Rev. Wright Headlines MICAH’s 25th Anniversary Dinner
May 20, 2013
by James Wigderson
Special Guest Perspective for the MacIver Institute
The Reverend Jeremiah Wright continued his grand tour of speaking engagements Friday night in Milwaukee. The occasion was a $50 per plate dinner in honor of MICAH’s 25th anniversary. The headline after-dinner speaker did not disappoint the estimated 350-400 people in attendance.
Wright kept the shock to the minimum, standard leftist fare during his speech. Taking pains to condemn the Holocaust, he also demanded “justice” for the Palestinians who are the subject of “ethnic cleansing” by the state of Israel.
Continuing the litany, Wright also demanded justice for the people who were denied health care, “sacrificed on the altar of political expediency” for the benefit of the pharmaceutical companies and “the fat cats of the AMA.” He demanded justice for poor black men that are locked up by the criminal justice system “while rich white men go scott free.”
Wright demanded “justice for the war crimes at Abu Ghraib.” That was followed by “justice for the war crimes committed at Guantanamo.” He called for, “justice for the murderers of 9-11.” And then “justice” for the “murders” of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.
The last was an echo of a speech he gave shortly after September 11, 2001, when he declared the terrorist attack on the United States were, quoting Malcolm X, “the chickens coming home to roost.”
During the litany, Wright did call for “children to be educated based upon their ability to learn, not on their ability to pay.” But since these were all quick hits, we don’t know if he was calling for the expansion of school choice.
Prior to Wright’s speech, there was singing, speeches, awards for volunteers, more speeches, and dinner donated by a local Italian restaurant who was more than willing to continue the “rubber chicken” tradition. The site of the occasion was on the east side of Milwaukee in 145 Renaissance Hall, an elegant setting.
MICAH’s anniversary attracted some of Milwaukee’s political leadership, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Board Chairman Marina Dimitrijevic, neither of whom stayed long enough for the Wright speech. Barrett even issued a proclamation honoring the interfaith liberal organization throughout the city.
(By the way, there’s a form on the city website where you can request a proclamation for your organization. I can’t wait to see the proclamation honoring the Bradley Foundation.)
If there was a humorous, slightly politically incorrect moment for the evening, it was when Father Tomas Mueller presented the Volunteer Award at the dinner to the co-chairs of the Immigration Task Force. Poor Father Mueller could not remember the brand of frozen pizza everyone at the dinner was boycotting. (I sympathized with Mueller and boycotted an awful looking fettuccine Alfredo that was offered for dinner.)
But the main attraction was Wright. What little he provided in fireworks he provided an insight into the mind of President Barack Obama and the spirit of the leftwing that has captured the Democratic Party.
Wright explained that while Europeans believed in the Cogito Ergo Sum of Descartes, “I think therefore I am,” Africans did not believe in the autonomous human being, but in the community in forming the human being. He said they believed, “I am because we are.”
“Justice,” the Reverend defined for us as, “fairness.” And echoing so many liberal protests chants before, Wright reminded the audience that without justice there can be no peace. He said there could be a truce, but no peace.
Wright also told the audience that America has not acknowledged its original sin of slavery because to do so would require reparations. That would be news to the heirs of the fallen at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
But if justice is fairness, as defined by Wright, and the only way to define the individual is as part of a community, then one begins to see the whole underpinnings of the redistributionist nature of modern liberalism.
And it’s in that identity of the community as the self that the Reverend Wright misses his greatest opportunity to teach the flock. For Wright came from humble beginnings and worked his way up the educational ladder. He is an accomplished man, with a doctorate in theology from the University of Chicago and is able to speak several languages, a fact he proudly demonstrated for his audience.
From his position as Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Wright was able to travel the world to South Africa, where he learned about their struggles while teaching them his version of the social gospel.
Wright’s story is the Great American success story, the man who rose from poverty and ignorance to become the former pastor of the current President of the United States and a nationally demanded lecturer. As an individual he has achieved great things for himself. Perhaps he could just say thank you to the country that gave him the opportunity to succeed as an individual, and lead his flock by his example.