Monday, November 10, 2008

Rev Wright finally speaks at Northwestern

November 7, 2008

Once the coast was clear and barry became the president-elect, Rev Wright headlined Northwestern's first "State of the Black Union Address" after an invitation by 'For Members Only', NU's black student alliance in part to make up for the retraction of Wright's honorary degree. Ironic who delivered it and who didn't. I wonder who was capturing live video for barry and what he and Wright said to each other when they met up this week. Would've loved to hear that. Ayers also made an appearance. Father Pfleger was most certainly there somewhere.

It was closed to the media but was reported on by the Daily Northwestern's NATHALIE TADENA (with Christina Chaey). Approximately 900 people attended, some from Wright's church who waited to fill the empty seats. Wright gave a 90 minute long speech: "Redeeming and Reclaiming our Community" including a Q & A. It was set up by Zachary Parker, Coordinator of Form Members Only, who reportedly developed a relationship with Wright after Wright was denied an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology in June because it would provide a distraction to commencement ceremonies. Parker's comments preceded Wright's.

Although the discussion focused on issues still present in the black community, the event was "an educational experience for the entire university," Parker said.

"From black to white to everyone in between, it was very important for these topics to be presented in an uplifting way," he said.
A little insight gained from the September 30th announcement (NorthbyNorthwestern's ALEX CAMPBELL & CHELSEA FINGER) of Wright's upcoming speech in the comment section. Not everyone was welcome. (emphasis added)
Parker: "This will be a GREAT event. All are welcome and everyone is encouraged to attend having an open mind....This will go down in history."
More from TADENA:
[Wright encouraged students to] "pursue a global perspective and acknowledge their culture in Northwestern's first State of the Black Union address Friday night."

"Please don't worry - I am not going to preach tonight," Wright said early in the For Members Only "State of the Black Union" keynote address, adding that he could differentiate between a sermon and an academic speech. "You can all exhale."

[He spoke about] the black liberation movement of the 1960s and historically black colleges and universities as part of his theme, "Redeeming and Reclaiming Our Community."

"There's a rupture in generational consciousness and generational understanding," Wright said. "We need to first teach our students, our children to teach their own stories and stop depending on others to tell their own stories."

His speech...drew laughter from a diverse audience in Cahn when Wright compared styles of worship from black and white churches and said that he had to pass examinations on classic literature "from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf" before he could study the black oral tradition.

"Take everything you learn in here back home to those who gave you birth," Wright said.

The retired Trinity United Church of Christ pastor spoke only briefly about the most famous former member of his congregation, President-elect Barack Obama, calling Obama's election "awesomely inspiring and history-making" and saying that he had supported Obama throughout the campaign, although the Illinois senator severed ties with Wright before the election.

"My family's getting lynched in the process," Wright said. "Never in the history of this country has there been a demonization of a person like I've been demonized."
Non-accidental choice of words. Never in the history of this country? An ego as large as barry's. It was his own words right out of his own raging mouth. Seems he reprised his Press Club presentation - Beowulf instead of Beethoven. Why must he ridicule white America to get his message across? Why not focus on the good in the black community? Why always the need to stress the division? How are non-blacks to bridge the divide when the black community chooses to keep the division alive? If the FMO really and truly wanted to get their message across, how better to do that than let members of the press in? Doesn't begin to pass the sniff test. Will videos and text be available, including the Q & A? If not, the message is clear.

Comments: Daily Northwestern's editorial, Ayers', event sponsor, For Members Only's, Zachary Parker and President, College Republicans, James D'Angelou. Background here, here, and here.

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