Again - what [he] said
Yet another person does it more articulately than I can, this time from TPM Cafe via Common Dreams:
This country was built on the backs of African slaves on land that was robbed in the slaughter of Native Americans. I’m sorry if this offends your bourgeois sensibilities as it isn’t the totally awesome, God-fearing, flag-waving, USA #1!!!1 narrative that we teach to school kids, but it is historical fact.
America is a work in progress. It took people like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas to read deeper into the philosophies that birthed this nation. They realized that the rich, white men so many of us proudly call our Founding Fathers had only scratched the surface. And so they joined what would become a larger tradition: the fine American tradition of dissent. One hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation this country was still segregated. Restaurants, buses, schools, drinking fountains and bathrooms. Again, it took leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to see that “separate, but equal” was a ruse and that it represented a reading of these ideas that sold them short entirely. And some of these people were told they were too bombastic, too loud and too angry. It took leaders like Bobby Kennedy to see that their anger was well justified and long overdue.
To tell you the brutal truth, we NEED a guy like Rev. Wright every now and then, who grabs us by the scruff of our necks and forces us to look at the failings in our own revolution. "SEE?" he says. "Not living up to your ideals, are you?" And, of course, being good Americans, we snort derisively and turn away and call him vile names behind his back for making us feel bad about the Bestest, Most Specialest Country Ever.
Maybe Sen. Obama was correct, in a pragmatic way, to distance himself from Rev. Wright, seeing as the controversy would hurt his chances for becoming President. But if all we ever have is the feel-good stainless history and innocent descriptions of current events some would force on us in the name of REAL "political correctness", we get ever that much closer to the conviction that We Can Do No Wrong. And that's a direct road to abandoning the very same principles we claim to defend, and leads inevitably to a backlash of violence.