Et tu, Reverand? Wright is so wrong it hurts

Just when Obama thought he could chillax with his strong lead in North Carolina and focus on Indiana voters for a few days, his favorite pastor hits all the news outlits with crazy talk about HIV government conspiracies, embracing racist/antisemite Louis Farrakhan and otherwise contradicting everything that Obama has been saying in his campaign about bringing people together. 
Today Obama finally came out to denounce Wright’s narcisistic comments in the strongest terms.  Besides articulating his “outrage” and disappointment and generally separating himself from the Reverand’s remarks, what struck us here at the PW was perhaps the most emotionally raw part of his response …

“Obviously, whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed,” Obama said. “I don’t think he showed much concern for me, more importantly I don’t think he showed much concern for what we’re trying to do in this campaign.”

“He didn’t show concern for me.” These weren’t the words and emotions of a pol who was disappointed in a former colleague or supporter.  This was a son expressing his pain and disappointment in his father. Remember, the young Barry was only 2 when his Dad skipped out of his life to study at Harvard.  Wright , a Howard University educated professor of theology, obviously represented an important father figure to him. 

Reports from those who were present at the press conference mention the intense sadness of the guy as he was grilled about Wright’s comments.  Sure, his campaign is taking a hit.  But I think that Obama is truly saddened at having to make an irrevocable break with a guy he truly loved and respected.

God bless him.  Although the speech was mostly about holding on to his political viability and doing damage control (something the Clintons can surely appreciate), he managed to show some genuine emotion.  This drama would have been more interesting if it were first played out during the general election, with its fascinating mixture of race, family, and religion played against the values held by the opposing party.  But, with months to go before the Dems choose a candidate this is going to hurt Obama with super delegates and open up new questions about his judgement, which is fair game.

At least maybe some of those 13% of the country who still think Obama is a Muslim will realize that he had a Christian pastor, even if the guy is a flake. 




Filed under Barack Obama

3 responses to “Et tu, Reverand? Wright is so wrong it hurts

  1. Barack Obama makes it clear in his book Dreams from My Father that he knew what Rev. Wright’s church was all about. The sensationalistic sound bytes of the Rev that surfaced recently are all in line with the church’s foundational document: Dr. Cone’s Book: Black Power & Black Theology, which he would likely be very familiar with having taken the classes required to become a member of Trinity United.

    I have been studying Obama and his theology for awhile now, not from soundbytes and Fox News, but from the sources. One can tell from his constant negativity and denunciation of Americans, the West, Capitalism, and his constantly negative comments towards whites in the book Dreams from My Father, that he follows Dr. Cone and Rev Wright in lock-step mentally even if he makes a break vocally on the campaign trail.

    The Liberation Theology mentality also places his wife’s comments about being “proud to be an American” for the first time.

    If I heard my pastor say something like, “Black men are taking all the jobs though affirmative action” you can bet that would be the last time I set foot in that building.

    But you can’t really blame Rev. Wright for lashing out. If Obama can win the presidency, Wright will have the chance to see policies he will like be put on the priority list of the white house-
    However, it will also deal a heavy blow to the underlying premise of his Liberation Theology, that “radical confrontation is needed” and that “whites would never accept a black man in power”
    thereby settling its adherents into a comfortable brand of euro-styled socialism as opposed to “radically confronting the white power”

    Obama also says this of Trinity United: “It was a powerful program, this cultural community, one more pliant than simple nationalism, more sustaining than my own brand of organizing. (Dreams from my Father, P 286)

    Also, regarding Farrakhan, Obama talks for a few pages about him and his organization, and he laments how the “unifying furor” (whipped up by Farrakhan’s sermons) does not filter out into the “practical choices blacks confronted every day…” (Dreams from My Father, 202).

    For being a Christian church, they sure have, and have had for a while, close ties to Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam.

  2. Truman S.

    Like much of his generation, Obama’s views on race have been evolving. Trinity was part of that evolution. You can site as many examples of Obama stating a more inclusive position that does not reflect the “anti” views that you’ve quoted

  3. Also:
    You state: “settling its adherents into a comfortable brand of euro-styled socialism as opposed to “radically confronting the white power”

    Why are these the only two choices? Obama is a liberal but he is also a pragmatist.

    Keep in mind that the man is also an opportunist. Here is a guy who grew up in a white family and went to an elite college. His skin happened to be brown. Once he decided to make a name in Chicago politics and community organizing he need to get street cred and make connections. Wright and Liberty represented an opportunity to get an ‘in” in that community. If he becomes president I’m hoping that he takes advantage of similar “opportunities” here in abroad.

    W had his dad and the monied Republican establishment. Obama has had to make it his own way.

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