The quagmire of the Rev. Wright is media-generated. They mercilessly crucified him by spinning big lies about his sermons. The effect included threats on his life and family and bombing threats on his church. His congregation, 8,000 strong, is being hounded and church services are disrespected.
Wright is a Chicago icon and Trinity United Church of Christ is a pillar of active struggle in the Black community and within labor circles. Chicago cannot afford the destruction of either.
Clearly there is an attempt to use Wright, and whatever else can be mustered up, to upset the Obama campaign. The central question is: can the science of struggle help us derail the attempt to derail not just the Obama campaign, but the movement for social progress in this country? This movement impacts the entire world, so this matter is of supreme significance.
Looking at his recent series of public appearances, some believe that, no matter what Wright said, it would be twisted for nefarious purposes.
The Bill Moyers interview pulled Wright into trying to defend himself and his relationship with Obama. Five years from now that information would be interesting to read in a book, but in the current context the media used it to raise questions about Obama’s veracity.
The Detroit NAACP dinner had Wright presenting his view of issues he thinks are pertinent. What is needed now is promoting the unity necessary to move forward. Wright spoke about building unity, but it was not his main message. Today’s dire situation requires more.
Then came the National Press Club event, organized by a Black minister (female) who is reported to be a media consultant and Clinton supporter. Wright packed the audience with his allies and then forgot or got confused about being in the middle of the lion’s den. His behavior, normal for his style in the pulpit, in the national media spotlight setting created a cultural disconnect for some.
The science of struggle is decisively useful here. Is the ultimate goal the cleansing of Wright, or the election of Obama, or the provision of a platform for various forces in the African American, and every other, community to voice their concerns about numerous issues both big and small? Or, is the ultimate goal the realization of the greatest democracy in every aspect of life in this country and the reverberating impact such a development will have on the rest of the world? Surely it’s the latter.
Everything we do should be subordinated to building the movement that can bring the highest advancement of social progress possible at this moment. The defeat of the ultra-right — preferably by the campaign that has the best understanding of the importance of engaging the masses in governing and in building a movement toward that end — is the most important task at hand.
Some forces will contribute to achieving the overall goal but are not engaged in the science of struggle — though even those engaged are not immune from making big mistakes. Wright made a mistake by thinking his courage was all that was required, when in fact what is required in addition to courage is everyone’s subordination to the advancement of the overall cause, with full consideration to strategy and tactics. Such an advanced orientation, even in the interest of the poor and downtrodden, does not evolve out of the natural course of life.
We all should despise cultural oppression and domination. It is not broadly recognized that the great swath of the American people are victimized by it, including and especially people of color, other nationalities, women and all ordinary working class folk (“middle class” and the downright poor). The media are the great purveyors of cultural oppression and domination. Anybody who has watched what Obama is being forced to go through should be able to bear witness to the shame of it all. But the hurt and anger evoked will not move us forward unless properly channeled.
Not only do we need to invest in further developing the science of struggle, but we also have to find ways to get that caliber of analysis into the hands of those who want to help but don’t always know exactly how. Building avenues to engage them in exploring and developing the science would be even better. Everybody is not the enemy, but the real enemy can make use of anybody who allows it, consciously or not.
Dee Myles is a Chicago social justice activist.