Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Barack Obama vs. Jeremiah Wright

Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has become (in)famous for making the following statements:

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye.”

“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” (Sep 2001)

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, G** d*** America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. G** d*** America for treating our citizens as less than human. G** d*** America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (2003)

“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.” (magazine article)

“Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!…We [in the U.S.] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.” (sermon)

“Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary would never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a n****. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person.”

“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.” (sermon)

“The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.”

On March 18,
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Barack Obama responded to Jeremiah Wright’s comments, with the following statements:

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.”

“Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

On April 28, Wright's voiced his disapproval of Obama's unequivocal condemnation of his statements. Before the National Press Club, in Washington DC he returned with an attack on Obama. In a response to the question, “What is your motivation for characterizing Senator Obama’s response to you as, quote, “what a politician had to say”? What do you mean by that?” Jeremiah Wright said:

Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors.”

Today, after Jeremiah Wright basically said that Obama is a politician that will say whatever he needs to say to get elected, Barack Obama finally denounces Jeremiah Wright. The following are a few of his statements:

“What became clear to me is that he was presenting a world view that contradicts who I am and what I stand for, and what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing. Anybody who knows me and anybody who knows what I'm about knows that I am about trying to bridge gaps and I see the commonality in all people."

"I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992, and have known Reverend Wright for 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago."

"His comments were not only divisive and destructive, I believe they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate."

I agree with Obama. Wright’s comments are divisive and destructive and that he is presenting a world view that contradicts what many Americans stand for. But, it doesn't take a genius (or degree from Harvard) to realize that "G** d*** America" and Exodus 20:7 are in contradiction.

However, I must disagree that the person Obama says he saw yesterday is “…not the person that I met 20 years ago.” Jeremiah Wright has been the same person for a very long time. Yesterday, he defended many of the same statements that he has made for years, and there is audio and video to prove it. In my opinion, I believe that Obama failed to see the obvious for many years, and only realizes it now because of the potential negative effect on his political aspirations.

What I want to know is… What took Barack Obama so long to see the real Jeremiah Wright? Why did it take him over 20 years to realize what many people realized in less than 5 minutes? Why did he associate with Reverend Wright in the first place?

What is interesting is that Jeremiah Wright’s appearance before the National Press Club was coordinated by Rev. Barbara Reynolds who is an adjunct professor at the Howard University School of Divinity, and a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

Hello Eric! I didn't know that Jeremiah Wright's appearance before the National Press Conference was coordinated by a Hillary Clinton supporter. Thanks for revealing that piece of underreported info. Talk about things that make you go hmmmm!
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