Posts Tagged ‘politician’

Oprah Left Trinity Church; Why Wouldn’t Obama?

May 31, 2008

You’ve heard the litany of terrible remarks that Jeremiah Wright has made from his pulpit at Trinity United Church:

“White greed drives world need.”

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

“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 into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

“We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college,” he said. “Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body.”

“America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. … We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers. … We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi. … We put (Nelson) Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

“We started the AIDS virus. … We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty.”

“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”

“We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. … We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. …”

That kind of thing.

It turns out that there are – contrary to all the liberal explanations, counter-denunciations, (and my personal favorite: “context”) – people who were actually offended by such remarks.

One of them, it turns out, is Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah never made a big deal about her membership (two years: from 1984-86), and she never made a big deal about leaving the church (most likely because she didn’t want people like me to make a big deal out of it).

But Oprah left because – as a Newsweek article reports – she realized that “Something Wasn’t Wright” at Trinity United.

The 12 May 2008 issue article by Allison Samuels says:

Winfrey was a member of Trinity United from 1984 to 1986, and she continued to attend off and on into the early to the mid-1990s. But then she stopped. A major reason—but by no means the only reason—was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

According to two sources, Winfrey was never comfortable with the tone of Wright’s more incendiary sermons, which she knew had the power to damage her standing as America’s favorite daytime talk-show host. “Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost,” said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity when discussing Winfrey’s personal sentiments. “She’s always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn’t be smart. She’s been around black churches all her life, so Reverend Wright’s anger-filled message didn’t surprise her. But it just wasn’t what she was looking for in a church.”Oprah’s decision to distance herself came as a surprise to Wright, who told Christianity Today in 2002 that when he would “run into her socially … she would say, ‘Here’s my pastor!’ ” (Winfrey declined to comment. A Harpo Productions spokesperson would not confirm her reasons for leaving the church.)

So she’s been gone for something on the order of twelve or thirteen years. She was only a member for two, and she began to become aware that her national television audience – which was mostly women and mostly liberal – would be offended by the tone of way too many of Jeremiah Wright’s sermons for Oprah to be comfortable.

One of the things conservatives have been pointing out over and over is that the Wright comments such as the ones I have posted above were by no means “infrequent” or “out of context.” They were entirely representative of his black liberation theology. You wouldn’t expect him to say anything else!

He’s been saying radical, controversial, racist, and hateful stuff for decades. He was saying it in the 1980s, when Oprah Winfrey began to attend. He was still saying in the 1990’s, when she stopped attending. And you darn well better know by now that he’s been saying it it in the new millennium. He chose no less an occasion than the Sunday following 9/11 to deliver one of his most anti-American sermons of all.

You have to be driven by such a desperately flawed ideology that you are totally unable to understand the real world in order not to realize that. In other words, you literally have to have willed yourself to be stupid not to comprehend that Jeremiah Wright is not only radical, but radically toxic.

And Wright himself blew up the notion that he had been taken out of context when he chose to defend every single one of his statements in numerous media appearances.

The amazing thing is that Barack Obama refused to genuinely renounce Wright until his now-former pastor may have said (for Obama) the most offensive thing of all: that Barack Obama was a politician who does what politicians have to do and says what politicians have to say.

Now, from the sounds of it, Oprah Winfrey left not so much because her moral compass was offended, but because her rational, businesswoman’s sense was offended. But the point is that she knew YEARS ago that the stuff that was coming out of Trinity United was radioactive, and she didn’t want her boat being docked to that kind of outrage.

What on earth is wrong with Barack Obama’s character and judgment that he didn’t long ago come to the same conclusion?

Jeremiah Wright Needs to Go Home And Read His Bible

April 29, 2008

Jeremiah Wright, speaking at the 53rd annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner sponsored by the NAACP, said, “One of your cities’ political analysts says in print that first just my appearance here in Detroit will be polarizing. Well, I’m not here for political reasons. I am not a politician. I know that fact will surprise many of you because many in the corporate-owned media have made it seem as if I had announced that I’m running to for the Oval Office. I am not running for the Oval Office. I’ve been running for Jesus a long, long time, and I’m not tired yet.”

