The Real Jeremiah Wright

What if the only thing you knew about Thomas Jefferson was that he owned slaves? What if, instead of the … Continued

What if the only thing you knew about Thomas Jefferson was that he owned slaves?

What if, instead of the video of the I Have a Dream speech, elementary school students were taught that Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “My government is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world …”?

What if the single piece of information you possessed about Nelson Mandela was that he co-founded a terrorist organization called Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK), which stands for Spear of the Nation?

With apologies to William Blake, if you believe you can see the world in a grain of sand, you better make sure it is the right grain.

So, how well do the twelve words we know about Jeremiah Wright define the man, the nearly four-decades of ministry, the church he built, the denomination it belongs to, the black community, and whatever else we think he might represent? Are those words the right grain of sand?

The Bill Moyers interview with Wright last Friday night went a long way towards illuminating other dimensions of the man. My father – no fan of lefty politics of any stripe – called me after watching the segment with some surprise in his voice. Perhaps he was expecting Wright to cite Stokely Carmichael as his most important intellectual influence instead of Martin Marty, who is probably the most distinguished scholar of religion in America and the very model of thoughtful moderation.

It was Marty, no doubt wearing his signature bow tie, who inspired Wright when he was a student at the University of Chicago Divinity School to take over a failing church on the far south side of Chicago and make it relevant to the community it was serving.

“Do you know anything about Jeremiah Wright other than those twelve words?” my dad asked.

“A little,” I said. A grain or two of sand’s worth.

When I first moved back to Chicago in late 2001 to start the Interfaith Youth Core, it seemed like I heard Jeremiah Wright’s name mentioned every place I turned. All kinds of people – rich folk and poor folk, traditionalists and progressives, young people and old people, black and white, believers and atheists – told me I had to go see him preach.

Nobody said anything about radical politics or hating America or stirring up a race war. The one word I heard used in reference to Jeremiah Wright over and over again was the word that Martin Marty used to describe his ministry: “Hope”.

Sometime in late 2003, I woke up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday to make the long drive down to Trinity from my condo on the north side of Chicago. I arrived an hour early for the service, and still wound up in the balcony.

I remember feeling that the sermon was smart and moving, and I thought Wright had earned his reputation as a man who sent of signals of transcendence with his words.

But here is what I remember most about that morning: At the end of the service, Reverend Wright read aloud a letter that a young woman had sent him. She had grown up in the congregation, was now studying for a PhD in Oceanography, and was writing to thank Reverend Wright and Trinity for all they had done to support her.

This is what we’re about, Jeremiah Wright said, waving the letter from the pulpit, proud enough to be her own father. The congregation cheered wildly.

Maybe that’s the grain of sand that best describes the world of Jeremiah Wright.

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  • MrsJones

    Mr PetelI am glad to see such a well-written perspective offered by someone who actually has had a first-hand experience with Rev. Wright and his church. As a resident of the District of Columbia and a graduate of Howard University, I have had the opportunity to hear Rev. Wright speak at Rankin Chapel numerous times. My husband and I have made a special point to hear him on a few occasions. I have never heard anything ‘racist’ or ‘evil’ be preached by him. Those who know him, including professors, his 8000+ church members and other ministers (including my own father-in-law) consistently speak highly of him and his works in the community. That should mean much more than the words of those who have never had any personal contact with him. It reminds me of the words of Ossie Davis during the eulogy of Malcolm X:Those who continue to focus on parts of sermons without even bothering to read or listen to the entire sermon are content being fed opinions and prefer not to make their own decisions. By now, it has been reported in many places (though, not FOX news) that the quotes taken from the sermon given after 9/11 were made in reference to something said by a white Ambassador who was being interviewed on FOX. For Mike in Reno (and others who think like him), Rev. Wright addresses these same issues in his church and through the ministries of the church. However, it doesn’t make the news when a minister preaches on working to uplift the community or eliminating the problems in the community. The PBS special, made of 20 years ago, focused on those works, but I bet you never saw it or even heard of it. You probably had never heard of Rev. Wright until this whole ‘controversy’ started. The very fact that after 40 years of preaching, only a few snippets of a few sermons are being played, is representative of the fact that this man who has been vilified in the press, spends most of time focusing on other things.

  • Phyllis E Sato

    I liked the exercise of labelling Jefferson as a slave owner (none of his other achievements) or King’s anti-Vietnam war words rather than I Have a Dream, etc. We could extend it to some of Pastor Hagee’s or Pat Robertson’s far-out remarks. As citizens we must try hard not to be “sold” by snippets that 24 hour news channels hype, and strive to see the fuller picture. Then, as people of faith we must practice the Golden Rule and other universal principles of forgiveness and brotherhood. When ads of Rev. Wright with Obama appear to inspire fear and hatred I can only think that those sponsoring them are not practicing these principles of their supposed righteous faith.

  • Anonymous

    One of the things we as human beings do or try to when faced with something we do not understand, is categorize it. We want to put it into a neat little box where it is non-threating. Another thing, we Americans as a larger society are allergic to, or have an aversion to the truth. No one wants to hear the truth, no matter how loud they clamor to the contrary. That is why the country is where it is. And unless we as a society change fundamentally, it is likely where we will continue to stay.

  • Fate

    I find it interesting that Wright’s speaches are linked to Obama as though Obama approved of them, yet utterings from Rev. Fallwell, Pat Robertson and others who have basically said that all non-christians are dooming America, you know, gays causing Katrina, etc. Now we can take what they say and admonish them all, Wright included, but I hear no one going after those who listened to Fallwell regularly, or Robertson regularly.All this shows is that Obama has little to be attacked with. Attacks alwasys happen in campaigns but the lamer the story the less the candidate has to be attacked on. Obama should be happy this is the best his opposition can come up with. Wait until he hits back with Hillary’s troubles, and McCain’s own supportive pastors. What is really happening here is the political establishment of both parties is trying to deflate the popularism of Obama who attacks the political establishments of both parties. His talk about cleaning up K street is sending chills down the backs of both parties. I don’t think any one in politics wants Obama to be president, which is why he is so popular with voters. What is interesting here is that we finally have a contest between the American people and the politically entrenched. Its only going to get uglier for Obama, who i think can stand it. The question is whether the American people will be smart enough not to be fooled as they were by the likes of Karl Rove and others who feed off of the entrenched politicians.

  • tydicea

    One of the things we as human beings do or try to when faced with something we do not understand, is categorize it. We want to put it into a neat little box where it is non-threating. Another thing, we Americans as a larger society are allergic to, or have an aversion to the truth. No one wants to hear the truth, no matter how loud they clamor to the contrary. That is why the country is where it is. And unless we as a society change fundamentally, it is likely where we will continue to stay.

  • ratl

    Thank you for introducing some common sense into the debate. Rev. Wright stands for the very ideals that could make this nation great again.

  • Bill, Annandale, VA

    It’s obvious to me that most of the commenter’s here simply want to stick with the sound bites and judge the man by the sound bites. Please listen to Mr. Patel and do your research on this and every other subject you wish to comment on prior to passing judgment. That is the biggest problem we have in this country today. We don’t do our homework anymore.

  • Mariano Patalinjug

    Yonkers, New YorkMr. Eboo Patel, the author of this essay, has taken the cudgels for the highly controversial Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright.He conveniently ignores the fact that this is the highly-charged political season in “democratic” America, when contenders for one office or the other are not loathe to throw muchk at each other, if that is what it takes to get the attention of voters and destroy the opponent.I can believe all the good things that Mr. Patel says in favor of Rev. Wright.But American politics is, to put it bluntly, perverse.And so, the mainstream media and Barack Obama’s politidal opponents have delighted on focusing on those 12 controversial words of Rev. Wright–on his being anti-white and anti-America–because these are the very words which catch the attention of readers and viewers.Do you think those readers and viewers, in a political season America is going through now, will give a damn about Rev. Wright’s having served as a U.S. marine?Do you really think they will give a damn about those other good things you say about Rev. Wright? If you do, you must be hopelessly out of touch with the nature of American politics.It happens that Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright has been Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s “spiritual mentor” and close friend for 20 long years.Asked only recently why, knowing those incendiary words Rev. Wright has uttered against whites and against America, Mr. Obama has not seen fit to disown Rev. Wright, Mr. Obama replied that he could no more disown his white grandmother who feared blacks, than he could disown Rev. Wright his spiritual mentor and friend.And there lies the rub, for millions of Americans expected Barack Obama to have had the good sense to disown Rev. Wright–and to disown him in public. It seems that as far as millions of Americans are concerned, good sense should have trumped loyalty and friendship as far as Mr.Obama the presidential hopeful is concerned.Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright will very likely be stigmatized and remembered more for those twelve highly incendiary and controversial words of his than for all the good things he has done all his life.Mariano Patalinjug

  • EBOOisBIASED

    EBOO PATEL IS A MUSLIM. INFACT, HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS FIRST MUSLIM THEN AMERICAN. AND I AM YET TO FIND A MUSLIM WHO OPPOSES OBAMA GIVEN HIS SOFT-JIHAD. SO MOVE ON, NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

  • Jorge

    Reverend Wright must be doing something good, no wonder some hyenas are howling and crying foul.I am amazed at the stablishment’s power and its white minions, hopefully it will end soon.

  • Anonymous

    It is a shame, though not unusual to see how many really stupid people are posting their racist drivel here. All that Wright says has Biblical context. Not one of you criticizing him have found that yet. “Render unto God that which is God’s and unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”. The United States of America is not God and is not blessed by God no matter how blindly jingoistic and undereducated you are. Done and not coming back to this circus. Morons.PS: Wright was U.S. Marine for six years. Dick Cheney never served a day in his life behind a gun unless it was to kill a quail or a grouse that had been left in a bush for him to find, after cocktails.

  • mcwone

    I too was impressed with Rev. Wright after seeing the Moyers interview. It may serve some to marginalize this brilliant man who has served his community with deeds as well as words…but if America is going to take the painful steps towards healing and becoming one nation, it must begin to understand all the various parts that make up this great country.

  • Linda

    I read the Post often and am shocked to see so comments here that lean left.

