Wright or Wrong

I’ve been wondering when the Reverend Jeremiah Wright was going to speak out against the endless looping of his most controversial sermon. Finally his time has come. I just caught the tail end of his question-and-answer session, which CNN described as “a little bit heated.”

An audience member asked him if he was unpatriotic. “I served six years in the military. Does that make me unpatriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?” he asked, before the audience erupted in hoots and hollers.

Obviously the comments of Reverend Wright are inflammatory, and obviously they are unacceptable. There’s no defending “blankety-blank America,” ever. Even moreso when those words are shouted from a pulpit.

However… I do think it’s interesting that there are no endless loops of any of McCain endorser John Hagee’s most frightening remarks. Or that this photo of Bill Clinton embracing Jeremiah Wright following the Lewinsky scandal wasn’t ever plastered all over the television ad nauseum. I also found this eyebrow-raising Fox News interview with Father Michael Pfleger — an eloquent, intelligent priest and friend of Reverend Wright — to be really, really interesting. Perhaps you will as well.

The video’s 10 minutes long, but worth watching, just so you can see the agenda of certain “reporters,” and how news is given a plot, depending on which channel you’re watching. It’s an eye-opener, no matter who you’re planning to vote for come November.
(Hat tip to Stereohyped for the video link. That interview lingered with me long afterward, and Father Pfleger walked away just as things threatened to get REALLY interesting).

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Comments

  1. Aziza Ayo says:

    Father Pfleger broke that reporter *down*.

  2. “Obviously the comments of Rev. Wright are inflammatory, and obviously they are unacceptable.”

    Your meaning is vague. And I mean no disrespect when I ask:

    Do you mean that based on everything you’ve heard so far, everything Dr. Wright has to say is inflammatory and “obviously” unacceptable, Afrobella?

    Or do you mean that that particular speech in which the Rev. uses an expletive in the pulpit is inflammatory and “obviously” unacceptable?

    Or do you mean that that one particular sentence in which the Rev. uses an expletive there in the pulpit is inflammatory and “obviously” unacceptable?

    I visit your blog regularly, and I’m just curious about where exactly one of my favorite bloggers comes down on this very media inflamed news story.

  3. Wow, Father Pfleger really spoke the truth. Don’t know if you caught Rev. Wright on CNN last night at the NAACP dinner but he was brilliant. I didn’t know Wright served in the military. It’s so funny that the people who call him unAmerican have never served in the military.

  4. Preach Father Michael Pfleger Preach !

    Wooo Lord Preach Father!

  5. I love this man right here! Father Pfleger preaches at St. Sabina right around the corner from the house where I grew up and at the same school that my father and his siblings attended. He delivered my great grandmothers eulogy. I have always admired his fight for our people from right in the heart of Englewood (see: ghetto on south side of chicago). He speaks for us down to the root of his soul. I have been a visitor in not only his congregation but also in Reverend Wrights and Minister Farrakhans and definitely understand that there is way more to these great men (see: humans are dynamic not flat) than the controversial snippets with which we have been bombarded. Father Pfleger said it all in this clip, not that Wright or Farrakhan can’t defend themselves just as well. But hey, Pflegers skin just so happens to be white…so maybe people will listen.

    Furthermore, the revolution definitely won’t be televised on Fox News!

  6. I was late to work listening to Rev. Wright outspoken and a very brave man.
    We live in a racist world with racist values for those of you who watched the entire interview check out the girl asking the questions her facial expressions her body language it says alot. I live in the most racist city in the USA Chicago our churches our neighborhoods our politics our schools. I understand the (his)tory behind Rev. Wrights statements all full of truths and education. Most people Blacks Whites Browns and Yellows are not ready for the Wrights and Farrakhans of this world. When did it become unAmerican to say when the policies of the government are bad?

  7. I agree with Robin, Fox News can kiss my apple bottom. Robin holla at a sista Englewood (double nickle). Fox news bad bad Fox news. headstrong397@yahoo.com

  8. ROBIN SAID— Furthermore, the revolution definitely won’t be televised on Fox News!

    I KNOW THAT’S RIGHT…

  9. I don’t have a problem with Rev Wright. People didn’t listen or read his entire sermon. God DOES damn us and he lays it out in the bible. Jesus did too. I’m not a biblical scholar but most of us don’t read the bible and we want to Joel Olsteen everything. God is love but God is also a jealous and angry God. God, also wiped us all out – Noah’s Arc. He also destroyed the tower of Babylon because of human arrogance. If people actually read their bible they’d know that God wasn’t all glitter, unicorns, rollerskates, and pastel crayons.

