Friday, March 28, 2008

Rev. Wright, Race Relations, and The 2008 Election

I am not surprised that Senator Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright is sitll an issue in the current news cycle. The story about Wright and the tapes have been available for months yet they became a political liability and hot story only after Hillary Clinton’s super delegate Governor Spitzer’s secret sexual and possible criminal lifestyle was exposed.

In the political world the group or party that is in power will do anything to remain in power. Is it a coincidence that the videos tapes of Rev. Wright’s sermons were released during the Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal? Obama’s pastor views and statement not Obama’s views or words have ended the news that included daily reminders and comparisons of President Bill Clinton’s sexual involvement with an intern. Monica Lewinsky was 22 years old during her affair with President Clinton, which is the same age as Eliot Spitzer’s hooker or the political correct term Spitzer’s high paid call girl.

I don’t know Rev. Wright or his personal struggles with racism in America. It is my belief that Rev. Wright recent televised statements are his own personal views and experiences on race relations and/or racial inequality in America. I do know that discrimination and retaliation has left a hole in my heart, mind, and body. I am a black female and I experienced discrimination while employed by New York Department of Corrections.

In January 1996 black officers employed at Albion Correctional Facility called the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Orleans County. The president of the local chapter of the NACCP agreed to meet with the officers to discuss discrimination at Albion CF. At the officers request the January 1996, meeting was held secretly at a local church in Orleans County.

In an effort to disguise the true nature of our group and because of the fear of retaliation by Albion supervisors we called ourselves “the Focus Group.” (Yes in the State of New York in 1996 Blacks were afraid for their financial lives). I must admit that I want Spitzer exposure to remain in the news. His character flaws include the way that his Attorney General Office handled my discrimination lawsuit and his failure to make me whole in his role as Governor of New York.

Governor Spitzer was the New York State Attorney General when a member of his staff Mike Russo, Assistant New York State Attorney General, willfully filed seven perjured declarations and affirmations in the United States District Court of Western New York. Spitzer’s staff successfully had my discrimination case dismissed. I believe that by filing the perjured declarations New York State Attorney General’s Office also victimized me.

In the introduction to my book “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined” I stated, “A strong racial divide currently exists in this country. Many white people believe that black people unfairly play the race card. On the other hand racism for many blacks in America is real and very painful.”

Racism continues to be real and very scary to me. I didn’t want any of my family and friends to suffer the way that I have suffered. Therefore, I didn’t write their last names in the acknowledgement section of my book. I didn’t want any of my family and friends to experience the retaliation that wrecked my life.

Senator Obama as a candidate for the Presidency has given me and countless other voters “hope.” We now believe that as a united nation that we can address an issue as painful as racism. It is time for this entire country to have a meaningful discussion on institutional racism both past and present. As a nation we can and must rise above the discriminatory and racist reality of our past and current environment.

On September 11, 2001, I watched in horror as this country was attacked. I could not believe that we were at war. I cried like a baby as I held my eight-month old grand son in my arms. I cried for my country and the innocent victims and their families.

We came together as a caring and God loving country after September 11, 2001. I believe that with Obama as President we can experience the pride and unity of post 9/11. Oh yes we can come together again as The “United” States of America.
On March 15, 2008, Obama addressed the Rev. Wright issue during a town hall meeting in Indiana. In my view he did an outstanding job. It is so ironic that Senator Obama has gone from being an alleged “Muslin” to now having to denounce and reject a Christian minister that everyone now admits that Obama has shared a twenty-year Christian relationship. I see the hands of God at work in this instance (Romans 8).

Obama’s March 18, 2008, speech on race made me teary eyed. Senator Obama’s personality, charm, intelligence, and willingness to comprise are great traits that he will use to united and inspire all of us to greatness.

All of Senator Obama’s supporters must pray, trust God, and hold on because it is going to get worst before Obama becomes the next President of the United States of America.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.

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