  • Aderemi Adeyeye

    I agree with you completely.

  • Jorge

    “God bless America” has become just another slogan (like many in this nation thanks to its marketing power). People repeat it by inertia and without thinking too much about it.How about “God bless everybody”?, what makes you think you are the chosen ones?, that is excessive pride which by the way, is a sin.The poor, the destitute and the meek are the ones who ultimately will go to paradise, not the rich, spoiled and powerful.

  • Ms. Tate

    The way I sum up Rev. Wright is that he is the Emprise has on no clothes type or minister. He stands for something and he does not turn corners for political favors as I have seen with other mega churches in the chicagoland area. This is why I joined Trinity. You can tell that politcs is not the name or Rev. Wright’s game because when the church service is over and you leave the building cars are always painted with parking tickets. This does not happen at most churches, but in spite of the tickets that we recieve, still Rev. Wright and his staff have managed to keep people coming to Trinity. In addition, Trinity offers services for personal issues in your life to assist people whom have experienced hardships. These services are not limited to just members of Trinity, they are also available people whom are not members of Trinity. This is how I became greatly intrigued with Rev. Wright and the family of Trinity.That in itself says alot of the great man Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.

  • Don

    Fortunately Jefferson left a legacy detailed in his public writings to allow me to know more than that as a private man he was a slave holder. I know nothing of Wright’s private life, but as a public figure he uses his speach and selective biblical references to incite the masses of listeners to hold negative beliefs about their government. Today, he justified terrorist attacks against the US because the bible said “do unto others as they would do unto you”. Yet Jesus said the most important comandment is “to love your neighbor as thyself”.I’m certain that Jefferson had the foresight to see the likes of Reverend Wright when his architecture for a new nation inluded a seperate church and state. He would know that the masses would look to God in difficult times and that they could be manipulated by those who claim to know God’s will. Reverend Wright may harbor good intentions, but his speech is misleading and full of anger and spite. I listen to what he says with intrigue but it has nothing to do with the America that I know.

  • J. Simpson

    I think D. Rodriguez said it best: “I wish Jeremiah Wright, with his “afro-centric” bias would look at some of the black governed nations in Africa and see how wonderful and idyllic it is there! Let’s see: Darfur, Zimbabwe, Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda… shall we go on and on and on??? Africans are SOO wonderful and good to their fellow Africans, aren’t they? Rape, murder, starvation, SLAVERY, brutality, GENOCIDE! Why, where is the white man’s hand in all of this? Where is the European culture which is causing all this misery and mayhem? Wake up, people. The “Africa” myth is just that. Africa, on the whole, is a place of misery and death. You can’t blame everything on the white man and by the way, blacks have held other blacks in the chains of slavery LONG before white men ever did! I am REALLY really really getting tired of the rant.”

  • David

    Like my old boss used to say, One “Aw shoot” wipes out all those “Attaboy”s.

  • paul hartman

    And I have a question for you. What if the ONLY thing you knew about Lee Harvey Oswald was that he murdered John F. Kennedy? I suppose the rest make him a good man overall? What if the only thing you knew about Aldoph Hitler was that he murdered Jews? The rest of his life was spent putting Germany together, so i suppose he was a good man overall?Don’t be silly regarding Reverend Wright. This man hates America and blames US for the problems in the world. Most of US do NOT blame ourselves for the problems in the world. Rather we are the SAVIOUR of the world despite some mistakes we make.Rev. Wright is out of touch with mainstream American BY CHOICE. You know it. I know it. And Obama knows it.Please don’t try to make a case that Rev. Wright is just another poor understood minority American. This country affords opportunity to all. Rev. Wright is about to move into a million dollar home built in a White community. Let’s get that grain of sand a many other grains as well in putting together the complete picture of this angry black man!

  • Arif

    A good persons whole image is destroyed if involved in a single bad deed, a bad persons good deeds are of no value.Blaming the media or the Right will not amount to a hill of beans. What the Reverand said cannot be accepted in any context. People are sick and tired of “out of context” and thats why the results are favoring Hillary. Every word spoken has a context, listeners are smart enough to know THE context.

  • William Turner

    The Washington Post are a bunch of slick bast*rds. First, you open the story with this lie:”former pastor today defended the fiery sermons that have become a political liability for the Democratic presidential contender,”Distorters — AKA Washington Post: it was the “fiery” sound bite at the end of a well reasoned, media-ignored description of US government racism and violence that the pastor was reacting to.Second, your lead photo was of the pastor shaking hands with a gleeful Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.Moral pastor? Hint, hint.The only defensible thing you can say is: “Well, we’re better than cable.”Not by much.

  • lois Carey

    Enjoyed reading your article, as I was looking

  • William Turner

    The Washington Post are a bunch of slick bast*rds. First, you open the story with this lie:”former pastor today defended the fiery sermons that have become a political liability for the Democratic presidential contender,”Distorters — AKA Washington Post: it was the “fiery” sound bite at the end of a well reasoned, media-ignored description of US government racism and violence that the pastor was reacting to.Second, your lead photo was of the pastor shaking hands with a gleeful Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.Moral pastor? Hint, hint.The only defensible thing you can say is: “Well, we’re better than cable.”Not by much.

  • aekWestCoast

    Mr. Patel,The problem is Rev. Wright undermines all the good things he talks about by mocking others and being very disrespectful. People seem to forget the “ridin dirty” comments and the Natalie Holloway references. One can make points without tearing down others. Rev. Wright doesn’t seem to achieve this. And now again he has done this in the NAACP speech.I can’t imagine continuing to sit in a pew if I heard directly or indirectly that he had said such things. And Senator Obama was closer to him than just a guy sitting in the pews. So it’s hard for him to distance himself in any way that seems believable.

  • John Navin

    I think those who listened to Rev. Wrights speech & his answers to the questions put to him were right on target. I am a white voter & democrat,and I I support Obama and the Rev. Wright. John Navin 495 S. 51 St. Unit 7,West Des Moines,Ia

  • John P.

    There are people who will never vote for Obama with or without the J. Wright’s hatchet job. So let’s face it, that’s the way it is now. Wright serves as a justification for some to vote for Obama or not to vote for him. Hate speech is not what Wright appears to be about at all. The hate came from those who chose to promote it by showing bits and pieces of his sermons. At the end of the day, this man is at peace with himself. Can those who are accusing him say the same about themselves? Now we know that he volunteered for the service where he spent 6 years for this country. He attended school and graduated. He took over a Church of 87 members and brought it to a 8000 membership. How many of his critics can show such deeds?

  • John P.

    There are people who will never vote for Obama with or without the J. Wright’s hatchet job. So let’s face it, that’s the way it is now. Wright serves as a justification for some to vote for Obama or not to vote for him. Hate speech is not what Wright appears to be about at all. The hate came from those who chose to promote it by showing bits and pieces of his sermons. At the end of the day, this man is at peace with himself. Can those who are accusing him say the same about themselves? Now we know that he volunteered for the service where he spent 6 years for this country. He attended school and graduated. He took over a Church of 87 members and brought it to a 8000 membership. How many of his critics can show such deeds?

  • Joe Yohka

    The Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s blemished record is more than just “twelve words”. He carefully chose to give an award to the head of The Nation of Islam, calling Farrakhan “one of the most esteemed Americans.”Let’s not soft peddle the hard truth. Even today, Wright stated some absurd views.”You cannot do terrorism on other people and not expect it to come back to you,” Wright said at the National Press Club when asked about a speech in which he asserted the Sept. 11 attacks were retaliation for U.S. foreign policy. Asked about another sermon in which he suggested the U.S. government created the AIDS virus to kill black people, Wright also did not retreat. “Based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything,” he said.

  • Maria

    I have enjoyed reading all the comments responding to Mr. Patel’s article. It is great to see engaged dialog at this time in our nation’s history.

  • Gale

    It is my opinion that whatever Rev. Wright had to say about this country in which we all live, he was entitled to do just that. One of the things that this country is so quick to do is quote the constitution concerning freedom of speech until another views or ideas offend. It okay to say what you want along as you do not offend me. I do not believe that Reverend Wright said any untruths and for all who believes that there is no racism in America, you are lying to your self. Racism may not be int he hearts of all white America but it does exist and most of you would like to think that it has somehow gone away. You act as if African American are no longer the down trodden, but I beg to differ with you. Racism is alive and well, America. I believe that more African Americans should speak their minds and not be made to feel as if they have done something wrong by doing so. We spend a good deal of our incomes buying whatever that thing is that supports the American dream, we value the things that do not support our neighborhoods or will put stock in your children’s educations. We through our lives away on trying to be like a people that still despise and thinks very little of us. We need to speak our minds more often, no matter how much it may hurt because it can only get better. Look at how many of you have come to talk about the things that Reverend Wright has said, whether you agree with him or not. Over the last several weeks, I have heard nothing else. If nothing else, the Obama campaign has brought racism once again to the forefront and people are talking about nothing else. Racism is usually something that people want to swipe under the rug and not mention in open forums. We all should be able to speak our minds on any subject in the Democratic society that we are always so busy trying to shove down other peoples and countries throats.

  • Ruth

    I have listened to Rev. Wright many times through tapes, TV and visting Trinity United Church. Rev. Wright is a Pastor about the people he serves. His views are not different then many African American Pastor and men for that matter. Yes, he may voice it differently however, what he says is apart of the what is taught in our community. We are taught only US History in school but never the African American History so our parents, grandparents, Pastors and life experiences did the teaching. Now, I wonder why everybody is upset. I thought everyone knew what African American’s believe and how they felt about racism. Martin Luther King Jr’s death did not close the book on racism. It is still much alive and the pain is felt in the heart and life of every African Americans young and old. Rev. Wright and most Pastors (no matter their race) who ministry to the African American community teach and deal with it every day. Obama has nothing to do with it. He only went to Church and disire a change, a better Anerica for all people.