  10. Powerful bella! And I must say as a journalist/reporter (recognizing fully well that all news is perspective and yes, a little plot and personality), that’s it unbelieveable to me that that man being paid to hold a mic, was allowed airtime. I don’t watch fox news, but Lord help them if this is what they teach, preach and condone. That was a BS interview if I ever saw one, all the more since he tried to railroad the man and still ended up looking/sounding like a fool with a mic in his hand.

  11. I grew up on the south side of Chicago, I am very familiar with Father Pfleger and the work he has done there. All I can say is God bless him for telling the TRUTH!! Now I need to forward this interview to all my friends! Thank you for this post Bella!

  12. Hi I just wanted to say that I love your blog. Would u like to link up?

  13. auragirl says:

    Wright is selfish and greedy and he knows what he’s doing. He’s hurting Obama more and more everytime he opens his big mouth. He needs to stop this nonsense…the Republicans and Hillary are loving it.

  14. RJW — your comment got stuck in my spam filter. So sorry — I just de-spammed it and hopefully your future comments will come up without interruption. I got a direct e mail from another reader asking me to clarify exactly what I meant there.

    I was referring to that very specific sentence, the one particular passage that’s been reduced to a soundbite. I love a preacher who makes the sermon come to life, whose message reaches me in my soul. But I find it difficult to defend that particular statement, that soundbite, “God bless America? No no no no no…”

    Admittedly, I haven’t heard the rest of Reverend Wright’s speech. I saw what most everyone’s seen on the news. My opinion based on what I’ve seen, and based on the effect it’s having on the Obama campaign, is that as a public figure and a public speaker, Reverend Wright’s message was unwise to say the least. His language and delivery were inflammatory. And if I were sitting there as a member of his church, I personally would find those words unacceptable. BUT — I haven’t seen the rest of the speech. Just from what I’ve read about him, I realize that he’s a man of strong convictions, integrity, and morality. I want to learn more about his overall message, and I do greatly respect your opinion, RJW. So please let me know your thoughts on Reverend Wright, and how his words are being spun in this campaign.

    After a long day at work, I finally had a chance to watch more of Reverend Wright’s Q&A session, and clips from his earlier appearances, and I’m honestly not sure what to think. I am questioning the timing of his round of appearances. From the way the media’s spinning this all tonight, the consensus is with auragirl — he’s benefiting the Clintons and the Republicans right now, and hurting Obama’s campaign. That bothers me. Keith Olbermann thundered that Reverend Wright was “throwing Obama under the bus.” I do think Reverend Wright needed to speak up and respond to the stories being told about him in the media, and he’s had some tremendously valid points to make. But he’s also made some truly provocative statements that I can’t stand behind. I think he could have, and probably should have waited longer if he truly wanted to support Obama’s run for office.

  15. My problem with Rev. Wright is that it is just bad timing. Obama is coming off of a loss in PA and going into battle in Indiana and North Carolina and he needs to get back on message not be distracted by this continued misunderstanding. If Rev. Wright truly believes in black liberation then hush up for now and let’s get a black man in the white house and really move towards liberation. The things Obama can do for black people just with executive orders from the white house can do more for black people than we have seen since the abolishment of slavery. http://www.Happen2bBlack.com

  16. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    Could it be that he is getting paid a heck of a lot of money by the Clinton’s to hurt Obama campaign?He is probably making a lot of money speaking .This is definately the wrong time to bring this kind of media attention to yourself,and I think that someone is paying him good.

  17. edessedesigns says:

    I don’t think this has anything to do with the clintons. I firmly believe that Revered Wright is a modern day version of Judas and I am very hurt by his actions.

    Reverend Wright is wrong and his formula is tired. When you think about it Obama embodies everything that Wright makes a living complaining about. Once Obama becomes president, Wright becomes all the more irrelevant. I think that is the crux of his anger.

    I believe in conspiracy theories and have concocted a fair share of my own, but at the end of the day, if you fell for it, you only have yourself to blame.

