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A Tale of Two Wrights

By Shailagh Murray
Two Jeremiah Wrights showed up at the National Press Club this morning: the nationally recognized preacher and the bombastic firebrand. The first version of Wright delivered a reflective speech on African American church culture. The second did his most famous congregant no favors.

For the first half-hour of the Wright event, Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor subtly made the case that he had been unfairly depicted in recent weeks, and that controversial snippets from his sermons mischaracterized both his theological views and the scope of service performed by Trinity United Church of Christ.

"This is a country which houses this religious tradition that we all love and a country that some of us have served. It is a tradition that is, in some ways, like Ralph Ellison's the 'Invisible Man,'" Wright told the press club audience.

"It has been right here in our midst and on our shoulders since the 1600s, but it was, has been, and -- in far too many instances -- still is invisible to the dominant culture, in terms of its rich history, its incredible legacy, and its multiple meanings."

And so it went for 30 minutes -- more a historical lecture than the usual press conference fodder. But once he departed from the script, Wright turned curt and defiant, blaming a secular and ignorant media for turning him into a caricature, while barely disguising his frustration with Obama for distancing himself from Wright and depicting him as an angry old man.

"He did not denounce me," Wright barked at the press club moderator, when asked if he was disappointed by Obama. "He distanced himself from some of my remarks, like most of you, never having heard the sermon. All right?"

"He didn't distance himself," Wright continued. "He had to distance himself, because he's a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was anti-American. He said I didn't offer any words of hope. How would he know? He never heard the rest of the sermon. You never heard it."

"I offered words of hope. I offered reconciliation. I offered restoration in that sermon, but nobody heard the sermon. They just heard this little sound bite of a sermon," Wright exclaimed.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 28, 2008; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments

Facts are a stubborn thing. Obama cannot close his 20 year old relationship with Wright because there is so much video evidence against it. On the TV program THE VIEW, Obama declared that Reverend Wright accepted that his view were inappropriate and mischaracterized. That it had offended many people. Then weeks later Wright goes on a national Hate America Press Tour? This was a blatant lie. Or worse, Obama was fooled by Wright which is kind of scary. That a possible next president can be played by a character such as Wright. Check the video evidence yourselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6J7yJ9R5p0

Posted by: Leanza Cornett | May 1, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

What continues to get lost in this issue of Rev Wright is that he did not exist until the news media blasted him on TV.
He was a nothing until White media placed him on the news as if he was important.
Obama did not push him. Now he is an issue not because Obama see him as important to him, but because USA Caucasian people see him as a negative and they tie him around Obama's neck. Until they remove him he will remain an issue. Obama can't undo what he never did.

Posted by: Earl | April 29, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Whether Wright is taken out of context or not is irrelevant. So is whether Hillary has surrogates that like Wright. This is politics, people...not monopoly...fair is beside the point. Rev Wright is a political liability for Barack Obama because I can write without a shred of dishonesty:

"God damn America!"
-Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spiritual advisor to Sen. Barack Obama

Think the Repugnicans will do anything less??

Posted by: ChrisC | April 28, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Uncle Wright is not politician?
He is self-centralized while crying
"You are not black enough"
No one owes him for that except God.

Posted by: jy2008 | April 28, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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....................HILLARY VOTED FOR THE WAR

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Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: WWW.POLITICALINSIDER.NET | April 28, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

LOL at Wright today and the audience clapping and cheering him on. That is just what white american needs to see and hear to wake up to what we acn expect from an Obama presidency. Cheering and clapping from black america whenever the likes of Wright put us in our place. It would never work in reverse. If a white person said these things and whites cheered, the black community would be outraged. Well it's outrageous.

Posted by: Nobama | April 28, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Wright's excuse for his outragoues remarks is to say we haven't heard the whole sermon--yet today he stands by his remarks fromm those sermons. I don't think hearing the whole sermon changes his remarks since he stands by them today. This guy is obscene and I think he's sunk Obama's candidacy.

Posted by: What a joke | April 28, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Please do not confuse the spew of this guy with Biblical faith, black or white. If he represents the black church, which he does not, but if he did, then the whole black church would be going to hell in a hand bag. This guy has a serious issue with his size in the universe.

Posted by: zodrow | April 28, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Peter C--Wright is back out there today saying the same reverse racist stuff he's been saying for 20 years? Blacks and whites have different brains now? Can you imgain if a white person said that? Clinton didn't sit in the church of a white supremist for 20 years...period. Obama sat in the pews of a anti-white, anti-american church and saw nothing wrong with it until he was called out. We don't accpet racism in any form in this country and we don't expect our presidents to sit idly by. Clinton would have left the church and so would have most democrats. It's absurd to make excuses for this guy by saying we as whites need to understand the black anger. I understand it but I don't condone attacking whites and attacking this country and I will not as a proud american vote for a man who has condoned it.

Posted by: GGinFLA | April 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I tried many times many ways to post the following on CNN, First by uploading to IReport. Every means I tried to submit it via their departmental FORMS (4-5 X) failed.

