave. When J.Wash said “majority power,” he didn’t mean the majority based on the U.S. census, he meant the majority of people in decision-making positions. Wow…here’s a piece of advice: when you find yourself in a hole, STOP DIGGING. Also, the copy and paste feature should be used only once, more than that is overkill. I’m leaving now, I’m not going to explain things to two year olds unless I’m getting paid.

  278. I think “ELoveLife” and “Payton:)” have said it best. Veronica2324 and J.Wash, your comments are funny! I agree, there is nothing the Reverend has done, in his life, to deserve being called a racist. And his comment was not made to all whites, clearly. “The devil finds work for idle hands.” Many of you commentators need to think about that quote. It has long held its truth, and it holds it still. To all those who are too selfish to see what is right and good in this world, I will keep you in my prayers.

  279. I love the Reverend’s speech! I can’t believe how people in here are reacting to it! This is really shocking to me! Also, Philip, I’m from Texas and I do not share your feelings. I want to put that out there because I don’t want Texans to get a bad rap. :) Love to all!

  280. I simply feel that most whites are already doing what is right but why point it out in a National inauguration?

  281. THANK GOD some rational people joined this blog stream! There’s still hope in this world – YEHAW!!!! (sends thanks to Leandro, Veronica, and Texan)

  282. Philip, I can tell that you don’t have bad intentions and I’m sure you’re not crazy like those other posts joke. I can understand how you feel, but don’t worry. There are many people all over the world that know racial progress would never have happened without the help of whites who refused to get into the racism. I think that the latest commentators were just upset because it felt like white people were trying to find a reason to bring the Reverend down, that’s all.

  283. *HUGZ Leandro*

  284. I don’t know why my last comment was erased…To Philip, my erased message said that I can tell you don’t have bad intentions. People know that racial progress would not have happened if it wasn’t for the whites who helped take a stand against it. Philip, I know you are not crazy like the earlier posts joke – you are just needing to take some time to adjust to how fast the world changes. I understand how you feel. I think the earlier posts were just upset because they thought that the whites in here were trying very hard to find a reason to bring the Reverend down, when in truth, his prayer never meant to say anything bad about all whites. I’m sure that if ever he was asked, the Reverend would honor the whites he knows who fight every day against racism.

  285. Kimberly,
    I really had a chance to read your post and wanted to say that I really appreciate you for your post. I (African-American) totall agree with you and can appreciate you seeing things in a positive light.
    I know I can actually say, that I’m truly proud to be an American. That tune rings differently in my ears now than it did even when I was in the military.
    Thank you for all of the sensible posts.

  286. Hey allrenellis, thanks for your service to this great country!

  287. Thank you, Allrenellis. For your posts, and for the appreciation.

    I have been very impressed by the discussion here.

    While I have seen attitudes that disappointed me, there has been a lot of talk about a sensitive subject. And, overall, people handled it pretty well.

    I am trying to think of where to move the positive energy, having received over 5,000 views, and 280 something comments. This became our most viewed post in the last 30 days, and it is only about two days old!

    Since people’s positions vary so much, I can’t think of an “answer” for where people should go next for something constructive to do. But, I hope that people study Reverend Lowery a bit. I didn’t realize how important he was until I looked him up – help found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King, Jr. Pretty impressive.

    And, the local ERASE Racism organization I linked to is worthwhile. I know most people aren’t from Long Island. But, there are probably some ideas to learn from at the web-site, anyway.

    Some colleagues of mine have a business that offers workshops in dismantling racism: http://openheartsminds.com – “Opening Hearts & Minds”

    If people really want to explore the topic more, some words and phrases to search for might be: “unaware racism”, “white privilege”, “dismantling racism”, “institutional racism”, “diversity”,

    Would love for people to post links and ideas of where to go for more reflection.

    My e-mail is:
    kimberlywilder06 at yahoo dot com
    if anyone wants to follow up or send me any ideas or links.

