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Transcript: Inauguration Benediction – Rev. Lowery [Updated w/ video]

January 20, 2009

Color me offended..

Rev. Lowery finishes off his inauguration benediction with a racist dig at “whites”

Link @YouTube

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor (Are you listening Democrats? Heh) or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right. (Notably laughter is absent Interesting.)

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.


REV. LOWERY: Say amen —


REV. LOWERY: — and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)


“…we ask you to help us work for that day…when white will embrace what is right.”

Do I have a right to be offended?
Looks down at skin tone…doubtful.

Leave a Comment
  1. January 20, 2009 4:38 pm

    Yeah I guess our hopes of having a black President ending racism is shot.

  2. Laura Anderson permalink
    January 20, 2009 4:47 pm

    Hmm. I’m noticing a lot of blogs and comments out there from white folks who were offended. I’m white, too — but I’m just not that thin-skinned, I guess.

    It seems like some white people are upset that “white people” were even spoken about in general terms (something most people of color, on the other hand, are probably used to by now!). Let’s relax and not take it personally. I’m sure he didn’t mean, “you! hey you! pale guy in the third row: you’re not working hard enough.”

    Perhaps he did imply, however, that white people still have a ways to go before we can be counted as full allies for racial justice. Unfortunately, I think that would be accurate. White people are the historic beneficiaries of racism – though many of us did not choose this “privilege.”

    And he did something else: he included us white folks in the struggle, but acknowledged our struggle is different. He implied that racial justice is not just about “black,” “brown,” “red,” and “yellow” people getting their rights: it’s about “white” people choosing to do the right thing even if it means we lose some of the privileges that racist economic and social systems have given us.

    Speaking for myself, the reason I didn’t laugh at that point is because his hopes for us white folks were more solemn, and more truly prayerful.

  3. January 20, 2009 5:00 pm

    Laura Anderson, you must not have listened to the same prayer. How do you get that he included whites in the struggle and acknowledged our struggle was different. What, we struggle with doing the right thing? Each color/race mentioned was mentioned that they struggle and he prays they no longer do, then when he gets to white he says we must do what is right. That is not a struggle but an insinuation that we are to this day the cause of the other struggles. It is time to get over it, we have done everything possible to apologize for that time in our history and give all races every opportunity to succeed. It is an excuse now for those who don’t succeed. If they fail in life they can just blame the white man.

    Here read it again:

    Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right. (Notably laughter is absent Interesting.)

  4. Laura Anderson permalink
    January 20, 2009 8:19 pm

    I did listen to the same prayer – saw it live. We see things differently. I don’t see how this country has done “everything possible to apologize for that time in our history and give all races every opportunity to succeed.”

    So, it’s “time to get over it” because why? Because you say so? So, racism’s over now? Obama’s president and it’s “Mission Accomplished?” Sorry. Takes a little longer than one or two generations to sort out centuries of absolutely brutal oppression… that continues to this day.

    Goodness, we’re a bunch of wimps if we can’t even handle a veteran of the civil rights movement implying that we ought to do what’s right. Let it go, man! The prayer wasn’t racist! I have to wonder if white folks are just having a hard time being told what to do by a Black elder. (Did he not keep to his place?….)

    He should have prayed for a day when “white would not be so uptight.” Then maybe we could start to have the conversation about what it means to embrace what is right.

  5. January 21, 2009 2:27 pm

    Excuse me. The prayer was most certainly racist. I suppose it may not be seen as so to those who harbor “white guilt”. An affliction I do not suffer from.

    I refuse to be held accountable for the actions (and yes they were evil & inhumane) of past generations. Good God the US has it’s first black president perhaps those like Lowery need to “not be so uptight” And move on.

    Race baiting is a commodity. No matter how much ground is gained in the fight for equality cries of racism will continue. Ask Jackson and Sharpton it is the butter on their bread.

    Read up on who (or should I say which party) did their damnedest to hold blacks back. You may learn a thing or two. Clue: It was not the Republican party.

    Lowery was not only racist against whites, a point I should of made myself.
    Rev. Lowery’s Racist Prayer – MacRanger

    The terms “yellow” as referring to Asians is offensive to Asians as is “Red” to American Indians. I know because my wife – who is Korean – is livid, as my daughter who is three-thirds American Indian (by first marriage).

    Yet this is so typical of the so-called leaders of civil rights who treat “black” as the only race that has ever suffered prejudice.

    Obviously Obama believes that as he smiled.

    Yes… POTUS Obama (former 20 yr member of Rev Wright’s church TUCC) smiled. Shocker! 🙄

    History lesson: Slavery [is] Not So Black & White

    One last thing. I have lived all over the US and never once have I heard a white person use the term “white folk”

    Dedicated to you dear Laura. 😀

  6. January 21, 2009 9:36 pm

    Lookie here:
    Not only is Lowery an old school race baiting bigot…he hearts dictators and terrorists too. A fine upstanding American.

    In September 1979 Lowery, along with then-NAACP President Benjamin Hooks and future NAACP President Julian Bond, took a trip to the Middle East, where they honored Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi with “The Decoration of Martin Luther King.” Lowery also met with PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Lebanon. When an American interviewer later asked Lowery, “Do you accept the popular image of the PLO as a bunch of terrorists?” he replied: “Well, that depends on how you define terrorists … I don’t mind calling them terrorists. I don’t mind because I also call [Israeli Prime Minister Menachem] Begin a terrorist … the PLO is not just a bunch of terrorists.”

    Perfect choice for the O’s inauguration benediction. A lower profile Rev Wright wannabe.

    “What’s wrong with Jeremiah Wright’s preaching?” Lowery wondered. “Prophetic preaching has been around in the black church for years. That’s all I do. The only reason why no one says anything about me is because I don’t have a member who is a presidential candidate.”

    No but Obama chose Lowery to speak at his inauguration so Lowery is special.

    This “white folk” does not think Lowery “embraces what is right”

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