    I’m tired of the African American community holding on to these conspiracies of this and that to somehow justify our behaviors as a people. We don’t need anymore justification. We need counterexamples. We all know that a terrible wrong has been done to us as a people but at some point, we need to place that wrong in a place that won’t hinder us from doing what we used to do–endure and succeed in the face of major adversity.

  18. emmy kay says:

    “Blankety- blank America”, Bella? No disrespect but i co sign with rjw on this one.
    I have heard Rev. Wright’s sermon, the whole sermon a few times. I have yet to find where he was not just stating america’s injustices, or saying anything that I feel is false and inflammitory. Yes america has historically had f’d up forign policies, as well as internal policies and we see this to this day.Where is he wrong? This sermon that the rev preached can only be inflammitory to people that choose to bury their heads in the sand, disreguard, and deny history and current happenings, as if none of it needs to be addressed.
    Mcenzie, Rev wright made this sermon 7 years ago. He has long since retired as a minister. This is somebody’s dirty attempt to take a few of his remarks loop “inflammitory” content and broadcast them to hurt obama’s chance as the dem. candidate. I doubt he is getting paid, and its a shame considering that Wright is being victimized by mainstream media, to then smear his character further by suggesting that the man is somehow profiting from all this.

    This is posted in a hurry. I may have some typos.

  19. emmy kay says:

    And bella. For someone hosting a respectable blog that claims to make educated commentary on current issues, I do hope that you next time get the full story, Listen to the full sermon, perhaps even read the text and not just the same lazy info that every other joe America gets from FOX news, rendering a half baked opinion.

  20. I admitted in the comments above that I hadn’t yet heard the full sermon, Emmy Kay. thanks for your input. I will make a point to see the full sermon when I have time — it can be extremely difficult to stay abreast of everything, do detailed research, and run a “respectable blog that claims to make educated commentary on current issues,” all while also having a demanding day job. I felt the need to share some of my views, and most importantly, Father Plefger’s statements, while the issue was still timely. Perhaps I commented prematurely and should have done more research? I don’t claim to be perfect. I do the best that I can.

  21. Go’on Rev. Pfleger! He didn’t back down, he defended a friend, and he totally pwned that reporter.

    On the other hand, I think that the media’s focus on Rev. Wright is a distraction from other issues that are important to Americans in this campaign. Race is important and a major issue, but it shouldn’t be the cornerstone of anyone’s campaign. Rev. Wright or Rev. Hagee, etc. are not running for president-John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama are.

    In my opinion, Rev. Wright is an accomplished man, but I think at this moment, he is enjoying his “moment in the sun” to the distraction, frustration, and detriment of the Obama campaign. I want to hear more about specific plans (not just reading what they put on their campaign websites) for this country and not about “likeability” and “closing the deal”. I think the horserace aspect of American politics is exactly what turns a lot of people off about it.

  22. edessedesigns says:

    You know Niki, I agree with your post 100%. Thank you.

  23. bossipgrrl says:

    You should see what everyone else is saying about Rev. Wright before you come down on bella — http://www.theroot.com/id/46094

  24. Mrs.Mckinzie might be on to something. Politico reported that Rev. Wright was invited to the National Press Club by a Clinton supporter. But STILL…he didn’t have to go. No one forced his mouth open. I’m ashamed of him and what he’s doing to his so-called friend, Sen. Obama. Hopefully people will have the wisdom to see that Wright and Obama are two different people with completely different views. I hope this doesn’t hurt Obama at the polls next week…the NC Governor just endorsed Hillary today.

    Check the Politico report:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/

  25. Thanks for clarifying what you meant by opining that parts of Wright’s sermon was inflammatory and acceptable, Afrobella.

    I will resist the temptation to use your blog and the comments section here to talk about the prophets in the Bible and the language they used to scold the nation in which they lived. That’s not what folks here want to hear.

    Likewise, I will resist the temptation here to opine about the fact that there have always been black ministers (and black churches) in America with ministries that strongly focused on matters of justice, equality, and empowerment; and, oh, how impoverished black life in America would be were it not for these kinds of ministers and ministries. (I dare say that it was precisely because of Wright’s and Trinity Church’s reputation for preaching black empowerment and for ministering to addicts and the homeless that attracted folks like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey years ago when they moved to Chicago and joined Trinity as young professionals who wanted to give back to the community.) