Huckabee on Wright

I really appreciated this statement from Mike Huckabee, quoted this week on the Sojourners’ site:

As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say, “That’s a terrible statement,” I grew up in a very segregated South, and I think that you have to cut some slack. And I’m going to be probably the only conservative in America who’s going to say something like this, but I’m just telling you: We’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, “You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus.” And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had … more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.
– Mike Huckabee, offering his perspective on the preaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. (Source: MSNBC)

I’ve been dismayed to see so many white pundits take more umbrage about Rev. Wright’s statements (some of which are, no doubt, offensive) than they do about the racism that created the anger, insult, and hurt out of which those statements arise. By amplifying their offense at Rev. Wright, they demonstrate their relative insensitivity to how destructive racism has been, and in so doing, they add to the anger, insult, hurt, and misunderstanding – perpetuating the vicious cycle. Their impolitic responses make Mike Huckabee’s response look all the wiser. Way to go, Mike. That’s leadership worthy of the adjective “Christian.”