Same frustrating situation has been going on for several months now ... I am beginning to suspect ... maybe they don't want to hear from me again?

Here's the Post I was trying to send CNN:

RE: Reverend Wright

ERRONEOUS Mis-Information about "RACE" is routinely provided to the public.

First, let's get REAL about "race".

From a college textbook: There's no such thing. There's only ONE race. The human race.

If that was not so humans of different "races" could not produce progeny.

People can have as little as 13% genes of African origin and still look "black"
People can have as much as 47% genes of African origin and still look "white"

From an AP newswire article in the newspaper more than 20 years ago: More than 87% of Americans have black ancestors.

From the internet last year: Article and pictures of identical twin baby girls born in France. Identical, except that one twin had brown skin, eyes, and hair and appeared to be a black baby, while the other twin had white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair and appeared to be a white baby.

(I don't recall the source of the following information): After the civil war there were whole towns full of "black" people who appeared to be "white. These towns sprang up because the black people would not let them live in their town because they looked white. The white people would not let them live in their town because they knew firsthand the white-appearing people had recent black ancestors.

Over time the white appearing "black" people in those towns moved away and passed as white & the "white/"black" towns gradually disappeared.

That did not take hundreds of years. That fact is evident in the population today. I know people who have one parent who looks all white with their other parent appearing to be black, but their child appears to be all white; you can't tell by looking.

RE: Wright. The Reverend Wright is Nearly White. Un-conincidetally, not connectedly-he is also ... Nearly Right. I saw his whole speech (on TV) at the NAACP.

He is obviously brilliant, a far more inspiring speaker than Obama, a natural teacher/ preacher. His speech was at many times spellbinding because of his breathtaking virtuosity in speech, language, sound, music, and learning styles. In that realm of his genius Wright is unparalled, phenomenal.

I began writing this after seeing Wright on CNN saying: Louis Farakkhan is not my enemy. Farakkhan did not put me in chains. Farakkhan did not enslave me. By implication, the Rev. Wright thereby NAMES
"white" people his Enemy/(THE Enemy of Black people). (Problem with that is: most of those "white" people are "black" ... many of them with more genes of African Ancestry than he has ... regardlless of their looks."

Problem with Reverend Wright (& Obama) is: They have not TRANSCENDED "race"; they continue to harbor hateful feelings toward "whites"; they do not even know the REALITY of "race" as I have stated it here; are still operating emotionally on the basis of ... prejudice ... based on skin color; still operating on the OLD INGNORANT mis-conceptions.

Their problem is not intellectual, its emotional. The emotional mis-perceptions / mis-information they are both
operating on are the cause of the - division on the basis of race - currently being experienced by all of us
during this presidential campaign.

The source of that division is Obama and Wright's prejudice on the basis
of SKIN COLOR.

The solution is to so publicize the REAL truth and the REAL History of "race" :
a. There's no such thing.
and the REAL HISTORY of "race" in America: b. Most Americans have black ancestors. c. Movies based on the REAL History, Real Story, of the rise and decline of the "white/"black" towns in the border states.

Currently, the radical-Left, and the radical-right, are both making use of Obama & the Reverend Wright's prejudices/ emotional problems ... to stir up trouble for all Americans... by using the IGNORANCE/prejudices/emotional problems of SOME "members" of TWO "races" (that Do NOT EXIST in America) ... to create inter-racial STRIFE .... based on skin COLOR.
(Shades of the star-bellied sneeches ... just as stupid ... just as EASILY AVOIDABLE by GETTING the TRUTH OUT.)


p.s. Sorry Obama & Wright, et al on the LEFT, and RUSH, Hannity, et al on the RIGHT ...I think your're about a generation too late to stir up all the hate-speech and riots you're trying to create. Integration succeeded. Too many "black" citizens have "white" grandchildren & too many "white" citizens have "black" grandchildren.

p.p.s. This time I have made 3 attemps to SEND this on your "send us a tip" FORM ... but hitting the SUBMIT button results in the: you are not authorized to view this page ... page. IReport upload always results in: failed to
open page...page. I have experienced the SAME for the past several MONTHS.

On this attempt I am using the ContactUs/CNN TV FORM.

... That resulted in: failed to open page ... again...& now I'm at the Washington Post.

Posted by: elme | April 28, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This is an egotistical old minister's revenge on his parishioner. At some point the media will get tired of this and we will start talking about something else. Obama will have to reject the "Rev." Wright AGAIN. He's proving himself to be a destructive fool.

Posted by: Chuck | April 28, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey bring it on! Now Wright is everywhere, in press conferences, in Republican ads when we just want to see the last of him! But you know what? Since Wright is what the Republican machine is going to use in November, we might as well get a plenty of experience now in dealing with the controversy. Though a little delusional, he is a straight talker and I am sure he and Obama are not on talking term any more but at least he will be the devil we know, comes November.

On the other hand, the Republican machine will simply cream Clinton with so many gates/scandals she is associated with. Whitewater, Little Rose, Vincent Foster, Blackwater, Mr Paul and his accusation of the Clintons, etc etc. They are sure to find something we don't even know about at this stage. Oh my god, the GOP will not know which one to begin with. They would literally spoilt for choice.

