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May 2, 2008 3:43 pm


Howard Meyer: Pastor Wright Controversy



To the Editor,

If the cameras had stopped rolling and the sound track cut off, following the presentation by Bill Moyers on PBS of who Rev. Wright was and placing his peculiarly provocative remarks in context, there would have been a more informative debate on the substance of what his sermons had said..

Unfortunately that was not the case and the journals in print and electronics, as is common when news is made in a competing, medium, looked the other way, while Moyers, recognized even by illiberal media commentators as informative and trustworthy, offered his Journal's illustrated essay on Wright.

One cannot fully express in a letter how much of the Rev. Wright's sermons resembled the central message of what used to be called"Negro History," as told by many moderate African American scholars such as John Hope Franklin and many of their"white" colleagues in the academy, such as the late C. Vann Woodward.

Alas, in the center of electoral politics that will be ignored.

Howard N Meyer

The writer is the author of"The Amendment [the Fourteenth] that Refused to Die, and"The Magnificent Activist," anthology of Thomas Wentworth Higginson's writings

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