  • Ruth

    I have listened to Rev. Wright many times through tapes, TV and visting Trinity United Church. Rev. Wright is a Pastor about the people he serves. His views are not different then many African American Pastor and men for that matter. Yes, he may voice it differently however, what he says is apart of the what is taught in our community. We are taught only US History in school but never the African American History so our parents, grandparents, Pastors and life experiences did the teaching. Now, I wonder why everybody is upset. I thought everyone knew what African American’s believe and how they felt about racism. Martin Luther King Jr’s death did not close the book on racism. It is still much alive and the pain is felt in the heart and life of every African Americans young and old. Rev. Wright and most Pastors (no matter their race) who ministry to the African American community teach and deal with it every day. Obama has nothing to do with it. He only went to Church and disire a change, a better Anerica for all people.

  • Mary Ingram

    Rev. Wright has opened up a whole new world of understanding for me in race relations. I am 85 yrs,white,and Unitarian,(former Episcopalian)and 100% for Barack Obama. I have learned so much abour the deffernces of black and white preceptions of Christianity and how black people see God. What goes on in black churches most Sundays we whites are totally ignorant of. I am thankful to the Rev. for his desire to improve race relations and I really cannot halep but think in the end this will help Obama in his race for Pres. Ignorance is NOT bliss-wise up people, listen up people,jopen your eyes and ears and maybe we all can hope for a more unified country. Thankyou Rev. Wright for how you have helped me to be a better person.

  • jake lindsay

    Thank you so much for providing more than just a “sound byte” of this great man.

  • jake lindsay

    Thank you so much for providing more than just a “sound byte” of this great man.

  • AmericanFirst

    Pastor used wrong choice of words when he said, “God damn America” to define the nation that has come a long way like many other nations where racism, caste system, sexism and depriviation of economically poor population exists. Some people are never happy with the progress we are making, yet it is slow because we are a democracy. You can get a lot of fast progress in Communism.We are Americans First and that is where we need to stop. Pastor is playing race card and now black are calling Clintons racist and no one is saying ‘sorry, please forgive me’. That to me is an arrogance. ‘Bitter’ comment should be addressed to blacks who are always reminded of their bitter past history. It is similar to Jews showing holocast movies again and again, and Pallestines/Hamas not letting it go. Instead, they should focus on the future families and their survival.

  • AmericanFirst

    Pastor used wrong choice of words when he said, “God damn America” to define the nation that has come a long way like many other nations where racism, caste system, sexism and depriviation of economically poor population exists. Some people are never happy with the progress we are making, yet it is slow because we are a democracy. You can get a lot of fast progress in Communism.We are Americans First and that is where we need to stop. Pastor is playing race card and now black are calling Clintons racist and no one is saying ‘sorry, please forgive me’. That to me is an arrogance. ‘Bitter’ comment should be addressed to blacks who are always reminded of their bitter past history. It is similar to Jews showing holocast movies again and again, and Pallestines/Hamas not letting it go. Instead, they should focus on the future families and their survival.

  • Rashid a. memon

    You being hindu and patel, did you ever raised the voice wehn muslims were killed like fliees in gujrat. Go back and talk to your prime minister who got elected again. Talk to all the patels who they killed and who destoryed all muslim monuments……………than creating interfaith when you don’t have respect for some faiths

  • Yuri Lipitzmeov

    I think the Reverend is right on. The Blacks have been and contine to be abused in America, only now in many more subtle ways than 50 years ago. By the way, I am white and a former bigot, but I have seen the error of my ways. Blacks are a helluva lot more American than I am, and they deserve better.

  • wvd

    hi – it’s is readily apparent mr wright has been taken out of context – rev wright served 6 yrs us military & is a veteran -

  • To Memon

    Rashid a. memon: First stright the record. Mr. Eboo Patel wrote more in favoer of Muslim here than anyone else. I have been following his Blog.Now I am from Pakistan ORIGINALLY, you talked about the Hindu Killing Muslims..WHY Dont you talk about Shai Killing Sunnis and Suni’s Killing Shia EVERY day.Why dont you talk about the Discrimintory Laws which EXIST in Paskistan against Ahamidis.Don’t be just a typical Pakistani.

  • Thuyen

    Sorry, but the interview was a bogus attempt to make Wright look favorably. He never had to own up to his statements claiming the US government invented AIDs to kill blacks or distribute drugs to get blacks hooked. He never had to own up for his slurs of Italians with his garlic nose remarks when he talked about them as if they were Romans in regards to looking down on Galileeans, in regards to when Romans crucified Christ as his example of “rich white men” keeping “poor black man” down. Bad statement for multiple reasons. Romans back then were Latins and Estrucans. Italiasn today came from Germanic tribes that conquered the area of Italy from the Romans. So Wright was wrong there, and worse in being wrong, slurred the wrong ethnic group. Bad enough that he slurred, but doing it to the wrong group makes it worse. And if he wanted to turn the death of Christ according to the gospels as whites on black crime, had he not notice the Bible said those of Christ’s own race (hence own color) turned Him over to the Romans? So should there be preaching on black on black crime? Doubtful he would do it since he was twisting text to make it about another case of white on black crime, to inflame blacks against whites. It is one thing to chide America for its racist past (and if he really truly wanted to do so, go to its leaders and rebuke them like any true prophet of Bible would, not preach to the choir). It is another to preach to the choir to inflame them with anger against another races, which he has done.Or he never had to answer for his remarks about Israel painting it as terrorist, apartheid nation while he and his church supports terrorist groups like Hamas, which are known for suicide bombings and other extreme acts of terrorism even when Israel tried to offer peace and concessions, and passes around their hateful, antisemitic propaganda (that accuses Israel of conspiring to develop “race” bombs, with South Africa when the latter was apartheid). Alot of his other “facts” are wrong, too. The founding fathers didn’t plant slavery in America. It was there long before they were born. They inherited the problem, which became impossible to do away with given that there were some states that would divide the nation rather than accept that, thus sabotaging first any hopes of ratifying the Constitution and second present a constant threat of disunion from then on til the Civil War. He lumped all the founders as if they were pro-slavery, when in fact many of them worked at state level to end slavery in their respective states and many founded and joined abolitionist societies themselves. And many were successful in the Northern states where there was strong evangelical reaction against slavery. And he ignored many founders wanted to end the slave trade, but had to compromise with those of pro-slavery interest to postpone that til 1808. And his sermon painting America is to blame in every war he mentions shows an unpredented naivete when it comes to understanding history. America, to be sure, was not perfect, and in some wars, like Mexican War and how it dealt with the Native Americans, it was mostly in the wrong. But when it comes to WW2 and Japan especially, it was trying to end the war and to get the nation that attacked it first to surrender and did not want to have loss of lives on its own end and also figured much more loss of lives in long run for Japanese than if it had dropped the A-bomb twice. Japan had chances to surrender those times. Basically, by his logic, every time a country goes to war even in response to being attacked, it is wrong to attack back. That is why his statements on blame America first in regards to different countries, be it imperialistic Japan during WW2, or be it with nations that do committ acts of terrorism and even in some cases genoicides, like the Sudan, Iraq, and Iran, his statements should be taken with a grain of salt. The US might not be innocent always in each and every war, but for him to picture alot of our enemies as innocent in these cases is beyond laughable.

  • Thuyen

    And another thing- once being in the military in the past does not mean one is patriotic now if one now say and do thing to demean one’s own country, including many false things. Heck, Benedict Arnold once served in our military and did so longer than Wright did! Timothy McVeigh once served in the military, too.It is their actions and their words that in the end tells us how patriotic they are.

  • Rational

    The Rev. Wright ‘issue’, the flag pin, etc. are ‘permission slips’ for people who would never, ever, ever vote for Obama in the first place. Let them enjoy their righteous, manufactured outrage as we buckle down, work even harder, and elect Barack Obama President.

  • Belkhayat

    Excellent article

  • Gerald

    Thank you; nuff said.

  • Stephen Gianelli

    Nice try, but there is no way to justify the Rev. Wright’s statements that American creatd HIV-aids to kill blacks, that the 9/11 attacks were America’s fault, or “God damn America”.Moreover, if Thomas Jefferson was a close advisor to a presidential cantidate today, all we would need to know is that he defended slavery and it would be all over for the cantidate. And rightly so.

  • Shlafte

    Thanks for giving us another side of Rev. Wright. Perhaps one that is more becoming than those 12 words.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Putting things in perspective for the Preachers Haynes and Wright:1. Abraham founder/father of three major religions was either the embellishment of the lives of three different men or a mythical character as was Moses, the “Tablet-Man” who talked to burning bushes and made much magic in Egypt. 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have relegated Abraham to the myth pile along with most if not all the OT. 2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html For added “pizzazz”, Catholic/Christian theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the “pew people” to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the “filicider”. 3. Luther, Calvin, Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingie thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).With these three points as gospel, Haynes, Wright, their fellow preachers and also priests and rabbis will be receiving their pink slips thereby there will be no more “pulpitfying” from these “mumbo jumboers” and we can get on with the political debate free at last from religion.With respect to Eboo Patel, the following should be enough to also send him a pink slip:Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/ plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. This agenda continues as shown by the assassination of Bhutto, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, and the Filipino “koranics”.

  • Thuyen

    How can an atonement of Christ be used to create guilt for people who believe when its purpose is to take away our guilt in the eyes of God?

  • Jeff

    Mr. Patel commits the mirror image of the error of judging a person based on one action or statement – he minimizes the hurt and disrespect of the action or statement held to be objectionable by a great many people. One can acknowledge Rev. Wright has done a lot of good, and at the same time condemn statements that, in almost any context, are unfair, bigoted and/or misleading. One could say that the fact that Rev. Wright knows better and was taught better ought to impose upon him a special responsibility to be truthful, compassionate and follow the Golden Rule. He has clearly said things repeatedly that foster stereotypes or malign his country unfairly. He has been, in a word, dishonest in addressing his congregation. While he has also done a lot of good, he still bears the responsibility of all of his actions- particularly when he has appeared to act differently, or speak differently, depending on what audience he has addressed. Show me a man who says one thing to one audience and another thing to a different audience, and I’ll show you a man with a serious character flaw.

  • Anonymous

    well it is cleat to everyone. if you are white and you say what johnson said you are run out of public life. if you are black and say it, no matter that it is wrong, even treasonist, every black will stand up and defend you.

