If he were white, Rev. Wright could stand up before the cameras and make his nuttiest statements — that the U.S. government deliberately spread AIDS in the inner cities, for example — and most white Americans wouldn’t be so shocked.
That’s because white folks have a long history of gasbags in the pulpit. We fully expect some of them to be outrageous and narrow-minded and even a little paranoid.
Often our loudest, most hypocritical preachers become political gurus, instructing their wide-eyed followers whom to support. To a candidate trolling for fundamentalist votes, it’s the next best thing to a personal endorsement from Jesus.
Old joke: what’s the difference between Pat Robertson (or John Hagee or Rush Limbaugh) and the Hindenburg? One’s a flaming Nazi gasbag; the other is was a zeppelin. Oh, the humanity.