Jeremiah Wright?  Not political?  Jeremiah Wright?  Running for Jesus?  Wrong and More Wrong. 

Jeremiah Wright claims to be speaking as a Christian pastor.  But let’s look at how Jesus spoke, or how Paul or Peter spoke, and see how radically different Jesus and the men who knew Him spoke about their government.  Jeremiah Wright is clearly NOT speaking in anything resembling their tradition.  Did Jesus rail against the evils of Rome, even once?  No.  Jesus didn’t launch hateful tirades against Pontius Pilate or Ceasar, even as He was being condemned to death by them and by their system of justice.  Did Paul and Peter rail against Rome?  No.  Did they castigate the Roman caesar who would have them both killed?  No.  Did they call upon Christians to become embittered against Roman oppression, or call upon Christians to become bitter and judgmental people because Rome had denied them this benefit or that?  No.  They didn’t.  Nothing of the sort. 

Interestingly, Jesus DID rail against religious leaders who, claiming to know God, in fact were bitter, hateful people who condemned and judged others around them and who greedily enriched themselves at their followers expense.

People rather like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in other  words.

Wright publicly corrected a local Republican politician who called him divisive.  “I am not divisive,” Wright said. “Tell him the word is ‘descriptive’ — I described the conditions in this country. Conditions divide, not my descriptions.”

“I describe the conditions in this country. Conditions divide, not my descriptions. Somebody say “Amen.” If you can’t say “Amen,” you’re too mad, just say “Ouch.””

The problem is that most of his “descriptions” are flat-out lies motivated by flat-out hatred for whites and for America.

When he labeled this country’s attempts to gain some handle on the rampant abuse of crack and the crime it generates as a scheme motivated to incarcerate black men, that was as malicious as it was false.  When he claimed that white America had created the AIDS virus as a genocide against people of color, that was as hateful as it was factually incorrect.  When he characterized America as AmeriKKKa, that was as racist and hateful as it was untrue.  

That aint “speaking truth to power.”  And it sure aint “running for Jesus.”

I am familiar with the “Tuskegee Experiment,” which provides Wright with his grounds for claiming that America created the AIDS virus to kill blacks.  And I realize that it was a medical experiment that was based on incredibly callous and racist attitudes.  Of the 400 black men used like laboratory animals, 128 died from syphillis or related complications, 40 wives had been infected, and 19 children were born with the disease.  But I also realize that this “experiment” – as vile as it was – does not and did not represent the values of the United States of America.  It should be taught as an object lesson in history.  It should not be presented as a depiction of the racist attitudes of Americans today, as Wright presents it.  If we were the sort of people who would favor treating black men in this manner today, I’m thinking we probably wouldn’t be considering a black man for President.

And mind you, the incredibly evil Japanese Unit 731 was directly responsible for 10,000 deaths due to such practices as vivisection of living humans, subjecting living humans to germ and chemical warfare, performing amputations on living humans, submitting living humans to die of slow exposure to cold, etcetera.  And they were responsible for 200,000 more deaths as their experiments bore fatal fruit.  But Jeremiah Wright has labeled America as a hateful warmonger who “nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye” for putting an end to Japan’s barbarity (which, by the way, extended way, way, way beyond Unit 731).  I simply don’t understand the implicit contradiction.   

Wright also attempts to separate himself from politics, but he is political to his very core, just as his black liberation theology is political (as well as Marxist) to its very core.

“It is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. It is an attack on the black church,” he said, to applause.

Only a genuine politician – and a politician of the worst stripe at that – could be so arrogant and so vain as to wrap himself in an entire movement, such that any criticism of himself is tantamount to criticism of the movement.

The great mind of Booker T. Washington recognized that “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.”

I actually have come to believe that Jeremiah Wright does not want Barack Obama to become president.  If “white America” elects him, after all, it would serve as a disproof for all the anger and blame and hatred and charges of racism that Jeremiah Wright has based his career upon.  It would mean that he – and not the United States – is the real hater.