  • Anonymous

    well it is cleat to everyone. if you are white and you say what qeight said you are run out of public life. if you are black and say it, no matter that it is wrong, even treasonist, every black will stand up and defend you.

  • Rachel

    To Jeff, and all others who feel that Rev. Wright has ‘serious’ issues, flaws, whatever, I would only say, judge not lest ye be judged. He was not attacking you personally. He was making a comment, albeit an angry one, about the way our government treats certain members of this society. As Obama said, he is from a different generation, and it is not surprising that he’d have a lot more resentment built up based on his experiences with racism than some of the younger generation. I don’t see it at all as a contradiction with his messages of hope and unity, rather, I see it as an indication that he, like King, like Mandela, like many other strong leaders, is HUMAN, and feels passion and love and pain and anger like the rest of us. The media is all about trying to ‘catch’ people, trying to find the one instance that they express their humanity, and call them out for it. We ALL HAVE FLAWS, and we should be focusing more on actions rather than words, on plans rather than past associations, and on overall character rather than the occasional mis-speak.

  • George Dixon

    Wright stated as fact that the US government created AIDS to kill minorities…among other statements equally bad. To “whitewash” his antiAmericanism in order to spare his follower…Obama…some concern is simply a lie.Black racism is no less disgusting than white racism and a vote for Obama is a vote for racism…..liberal style.

  • dcp

    I saw the interview with Bill Moyers Friday night, and I was impressed. I also read a full transcript of the context of one of the comments he made that was repeated over and over again. I do believe that this was all politically motivated to make Obama look bad (even though I’m not voting for him). However, my vote is not influenced by Rev. Wright. Everyone knows someone who makes inflammatory remarks- everyone. Rev. Wright didn’t say anything that most of the left wing doesn’t say on a daily basis. And besides, looking at his entire life, I wouldn’t call him an angry, black man by any standard. And if he was, that doesn’t make Obama look like an undercover angry, black man. (Must be noted that Rev. Wright should have stopped after Friday night. Remarks he has made since then were not wise.)

  • Will

    Who is Johnson? And why can’t you spell? Look, we have to judge people on the totality of the acts, not just the subject of his words. Jeremiah Wright was in the trenches helping those who couldn’t help themselves. I bet those who chastise his statements haven’t gone where he’s been to assist those who needed it most. I think if everyone would take off their self-righteous sign for a moment and truly listen to what he is saying, you may have a better understanding of the America you don’t know and don’t deal with.

  • Eric

    During the interview with Bill Moyers, after Rev. Wright had explained his “God damn America” and It seems to me that what Rev. Wright was trying to do in those sermons was to warn against patriotism as a form of idolatry, a trap that I see too many Christians falling into too easily. When I taught about the Second World War to my Western Civilization and European History survey courses, after I had taught the holocaust, and we had discussed the moral and ethical issues, I also discussed episodes such as the fire bombing of Dresden and of Tokyo. I tried to get my students to see that the same ethical principles that so clearly condemn the murder of Jews and other innocents in labor and death camps by the Nazis applied equally to actions undertaken by America and its allies when they resorted to measures aimed at killing and terrorizing innocent civilian populations. I agree with Rev. Wright’s point that if our first loyalty as Christians is to God, we need to apply biblical principles of morality equally to our own nation, and to recognize when we have blood on our own hands, and more importantly to act in such a way as to avoid abusing our power in the future. I think that Rev. Wright could have chosen his words more carefully. More importantly, I think that as a pastor he should have spoken more charitably. But his basic message is one that needs to be heard, and is heard all too seldom, especially in mainstream and evangelical churches in America.

  • Stinkfinger Willie

    There are still going to be some people who will want to maintain a negative boogie-man image of Reverend Wright strictly for the sake of politics and divisiveness, even regardless of how much evidence is presented to the contrary. It is those who promote the politics of deception and are too willing to exploit societal ills for the sake of political gain who still have yet to be held responsible for the deplorable state in which many politicals campaigns operate in this and past elections.

  • anonymous

    So, twelve words don’t define Reverend Wright. I can buy that. But whey did a few words define Senator Trent Lott who was forced to step down as Senate Majority Leader over a few words? Can some people utter a few unsavory words and get away with it while others cant? Who decides who can and cannot say what?

  • Jeff Wagner

    Just watched him on TV, and he seems no wackier than other religionists out there. I FAR prefer him to Tom Coburn and he didn’t seem a crazed homophobe like Martyn Minns at the Truro Anglican Church and whoever is running the Falls Church nowadays, who follow a renegade Nigerian bishop who wants to put Gay people in prison. Let’s face it — all religions are divisive.

  • Jeff Wagner

    Just watched him on TV, and he seems no wackier than other religionists out there. I FAR prefer him to Tom Coburn and he didn’t seem a crazed homophobe like Martyn Minns at the Truro Anglican Church and whoever is running the Falls Church nowadays, who follow a renegade Nigerian bishop who wants to put Gay people in prison. Let’s face it — all religions are divisive.

  • Bob

    This guy is racist and anti-American. The liberal media is doing everything they can to purify his image. It won’t work.

  • Before you condemn

    The Opinion of a white middle class 60 year old female in the south.All here who still condemn Rev. Wright must watch The Bill Moyers interview If I lived in Chicago I would be proud to be a member of his congregation. And I will vote for Mr Obama!

  • Concernedaboutdc

    Jeff:Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. And so did many of America’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington.They were racist mutilators, by that fact alone. Slaveowners were the epitome of racist by thought AND deed. Now, am I a racist for pointing out a fact of American History? There is a difference between being divisive and being descriptive. You state that “…he minimizes the hurt and disrespect of the action or statement held to be objectionable by a great many people.” Well, if you find facts to be “objectionable” then you, friend, are the one that has the character flaw. Christian ministers are required to preach against all things wrong in this world as they see it. Much of the time, it is “uncomfortable”. They are not there to say things that make people comfortable in a world contrary to the words of Christ. I’ve heard a great many things in church over the years that made me uncomfortable, because there was a vein of unsettling truth in the words that awakened a guilty conscience. Not because the preacher was a mean spirited hate monger. It is a guilty conscious that causes man to say such things in the face of truth.America is long overdue for a real conversation about what she claims to stand for. Sensitivities have to be shedded for enlightened debate. Even if it hurts. Feel the pain, then move on. Truth will not modify itself to fit your comfort zone. Jeremiah Wright is not a racist and he is consistent in his speaking to any and all audiences.God Bless America is a plea, not a fact. Blessings are based upon action, if you were a God of righteousness and you had to look down and make a decision “judement” on this nation, and your choice were to “bless” or “damn” well, that thought is “unsettling” to me too.

  • David

    Wright is the only one of the historic figures you mentioned to sell a video with all of his defaming remarks! Everyone seems to forget that, he was marketing & spreading these remarks. Taken out of context, I don’t think so. He obviously wanted to market himself as all the things he is being accussed of, that is until it didn’t suit him anymore/he was called on it. He needs to go back building his $10,000,000 home in the all-white golf course neighborhood and be quiet.A real man of the people! I guess hate & bigotry or the us against them sells – and that is what he has been peddling. Obviously it has served him well until now!

  • VICTORIA

    ive been watching c-span all morning, and reverend wright gave a speech followed by the usual questions and answers- i also watched the entire speech in question- and couldn’t find anything to disagree with. he was simply pointing out the enormous plank in the collective eye of the american government’s actions-

  • M. Stratas

    Rev. Wright unfortunately is simply a tool that Hillary and the Republicans are using to bring down Obama. Wright has served his country with valor in Vietnam, which no one wants to listen because the Obama opponents have one aim: to destroy Obama by association. Most Americans are stupid to judge one man’s lifetime of service with those 12 words repeated over and over and over ad nauseum. There is truth in what Wright said and he is warning America not to be too arrogant in its power. Americans should read more about US history, world history (about empires) and philosophy to be more enlightened and not easily jump to conclusions.

  • gayla

    Wright cannot undo or justify what he said. He cannot vindicate himself. He has not been wronged. This is about Reverend Wright, not an attack on the black church.

  • Rohit

    I watched part of what Wright said in his interview with Moyers and also his speech last night. Much of what Wright says is true. But not everyone is going to take it as true. And America is not looking for a black president to represent American blacks. America is looking for a, possibly black, president to represent ALL Americans. Wright may have done a lot of damage to Obama. Wright is right, but right and wise are not the same thing.

  • Ready to for a different type of media and politics

    In my opinion if the media is going to spend so much time and efffort on Rev. Wright they should also focus on the tremendous sacrifieces he has made for this country. He was a Marine that faught in Vietnam and went on his second tour at the same time Cheiney was being born. Rev. Wright deferred going to college to fight for his country, something some American Presidents have failed to do (Bush and Clinton to name a few). However, all of Rev. Wright’s accomplishments have gone unheard because the media chooses to loop the same clip of a 7 year old sermon. Who is running any way, the Rev. or Sen. Obama. I’m so tired of American politics and the same old censored media we recieve. I can see why Americans are considered ignorant all accorss the world. Because instead of focusing news from Darfur or how we just borrowed billions from the Bank of London, the American media chooses to focus on benign topics which make us ignorant world events.

  • Mike North

    What Reverend Wright is missing is compassion: when remarks offend tens of millions of Americans, by unfairly stereotyping in the same way that blacks were once stereotyped, it’s generally a good idea to offer an apology to open up less incendiary dialog. Perhaps Reverend Wright could find a white working class church in Flint, Michigan or some other working class burg to address racial healing and meaningful discussion.Instead, he is digging his heels in and does huge damage to race relations by then further asserting that anyone who took offense is attacking his church.It’s a dangerous mischaracterization.Indeed, Senator Obama has called Wright’s remarks offensive. Does that mean Senator Obama is attacking his own church, or is he merely pandering to get votes? I don’t believe either are the case; I think the Senator genuinely believes that this particular aspect of Reverend Wright’s character is unhelpful.

