I found a partial transcript of several of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial remarks in fuller context in the Chicago Tribune. I probably don’t need to say that the Chicago Tribune would tend to be as friendly toward Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright as any paper in the country.
By and large, reading the context pretty much reads just like the “out of context” sound bites.
They have his “chickens coming home to roost” bit from 16 September 2001; his July 2003 “God damn America” tirade; and his “Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinski. He was riding dirty.”
Too bad they didn’t have his sermon that blamed white Americans for creating the AIDS virus as a genocide against black people. I would have really liked to have heard that one in context.
From the interview with PBS’ uber-lib Bill Moyers, I understand that Rev. Wright believes he was taken out of context and that everyone in the media should feel very, very bad.
Let’s try to get past the blatant fact that Bill Moyers is – and always has been – a liberal hack with a taxpayer-funded power-base which he uses to rip at Republicans and conservatives (check out this link and then this one for speeches in his own far-leftist words [but WARNING: they are long, boring, and dripping with sanctimonious self-righteousness!]). Yes, Moyers does his liberal, Obama-loving best to help Wright whitewash his comments without raising the type of objections fair-minded journalists would be inclined to raise. In spite of all that, it was still interesting to hear Wright’s “woe is me for I have been wronged” remarks regarding his racist, anti-American rants.
Jeremiah Wright is a man who believes America is a terrible place, but – to his credit – at least he’s consistent: he believes America has ALWAYS been a terrible place. Reading these transcripts from the Chicago Tribune, and listening to several other remarks that have become public, Wright pretty much rips America upside-down from day one. Our founders were immoral slave-owning hypocrites, we have always been a racist country from day one, that sort of thing.
That’s the context, folks. There is simply no getting away from it. More context simply reveals more anti-Americanism and racism. Does the fact that he finds a quote from some former ambassador named Edward Peck in any way distance himself from the message he is presenting on 16 September 2001? Absolutely not. It is a fool’s argument. Wright simply found a quote to use as a leaping-off point – and believes me, he LEAPS OFF.
Let’s agree that America is not a perfect place (and keep in mind that if it is, you’d better leave, because YOU WOULD RUIN IT!). We’ve done bad things. And black people have been the victims of a number of those bad things that America has done. Just in case some of you didn’t know that, okay?
But this is a man who does not say ANYTHING good about America. Not a (to put it terms that Wright likes to use, “Not a G-D thing”). Listening to Wright – in context – you learn that the United States of AmeriKKKa is vile, it is hateful, it is racist, it is immoral, it is corrupt, and on and on and on.
More context only serves to reveal more of his blatant hostility to America.
It is because of the tutelage of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that Barack Obama’s wife Michelle has never been proud of this country in her adult life, and believes “America in 2008 is a mean place.”
I read more of his sermon from FIVE DAYS AFTER INNOCENT CIVILIANS WERE ATTACKED BY MURDEROUS TERRORIST COWARDS, on 16 September 2001, and I frankly want to puke all the more. He goes back to World War II to prove how we bombed Japan and killed women and children to drive his point home. He omits the fact that the United States was simultaneously fighting the two most despicable regimes in the history of the planet, and had to go to the bloody mat to defeat enemies who were far too full of hate to ever surrender. World War II was our greatest hour: but for Jeremiah Wright and his followers, it is our greatest shame.
Read about the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews perished, the slave labor, the rape of Nanking, the Korean women forced into prostitution, the despicable medical experiments performed on human beings, and so many other ugly, ugly facts about these enemies, and draw your own conclusion. We live in a dark and terrible world, and we have often been called upon to stand up and fight; to fight for freedom, for what is ours, for what is right.
As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese would not surrender. Period. American intelligence estimated that an invasion of Japan would consume four million lives – and that fully one million would be ours. After we destroyed one city, we gave Japan an opportunity to surrender; they refused. It took a second city to shake them out of their confidence that they could never be defeated.
Allow me now to respond to Jeremiah Wright’s self-serving exegesis of Psalm 137:9 and put IT into context. Remember, this is the Bible. It’s the story of God and His people. You don’t just read one verse and think you understand the whole story. So let’s look at the greater story:
In Genesis 13, God promises the land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants [Interestingly, Israel is the ONLY land that God ever gave to a people as an "everlasting possession" (Gen 17:1-8); and yet it is the land whose possession by that people is most reviled and most doubted. Just a little food for thought]. In Genesis 15:13-16, God tells Abraham that his descendants will one day inherit the land – but not for another four generations, because “the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” After those four generations had passed (and the iniquity of the Amorite WAS complete), God commanded Moses and Joshua to take the land. He commanded them to conquer it, to drive out the inhabitants and kill them.
Missionaries talk about “power encounters.” In the time of the Old Testament, every people had their own gods. And if one people defeated another, it was because their god/gods were stronger. When the Amorite was as depraved and wicked as they could get, God sent His people into the land, and God played the game of “power encounter” with those people, and the God of the Bible demonstrated that He and He alone was the God of gods. These people were evil beyond persuasion. They could and would only understand violence. And so, in Exodus, Joshua, and in other sections of the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to all the peoples around through violence and war. And these wicked people got Jehovah’s message the only way they could understand it.
So when I read Rev. Wright’s exposition of Psalm 137:9, I see a man who is quite literally characterizing the VERY GOD HE CLAIMS TO WORSHIP AS BEING AS TERRIBLE AS HE SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS. There’s no such thing as a “just war” for Wright. America CAN’T be “just” for Wright. America is just – to again quote Michelle Obama – “a mean place.”
For Jeremiah Wright, there is no good in America. None whatsoever. There is no coming to the defense of his country. Even World War II was an example of an immoral United States of America for him. He is simply too bitter and too full of hate to see the good in this country.
Jeremiah Wright wants us to see how – in context – he’s really not such a bad guy. But he won’t give the United States that same basic privilege. He won’t allow any “context” to color his anger and bitterness against America, or against the white people who live in it.