Chicago Sun-Times
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Wright, at Detroit NAACP says "Barack Hussein Obama"--"Arabic is a language, not a religion."

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WASHINGTON—Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright should have no complaints about being taken out of context Sunday night. CNN was on the third replay of the entire sizzling speech he delivered at the Detroit chapter of the NAACP by the time I turned off the TV. Fox ran Wright’s keynote live. And Wright had some news for Obama’s team—he’s writing a book, to be out later this year.

“Barack Hussein Obama,” Wright said three times at one point. “Arabic is a language, not a religion…stop trying to scare folks.”

Wright should also have no reason to puzzle why he will remain an issue in Obama’s presidential campaign. Clips from Wright’s sermons—including one where he says “God Damn America,” triggered a crisis in the Obama campaign.

At a crucial time in Obama’s quest for the Democratic nomination, instead of keeping low, Wright is seeking the spotlight as he finds his entire career as the senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side in question just as he is retiring from the congregation.


So Wright made that big Detroit speech Sunday night. Two sermons at a South Dallas megachurch Sunday morning. A PBS interview where a more modulated Wright talked to Bill Moyers, on last Friday night. At the National Press Club Monday morning.

As Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on CNN, Wright "wants to stand in defense of his life's work."

Sunday’s performance in Detroit showed Wright in many dimensions: scholarly, bombastic, entertaining, as Wright sang to demonstrate the difference between how “African-Americans” and “European-American” appreciate musical meter, using body language to contrast the U. of Michigan and Michigan State marching bands with the Florida A&M.

He also devoted time to explanations on why black and whites learn differently (a left brain/right brain thing) and the black church.

“Different,” said Wright, “does not mean deficient.”

Brief analysis:

*Wright really wants the country to understand who he is in a historical context of the African-American experience in the U.S.

*The uproar over Obama is carving out some post-retirement opportunities for Wright.

*Wright has several different modes. The Wright Sunday night was not the Wright on Moyers.

*Trouble spots for Obama from the Sunday Wright speech: casting the nation’s African-American community as a monolithic group, whose children are “right brain subject oriented in their learning styles” compared to “European-American” kids who have a “left brain cognitive object oriented learning style.”

*There is a lot of ethnic hyper-sensitivity around. Wright comments about the Irish—may cause Obama some headaches.

Wright continues to be a distraction as Obama stumps in North Carolina on Monday.

7 Comments

Listening to his speech I heard a snide comment on Irish-American names .
Just what was his point ?
I didn't get it at all, particularly since his name is Irish-American too .

Obama got a visa for a billionaire not allowed into this country.
Wright's got the 'paranoia' about Obama wrong. We don't fear Arabic speaking people.
We fear criminals who were part of the Rumsfeld supported Saddam Hussein regime.
And the politicians who support them.
Like Obama.
Ya gotta read about REZKO to understand why Obama will ruin the Dem's chances to take back the White House if he doesn't quit soon.
http://blogs.suntimes.com/rezko/
And I still wanna know what the Obamas spirited out of the country with their hastily taken 'vacation' just before ALL Of this came up in the trial.
Anything a US Prosecutor mighta liked to have known?
Anything Interpol might have liked to have seen about the guy with the visa problem?

Rev. Wright's gifts are not the gifts of uniting like Barack Obama or the Gifts of healing and reconcilliation like Barack Obama's or a modulated speaking voice, cool temper, and demeanor under fire like Barack Obama or his ability to look beyond color and and party affiliation like Barack Obama and to simply just love, like Barack Obama!

And when both meet their Maker -- God will judge Rev. Wright on his actions and His actions only and Barack Obama on his actions only not Rev. Wright or anyone elses'!

However, maybe Rev. Wright for the good of Barack's nomination could have waited to become more vocal in his pursuit of setting the record straight. He did not, so I think it is unfair of media or anyone else to Judge Barack by Rev. Wright's words or actions and to lose sight of the wonderful gift we have in Barack Obama and his ability to Change a nation!

And on the otherhand, unfair of media not to ask Hillary Clinton, that when she and Bill faced Impeachment, did they not turn to Rev. Wright for prayer and support?

Given the anti-feminist vitriol written under the name of 'Angellight'--I have to ask WHY a woman would support Barack Obama with such fierce anti-woman sentiment--and then in the next breath call Barack Obama a 'uniter'?
He's a divider.
And the blog rooms the campaign has sustained (paid) to travel to each primary battle are tearing the party apart.
If you think this strategy will help the dems should Obama be placed (unwisely, unjustly) at the top of the ticket in the Fall, you are sadly mistaken.
The Obama bloggers need deprogramming.

Obama has not done enough to distance himself from Rev. Wright. Saying that "we are not coordinating with him" and that he is "free to speak his mind" at best reflects indifference.

I suspect that there are growing doubts among Obama's supporters, particularly those who are white, that he is harboring his own anti-Americanism. Wright's comment that Obama is a politician and will "say what he has to say" implies that Obama is masking his true sentiments, that he's a sort of Manchurian Candidate. This confirms whites' deepest fears.

Obama's first reaction was to give a thoughtful, eloquent speech that was the mark of a statesman - many politicians would have simply abandoned Wright. Wright expressed his gratitude by increasing his own profile and political clout, not answering questions by dismissing those asking them, bullying some young press club official ("That nullifies that question.") and making an implied threat - that an attack on him was an attack "on the black church". This is the behavior of a selfish, self-aggrandizing, opportunistic man.

Obama needs to squash this issue right now by completing cutting himself off from Wright in a timely, brief, and brutal fashion. Right now, whites are still unsure about Obama; they're waiting for a response. There is, if you will, a "vacuum of perception". If Obama doesn't fill it immediately by stating unequivocally that he is deeply disappointed with Wright, disagrees with him completely, and wants nothing more to do with him, the Republicans and the Clinton campaign are going to fill that vacuum with their own interpretations.

And no more speeches. Say it in a sound bite that hopefully will be broadcast as frequently as the "God Damn America" clip.

BARACK OBAMA IS BARACK OBAMA! VOTE FOR BARACK FOR PRESIDENT, NOT
HIS FORMER PASTOR, GROW UP AMERICA, WE NEED THIS VICTORY, GAS
PRICES ARE SOARING, NO TIME TO RETREAT, LET'S WIN INDIANA, AND
NORTH CAROLINA AND CLOSE THE DEAL!
DO YOU REALLY WANT MCCAIN AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT?
I RESPECT MCCAIN BUT BARACK OBAMA IS THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB!
WE NEED A YOUNGER VIBRANT PRESIDENT, WE NEED NEW IDEAS, OBAMA IS
A 21ST CENTURY PRESIDENT!

So now youngsters are choosing Hussein as their middle name. What a bunch of young fools. I guess next they'll tattoo and pierce it on themselves. I guess they were in elementary school when Sadam Hussein butchered and tortured thousands of people. So, this is the youth who will be deciding our 'change' ... great judgement! These kids have no sense of history, or hard won traditions. They are ready to change anything and everything at a drop of a hat ... while they obliviously enjoy the fruits of other people's labors and sacrifices. What's next? ... changing their middle names to Hitler, or Stalin?

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 28, 2008 1:06 AM.

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