  • JPHT

    I am a teacher and would not like to be judged by 12 word snippets on my teaching abilities. I imagine if the worst sound bites were picked out of my lectures from the last few years, I would seem unqualified, offensive, or incredibly boring.

  • BC

    Well said.

  • Den H.

    If you want to hear some really inflammatory remarks, read the Old Testament Jeremiah.

  • BC

    Well said.

  • Stinkfinger Willie

    This negative image of Reverend Wright’s is being promoted by those who desperately want to establish a racist “equivalency” in order to counter the political determination of those minority groups, especially Blacks, which they believe will encroach upon their liberties as White Americans. Why should racist White voters ever have to confront their own racism now that they have a false sense of vindication in the form of a black boogeyman? The bottom line is this: the typical bigoted white voter remain free to continue to feel completley justified in 1.) maintaining their bigoted views, 2.)voting against their own political interest, 3.) not having to bring themselves to vote for a black man.

  • Will

    Matter-of-factly speaking, with regard to race, it is amazing to see the tolerance of a black man saying what would cause Rodney-King-esque backlash if those words were uttered by a white man. Had Reverend Wright been a white man, no such regard would have been paid to his past; only the 12 words uttered would have mattered. So why is it America has such patience and tolerance, and maybe even understanding, of a Black person committing such an atrocity without being held to the responsibilities and consequences of committing such actions? Name the person, Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Jefferson, John Kennedy, Bill Clinton – no matter their past or their history, that does not make what bad things they did any righter or wronger than they are. As such, a person should not be judged only by this 12 word quip, but he should be held accountable for saying it, too.

  • swanieaz

    I don’t argue or disagree with anything you said, but this is a far different day and time than the examples you cited. Despite what people should do in an election, they actually will do anything to get elected. And no matter what anyone says, the best thing Reverend Wright can do is take a long vacation, and do not make all these public appearances UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION, because I guarantee you the right-wingers, the bigots, and the racists will find the snippets, and they will be all over the TV, cable, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, the newspapers, and on and on.I am sure this is not the Reverend’s intent, but he will unwittingly be the catalyst that defeats Barack.So, the Reverend has to make a very difficult decision.

  • gayla

    Further message, to Jeremiah Wright because I can’t find an email address for him. Sir, the repudiation of your words IS an attack on YOU, not an attack on the black church. Take it personally. It IS personal, directed at you, and all the words in the world aren’t going to get you off the hook with the majority of the American people.

  • Linda Bosworth

    It seems to me that we have nurtured a patriotism that is equated with lack of dissent. For 7 years we who questioned the erosion of our rights and the morality of our countries actions – torture-invasion-arrogance-self agrandizement murder, have been told we lack that faith of country that requires blind obedience defined as patriotism. When the mirror is held up, we are expected to see the genius of our founders reflected in our actions and when we do not, when we see the flawes and duplicity we are called traitors. Only when we question and don’t except what we feel is wrong, and strive to mend are we really truely patriots.

  • Vunderlutz

    From the beginning I had three big problems with the manner in which the media, broadcast and print, treated the excepts of one of Rev. Wright’s sermons. The media started a stampede. I have yet to hear or read one media celebrity state exactly what it is that Wright said that is so bad or so wrong.My three issues are as follows:First, Rev. Wright is an American and has the right to speak his mind freely. He also served honorably in the military for 6-years. He has the freedom to express his all of his thoughts – it’s protected by our Bill of Rights. I believe the media has violated Wright’s “civil rights”. What excerpt of which preacher’s sermon will the media decide to question next? Second, the treatment of Wright by the press reminds me of how the media treated Dr. Martin Luther King…he was called a “communist” by nearly all media. (In those days, we deployed our armed forces to fight “communists” in Vietnam just like we deploy our armed forces to fight “terrorists” in Iraq.) Being accused being a communist in 1967 was a BIG DEAL!Third, could Wright be right? Is America actually “damned”? Could it be our angst, tumult and outrage over Rev. Wright’s statement is akin to the old platitude: “the truth hurts”…To be damned means “…to bring about the failure of; or to ruin.”What is it the world is facing today…much of which can be traced the United States? Four horsemen of the Apocalypse:A White Horse…CONQUEST. “I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” A Red Horse…WAR (or could it be global corporate monopolies?). “…and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”A Black Horse…FAMINE The third horseman of the apocalypse refers to a great famine that will take place, likely as a result of the wars from the second horseman. Food will be scarce, but luxuries such as wine and oil will still be readily available.A Pale Horse…DEATH “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” I would not like anyone to define my whole life using 56-seconds of what I said, or even following an hour interview. Rev. Wright said what he said, and maybe the big problem with what he said in there is some truth to it…When is comes to Rev. Wright, we should remember “Judge not lest ye be judged”.

  • Jose

    Rev. Wright needs to focus on God:He should be teaching love not hate.

  • Jose

    Rev. Wright needs to focus on God:He should be teaching love not hate.

  • Wakka Wakka

    Bob-So what was the media doing then, when they first spread this little scandal with Rev. Wright like wildfire?I don’t deny a slant one way or another in the media, but you can’t have it both ways; if you complain the media is going out of their way to vindicate Wright now, you have to acknowledge the fact that they brought this debacle to light to begin with.

  • pam swafford

    This is one of the smartest pieces of writing that I have seen in a while. All of us are more complex than the most controversial things we have ever said. Thank you for putting some fairness in this discussion.

  • D.Rodriguez

    I wish Jeremiah Wright, with his “afro-centric” bias would look at some of the black governed nations in Africa and see how wonderful and idyllic it is there! Let’s see: Darfur, Zimbabwe, Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda… shall we go on and on and on??? Africans are SOO wonderful and good to their fellow Africans, aren’t they? Rape, murder, starvation, SLAVERY, brutality, GENOCIDE! Why, where is the white man’s hand in all of this? Where is the European culture which is causing all this misery and mayhem? Wake up, people. The “Africa” myth is just that. Africa, on the whole, is a place of misery and death. You can’t blame everything on the white man and by the way, blacks have held other blacks in the chains of slavery LONG before white men ever did! I am REALLY really really getting tired of the rant.

  • Kelly

    Anonymous:You asked the question who can be judged by a few words and who can’t? Well my friend, that is very easy. If you are a public servant, elected by the people, then you need to be above reproach. Wright is not running for president. Wright, although he may be a public figure, he is not a public servant, elected by the people. He can say whatever the hell he wants. I am not familiar with the Trent Lott situation, but he was an elected official. That is the difference. We also know alot about our elected officials when we put them in office, so it becomes easier to judge this official by the phrases and words we hear them speak. Someone basically unknown to the majority of America like Wright, until he is thrown under the bus for some statements he made 7 years ago to try and hurt a presidential candidate, I’m sorry, but there must be more to the man. If Obama wasn’t running for president, or if the media had actually been able to find something worth throwing at Obama that Obama did wrong, then we never would have heard of Wright and his statements.

  • tina

    I was a little concerned about Wright coming back on the scene in such a prominent way. What good could it possibly do? My expectation was that the media would take a snippet of his speaking tour out of context to generate new controversy. I have been pleasantly surprised with the fact that the more we move away from the 30 second soundbite loop that this man has been caricatured into the more thoughtful discussion is generated about the man, his life, and his ideals.As an aside, cable TV “news”, has really been crawling through the gutter during this election cycle. With 24 hours of air time, 7 days a week cable news has the greatest ability to educate the American public by doing in-depth coverage of important political & national issues. Instead, we get hours on end of highly compensated blowhards (usually former political types) who wouldn’t know what journalism was if it smacked them in the face.The Clintons and McCain have decades of personal and political affiliations with folks who have conducted themselves outrageously, but at the end of the day those people are not running for office, the 3 candidates left standing are.

  • Stephen Smith,GA

    It is disappointing, though not too surprising, that press coverage of Bill Moyers’s interview with Rev. Wright is scant and even nonexistent. The same holds true for Rev. Wright’s speech at the NAACP dinner. I suspect his speech at the Press Club today will only get airtime if he curses.

  • Pablito

    I did not sense the love of Jesus in his speech. Jesus loves all peoples and that includes whites. Also I do not get his difference doctrine where he asserts that it is OK for African Americans to jump all over their desks in school because they “learn differently.” Is he saying that African Americans have no self control? That is not true and I think he should better define what he means so that people like me do not misunderstand. I know we have differences but we are all part of one race, the human race. Yes there are different ethnicities but one human race. We share a lot in common as fellow humans. We all have laughed and cried we have all sinned and need grace. We have more in common than not. All Christians are one in Jesus Christ there is NO ROOM for racism. I love all my brothers and sisters from all people groups. One is not better than the other.

  • Dwight

    Christ would never talk like wright did. his church is a sham and so is he. he is an afrocentric who only thinks about afrocentrics gaining power over white people. it would work better if blacks stopped killing each other, but that will never happen.

  • imoxie

    If it was just 12 words, I could understand the editorial. However, it is not just 12 words. He has shown that he is a bigot by other words and his praise of another bigot. Of course when one wants to rationalize comments, one just says this was 12 words. The news media has a real double standard.

  • Pablito

    Notice what the Scriptures say. Saved people from all languages, peoples, and nations will sing to god together. This should also be true on earth before Jesus returns since the church is the living manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth. And they sang a new song, saying,“Worthy are you to take the scroll

  • Krishna

    12-words, or 16-words; the count is not the question, but what is coneveyed therein.If I am caught going through a red light, the fact that that single act represents but a miniscule portion of my overall driving pattern would not be a justification.As a recent politician, one who is considered to have the Wright stuff, said – Just words!?Colin Powell (in)famously waved a small palstic vial claiming that the small quantity of anthrax therein could kill thousands of people.Thus, Mr. Patel, it is not the word-count that matters here, but the potential they had to influence and motivate people to do things.How many words are in the fatwa on Salmon Rushdie?

  • Tom

    Bob: April 28, 2008 Post of the day. Thank you Bob.