    Peace,
    Kimberly Wilder

  288. Allrenellis, I just had to stop back by this blog stream and see what kind of progress the “confrontational-Reverend bashers” were making in their efforts to pick a fight for no good reason. I finally saw your earlier posts, as well as Kim’s. I wish I would’ve been blogging earlier to have helped with trying to get your point across to all of those selfish people! (and there were A LOT) The Reverend was AWESOME! I am white, and a pretty emotional one at that, and I was in no way, shape, or form offended – I totally “understood” what he meant, and I like you and Kim, and others like Claudia, Douglas, Payton:), Leandro, ELoveLife, Texan, et al., think that this is a great time in history! This is not the time for angry people to find cause for perpetuating “racist” claims. Thanks for your service to this country and for your efforts in playing devils advocate amongst a pack of devils.

  289. Thank You Kimberly. Good topic.

  290. Pretty good topic and dang I have to scroll ALL the way down here to leave a comment. :) Keep it up!

  291. Hells Bells, what a lot of fuss over nothing!!! I’m Indian and was most certainly not offended by the referenc to “Brown.” Listen to the benediction again in the right context; the Reverend (I’m Atheist as well) was trying to create a light-hearted moment” during a “serious” ceremony. Insinuating that the the Reverend is a racist, is really low. Like others have said, get over it already.

  292. Sounds like when the tables are turned whites shouldn’t be allowed to be offended. Hence the double standard continues. This hip-hop prayer is a load of crapola.

    I would love to see the day when the black community takes responsibility for their ancestors selling their own people to the white man. Take that step of acknowledgment and then we’ll talk about what they think the whites of this generation continue to owe them. If some did a little research they’d find that President Clinton did a public apology for sins past against slaves.

    Oh, and btw…Obama doesn’t have a drop of slave blood in him. His father was pure blood Kenyan and his mother white.

  293. Regardless of the intentions of this prayer, I feel there was a complete disregard for the whole of society. Some were offended and some were not. You can’t please everyone, but a little more common sense should have been used to deliver something more neutral. Especially during a time of racial tension. Yes, I can see if it were the other way around, there would already have been a great outcry and public apology. But since it is mostly “white” poeple that could take it as offensive, they should shut up, and get over it? That sounds like equality to me!

  294. …equality begins with parity & consistency, not with “feel-good” so-called empathy. Such thinking borders on self-centeredness, head-in-the-sand-ness, or possibly anti-intellectualism.

    Giving Lowery a pass reveals that few people here recognize that the inauguration of the POTUS is a serious nonpartisan event. Lowery said some fine things, sadly, he stained it by revealing a perceived desire to have greater power, rather than equality. Sorrow is what follows such an approach, not joy.

  295. Lowery does perpetuate racism. Look at the source.

    I am a 55 year old person with white skin. My childhood started in a community where I lived and went to school with 95% brown and black skin children. I know what it feels like to be hated because of my skin color. I was only 5 years old when I learned how to run and hide from the other children that would otherwise beat on me, steal my lunch, and tear my dress off, leaving me naked, before I could make it home safe. My sisters learned how to fist fight at the age of 7and 9. It was horrible, horrifying, and most of your imagination.

    I was taught by my parents to not judge all people the same. As an adult, I am fortunate to have friends of all colors. I do not hate people and I have forgiven most. If we do not learn how to forgive then we are in danger of closing our heart. An open heart experiences the greater love. A closed heart brings more suffering.

    People need to stop digging into the past wrongs, including bringing up racist remarks that offend and hurt other people of different skin color; and get over what happened to EVERYONE (History left no color unscathed). Just because you were done wrong doesn’t mean that you need to throw history book memoir at your children so that they can also thrive on hating people today for wrongs that were done in the past. Let’s face it…the majority of people today do not experience anything like what happened to me as a child, or black slavery, or the holocaust, or bla, bla, bla.

    Stay in school, work hard for a good living, and become better parents who encourage todays children to forgive the things that we can not change. Do you ask for the ability to meet your own challenges or do you perceive that other people have it better?

    ALL of us need to take responsibility for our words, and our actions, and stop making childish excuses. (I am tired of reading rediculous interpretations of what Lowery said). We can “HOPE” that Lowery will address his words, to the people he pointed, and take responsibility for what “HE” meant at the end of “HIS” benediction.

