White Liberation Theology

Whether you’re aware of it or not, some of the best inspiration I have for the verbal brilliance I publish here on TharpSter.Org is derived from my sarcastic wit.  When you couple that with the depth of my knowledge on politics and my unrelenting use of colorful imagery to convey my point, magic happens.

Recently, I was on the radio with Joe Pags onThe 950 out of Houston.     As a conservative media figure, Joe is relentlessly called a racist.  Just about any subject he discusses on the air, be it voter id, “Remember the Alamo”, fixing the Texas budget shortfall, drunk driving, pot decriminalization, or drug testing welfare recipients, Pags is always bound to receive calls or emails from various listeners who accuse him of being a racist.  Just to summarize, if Joe opens his mouth he’s probably a racist.

Joe also plays saxophone.  Recently, a band out of Houston asked him to play on a song they’re in the process of recording.  Joe happily obliged, and on the morning in question, he played snippets of the recording on air.  He then asked for people to call in with feedback.  Queue TharpSter, you’re on in 5, 4, 3,……..

Joe:  Ok, and we’re back and we have Randy on line.  What’s up Randy?

 

Me:  Joe, I love your show and I’ve listened to you for several years now.

 

Joe:  Great, thanks.

 

Me:  I gotta tell you though Joe.  You’re sax playing sounds pretty racist to me.

 

Joe:  No kidding?

 

Me:  Yeah, I could hear the White Liberation Theology oozing out of it.

Joe appreciated my commentary and subsequently told me to get off the phone.  That’s what he does.

White Liberation Theology.

I like the sound of that.

When I dialed in that morning in hopes of smarting off to the guy on the radio, I had no idea I was going to utter that phrase.  It just came out as fruit born of my sarcastic nature.  At that point, I had to set out to define it.

The name itself has been hijacked from the term “Black Liberation Theology”.  According to our good (and sometimes wrong) friends at Wikipedia, Black Liberation Theology “…maintains that African Americans must be liberated from multiple forms of bondage — political, social, economic, and religious.”  I had personally never heard this term prior to the 2008 presidential election campaign.  The Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is a church founded on this principle.  If you don’t know of the church I’m speaking about, you may be familiar with one of its preachers by the name of Jeremiah Wright.  I won’t spend a whole lot of time here discussing the merits of Black Liberation Theology, or whether the definition provided on Wiki is correct.  It’s tangential to the current discussion.

There’s another term which figures into the concept of White Liberation Theology.  It’s called “White Guilt.”  Urban Dictionary nails this one on the head. “….a belief, often subconscious, among white liberals that being white is, in and of itself, a great transgression against the rest of the world for which one must spend their life making atonement. It is often exemplified by embracing the cultures and philosophies of various other ethnic groups while neglecting one’s own roots.

I couldn’t have said it any better.

Deep down, I believe the reason people call critics of Obama and liberalism is derived from white guilt.  There doesn’t seem to be any logical foundation for the accusation otherwise, especially when no racism can be found in the criticism at all..

Allow me to make it very clear right here and now that White Liberation Theology is not the white version of Black Liberation Theology.  I’m sure the likes of various white supremacy groups have their own version of Black Liberation Theology, and I’m not interested in giving them my new, kick ass, bitchin’ term.

So race relations in this country haven’t been so good lately.  That’s sad, and I’ll tell you why.  Frankly, I don’t want to see race relations descend to a level which is lower than its current station.  More white guilt will ensue, and America will once again make even more bad choices.

It’s not like there are race riots or anything like that.  Instead, the bad feelings are happening within the current dialogue about what’s generally going on.

With the election of Barack Obama, we as a country had proven to ourselves and the world that we were more than capable of electing someone other than whitey to the Presidency.    America had gone post racial with the flip of a lever and the dangling of a chad.  Vast hoards of Americans around the nation gathered on the day he was elected and shed a tear of pride for what steps the country had just taken.

There were plenty of us who saw the election of Obama as a black man as no big deal.  We knew the nation was capable of such an act.  We knew that our country wasn’t as racist as today’s civil rights leaders would have us believe.  We knew it was more important to judge one by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.  It’s unfortunate that the country had to elect the likes of Obama as a candidate in order to say they could elect Obama as a black man.  Certainly we could vote for a black man, just not *that* black man.

“The Suffrage of the Misinformed” is the phrase I tend to use when discussing the 2008 election.  It happened in both parties throughout the primaries and then on into the general election.  Warm, fuzzy slogans of “Yes we can” littered the landscape and were salted appropriately with endeavors of “Hope” and “Change”.