  • Streightdope

    What I find disturbing, is that all of the folks who want to say that Rev. Wrights words are divisive, will NEVER say that what he says is untrue……..Why, because everything he says is absolutely true…..The problem is that some of you are not trying to understand the truth, but to only frame his words in a context that endorses your distorted views of what he is saying…..Rev. Wright has the right to defend his church and his views, end of story….He does not need to defend the truth, nor does he need to apologize for telling the truth…..Those who equate Rev. Wright’s views with Obama are simply those who would not vote for Obama anyway, only those looking for the escape-goat of they’re prejudice views and his name is Wright…And fact is, its the hypocrisy of this country that allows a black candidate to be demonized for association to a black preacher who tells the truth, yet doesn’t say a word about the white candidate John Mccain and his seeking of endorsement from the radical “end of days” and hates “gays” preacher John Haggee…I’m sorry, white america needs to get over itself…The reaction of white america to Rev. Wright is a true example of the “supremacist” attitude of “how dare you speak to us that way” that white america still clings too….I for one am glad that this man has chosen to defend himself and his church and frankly anyone who can’t take a step back and really, really , listen to what this man has to say and realize where he is coming from doesn’t want to…..And its true, Obama must distance himself, because he has too…But by Wright putting it out there now, he will not have too deal with it later…..This is not hurting Barack Obama, this is only helping him in fact..This will now define the choice as to whether or not whites can put race aside and vote for the best candidate, or will they let they’re prejudices and fears of a black president, driven by the media, make the choice for them…………..

  • Mike

    I have read most of the posts. I think when one stands back a bit and looks at the good revereand Wright and his shouts of GD America in the context of a hotly contested presidential election, one must wonder if Barack Obama is electable in a general election. Clearly he was in February, but now, I am afraid that his general support is eroding. John Kerry, a war hero, was swift boated to defeat with far less amunition than what Reverand Wrioght has given to the right wing neo con attach machine. If you are sick of it now, just wait until things really get nasty. When the good reverand tries to defend and justify his ill-chosen words it reminds me of the good and faithfull gun owner who never hurt anyone except that in a moment (20-seconds sound bite) of anger shot and killed his wife. This good man, war hero, faithful servant of the Lord, may be known for evermore as the man who ended Barach Obama’s presidential campaign. Rather than trying to justify the unjustifiable, Reverand Wright should get on his knees and beg God for forgiveness. He should ask the American people for forgiveness, too!

  • Paige

    Thanks for this. I am so tired of everyone jumping on this man (Pastor Wright) and indicting Sen. Obama based on a few words taken wildly out of context. Unfortunately, people who need to open their eyes will not pay attention to the truth. That’s the problem with this country and why our political system is so screwed up.

  • Dave Anthony

    One can refer to the 1st chapter of Romans or the 4th chapter of Ephesians to take the measure of Rev. Wright’s sentiments. He has been castigated for, among other things, claiming Scripture as justification for his ‘God damn America’ comment. Christians are admonished not to judge others. In Rev. Wright’s case he doesn’t need our judgment. He judges himself by his own words and deeds. I believe the book of James includes the warning,’they shall be known by their deeds’. I don’t lose much sleep over Rev. Wright’s words, but if I were him I’d take those 8 honorary doctorates to heart and study my Bible a little more closely before speaking on behalf of the Almighty.

  • majorteddy

    The Reverend Wright, when the full speech is heard and when he is listened to in total is quite sensible and indeed patriotic.The media has done a disservice to the country by only playing soundbites.

  • Hap Crockett

    The article is spot-on. The Churches, no matter the denomination, have always been the places that have brought attention to the problems of America and offered alternatives to business as usual. Reverand Wright’s words may be hard to listen to but, unfortunately, speak truths about us as a Country and as a people. No person likes to hear words that damn America, but people need to hear the truths of history and take responsibility to make necessary change. Dr. King’s comment is a great example. No one loved America more than he but he knew that speaking the truth would make people think about history and about change. Speaking of words, how about the words used to describe those of us who thought the Iraq War was a mistake long before we invaded. Cowards, Traitors, Appeasers, and Military haters, are just a few of them. Words should be carefull chosen by all who use them, whether it’s Reverand Wright or the President’s enablers.

  • fedup

    we dont even need twelve words, one is plenty- racist!

  • copelli21

    I don’t see how anyone could watch the Moyer’s interview with Wright and not come out with at least a more well-rounded perspective of the man.I was surprised and impressed myself. At first I thought “why doesn’t this man just be quiet and go away for Obama’s sake”….well I was wrong. I wish this interview could be put out there on a larger scale for everyone to see and learn what this man is truly about.”Out of context” doesn’t cover what those snippets from 6 years ago truly are and how they manage to represent him as some raving, anti-American radical, which cannot be further from the truth. As usual and especially in politics, the truth gets lost for the sake of a sound byte. If you’re focus is on the number of words (12) then you’re missing the larger point of this commentary. This man has been unfairly characterized and demonized by half-azz journalism and political propaganda. Think about what you say in the course of your day (to your colleagues or children) and what if someone took 12 of your words (a byte, a snippet of a comment) and used them to define who you are…..what would those words say about you?Or is there more to you, than what a 5 second sound byte represents?I am not saying you have to agree with the man, but at least take the time to get educated about what he’s about and don’t just regurgitate what you’ve heard on Fox “News”.If possible, watch the Moyers interview and hear the context surrounding the infamous “12-words” and come to your own conclusion about the man.

  • Deldris

    I support Rev. Wright. Somebody has to tell it like it is, and i’m glad he did it.

  • southernwhiteman4obama

    it’s sad that media evaluations of Wright,

  • Deldris G.

    I support Rev. Wright. Somebody has to tell it like it is, and i’m glad he did it.

  • Deldris

    I support Rev. Wright. Somebody has to tell it like it is, and i’m glad he did it.

  • Juanita

    The truth of this entire matter is that many whites are embarrassed about who their foreparents were. They were, in fact, mean people with no conscience. Please read “Without Sanctuary” and look at those pictures of your foreparents hanging and lynching blacks and having fun during so.Rev Wright speaks the truth and you Americans who have always been in charge do not want to hear it.

  • Ju

    I live in a black community east of the Anacostia River in Barry Farms Washington, DC – Ward 8. I see how blacks struggle and our leader is former Mayor Marion Barry. Many criticize him but I voted for him because he’s the only one who cares deeply enough for the people of our community – he lives there just up the hill. I believe what he has done for Ward 8 as council member is nothing short of amazing. Sure he’s been charged for tax evasion and substance abuse but I voted for him to help the community and he has done that above and beyond. There is a small church on my street (MLK Ave.) where he holds many town meetings. These meetings are powerful and uplifting. He vowed not to displace poor citizens when the development turned to gentrification – he continues to keep his word. I believe Rev. Wright has the same impact in Chicago and so I’m not mad at him. Many whites are because they don’t live in a black community that is in desperate need of leadership and all they hear and see is soundbites of sermons – things we don’t want to hear. They don’t care to hear about his positive contributions to the Southside of Chicago. If you live in a poor black community you cling to the positive grains and try to forgive those who may have mispoke about a country that is just and fair at the root. I have to forgive my black leaders who may stumble because they still have much work to do and so do I.

  • njm50

    Wright told the truth. Most will understand and respect our differences. Others who feel superior will continue to hate and call him racist. Obama is a good man and have great hope for this country. Some will sense that and vote for him. Others will put their hateful spin on everything he or wright say. I BELIEVE THEIR IS LIFE AFTER DEATH. AND I DON’T BELIEVE THEIR WILL BE A WHITE HEAVEN AND BLACK HEAVEN. God forgive us and bless us as a country, we all will have to answer one day. Whether Obama wins or not race is still an issue in this country, we all love.

  • Wayne

    For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all. The data for the experiment was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. “As I see it,” one of the doctors involved explained, “we have no further interest in these patients until they die.”

  • njm50

    Wright told the truth. Most will understand and respect our differences. Others who feel superior will continue to hate and call him racist. Obama is a good man and have great hope for this country. Some will sense that and vote for him. Others will put their hateful spin on everything he or wright say. I BELIEVE THEIR IS LIFE AFTER DEATH. AND I DON’T BELIEVE THEIR WILL BE A WHITE HEAVEN AND BLACK HEAVEN. God forgive us and bless us as a country, we all will have to answer one day. Whether Obama wins or not race is still an issue in this country, we all love.

  • Wayne

    In 1990, a survey found that 10 percent of African Americans believed that the U.S. government created AIDS as a plot to exterminate blacks, and another 20 percent could not rule out the possibility that this might be true. As preposterous and paranoid as this may sound, at one time the Tuskegee experiment must have seemed equally farfetched.Who could imagine the government, all the way up to the Surgeon General of the United States, deliberately allowing a group of its citizens to die from a terrible disease for the sake of an ill-conceived experiment? In light of this and many other shameful episodes in our history, African Americans’ widespread mistrust of the government and white society in general should not be a surprise to anyone.

  • njm50

    Wright told the truth. Most will understand and respect our differences. Others who feel superior will continue to hate and call him racist. Obama is a good man and have great hope for this country. Some will sense that and vote for him. Others will put their hateful spin on everything he or wright say. I BELIEVE THEIR IS LIFE AFTER DEATH. AND I DON’T BELIEVE THEIR WILL BE A WHITE HEAVEN AND BLACK HEAVEN. God forgive us and bless us as a country, we all will have to answer one day. Whether Obama wins or not race is still an issue in this country, we all love.

  • Bob Sullivan

    You’re correct that it is unfair that we know him for a few words but in the age of the internet that is how the world works. It was ‘unfair’ that George Allen became defined by his ‘maccaca’ comment rather than his terms as Lt. Gov., Gov., & Senator but thankfully he was and it cost him the election. Others such as Don Imus have suffered a similar fate. Being a minister does not exempt one from being judged by one’s more outrageous comments. Kids, teachers, retail clerks, customers, etc. etc. etc. are all admonished when they step over the line, often in times of anger. Rev. Wright is no different. It makes no difference that his friendly audience agrees with him (Allen’s audience didn’t object to the ‘maccaca’ statement). If Wright wants Obama to win he needs to shut up.