  296. Well said, Moore.

    Martin Luther King Jr. said, keep the dream alive.
    But what we see many times is…keep the hate alive.
    2 wrongs never equaled a right.

    As you said,”An open heart experiences the greater love. A closed heart brings more suffering.”

    True. Ironic how we often become what we hate and despise the most when we allow ourselves to become entangled in its web.

  297. I love the words of Moore. Thanks for sharing. Everything you said is truth.

  298. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

    Why should we never speak about racism and past oppression of black people?

    Should we stop talking about all history? Should we take out the chapter in our history books about the suffragettes?

    Just like Moore deserves to be heard about past hurts due to the racism of schoolyard bullies, Reverend Lowery deserves to be heard about the whole entire beginning of his life, when Jim Crow affected everything from wanting to sit somewhere in a restaurant or bus, and trying to drink from a certain water fountain. If Moore deserves sympathy and empathy, so to does Reverend Lowery.

    Racism hurt a lot of people. Racism still hurts people. It has not disappeared. It makes sense that on a historic day, when people are reflecting on America’s past, present and future, they make some passing reference about racism. To ignore it is to ignore the elephant in the room. It was probably good for the tension level for Reverend Lowery to name the tension, and due so in a light-hearted way.

    Anyway, no one has answered the question of why do white people get to be angry, when the man did not say “white people”? He made a rhyme about colors.

    The existence of this “ideal” called “white” is what makes us separate. If you want to end racism, don’t get all angry when you hear the word “white.” If you think racism is gone, than how come you still self-identify as “white”? What’s your religion? What’s your nationality? Who is NOT WHITE? Who is FORCED TO BE NON-WHITE so you can have the luxury of being white?

    -Kimberly Wilder

  299. Kimberly, What a fascinating statement. It reminds me that many of today’s “whites”–including family members of many of today’s offended “whites”– were nonwhites in the past. Now their children don their white robes while sneering at the “blacks” of today. Pathetic.

  300. Kimberly, do you champion against all racism or only white racism? Just curious.

  301. Hello Kimberly,
    I hope that you did not misunderstand my comment. I was implying that every man, from every background, has been wronged and it does not do any good to perpetuate it. It does make good sense, to me, that we learn to forgive so that our children, and their children, can enjoy the freedom and change that we have all been living for the past 50 years.

    Candidly, the way it used to be is not the way it is now and it will never be that way again. No one chases me anymore, or beats on me anymore, or tears my dress off anymore before I make it home safely. Those days are long past. Just like no one is being told to sit in back, or drink from a different water fountain anymore. Those days are long gone and for that I am grateful and I am sure you are too.

    I don’t believe that the word “white” should anger any person. I do believe that the following words, “embrace what is right,” has every potential to anger anyone, don’t you? What does embrace what is right mean to you?

    P.S. the white agrument at the end of your message has me thinking. What are you implying so that I can answer respectfully?

  302. The difference of being called ‘white’ and identifying with ‘white’ are two different things because those pasting labels have their own definition and it isn’t always good. When a Black man calls another Black man the N word, he means it one way. When a white man calls a Black man the N word it means a whole other thing especially to the individual who was labeled. Get the meaning? It works both ways. Respect is a two way street.

    Racism doesn’t stop when we stop reacting. That’s a psychology tap dance and as foolish as saying don’t flinch when I pinch you. Racism stops when we stop judging one another so harshly and learn to speak and live with respect among all people of all races.

    White is not a dirty word but many individuals have made it that way. If white people want to say they are white then they have the right to claim that for themselves as much as Black folk choose to classify themselves as Black or African American or whatever they choose for their persons. And with that classification of white should NOT come some trash definition attached from what some idiots who happened to be white have done to harm others. No one should have to pay for the sins of another.

    Man, this topic just pisses me off to no end because many cannot see that the very injustice they scream about, they do in return. It’s like giving themselves a free pass but everyone else better muster up or suffer the consequence of being called racist. I applaud those who spew that white guilt pill as far as the east is to the west. If anyone wants respect they better be prepared to give it first.

  303. Okay…

    Moore…

    I think you are naive to think that nowadays, there is not a majority black/hispanic school, where there are a handful of white people who get picked on or bullied. I am surprised that you gave up so quickly on the scenario you, yourself raised.

