What we get from Wright are fetching reminders that this is how we play the game. In the Wrightian universe, a booming black voice, trembling indignantly, can speak nonsense with impunity and righteous joy. An even-toned white voice is allowed to visit reproach on whites. That's as far as it goes. Two can't play at Wright's game. He won't allow it. He made the rules, after all, and now hopes the white media, and the Republicans, haven't caught on.
What do we know, then, in the present context, besides our duty, which is to swallow nonsense with never a belch? The campaign doesn't help us to this extent in choosing among the three remaining candidates. It does remind non-Wright-thinking Americans of the consequences, in any context, of allowing nonsense more room than the First Amendment requires.
In other words, a presidential candidate who beams appreciatively at Wrightian bombast -- we can hope Obama winces sometimes -- has some tall explaining to do. A representative of the church -- black, white, whatever hue -- has the constitutional right to say such things as Wright says. The electorate has a duty to hold accountable those in the media -- on the blogs, in politics, at the water cooler -- who can listen to such junk without a horse laugh. And maybe just a cold shiver proceeding to the top of the spine and back again.
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