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{Empty title} | The Nation

The attacks on Reverend Wright show one thing about America (or more specifically corporate mediated America)--that it is unable to look at itself with any semblance of reality. The undeniable fact--that the US was founded sequentially on genocide, slavery and conquest--is known to its victims, many of whom have vanished in smallpox epidemics, on slavers' ships; through incendiary, atomic, napalm or phosphorus bombs; from US-backed death squads and counterinsurgency units; or poisoned over decades by Agent Orange, depleted uranium and other toxins.

Reverend Wright, true to the prophet whose name he bears, calls out this record of iniquity, thundering condemnation for the crimes commited not just against his people but people around the world and at home. His Christian compassion would demand no less. Martin Luther King did much the same when he decried the devastation of Vietnam and drew attention to the "victims of our nation."

As such, it is should come as no surprise that the African-American community is the most anti-war constituency in the country. Polls leading up to the Iraq War showed a strong majority against military action. On the other side, white men and women overwhelmingly supported the war. White male support remained strong and in the majority even when they were asked whether such a conflict would be worth thousands of Iraqi civilian lives. Contrast this with African-Americans, among whom support collapsed entirely. Interestingly, if Obama supported the war he would have been in this minuscule minority of African-Americans who supported Bush's War.

One must ask then, who is pathological? Whose views are congruent with the rest of the world? Whose views are filled with exceptionalism and willful blindness to the nation's shortcomings? Indeed, the African-American prophetic tradition has been America's saving grace.

We should not let the Goebbelsian newspeak emanating from corporate propaganda organs such as FOX or CNN continue to defame this tradition, otherwise the country will be in the words of Dr. King, approaching spiritual death.