Reverend Jeremiah Wright

The current 24/7 news cycle this week latched onto several clips from sermons from Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the pastor to presidential candidate Barack Obama for some 20 years.

Most have now seen these clips of the minister’s theatrical and hyperbolic style. And it would be to walk among mine fields to attempt to defend the several sound bites that the networks have chosen out of the many sermons the minister’s church apparently makes available on video.

Wright’s statements in these clips have been almost universally characterized as incendiary, outrageous, and anti-American.

It may not be possible now, in this poisoned atmosphere, to view these in context, but I challenge you to do that. I challenge you to imagine you are in the congregation during these sermons and I challenge you to abstract yourself from the current controversy and honestly ask yourself if you had been there, would you, without the coaching of TV and radio’s talking heads, have the same opinion of this minister.

Well here is that opportunity. Here are those two sermons – and if there were equivalent inflammatory sermons out there, then I would imagine the media’s research would have already found them. So I am assuming these are the worst of the worst the media can recover.



Comments

Anonymous said…
Dude:

I commend you for trying to find good out of the bad, but this Reverend, a former Marine, damned our nation. The same nation that provided him with the opportunity to become what he is. He called our country the U.S. of KKK A.
He is offensive and Barack refused to repuidate him, his comments yes, but failed to repudiate him as a man. I am your typical white person and I am beyond belief that Barrack took his children to this church. I am beyond b elief that Barack sat back in the pews for twenty years without speaking out aginst this hate speech. Double standards? Yep. You can be black and racist in the United States and it will be forgiven, overlooked and ignored. That my friend is what is bullshit about this whole ordeal. Though he may win the Dem nomination, Obama's campaign is finished when it comes to the general election. Who do you have to thank? Bill and Hillary Clinton. They may be drowning in delegate defeat, but they found a way to sabatoge Barack as payback for beating them. Nobody brawls with the Clinton's and walks away unscathed, Barack included.
Bill Garnett said…
Well dude from Chester, Virginia who posts anonymously, you have the right to your opinion. I personally find offensive, posters who like the KKK, prefer to make their statements under the hood of anonymity, rather than have the courage to come out in the light of day and take personal responsibility for their statements.

You are welcome to comment on my blog - in the future identify who you are.
Paul H said…
Of course you know my opinion and by now who I am.

Comparing anonymous commenters to "the KKK, (who) prefer to make their statements under the hood of anonymity," is a bit of a stretch and doesn't deal directly any of the points he brought up.

My anonymous commenter was deleted for having no content, not for anonymity.

Paul_H(ammond)
Bill Garnett said…
Paul, I don’t suffer fools gladly. And invoking the blind nationalism of labeling any criticism of America by an American as being un-American is simplistic at best, and troubling when it tends to dampen free speech.

At the risk of being accused of misusing the concept of morale equivalency, I find parental sponsored indoctrination of children in any particular religion to be repugnant – whether that is Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, or Romney’s Mormon Church with it’s clams of Joseph Smith and his found gold tablets, or the Catholic Church which claims the pope is infallible, or the madrasas of Muslims. But that isn’t the issue is it?

The issue is embedded in the cultural psychology of race that is so deeply embedded in the American psyche. It is evidenced by the worship hour on Sunday being the most segregated hour of the week. It is evidenced by the fact that blacks are far less disturbed by the Wright clips on TV than are whites. And having lived overseas in two polar different countries recently for nine years, I return having a new perspective on the failures to socially integrate races and the silent acquiescence to that fact.

“You can be black and racist in the United States and it will be forgiven, overlooked and ignored.” . . . “Obama's campaign is finished when it comes to the general election. “ . . . “(the Clintons) may be drowning in delegate defeat, but they found a way to sabatoge (sic) Barack (sic) as payback for beating them”. For our anonymous friend to make such emotional statements, unsupported by fact or reason, and you expect me to deal with his rantings is puzzling.
Paul H said…
Ah well, I am a puzzling person. I didn't find all his conclusions unsupported by fact and reasoning, neither did I agree with everything he said. Comparing him with the KKK is a leap of logic and tends to discourage free speech.
drjeff said…
I continue to find it both amusing and disgusting that those who make excuses for Wright tell us that we are reacting to whooly declarative statements by this man as out-of-context. I am an injured survivor of 9/11 and as far as I am concerned, anyone who indicates in any way that we deserved it are the one's to be damned.
John said…
This was one's kind of eery too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnI431s1r6s
Bill Garnett said…
Anyone who doesn’t think that America’s support of Israel and the positioning of troops on Saudi soil after the Gulf War, in light of building Muslim extremism, would increase the probability of consequences, is naïve. This is certainly not to justify any extremism, but just to try and connect the dots.

