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.