    The reason that problem existed, and the reason it still exists, is because of background racial tensions. Children become confused and angry and act out based on the drama and prejudices of adults.

    I, too, have heard stories of white kids picked on in mostly black schools. (And, I have also heard stories of white kids who had a good time and liked being at mostly black schools.) So, sometimes the oppression and injustice of the system hurts white people. And, sometimes it hurts black people. Sometime white people profit off of this rigged, prejudiced system. And, sometimes, certain black people profit off it. It is a system we have, that still exists, in various degrees. It is part classism, party elitism, part sexism and part racism. And, it is unfair.

    Now…

    Why would the words “embrace what is right” in and of themselves offend anyone? Don’t you think preachers are supposed to remind people to do good deeds and embrace what is right? I think preachers do that all the time.

    You are offended because when Reverend Lowery implied “white” should “embrace what is right”, you got defensive and jumped to the conclusion that he meant that “white people” are all bad and must change into being right.

    A. Re: what he meant by “white”: I don’t think he meant “people” or “individuals” at all. He meant the concept of “white.” As a matter of fact, I heard from several places that the rhyme he quotes was about the shades and colors inside a circle of black people. In other words, the “white” part used to be referring to the fact that light-skin blacks had it easier, and light-skin blacks (the ones connected with “white”, the ones that “pass as white”) were alright, and had things easier.

    B. Re: what it means to “embrace what is right”: I don’t think Reverend Lowery meant anyone is ALL bad. I think in Reverend Lowery’s poem, it meant that light-skin blacks, and anyone else who has white privilege, should do more and more right…they should embrace–celebrate, be happier with, study, and get closer to–that which is right.

    (I really don’t get how anyone hearing a preacher say “embrace what is right” means the preacher thinks that someone was doing something “all wrong.” To me, that is another in the defensive leaps of logic, leading to a sense of insult.)

    So, now…

    Moore, the question I was trying to get you to answer was…

    You say that you are “white.”

    What does “white” mean?

    Why are you white?

    What does being white mean?

    What characteristics do you have that make you white?

    Why would others describe you as white?

    How do you experience being white?

    Who exactly do you identify with? Please list what kinds of people, and/or nationalities, and/or skin tones, you put together with you in the category of “white”…

    It’s an exercise…

  304. All racism is wrong.

  305. All racism is wrong.

    Talking about it can be a good thing.

    And, who better to address the issue, than a preacher?

    And, how better to do it, than in the “abstract”; not aimed at any one person; in the appealing, and less-threatening form of “art”?

  306. While getting better in the U.S. it still can impact any of us in the wrong setting. It would be naive to think that there is not hatred directed at others based on their skin tone from all sides. God surely didn’t intend such behavior. There are other forms of hatred outside of skin color, mainly religious, which is why we are fighting 2 wars. Fighting over religion
    has been throughout history, and it repeats daily. God says there will always be war or rumors of war, so mankind is destined to hatred in that regard. Humans harming humans, will it ever be perfect? Not till God returns to earth.

  307. Im white so, I’m just trying to embrace what is right…..I wish i was yellow so it would be alot easier.

  308. Dear Kimberly. As I read what you write I feel your anger. What do you fear?
    I asked you what , “embrace what is right” meant to you and you disregarded my question and went back to your personal interest, which I feel in all honesty is to prove me wrong.

    You are sounding disrespectful by telling me that I gave up quickly (instead of encouraging me to go further). What did I give up Kimberly?…being angry, fearful, and resentful? And why are you self interpreting the words of the benediction? Are you a person, with good intentions, for the good of all others?

    Your A & B mention seems very contradictory. You can’t have it both ways and win an argument. You are already caught in a cycle of trying to be right, and prove me wrong. I am not playing a mind game. Nor are either of us going to win because we may not share the same viewpoint. I’m okay, your okay, what is your point really? Tell me where you are really going with this and then I will decide if I want to participate.

  309. Dear Sesame, Thank you for sharing your viewpoint and your mention of respect.

  310. Reverend Lowery is dividing the country with these words. When white will embrace what is right is absolutely racist. [xxxx xxx.]