And posting the videos was only to show how the networks have selectively used information. If you want to be led by the nose by network news and fail to see their agendas, then that is up to you.

And the “eye for an eye” childishness of you damn me, well I damn you, is partially the reason we are in a protracted war in Iraq – and part of the human nature that causes conflicts universally.
alter of freedom said…
The issue at hand is not free speech. As Americans and Virginians for that matter I would hope that we would hold speech very close to our hearts regardless of the speech that is spoken. Our history as a nation is ridled with evidence of defined divisive speech but the point is there are those that use speech to inspire and those who are mere antagonists attempting to reflect a view upon society to keep it divided. While I believe at this point that Obama is sincere in his goals, his associations with those I believe to be amidst the antagonist camp that attempt to further an agenda that is rooted in division and profits from a network of playing the politics of race I feel is worrisome.
People like Wright, Farricon (sic) and others do less to lift up those of their race as much as they do to contribute to their races continued divide not only amongst our greater society but also amongst its own black community. It is frightening to some to see the numbers of African-Americans who align themselves with Republicans as it has and is always attempted to associate Republicans with being "redneck" "racists" "anit-immigrant" steroetypes but over the course of this nations history and the African-Amercian communities assimilation resulting from progress made since the Civil Rights movement we find ourselves reaching a point where we realize regardless of race most Virginians care about the same things, quality of life, our liberties and security, and our rights to pursue happiness in the manner we see fit. The divisions are not just race related. We see this in the gay community as well. Speeches made by strong evangelicals against homosexuality have the same ripple effect as those that appear in context in the black churches to be preaching anti-white rhetoric like Wright under the guise of some Black religious movement. All of these measures seek to keep Amercia divided. They seek to place anger in the hearts of followers by telling them that "they" are toblame for the lot in life that they are leading, that they themselves are not responsible for their actions but that someone else has power over them and is keeping them down. They seek to keep people divided for the benefit of financial gain and politcial motives. If anything South Carolina proved this from the political perspective as the exploitation of any group should not and by the grace of God will not be tolerated in this country.
The Dude from Chester comments are reflective of a sentiment that is out there that the divide creates a double standard which is real in America today. If anything the Wright issue shows how there is no real outcry by the media to have Obama repudiate Wright himself as a Preacher in the same way the media attack IMUS for his comments in how they went after the advertisers. No one is demanding the black community abandon Wright's Trinity Church nor is anyone saying that Wright be removed from the pulpit. Why? Is not church audeince as sacred as a talk radio audience.
What if whites demanded that his removal the way Sharpton petitioned IMUS removal? There is a level of irony and disingeniousness in all of this.
Anonymous said…
Jeremiah Wright_Why don't you "SHUT THE HELL UP"!!!!!! I am a 66 year old white woman who wants to vote for Barack Obama. You are deliderately shooting yourself and Obama in the foot.He was running a great campaign until you have to BLOW OFF! Opinions are like ass-holes! KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF and for ones who think the same way!! GOD BLESS AMERICA and BARACK OBAMA
Scott Nolan said…
We miss your writing Bill, please come back to the blogging world...

Scott
Doug said…
Ok, I have heard a number of preachers go on and on about America and it's deserved punishment for abortion and other sins that the relighous right particularly focus on. In their sermons they say America is going to get punishment for her sins and rightly so, they say. The point being, they are essentially alright with "damning America". If you see any of these preachers coming out and criticizing Wright they will be hypocritical but you don't do you. As far as a fuss over any patriotic commitment it is a load of hypocrisy. Get real people.

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