Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh No, Not Again

Jeremiah Wright is in trouble again, for this:

"(Jesus') enemies had their opinion about Him," Wright wrote in a eulogy of the late scholar Asa Hilliard in the November/December 2007 issue. "The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.

If Wright had substituted "Romans" for "Italians" and omitted the garlic reference, there would be no problem with this statement. Most Romans did look down on Galileans - and on all other non-Romans, for that matter.

If a group of San Franciscans do something abhorrent, and I start wailing against Californians, people will rightly question why I come down on the entire state for what people in only one of its city did. Why is Wright railing against Italians ver negative aspects of Roman culture?

Wright continues:

"From the circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth (in a barn in a township that was under the Apartheid Roman government that said his daddy had to be in), up to and including the circumstances surrounding Jesus' death on a cross, a Roman cross, public lynching Italian style. ..." Wright wrote. "He refused to be defined by others and Dr. Asa Hilliard also refused to be defined by others.

There's that "Italian" reference again. But note two other things. First, the remark about "lynching." To nitpick, lynching is a private-sector form of oppression; we use different terminology to describe the oppression that governments do. Second, note the Apartheid reference. I don't know how closely the Roman system compares to that of 20th-century South Africa, but there's one underlying principle that's older than dirt and that the two share with each other and with other systems such as Communism and Islamic dhimmitude: the conquerors have one set of laws for themselves and another set for the conquered. Equality under the law is the exception and not the rule of humanity.

Wright immediately jumps into the TARDIS and lands in modern-day America:

"The government runs everything from the White House to the schoolhouse, from the Capitol to the Klan, white supremacy is clearly in charge, but Asa, like Jesus, refused to be defined by an oppressive government because Asa got his identity from an Omnipotent God," said Wright.

The government runs the Klan? What does Robert Byrd have to say about that? Or Nancy Pelosi, who is a top member of this allegedly white supremacist government - and of Italian ancestry to boot?

He's writing all this stuff in a eulogy. Yikes.

Update: The Corner has the story, too. David Freddoso says he's never heard the "garlic noses" slur.

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