Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Wright asserts criticism of him is really an "attack on the black church."


WASHINGTON--A brash Rev. Jeremiah Wright--longtime pastor to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) --on Monday said the controversy over his inflammatory comments--threatening Obama's presidential bid--were really "an attack on the black church."

"As I said, this was an attack on the black church. It was not about Obama, McCain, Hillary, Bill, Chelsea; this was about the black church. This was about Barbara Jordan. This was about Fannie Lou Hamer. This was about my grandmama," Wright said at the National Press Club.

During a question and answer session after his speech, Wright was asked why he waited so long to try to explain himself: "As I said to Bill Moyers -- and he also edited this one out -- because of my mother's advice to me. My mother's advice was being seen all over the -- all over the corporate media channels, and it's a paraphrase of the Book of Proverbs, where it is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. (LThe media was making a fool out of itself because it knew nothing about our tradition.

"And so I decided to let them make a fool as long as they wanted to and then take the advice of Paul Laurence Dunbar in "'Lias, 'lias, bless de Lawd. Don' you know de day's abroad?" Don't make me come cross this room. I had to come cross the room because they started -- understand, when you talking about my mama, once again, and talking about my faith tradition, once again -- how long do you let somebody talk about your faith tradition before you speak up and say something in defense of -- this was not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. Once again, let me say it again, this was an attack on the black church.

"And I cannot, as a minister of the gospel, allow the significant part of our history -- most African-Americans and most European- Americans, most Hispanic-Americans, half the names I called in my presentation have never heard it because they don't know anything at all about our tradition. And to lift up those -- they did not -- they would have died in vain had I just kept quiet longer and longer and longer and longer.

As I said, this was an attack on the black church. It was not about Obama, McCain, Hillary, Bill, Chelsea; this was about the black church. This was about Barbara Jordan. This was about Fannie Lou Hamer. This was about my grandmama.


Replaying the sermons given by Rev. Wright is an attack on the black church? With that line of reasoning C-Span's coverage of his keynote address at the NAACP convention was an attack on the NAACP.


This is really sad. He is such a smart guy. But it is wrong and wrong-minded to say things like (all) 'black' children learn differently than (all) 'white' children. He seems to confuse genetics with culture--and culture is PRACTICED--not innate.
There is so much I like about what he says--and then he lets his anger (and no doubt he has a lot of right to be very very angry) take over and smear those of us who no longer can support Barack Obama as racist.
Somebody give this guy a big hug! Hillary! Maya! Go hug the guy!

Back in 1984 when Jesse ran for the presidency, Farrakhan saw this as an opportunity to get national exposure and to challenge the growing influence of Jesse. So he comes out and makes a public stance with Jackson, knowing full well that he was a highly controversial figure (an image that he'd crafted with volatile statements about Jews and white Americans). He (Farrakhan) knew full well that his "endorsement" of Jackson would have a detrimental effect. Granted, Jackson had no real chance of winning, but that wasn't the point, Farrakhan was thrust to national prominence.
Fast forward to 2008, here we have Obama, who actually has a chance to snare the nomination and yes, the presidency. Wright has been fuming since he was "disinvited" to Obama's announcement. Let's not re-write history. It was Wright's church that put those tapes on their website for sale, it was Wright, that gave the prickly statements to the NYT, it was Wright that waited in the wings before launching this "press offensive" (at the most critical point in the primary) to go before any media outlet that will listen to him.
When Blacks finally get over the need to have "Big Bad Black Man" speak "truth to power", we will more clearly see that people like Farrakhan, Wright and a host of others do NOT have the best interest of Blacks at hand. They are egotistical, self-serving men who seek to satisfy their insatiable desire for attention and influence, regardless of the costs.
I really hope that people stay focused, this is not about white people not wanting to vote for a black man, hell, Obama has been winning white votes all across the country. This is about another little man, who wants to be revered, but lacks what it really takes to be seriously considered as a man of influence and substance. And I'm talking about going beyond the same old tired, "what racist white America, or the white man" has done to black people. We all know the history, so that's not the issue, the issue is how are we going to really make use of our influence, instead of continually squandering it just to protect another huckster that thinks they can play Black people for fools just to boost their own egos and sphere of influence.
So I'm hoping that people can stay laser-focused on the issue----the presidency, not expending energy on yet another race hustler.

What concerns me most is how this attempted attack and smear against Barack Obama has been allowed to fester by the media and they must take some of the responsibility for some of the messages and posts on different websites over the weekend which are turning to "hatred"

Suggestions that certain sections of the Democratic Party should leave then Clinton will win over her core supporters even more, this is a disgrace and the type of hatred I never really witnessed but we thought we had seen the back of.

It is 2008 and the majority of us have moved on, we have listened to what Barack Obama and we have accepted what he has said, but some will turn the discussion into the gutter to to try and win the race - Shame!

Watching the "reverand" in Detroit last night, and at the National Press Club today I saw a hateful, racist, sarcastic, showman - not a pastor. He certainly wanted to be heard but was so condescending to the reporter's questions, clowing around and making of mockery of the whole situation. Obama should have thrown him under the bus a long time ago - it's too late now!