The funny thing is that Clinton feels somehow that she will be safe from attack on those grounds because these scandals are nothing new and nobody has sunken her on them yet. Hence my advice to her.

Honey, that's because this is the first time you are running for the Presidency. Things are different.You are not the only one playing to win no matter what. Obama has refused to sink you on those because he is a true gentleman. But surely as you must know yourself, the GOP won't be that gentlemanly. They will sink your big mouth on Day 1. You are an easier prey of the two and that is the reason why you are being saved for now. Think, woman.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Rev. Wright is absolutely correct. The media (not who's side they're on, but you better believe it isn't Barack Obama) having slow news days and obviously will beat this to death. I wish I could say that the American public will see through the media's attempt to sway their thinking... but I know that is only a wish... it'll never happen. "AMERICANS ARE AN UNEDUCATED LOT" AND THAT'S WHAT SCARES ME!!

Posted by: Julie | April 28, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Peter C. that those who did not or still do not support Obama's candidacy for President will find any fault they can with him or anyone he has associated with.

Unfortunately, millions of Americans have not heard the full sermons because they are judgemental and don't want to, or don't have the technical resources to go to YouTube and so forth, where you can find fuller sermons for free.

Many political pundits don't realize (or care to emphasize) that Rev. Wright was a former Marine and Navy man.

Posted by: AJ, IL | April 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Please Leanza, listen to his sermons, listen to the Bill Moyers interview. Is it really so hard to see his words in perspective? Wright is pressuring his parish to be MORE american by striving for equality for ALL. His general argument is that America is not a perfect nation (ask the Cherokee or any other natives how they feel about European immigrants) and we shouldn't continue a circle of revenge by boming thousands of children, mothers, and fathers that happen to live in a country where 20 or so radicals came from. This is a call for understanding, which unfortunately people like you are ignoring and sending this country down a road of more violence and hate.

Posted by: Peter C. | April 28, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

He said his "God damn America" remarks were meant to show that God blesses acts of peace and kindness, but God damns acts of war and violence. He talked of slavery, racial segregation and poverty as condemnable acts, and referring to the U.S. government, he said, blacks are still owed an apology for slavery, and said he's told Obama, if he's elected November 5, "I'm coming after you."

Should America apologize to African Americans for slavery?


http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=2297


.

Posted by: Frank, Austin TX | April 28, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The only reasonable, possible explanation to the Wright/Obamba debacle is that Obama agreed with his mentor for 20 YEARS. That is why Wright is out there giving his Black Recentment Speeches and Obama dares not refused nor denounced him because if Obama does, then Wright will spill out exactly what Obama said and how he felt for these last 20 YEARS. Obama cannot denounce nor refused Wright because the truth will come out. Wright is Obama's true political liability. Expect the following:
1- WRITE A BOOK.
2- CONTINUE TO GIVE NATIONAL SPEECHES.
3- HE WILL CHARGE FOR THOSE NATIONAL SPEECHES.
4- HE WILL APPEAR IN MORE COMMENTARY PROGRAMS.
5- DONT BE SURPRICE IF WRIGHT HIMSELF RUNS FOR SENATOR.
6- THERE WILL BE A WRIGHT IDIALOGY BASED ON HIS POLITICAL ANGLE.
7- OBAMA WILL NOT DISASSOCIATE, NOR RENOUNCED REV. WRIGHT.

SO ASK YOURSELF WHY? Why CANT THE NEXT POSSIBLE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DENOUNCE AND RENOUNCE HIS CRAZY, ANTI-AMERICAN PASTOR? EASY; WRIGHT KNOWS TOO MUCH.

Posted by: Leanza Cornett | April 28, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Stop giving this Pimped-Up Reverse Racist Exposure.

The ENTIRE World has better things to worry about that a Sorry Con-Man who cashed in on a Church for a Ten Million Dollar Mansion.

Just WHAT KIND of Justification for that kind of Blatant WASTE of "Charitable" Contributions could there ever possibly be? :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | April 28, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Four out of the last five blogs in here have been about Rev. Wright. Isn't it discrimination if you don't give Evangelist John Hagee equal time? I mean seriously, he single handedly solved the entire Katrina debate.

Posted by: MikeMcNally | April 28, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

He is right about being turned into a caricature by the media. It's as if they had "Goddamn America" playing on a loop. Taken out of context, that sermon could be seen as inflammatory, but he was clearly just airing his grievances about the state of the nation. If it were a white preacher that made those remarks, would that person be demonized the same way? It's worth thinking about, and it's understandable as to why he sounded so angry.

Posted by: GregB | April 28, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Angellight:

Thank you for writing the McCain attack ad against Hillary too : )

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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.

Posted by: Angellight | April 28, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, which one is it, Rev. Wright: a) "He distanced himself from some of my remarks" or b) "He didn't distance himself" -- which one is is, today, Rev. Wright?

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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