Wright speaks out, does he clear the air?

April 28, 2008

WASHINGTON – The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s former pastor, pinned the blame on the media for the controversy over his fiery sermons, saying they misinterpreted his remarks and the ensuing criticism was an attack on the black church.
rtr1zzfp.jpgObama has tried to distance himself from Wright, criticizing him for remarks that have included charges that the Sept. 11 attacks were an act of retaliation for U.S. policy and that the government may have created the AIDS virus to kill black people.
On Monday, Wright argued during a National Press Club speech that reporters did not listen to his entire sermons so they did not understand the context of his remarks and that people who question his patriotism are off the mark.
“I feel that those citizens who say that have never heard my sermons, nor do they know me.  They are unfair accusations taken from sound bites and that which is looped over and over again on certain channels,” he said. “I served six years in the military.  Does that make me patriotic?”

“How many years did Cheney serve?” he said, referring to Vice President Dick Cheney’s deferrals from the military draft. For his full remarks, click here
Does Wright’s remarks clear the air, does it help or hurt Obama, or has the issue run its course? 

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– Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Wright speaks to the National Press Club).


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Who. Cares. It’s getting a little ridiculous

When will people realize Rev. Jeremiah Wright is not running for office? Why do people (even broadcast anchors from national media networks) keep asking if his rhetoric makes good political sense in the Democratic ’08 race or if he’s a good politician in the Democratic ’08 race? A good politician?? Rev. Wright’s name is not on the ballot! Let all this dragging out of unimportant issues remain outside of the elections. We’ve heard his stance. If we want to discuss him further, it shouldn’t be within the context of him running for office, because he’s not running for office!

Posted by Nadia | Report as abusive

Rev. Jeremiah Wright sure knows how to spin a story. Lets face it, none of the malicious quotes we have been hearing were taken out of context or twisted to “attack the black church”. He has been a fiery racist preacher for a lot longer than Mr. Obama has been running his presedential campaign. That being said, I think it was a big mistake for Mr. Obama to associate Wright with the campaign (“Spiritual Advisor” was his title) at all in the first place. Every time Mr. Wright refers to “the cultural majority” or “racist america”, he is putting out a racist message that leads to black on white racism and vice-versa. I don’t think that kind of message is true, nor is it what white Obama supporters want to hear. Yes there is a societal ill in America called racism. It is as big and important of a problem as it has ever been, and will continue as long as people like Jeremiah Wright are preaching to devout followers.
I personally think that organized religion as a whole is a detriment to society. History has shown us the devastation that corrupt religious and govt. officials have wrought against innocent people of the world. It is a manipulative entity that must be stopped. That is why I believe all religious organizations regardless of their political affiliations should be stripped of their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Posted by Kiel | Report as abusive

Let’s face it, Jeremiah Wright is a selfish and pompous individual who’s taking advantage of his time to shine, with no regard for the damage it might have on his long time friend Barack Obama’s campaign. If he cared at all for the hard work and dedication Senator Obama has put into his fight for the nomination, you would think he could bite his tongue for the time if, based on nothing more, than respect for Senator Obama. I think what he has done is digusting. Having said that, I fully realize that he is his own person and his opinions are just that…his own. Yet, if I am to believe that this man has been Senator Obama’s “spiritual advisor” for the last two decades, and they share NONE of the same beliefs…I would be crazy. If I disagreed w/ the ongoing sermons of my Reverend I sure wouldn’t sit in his pews to listen to his words every Sunday for 20 years. I don’t see how Rev. Wright’s flippant and conceited behavior could not make people think twice.

Posted by Jillian | Report as abusive

Kiel and Jullian, I’m sorry you feel that way but Wright was on point. He explained himself just fine, and he was right as far as Obama is concerned as well. Obama yes, distanced himself from the clips being played on TV, but had the whole sermon been aired I can guarantee he would not have. The sermon was on point. What he said is exactly how Blacks feel whether they want to be honest with their White peers or not. If you heard his whole sermon and feel that what he said was racist, then you only listened to hear the controversial parts as the media portrayed so. If you listen and hear the words before during and after common sense explains exactly what he meant. That’s why there is only 4 post.

Posted by Louis | Report as abusive

I am in agreement with Nadia: Rev. Wright is not running for office, so who cares? By paying attention to such frivolous things instead of concentrating on what really matters – which candidate would make the best president – people are doing a big disservice to the democratic process. Rev. Wright can say whatever he wants, but it should not be tied into Obama’s campaign. This tiny flame that was created by Rev. Wright has been made into a forest fire, providing the perfect distraction.

Politics are vile enough without falling for the tactics of the political spin that manipulates the minds of the voters, especially in such a weary race for the nomination. While I do not agree with Wright’s philosophies, nor do not condone Hillary Clinton cashing in on this controversy by exploiting it beyond all recognition.

Posted by Jesse | Report as abusive

When you consider someone you do not know for a job, (like a brand new Senator with no real legislative history though he is a fabulous orator), it is perfectly reasonable to ask for character references, or more valid, to search them out. Using Wright to have another data point on Obama IS valid.

Furthermore, Obama’s link to Wright shows poor judgement.

Wright’s speech in Washington revealed NOTHING new about the man. So why did Obama disown him now ??? Sorry Barack…. A bit disingenous and way too late.

Wright’s DC appearance at the National Press Club ( organized by a Barbara Reynolds, a Clinton supporter )seems to be the greatest coup yet for the Hillary.

When she succeeds at knocking him out, will we have somthing worse than black no-show in Nov? How about another Watts or Rodney King riots? It is not impossible.

Posted by jcoop77 | Report as abusive

EXACTLY jcoop77! I’m tired of people saying that Mr. Wright isn’t in the running. Yeah, we know that. HOWEVER, Obama’s association with a person of such polarizing ideas needs to be called into question. That shows his complete lack of sense. You can’t tell me that the few sound bites that have been played are the only outrageous things Mr. Wright has said during Obama’s 20 year association with him. It says something about Obama’s character when he’s only NOW disassociating himself with the “preacher” after everything has come to light. Wake UP America!

Posted by roger | Report as abusive