    [Editor's note: Congratulations! We all got passed 300 comments on this list before our first curse word. The ones with curses get put into my spam folder for checking on. So, I checked on it. Kept the stuff Paul Revere said that had meaning. xx'd out the curse word. - KW]

    [A confession: Someone previously posted something nasty about someone else, that wasn't a curse, and I took it down because it seemed wrong and slanderous.]

    [Besides that, I have kept everything up. So, overall, I think a pretty good string of civil dialogue. Only two posts out of several hundred that needed moderator attention. But, also, a whole bunch of spam that got filtered. I check it over to be sure there are no real messages.]

  311. To Moore:

    You and I do not mesh well with communication. There are huge gaps and misses. I think it is just that we communicate entirely differently. Sometimes that happens.

    What I meant that you “gave up”, was that you had a line of reasoning which seemed to say we should worry about white kids, who in the past, might get bullied by black/hispanic students, if it was a mostly black/hispanic school district.

    Though, then you acted like that problem does not exist anymore. You kind of said we are passed the need to discuss or worry about race, because white kids no longer have to worry about that scenario. I am saying that that scenario still exists. White kids still sometimes get beat up and harassed at schools with mostly black/hispanic students.

    So, I am saying, that racism still pervades all aspects of American life. Racism still hurts some white people and some black people. And, when children find themselves in certain predicaments, they act on the anger and separation of racism.

    Also, I said exactly what “and when white will embrace right” means to me. But, I will say it again.

    To me, it means that in our society, there is an idea that some people fit in the category of “regular, white, the normal people.” And, to the extent that someone is lucky enough to fit into that category – whether it is because they are what we call “caucasion” or a light skinned black person – that that person should use the power they have of getting to be considered “white” to constantly help others, and to try to erase the system that makes some people “white” and some people “other than white.”

    Peace,
    Kimberly

  312. Kimberly, Thank you for your response.

    I admitted that I know what it feels like to be discriminated against. I gave my childhood example. And, I was taught forgiveness, and to radiate love; not perpetuate racism and focus on the wrong doings of people, in the present, or the past. There is, and always has been, good and bad in the world. “There are good habits and bad habits and if I must be a slave to my habits, then today I begin a new life and I will chose to be good”. -Og Mandino, The Worlds Greatest Salesman. A self help process that provides tools to get people on track.

    We can not control what other people do. We can be responsible for who we are, what we do, and what we say. And, with that comes concequences. We may never cure racism in the world (which does go both ways), yet each one of us has the choice to participate or not. I have no doubt that it still goes on.

    What is normal? Average, standard, ordinary, usual, typical. This is not the status quo that everyone choses to achieve. It is by far more challenging to reach further, than accepting average, as the best we can do.

    Do you ask for the ability to meet your own challenges or do you perceive that others have it better?

    The one thing that is inevitable is change. The world is in constant change. One fiber at a time. I loved your second to the last word that you wrote.

    • To me, the main gist of your post is: “I am not by brother’s keeper.”

      If there is racism in the world, then I want to do what I can – non-violently – to stand up for people who are treated unfairly. That would especially mean the children of the world, who it is good for grown-ups to guide. And, helping children would be to reveal to them – both black children and white children – that racism is a danger that they could fall into, and educate their thoughts processes. That is what Reverend Lowery was doing.

      Besides that fact, racism is directly related to me, because I have been given privileges as a “white person” in the system. I can walk around like a Queen, knowing that I can walk in the best neighborhoods without the police being suspicious, I can rent a home from anywhere in the world, I have a better chance everytime I apply for a job or educational opportunity. Anytime I want to be in a circle of “people just like me – that identity of ‘white'” I can find many places, and get there by spending a little more money at a restaurant, or finding a neighborhood where the race codes of the 1950’s still shape the landscape (there are many here in Long Island, NY.) So, for me to go around and have these special opportunities, and this life of relative leisure, it would be arrogant of me every once in awhile to realize that the life is created in part by keeping some people on the outside, by making up rules so that some people are white-like-me and some people are “other.”