It is time for the Republican-controlled Media to give this Wright controversy some fairness and enquire of Hillary Clinton and her surrogates the following:

Is it true that, (1) Hillary surrogate, Congresswoman Shiela Jackson Lee, is also a devotee of Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright; that he's been preaching at her home church, where she is actively involved, annually for the past 15 years and has an open invitation to return, and, that she sat in the pews for his visits and did not bat an eye?

Is it true that (2) Hillary surrogate, Rev. Marcia Dyson was not only a longtime member of Trinity United Church of Christ but also still considers Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright her pastor? That Rev. Marcia Dyson's seminary education, in part, was sponsored by Trinity UCC and encouraged by Rev. Wright? And was it not at Trinity were she first met her husband, Rev. Dr. Michael Dyson, who's been very vocal in his defense of Rev. Wright.?

And, lastly of Hillary Clinton, that if Rev. Wright would not have been her Pastor, then why did she and Bill when going through Impeachment, turn to Rev. Wright for Prayer and Support and invite him to the White House? These things should be answered.

Strangest thing, Wright continues to say that this is an attack against the "black church" and to my knowledge there are several black churches and not all are members of his brood. I know of many here in Texas and there are many, many dominations that practice in their own chosen ways, the same as white churches. By the same token, we have several blacks that worship with us each Sunday and we all consider them to be our equals in the sight of The Lord!To try and stir up bad race relations is all that he appears to be doing, not explaining the comments that he has made defaming our country! If he can get the focus off himself and on to a black/white controversy he is attempting to create, his task will be complete and he can retire to his 10 million dollar home....

Can you please stop printing Angellight/Julie Mack's crap? It clearly is from a blog room operating under the payroll of the Obama campaign.

After watching Rev. Wright for the past two days at the NAACP confab and the National Press Club, I come to the opinion that Rev. Wright is attempting to put on some sort of variety show. I guess attending Wright's church has a lot less to do with Christian theology or doctrine, as it has to do with entertainment. Notice the singing, dancing, gyrations, comedy, signifying, as well as his failed demonstration of intellectualism when he cited the study by two Wayne State professors. Black children learn with their right brain and white children with their left brain--Scientific? Rev. Wright did a decent job at the various dialects and foreign pronunciations. Though, I was quite surprised when he went into frat boy mode by giving his college fraternity's salute behind the back of the moderator.

I feel if Rev. Wright wants to venture out into new avenues of entertainment, I don't think the public or press should indulge him in portraying this as a serious political and religious discussion. I think he should compete in more traditional venues like American Idol or local or regional talent shows.

Jerry McWilliams, Wright is not the inventor or first pastor to live in a lavish home. Why dont you do some homework. Pope aint doing to bad is he? How come noone talks about his home?

Last night, Wright spoke about how, while we are different in many ways from our various brothers and sisters here on Earth, it does not mean that one mode of Christian worship, yes, even a belief system, learning process--black, white, or whatever, right down to your appreciation for certain kinds of music--is necessarily more deficient than another. If you missed this message then you weren't paying attention.

Wright was not and is not the one who has the "insatiable desire for attention and influence regardless of the costs"; it's ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS and any number of irrelevant "beltway boys," newspaper hams, radio blabbermouths and so-called "analysts" who are turning this into something to boost their popularity. Listen closely and you'll hear no solutions from any of them. Wright was offering solutions, as any good pastor would.

Anyone who still thinks Wright is a "hateful, racist, sarcastic showman" is not meditating properly.

You want a crazy preacher, check out evangelical "Pastor" Hagee, the snake-oil Apocalypse Now charlatan who has endorsed John McCain. He's a guy you should probably be worried about.

(Don't forget to send "Pastor" Hagee a hundred dollars so you can get his heavenly 50th anniversary 10-pack of Godly DVDs. You'll get a free copy of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," Mr. Hagee's personal testimony of how great his faithfulness is, I guess.)

No longer will the networks seek out Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to speak when they need a comment. Rev. Wright will give them more in an hour than those two can in a day. Rev. Wright is so attached at the hip to James Cone, his friend and the man he most envies and wishes he could be like. He preaches from Cone's books instead of the Bible. I really do feel sorry for Rev. Wright and his self-centered attitude and wish he could change his ways. Maybe when this is all over he will but I think he's too full of himself. And that's a educated and sharp as he is but with zero common sense. Nobody wants to insult the Black Church I don't think...this is about Rev. Wright and he loves it.

And, lastly of Hillary Clinton, that if Rev. Wright would not have been her Pastor, then why did she and Bill when going through Impeachment, turn to Rev. Wright for Prayer and Support and invite him to the White House? These things should be answered.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR AN EXPLANATION ABOUT THAT. But folks like to pounce on the preacher. I KNOW rev. wright has been friends to the Clintons for ages, and now he is crazy and racist. Been all up in the Whitehouse.

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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 11:29 AM.

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