Obama won, and he won for the wrong reasons.

At the time, I wrote a blog on MySpace (yeah, yeah, I know) which called for an end to the use of the race card.  My reasoning for such a call was based on the fact that I believed America had just gone all in with unsuited, non-connecting hole cards which could lead us to bigger problems later on.    Consider that weak statement which goes along the lines of: “I’m not racist.  Some of my best friends are black.”  On the national and even international stage, the election of Barack Obama was the metaphorical equivalent to that statement.

It would seem that the parties that be didn’t get my memo on losing the race card.  I’m sure I can find where MySpace was partially culpable in the blog’s failure to metastasize.

Shortly after taking office, Obama started doing exactly what his detractors had feared all along.  With unabated and unmitigated audacity, he moved to explode our national debt with a stimulus plan which was big on promises and short on results.  He took over a car company and summarily sent its CEO packing.  At the same time, he criticized its shareholders for trying to recoup their losses in the subsequent bankruptcy proceedings.  He put an unsuccessfull cap and trade policy out there along with Obamacare, both of which would have the ability to cripple the American economy.   The list goes on.

Throughout Obama’s time in office, there have been plenty of people to criticize him.  Joe Pags has been an outspoken critic of the man, along with all of the other conservatives who make a living in the media.  Don’t forget the right wing blogosphere out here either.

Just about anytime any of us on the web, the radio, or the TV criticize what Obama has done or what he’s doing, invariably there’s some sort of response that likens our concern to the fact that we’re racist.  Whoopi Goldberg did it to Donald Trump just the other day over the birth certificate issue.  When the poster of Obama came out which depicted him as the Heath Ledger version of The Joker, it was characterized as being racially motivated.

Criticisms of Obama aren’t the only source for these unjustified charges of racism though.  The state of Arizona was subjected to such scrutiny as it looked to pass and implement SB 1070 in order to cure some of its immigration woes.  Legislation here in the state of Texas to require voters to present valid ID when they exercise their suffrage rights is in the process of being made into law.  This appears to be a racist issue as well.

During the 2008 campaign, John McCain put out an ad linking Obama to former Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines. The commercial can be seen here.  Absolutely nothing is mentioned about race in the ad.  Rachel Maddow discussed the item on her own show.  She opened the discussion with the following:  “The McCain campaigned appeared at least to play the race card of all things from the bottom of the deck…….”  Later on, she went on to describe the racism.  “….Raines is black, and they [the McCain campaign] were bending over to make a race tinged ad showing these two black men looking very menacing and then showing a worried and distressed elderly white woman at the end of the ad.” The entire bit can be found here.

Have you ever heard of the TEA Party?  Presumably, activists within the party are racists because they disagree with the big government activities which have taken place over the last few years.

Here’s what it boils down to, people.  The race card is alive and well.  I believe it’s being used more now than it ever was.  I suspect the phenomenon is an after effect of this country’s efforts from a few years ago to expunge itself of its white guilt.  Even worse is that it’s being used as the scapegoat de jour, regardless if race is actually involved in the discussion at hand.

Put simply, White Liberation Theology is a rejection of the effects of white guilt.

White Liberation Theology maintains the following:

  • Any properly qualified candidate can and should run for public office.  By “properly qualified”, I’m referring to the requirements described in the document which governs the election in question (ie: the U.S. Constitution, individual state constitutions, etc.).  This is regardless of the candidate’s race, gender, or creed.  Translation – I don’t care what your color, religion, or orientation is when it comes time for me to decide whether I should vote for you.  Those are not factors which aid in my decision when I suffrage.

 

  • Open discourse, be it civil, robust, complex, or somewhere in between is a right afforded to Americans by the U.S. Constitution in the 1st Amendment.  Translation – Thou shalt not jack with my free speech rights, no matter how bitingly aggressive I get with them.

 

  • Non sequitur charges of racism leveled in response to criticism of a person or matter are short sighted and ill conceived.  Translation – If the best response to my argument that you can muster is to call me a racist, just shut up with that bullshit now before you allow such idiocy to creep out of your pie-hole.

It’s as easy as that.

I’m not a racist, and I don’t suffer from white guilt.  I do believe the slave trade and similar practices which landed black people here was horrible thing.  I also believe a lot of the things that have been said and done in the name of racial equality and racial harmony have been counterproductive and non-conducive to the cause.

White Liberation Theology.

I love that term.  It sounds good and I think it’s a perfect moniker for how I’ve defined it.

Let’s go out and do it some justice.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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