  313. Lowery was offensive. Had any white man said words in the same posture there would have been rioting. He owes apologies to whites and the mellow yellow. He wasn’t praying to God. He was stirring up a racism and all the work this country has done to lessen the gap of separation.
    Let the whining begin!

  314. amen to that

  315. Anyone ignorant of racism in the world should research the hate crimes against whites in Zimbabwe and South Africa that has been allowed to continue by those governments. Also research black on white crime in the U.S.. It has driven many to leave their homes in search of safer places to live. Those who say that blacks cannot be racist because they do not control institutions live in a bubble that could easily get broken. If the white on black crime were as high in the U.S. we’d be in a second civil war. The hate from the past perpetuates much of these crimes and so respect for others is not in the equation when that continues. Unless they have faced it directly many people choose to ignore it.
    This is where government has to act on behalf of all citizens to ensure liberty in the pursuit of happiness, liberty from wrongful persecution.

  316. Quite the reverse: My brother is not my keeper in much of the world. Also you must be well off financially to afford to choose the best neighborhoods and rent a home anywhere in the world. You sound very well insulated. For many people of all color that’s not the case. Ever heard of Appalachia? What about all the shut-ins in these areas that you would not choose to live? I could go on but I think you know what I mean. You are lucky!

  317. It appears to me that we are living uniquely. As an adult I live in a border town and my life experience may not parallel what you have described, at all. From child to adult, according to the system, I have always lived among minority communities. I have not personally focused on priveleged living and I don’t believe that my experience assends to that either. I respect our differences.

    I work hard to make a living, I treat all people with respect, and as a single parent, I raised a very bright, loving, educated child (now 29 years old), whom is prospering as a clinical psychologist and works with SMI adults and children.

    I have a high school education. I worked my way up the ladder, military style, in my career and I work among peers of all skin colors. Many of which earned Director positions. Many of which did not.

    In America, we have the ability to design our own way, paint our own landscape, and make our own choices. The race card is far too often used as an excuse for why people can’t achieve, or don’t. Diversity in our schools, in our work place, and in our homes has been alive and honored for many years. The world is changing, one fiber at a time.

    I chose to focus on what is right, what is good, and what I can do to be a part in the progress of evidential change. I refuse to harbor old school – ill will, make racial excuses, and envy thy brother that appears to have it going on. If I want what my brother has then I will work hard to earn, and achieve, a greater good by becoming an example of greater good. This is what we have to offer each other, by paving the way and laying the brick, that others may choose to follow (one brick at a time).

    Today, I want to honor all of us who have found ourselves in very difficult times. We have lost our jobs (careers), lost our homes, and we are starting over, again. Dear Americans, let us be thankful that we live in a country where anything is possible. My best friend said to me recently, “I don’t know anyone who has started over as many times as you have.” I faithfully know that I am not alone and that many of us are in the same situation. Amen.

  318. Well done Moore.

  319. This has to be one of the longest discussions on a prayer or speech in a long time. I come back and check periodically and don’t have the energy to read through the mountain of information here.

    It could go on forever because nobody is going to bend here.

    To those who believe that African Americans enjoy too much school/career preference, too much freedom to use charged racial slurs, too much lionization of civil rights icons, etc; get used to it. They’re politically powerful and will not go away any time soon. The challenge for them is going to come from outside of the United States…not from forums like this one. They are relying too heavily on American lobby groups and legislation for advancement, and that won’t help them in the global economy. Indian and Chinese companies do not care one bit about US special interests nor laws. There has been a lot written about how the global economy is hurting African American men and it’s not at all surprising. Groups like the NAACP and BAMN have no influence over foreign business.

    To those who believe that every hint of racism can be eradicated from the face of the earth, I say it’s not at all possible. In order for that to happen, every person on the face of the earth would have to make race a central theme in their lives, to the degree that people like Lowery do. That will never happen even in the good times, and it really won’t happen while we’re in the midst of a global recession. And never forget that, whenever a good white person is told that they are a racist, they erect a wall in their mind. Whenever a manager fires a Black person for legitimate reasons then gets accused of racism (see Madonna Constantine), another ten whites will avoid contact with Blacks. Whenever someone accuses a department store clerk of showing more enthusiasm for whites than minorities, that clerk will adjust their work behavior but will avoid such contact everywhere else. Whenever Al Sharpton makes a televised appearance to publicize the tiniest iota of racism with a giddy look in his eye, more and more whites will start to tune out.

