Long before the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s so-called “Liberation Theology” nearly cost then Sen. Barack Obama the presidency in 2008, the bedrock tenets of that teaching had been established and made firm. There have literally been millions of words preached and recited, even sung, which bear witness to the truth of that philosophy. Liberation Theology is as sound as Gospel.
The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass–in his immortal July 5, 1852 address called “What to the American slave is Your Fourth of July”–said it ever so plainly.
“I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”
“…your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity…” that’s talking about American Christianity there. “…a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages…” sayeth Frederick Douglass, without fear of successful contradiction.
So, anything that the Rev. Wright or any of the tens of thousands of like-minded Black folks have said 150 years later simply amounts to icing on a multi-layered cake.
Still, Black people–who in Douglass’s words are the “constant victims” of “gross injustice and cruelty”–are continually held at fault by the White supremacist society in which we live, and are required to make nice to the white whip-masters and brutes who continue to punish Black people, sometimes it seems only for sport.
I believe that Frederick Douglass taught “Liberation Theology,” and he was correct to do so.
On the other hand, the “prayers and hymns, sermons and thanksgivings” of the ordinary White Christian church are nothing more than “brass-fronted impudence; hollow mockery…” So, if that’s true of the ordinary White Christian churches, what must we think of a church that teaches that Black people are instead cursed by God himself? Should a high official in such a church, one who donates millions of dollars to such a church be President of the United States?
Well, guess what presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s church believes. “For decades, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has taught that black people are ‘inferior’ and ‘cursed’ by God because of something sinister that blacks did before they were born,” Michael Cottman wrote recently for Black America Web.com.
“And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity,” Cottman writes, quoting what he refers to as a “bizarre” passage from the Book of Mormon, the church’s holy text. “For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus sayeth the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.”
That is not Liberation Theology. That’s Put-the-shackles-back-on-Black-people-theology. Make no mistake about it.
Why hasn’t anyone questioned Gov. Romney about his church’s odious teachings against Black people? Why hasn’t Gov. Romney been asked to either embrace or distant himself from this message in his church’s teachings, the same way then Sen. Barack Obama had to renounce, and denounce, and pronounce, and announce the Rev. Wright’s teachings, before summarily throwing him under the proverbial bus?
I want to know what Gov. Romney has to say about such passages in The Book of Mormon, and I wonder why a lot of people are not similarly curious, and/or upset about Romney being given a pass instead of being required to talk about his church’s white supremacist theology.
Instead, White writers get away with outright falsehoods, as they go about blaming the victims for their racist crimes. “If George W. Bush had spent 20 years in the church of a white supremacist, he never would have come close to winning the Republican nomination–never mind the presidency,” Jeffrey Kuhner wrote recently in The Washington Times.
Say what? Do those editors over there read that stuff before they publish it?
“When it comes to race,” Kuhner writes “there is a blatant double standard.” You betcha there is. And it “permeates American society,” just as Kuhner writes. The only thing is, it’s Mitt Romney and White folks who are getting away with crimes against Black folks, “…which would disgrace a nation of savages.”