In the name of context, I have linked the entire 5-and-a-half minute benediction, but the embarrassing part comes right at 5:00:
... 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; when yella can be mella; when the red man can get ahead man; and when white will embrace what is right....OK, I get it; he was trying to inject a little levity. However, I have two problems with what Lowery said. First was his use of future tense - he was talking about a day that has yet to arrive, where the minorities of this country are still being held down by the evil white man who has yet to "embrace what is right." And he is saying this at the inauguration of this country's first black president for crying out loud! Talk about anachronistic! Second was Lowery's obvious slam against whites. Could he have been any more racist - assigning nefarious intentions to an entire race? Perhaps the good reverend should remember that this country's electorate is still 70% white. For Obama to win, quite a few of us palefaces had to have voted for him.
For all the talk of a "post-racial" America in light of Obama's arrival in the White House, I see race relations in this country becoming paradoxically more sensitive and more vicious in the coming four years. Joseph Lowery's race-baiting benediction served as a frightening harbinger of things to come.
Good Day to You, Sir