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In Position and Superbly Capable of Picking Up Where MLKjr Left Off

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While waiting to hear the main speaker celebrating the 60th anniversary of the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review at Ethical Culture Hall on Central Park West in New York, an archival research historian, drifted off into

a daydream of fantasy and fact.

A vision of an unlit boxing ring in a closed down darkened stadium, empty of fans, fans going about their daily lives elsewhere still inspired by the two all-time-great undefeated fighters for justice, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm.

In the dank stifling air of this shut down national arena are vivid memories of heroic performances by these two underdog giants successfully challenging the long since reigning champion, a superpowered behemoth that devours its own, an unfeeling colossus backed by the capitalist imperialist mob.

Suddenly the lights go on! A rustle in the 2009 crowd, a few excited shouts from those catching sight of him coming down the aisle from the dressing rooms. To the hesitant applause of the multitude, he climbs the steps to his corner of the ring. A mild roar of encouragement and hope breaks out as he slips under the ropes and stands waiting to hear the announcement over the loudspeaker.

"And in this corner, the contender, The Reverend Jeremiah Wright, representing majority humanity and contesting the title held by Mammon, the designated representative of the masters of the universe."

Rev. Wright's and Rev. King Jr.' erstwhile opponent towers above the whole audience right up to the ceiling. Flowing in his veins, the power of a rich elite containing within it the might of David Rockefeller and the Rothschilds down through a coterie of other descendants of the financiers and backers of Hitler's German rearmament.

At ringside smirking with confidence, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Fareed Zakaria, the George Bushes, the Clintons, Richard Holbrooke, Robert Gates and other plethora of hidden CIA muscle and brawn.

Rev. Jeremiah's handlers, Michael Moore and Cynthia McKinney are whispering last minute cautionaries of what to watch out for.

A couple rows back sit Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, elderly mentor coaches of both Wright and King Jr., heads together, discussing Wright's best strategy.

This evanescent scene promptly vanishes, as Rev. Jeremiah is introduced to a loud enthusiastic audience reaction here in the right-now reality of an evening at Ethical Culture Hall.

We looked up at the jovial but firm-jawed face and twinkling eyes of the Obama family minister given world wide prominence during days of repeating TV sound bites of an angry Rev. Wright, arm raised, fiercely declaiming in a horse voice, "God damn America for its war crimes!" "God damn America for killing innocent people."

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The pastor began by commenting that he was glad that right after him was to speak Michael Tigar, a fine lawyer, because "I might need a good lawyer by the time I'm finished."

Looking back on what was the best speech you ever heard, Rev. Wright's opening remark was well taken, for he pulled no punches in reviewing the way things really are.

Jeremiah Wright gave a eloquently compassionate and empowering description of where we are today. He began with disarming charm and self-effacing, lightly humorous, humility. He appears very much at home before an audience and makes us feel relaxed from the start. He crafts what he has to say to us in a graceful flow of phrases at times softly intoned but always strongly expressive in a way that make us feel some corrective happenings are going to take place and that we somehow are going to be part of it. Perhaps his being an accomplished musician is behind his ability to present an extremely serious theme as if he were entertaining and inspiring us at the same time, telling us story about ourselves, which we feel obliged to see through to a happy ending.

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He made us feel that we must identify our own personal community as one equally inclusive of areas on other continents, as in Africa, where people suffer injustice for the sake of world domination for profit by the few.

He spoke of his divinity school teachers and his education by events in the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm and the many other noble luminaries of black and minority leadership during the long history of the fight for liberation of Francis Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth." And finally, that he had been formed as well from his years of ministry and listening "in the pew."

He denounced the United States government for -- among other things-- enslaving, oppressing, and criminalizing Black Americans since this nation's inception -

- for repeatedly launching wars "based on one lie after another."

- for the of agony and manslaughter of Palestinians

Rev. Jeremiah also emphasized that racial oppression is at the foundation of the United States -- including its Constitution, a document that subjugated human rights to property rights and subordinated the rights of women and people of color to white males - that Amendments to the Constitution did not make up for its fundamental laws of injustice in a nation where social change is suppressed.

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In passing, speaking of media, he made mention of Essence magazine as a publication that "used to be Black."

Wright hailed the Monthly Review as a magazine that has revealed and rebuked both the foreign and domestic policies of this country, including its current "wars of greed" in Afghanistan and Iraq , and as a publication that has placed priority on people -- particularly the world's most oppressed - over profit

- that by contrast, the history of this country, and of the world, is one in which people have been subjugated to profit. As one illustration of that point, Wright recounted being in Newark recently and seeing "an 8-year-old girl sleeping on the street, forced to use her backpack as a pillow"

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Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC; First effort was a series of (more...)

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