  • Edith Nunley

    The Reverand Wright has cost Barak Obama the presidency. I do not believe any candidate can survive this close an association with such a bigot. This person made these remarks “that 9-11 was deserved” while people still wandered smoking streets searching for loved ones. He seemed to forget that the victims were of all races and overwhelmingly americans. That “white america deserved this fate” before the bodies of the victims who had jumped to their death to avoid the inferno had been recovered. Worse even than his bigoted rhetoric was the doctors, lawyers, business owners and other professional people who cheered when he said “the government had delivered HIV to the black community.” All the people who have died of this desease of other races across the globe who infected them? I am afraid Barak Obama cost himself the presidency by having such a long personal relationship with such a bigot. I would not vote for a person who’s closest mentor was a klans man and this is just as bad.

  • Pablito

    The Way of Love Described in the Bible13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  • Tony V, Chicago, IL

    Dear Mr. Patel,Did you have this much sympathy when Sen. Paul Allen said “macaca”? (1 Word) or when Don Imus said “Nappy-headed Hos?” (3 words).The fact is that entire careers can be destroyed by 5 spoken words or less, because those few words–especially if they’re unguarded–can tell more about a man/woman than 25 years worth of speeches. How can we really know that those speeches weren’t two faced lies or pandering?Tony V,

  • Robert

    I have watched his videos even some in full, unedited length. The Rev. Wright is an evil, racist man. There is no context that mitigates his words. Obama is showing his true colors when you look at his long list of unsavory associates:Wright – bigot and America hater

  • Kent

    A man is known for his actions and his words. We have control of ALL that we do because we have freedom of choice. Wright is supposed to be a man of God and a leader to his church, a church of God that follows the Master (Jesus Christ) and His actions and His words. From looking at his church beliefs and what they stand for I did not see Christ as a guide, I do not hear words of the Master in Wright’s words. I see a hypocrite and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. One who preaches not to build up but to blame others. I just do not see Christ in his actions or in his words.

  • NH Doc

    To all the posters who brought up others befelled by 12 words or less of shame (Trent Lott, George Allen etc.): Rev. Wright is not running for office. Black men of his generation were victims of Tuskeegee syphillis experiments–it is not a huge strech for them to think AIDS, a poorly understood disease, was concocted by the American government. They were victims of overt and covert racism as little as fifty years ago. Black liberation theology aside, there is a generational and historical context to his remarks which we as Americans would be well served to understand.

  • Carolyn Hill

    Wright explained that in his sermon he was damning the destructive deeds of America throughout the world: the self-serving wars and misdeeds against innocent people: children and adults. (Read or listen to his own words in that sermon, folks!)THAT was his point. In his interview, he explained that his criticism of the nation had precedents in the OT, and that those precedents were admonishing those who would put love of nation above love of God.If you’re going to damn him, at least get the facts straight.

  • berry

    On Israel, Rev. Wright said:”We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic.”Then, Barak Obama referred to Wright’s view as:”…a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”Whom do you believe?

  • berry

    On Hillary and Bill Clinton, Rev. Wright said:“Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain’t! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty.”

  • berry

    On what it means to be an African American:“The government gives them (African Americans) the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”(Rev. Jeremiah Wright, 2003)

  • Maria

    Isn’t it strange that a few people are so against Barack Obama that they would hold on to this proverbial ‘straw’, while Hillary has a rope waiting to hang her.

  • “Dominant Culture”

    This phrase “dominant culture” is another way of saying “white culture” as though whites are a monolith. I think it is particularly interesting that Wright uses this phrase because spokesmen for the League of the South (a racist organization that believes in the possibility of another southern secession)use it as well. I doubt the two are on the same page, but imagine the Reverend Wright might find it interesting that he shares something in common with the League of the South.

  • Carolyn Hill

    Wright explained that in his sermon he was damning the destructive deeds of America throughout the world: the self-serving wars and misdeeds against innocent people: children and adults. (Read or listen to his own words in that sermon, folks!)THAT was his point. In his interview, he explained that his criticism of the nation had precedents in the OT, and that those precedents were admonishing those who would put love of nation above love of God.If you’re going to damn him, at least get the facts straight.

  • Carolyn Hill

    Wright explained that in his sermon he was damning the destructive deeds of America throughout the world: the self-serving wars and misdeeds against innocent people: children and adults. (Read or listen to his own words in that sermon, folks!)THAT was his point. In his interview, he explained that his criticism of the nation had precedents in the OT, and that those precedents were admonishing those who would put love of nation above love of God.If you’re going to damn him, at least get the facts straight.

  • Carolyn Hill

    Wright explained that in his sermon he was damning the destructive deeds of America throughout the world: the self-serving wars and misdeeds against innocent people: children and adults. (Read or listen to his own words in that sermon, folks!)THAT was his point. In his interview, he explained that his criticism of the nation had precedents in the OT, and that those precedents were admonishing those who would put love of nation above love of God.If you’re going to damn him, at least get the facts straight.

  • Carolyn Hill

    Wright explained that in his sermon he was damning the destructive deeds of America throughout the world: the self-serving wars and misdeeds against innocent people: children and adults. (Read or listen to his own words in that sermon, folks!)THAT was his point. In his interview, he explained that his criticism of the nation had precedents in the OT, and that those precedents were admonishing those who would put love of nation above love of God.If you’re going to damn him, at least get the facts straight.

  • George W

    Black preachers have always “had to speak a language defiant enough to hold the high spirited of their flock but neither so inflammatory as to arouse them to battles they could not win nor so ominous as to arouse the ire of ruling powers.” While Obama’s pastor may have done the latter, he was not the first.In February, 1899, William James, a philosopher at Harvard, in a letter to the Boston Transcript, wrote: “God damn the U.S. for its vile conduct in the Philippine Isles.”

  • Robert

    Mr. Wright was quite erudite in his address, however, I found his demeanor to be offensive in that it smacked of pride, arrogance, and pomposity. His theatrical antics—waving his arms and silly strutting about behind the spokesperson given the responsibility of reading submitted questions–was not at all consistent with a so-called minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Mr. Wright failed the test of Christian orthodoxy when he dodged the question about whether salvation is to be found in any other way besides Jesus Christ. Jesus’ words regarding salvation as recorded in John 14:6 clearly state: Mr. Wright is guilty of doing the same thing he claims others do cherry picking scripture and using it out of Biblical context to support his personal views. His reference to John 10:15-17, where Jesus says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” refers to the good news of the Gospel applying equally to Gentiles as it does to Jews. Jesus never equivocated the point of salvation. He clearly stated that He (Jesus) is the only living Son of God, and that the path to salvation and eternal life is to be found by faith in HIs name alone, and no other. This free gift of salvation is open to all men and women. What better example of reconciliation could one come up with?Only when men choose to reconcile themselves to God in Christ Jesus and submit to His Lordship will we be able to overcome prejudice, oppression, discrimination, and any other sin you care to name that man perpetrates on his fellow human beings. Fix the heart and you’ll be able to fix everything else… politics, policy, what have you.Mr. Wright had better get on his knees in prayer and re-read the gospels—in context. And he best be prepared to answer to his Maker for implying that salvation can be had by any other means than through Jesus Christ our Lord.Robert

  • TRS

    Ebbo, I found your article to be thought provoking and healing. We all need it so much.

  • James

    We’re seeing and hearing all this talk about ‘patriotism’ these days. Is Rev. Wright a ‘patriot’ because some of his sermons might be viewed otherwise? Is Barack Obama a ‘patriot’ because he doesn’t always wear a flag pin on his lapel?Trouble is, we’re not talking about ‘patriotism’. It is a false claim. Patriotism, in its truest sense, requires sacrifice. It requires no sacrifice to wear a pin (which members of Congress get for free, I assure you). And, for all it has cost him since, Rev. Wright was not sacrificing anything when he gave his sermons, though he did volunteer for military service, which does require a degree of sacrifice.No, what we are being assailed with is ‘nationalism’, not ‘patriotism’. You see, nationalism requires no sacrifice. All that nationalism needs is for people to suspend the belief that their country is capable of wrongdoing. It is often a knee-jerk response to traumatic events.Truthfully, and despite all of our claims otherwise, I and the vast majority of Americans did not become more ‘patriotic’ after 9/11. We merely became more ‘nationalistic’. And it is in that state of hyper-nationalism that our government began to rein in certain aspects of our freedom (see: Patriot Act). Suddenly, protecting the United States was more important than protecting many of its most basic freedoms.If you are in search of examples of post 9/11 patriotism, they are not hard to find. They can be found in Pat Tillman and the thousands that volunteered for military service, knowing that they were likely to see combat.

  • etsam

    I watched Reverend Wright on Bill Meyers and found him very impressive. I realize he has done much good work for his community. But here is where I disagree: For 40 years this nation has been divided. In 1968 the country split between those who wanted to end the Viet Nam war, those who wanted to promote civil rights and racial justice, and those who wanted to expand opportuinites for women and those who wanted to preserve the status quo. Those on one side were called liberals and the other side was labled conservative. Ronald Reagan cleverly eploited this division. He could not run on a policy of racism so he ran against liberals, thus turning a formally honorable word, into a slur. It remains so to day with people over 50. But Obama offered the opportunity to get past that. He was a new face, a face which offered hope for reuniting this nation. But Reverend Wright seems devoted to keeping us in the past, to rehearsing all the wounds rather than tring to built the future. Yes, we as a nation did many evil things. What nation didn’t? The Spanish say, “Living well is the best revenge.” Electing a black president would be the best revenge and a shining light for our nation and the world. Wright seems more interested in preserving his legacy and his power than healing the nation.(P.S. I am a 78 year old female, white.)