    There are some things that simply cannot be accomplished in a top-down fashion. Laws have done all they can for minorities. The overwhelming majority of whites to not make distinctions when it comes to hiring, firing, and service. There will always be some who do, but like Kimberly admitted above, there are also many current places where whites are denied entry and that has not stymied progress.

  320. The election of President Obama should help raise the standards for the whole of our society and restore our leadership in the world. We do live in an international society and the world is getting much smaller and highly competitive. Thank God that some of that competition has not led to more attacks against America since 9/11. May peace prevail!

  321. [...] of my short posts and spur-of-the moment observations became our highest hit-getter in 30 days! My post about Reverend Lowery’s ending prayer/benediction received over 7,000 hits so far (that’s in 5 days), and over 300 comments. The dialogue has [...]

  322. Kimberly,

    This has been an interesting blog for sure.
    Thank you and all those who posted here for the dialogue concerning such events that continue to shape our history. Also, thanks to everyone who seek to end all forms of hatred and racism in the world.
    May world leaders forge ahead to seek the common good for all mankind, ever aware of the inhumanities of the past. May all civilization be blessed by God, to know true happiness, free from fear, hate, discord and oppression. And may we ask for his forgiveness from sin and his guidance in the role that we have here on earth.

    Keep up the good work…..Philip.

  323. Folks following this thread may be interested in Hua Hsu’s “The End of White America?” (The Atlantic, Jan/Feb/2009). http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/end-of-whiteness

    “The Election of Barack Obama is just the most startling manifestation of a larger trend: the gradual erosion of “whiteness” as the touchstone of what it means to be American. If the end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability, what will the new mainstream look like—and how will white Americans fit into it? What will it mean to be white when whiteness is no longer the norm? And will a post-white America be less racially divided—or more so?”

    The following Q and A is from the Race Traitor Journal mentioned mentioned by HSU:

    Q: Why do you hate me simply because I have white skin?

    A: You have misunderstood our meaning. We do not hate you or anyone else for the color of her skin. What we hate is a system that confers privileges (and burdens) on people because of their color. It is not fair skin that makes people white; it is fair skin in a certain kind of society, one that attaches social importance to skin color. When we say we want to abolish the white race, we do not mean we want to exterminate people with fair skin. We mean that we want to do away with the social meaning of skin color, thereby abolishing the white race as a social category. Consider this parallel: To be against royalty does not mean wanting to kill the king. It means wanting to do away with crowns, thrones, titles, and the privileges attached to them. In our view, whiteness has a lot in common with royalty: they are both social formations that carry unearned advantages.

  324. Hello Gerry.
    Isn’t saying that “we want to do away with the social meaning of skin color” mean applying that across the board in eliminating social categories based thereon? That would be in keeping with our Declaration of Independence where it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his ‘I have a dream” speech from 1963 stated, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. We’ve come a long way as a nation and as a people toward the realization of that goal. This has been been further emboldened with the election of President Obama and the hope that the next 4 years offers to all of society for social justice. Reverend Lowery in the benediction also stated,”And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance”. The new mainstream should be one of unity and mutual respect for others and applied to all. This will continue to shine to the rest of the world.
    Thanks.

  325. So here we have white people playing the “race” card and black people saying it was “all in fun” and to “get over it”.

    Here we have white people who feel the blacks are hypocritical by championing the end to racism, yet defending racist remarks from their own.

    Here we also have black people who feel white people are blowing this out of proportion and feel they’ve had this coming because of the “historical past” on race.

    Indeed the tables have turned. Now when they turn back, we will all know how the other feels and perceives the situation.

    So now when black people play the “race” card and white people say it was “all in fun” and to “get over it”, white people will know how insulted blacks feel about having something negative said about their race, and black people will know how whites feel about the irritation when something is taken wrong or blown out of proportion.

    everyone gets a taste…

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