  • etsam

    I watched Reverend Wright on Bill Meyers and found him very impressive. I realize he has done much good work for his community. But here is where I disagree: For 40 years this nation has been divided. In 1968 the country split between those who wanted to end the Viet Nam war, those who wanted to promote civil rights and racial justice, and those who wanted to expand opportuinites for women and those who wanted to preserve the status quo. Those on one side were called liberals and the other side was labled conservative. Ronald Reagan cleverly eploited this division. He could not run on a policy of racism so he ran against liberals, thus turning a formally honorable word, into a slur. It remains so to day with people over 50. But Obama offered the opportunity to get past that. He was a new face, a face which offered hope for reuniting this nation. But Reverend Wright seems devoted to keeping us in the past, to rehearsing all the wounds rather than tring to built the future. Yes, we as a nation did many evil things. What nation didn’t? The Spanish say, “Living well is the best revenge.” Electing a black president would be the best revenge and a shining light for our nation and the world. Wright seems more interested in preserving his legacy and his power than healing the nation.(P.S. I am a 78 year old female, white.)

  • massmedia07

    Please people….we are acting like a 3rd world country. Who cares what Jeremiah Wright thinks, he’s NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. I’m am sick and tired of people trying to come off like Obama said the words that came out of Jeremiah Wright’s mouth. It’s just all out silliness….let’s get back to the topics that MATTER. Who cares what Obama’s pastor thinks, people act like he’s some kind of puppet master for Obama.

  • Mike

    Well, well. Seems we have two Mr. Patels here. One Mr. Patel urges restraint and context, at least when dealing with a liberal peer like Jeremiah Wright. Let’s talk about something nice he did during a sermon and ignore the extremist ideology, says Mr. Patel. That will give us “context.” Oooh, he’s an enigma, says Mr. Patel, the white folks can’t pin him down or figure him out, how dare they even try. The other Mr. Patel likes to dive in with the other vultures for a good ol’e fashion simple-minded beating when it suits him i.e. attacking Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell as “religious extremists” for their “hateful” views on Islam. Yawn. I always wonder if people like Mr. Patel really think they are fooling anyone. We didn’t need Mr. Patel to write the article he did because I think I’ve heard the same type of rhetoric from the Democratic National Committee.

  • Hypnos

    I saw the Moyers interview. I wept through a lot of it as I could see, finally, the leadership the nations longs for. It was up there on the screen embodied in a preacher. Most of the time I have no brief for religion, as I am a skeptic but this was different. Here was a man who built a church of 6,000 from 87 original members. At rock bottom, the thinking of this preacher is, that if you can bring people to lead a life based on real Judeo Christian morality and ethics and spread it out in a growing circle of believers that you can indeed change the world. Reverend Wright has changed the world, or at least the small part of it that he could effect. Wright is not a politician, he’s not an angry black man, he’s an agent of God and Jesus. If he is angry about anything it is the failure of the vast majority of us to live up to what we tell God we believe every Sunday. If white evangelical Christians could hear him they would recognize where he coming from. And yet, what have we? We have had the entire mainstream media attacking a good, no, a great man to bring down a politician that others either want out of the way or fear, because they think they won’t be able to beat him on political grounds or with poltical means. The citizens of this country need to demand an end to the politics of personal destruction via innuendo, guilt by association and bald faced lies. Barack Obama should be proud to have had this man has a spiritual mentor and we should see that a person, Mr Obama, who has been influenced by such a person as Reverend Wright is someone we can have faith in to do the right thing and is someone we can trust.

  • john

    Rev. Wright is an avowed racist who hates all white people! Enough said!

  • john

    Rev. Wright is an avowed racist who hates all white people! Enough said!

  • PJLC

    Rev Wright is SO right-on ….. but people don’t want to hear the truth… he said “governments change, lie, and fail” Look around ….. THAT is the truth in America.

  • kmg

    I am trying to get in touch with the Rev. Wright. I would like to tell him to please “shut up!” I know that he feels that he has to speak out on behalf of his congregation. But, please. He are going to cost one of the best men in our recent history the presidency because of his ego. STOP!I am a practicing Roman Catholic. I understand that everything that my priests preach is not how I live. I could go through the differentiation of my live v. my priest. Just the same, I go to church and I am a Catholic.Please, Rev. Wright. Please. Support Mr. Obama instead of let your ego stand in the way.Kathleen from Oregon

  • vernon adams

    My heart is heavy because Reverend Wright has suffered from the sin of pride. WE have a chance to elect an incredible man in Barack Obama whose vision may be one of the best things that could happen in the United States in quite sometime. It troubles me that Reverend Wright instead of thinking, “here is one of my congregation running for president, a good man, a true visionary, a potentially great president. What is it that I do to help him? Instead of these thoughts I believe Reverend Wright has suffered from “the sin of pride.” He has become more interested in defending himself rather than helping Senator Obama. By advancing his own personal cause rather than Senator Obama’s he has perhaps prevented the Senator from advancing the ideals and the culture of trust that may have allowed some of the very real ideas the Reverend may have been able to give to our country. Instead, because of his ego, the reverend has all but consigned our country to a presidency under either Senator McCain or Clinton. It is shameful that the reverend has not kept his eyes on the prize. He has not understood the fact that one can find fault with our country but still love it.

  • Bill Robberson

    Say whatever you want about Wright-his words do not reflect the presence of Christ. Jesus called His disciple to “preach the Gospel to all mankind”. Wright has his own gospel and he’s fallen into a ditch.

  • Bill Robberson

    Say whatever you want about Wright-his words do not reflect the presence of Christ. Jesus called His disciples to “preach the Gospel to all mankind”. Wright has his own gospel and he’s fallen into a ditch.

  • Bill Robberson

    Say whatever you want about Wright-his words do not reflect the presence of Christ. Jesus called His disciples to “preach the Gospel to all mankind”. Wright has his own gospel and he’s fallen into a ditch.

  • Bias

    Hi Eboo,I thank you for providing a different view of Rev. Wright from the negative one that Fox News Stations would have us believe. This Fox News coverage has been such a disservice to someone who has and is trying to change the Black Community and the Community at Large for the better. Please keep up the open minded view and together we all will be better for it.Thanks

  • Tariq Shah

    Its laughable to see White America (and some Black Americans) pretend as if the Rev. speaks as if from Mars.lol… everyone in their heart knows the man is 100% right, its just that they want to make sure, his ideas dont become commonplace and acceptable.Of course he is right, on every count, doesnt mean you people dont like his message, that makes him wrong.If anything, the truth really hurts, and Sean Hannity, you should be ashamed of yourself, you are what really disgraces America with your jongoistic typecasting of America with you phoney lapel pin and hateful concieted beady eyes. You work for a special interest controlled by Zzionists and Faux News and the Evangelical bible thumpers who have disgraced America for the sake of Jews and are cowards who cannot face and confront the Zionists so they join them.

  • Douglas

    Brother Potel,

  • C. Bell

    To briefly quote Paul E. Little (author of “Know What You Believe”), “It doesn’t matter what you think of Play-Doh, Napoleon, or Richard Nixon. It DOES matter what you think of Jesus Christ.” Think what ever you want about Jeremiah Wright, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. At this moment, a week from next Wednesday, and in the end it won’t really matter. It WILL matter what you think about Jesus Christ.

  • C. Bell

    To briefly quote Paul E. Little (author of “Know What You Believe”), “It doesn’t matter what you think of Play-Doh, Napoleon, or Richard Nixon. It DOES matter what you think of Jesus Christ.” Think what ever you want about Jeremiah Wright, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. At this moment, a week from next Wednesday, and in the end it won’t really matter. It WILL matter what you think about Jesus Christ.

  • Justin

    Well this article is total hogwash. Reverand Wright has not changed his views, that was obvious from his last public speech. Wouldn’t matter if Wright cured AIDs, since Mr. Obama is running for the presidency of the US, therefore if he attends a church for 20 years with a preacher that has blatantly anti american views, it is understandable that the american people will view this as a reflection of Obamas actual thoughts. This being opposed to the vague generalities such as “change” and “shared prosperity” which he continually belts out at political rallies, but contain little factual substance. In fact its becoming more and more apparant that Obama is an open marxist, this explains why the msm is desperately going all out to hoodwink the american people into voting him in. Im not saying McCain is much better, the dems and repubs are two sides of the elite coin of absolute dominance overthe lives of the average american. While of course the elites want obama so they can realize their communist agenda more quickly, they would tolerate a more fabian slow but steady approach under a faux conservative leadership such as McCain.

  • Justin

    Well this article is total hogwash. Reverand Wright has not changed his views, that was obvious from his last public speech. Wouldn’t matter if Wright cured AIDs, since Mr. Obama is running for the presidency of the US, therefore if he attends a church for 20 years with a preacher that has blatantly anti american views, it is understandable that the american people will view this as a reflection of Obamas actual thoughts. This being opposed to the vague generalities such as “change” and “shared prosperity” which he continually belts out at political rallies, but contain little factual substance. In fact its becoming more and more apparant that Obama is an open marxist, this explains why the msm is desperately going all out to hoodwink the american people into voting him in. Im not saying McCain is much better, the dems and repubs are two sides of the elite coin of absolute dominance overthe lives of the average american. While of course the elites want obama so they can realize their communist agenda more quickly, they would tolerate a more fabian slow but steady approach under a faux conservative leadership such as McCain.

  • Promethea

    Wright also talked about “black brains” and “white brains.” If this isn’t contributing to racism, then I don’t know what racism is.Wright is a race hustler who twists words so that black people will follow his lead and think of themselves as victims. They should follow leaders (of whatever race) that will lead them to success instead of to victimhood. Success means “middleclassness”–a simple American concept that Wright’s church is trying to keep out of the hands of his black flock so that they will be poor.P.S. Most people I know are of mixed race, so the whole concepts of pushing racism is even more despicable than it might seem at first glance.

  • Ralph

    Memo: Eboo Patel; ‘On Faith’ crewObama threw Wright under the campaign bus with his racist white granny. Wright is now persona-non-grata. Do not resuscitate. Please post accordingly.Thank you,

  • Bill

    A church “relevant” to the community; producing oceanographers. “That’s what we’re about.” Makes one wonder who is the Creator and who is the creature in “Rev.” Wright’s religion. Is the church to serve God or to serve men?

  • Wake up

    Wright and Obama are Islamochristians.

  • DHFabian

    I think what really happened: Supporters of right-wing/reactionary causes captured a soundbiteI urge everyone to read, in whole, what Rev. Wright actually said.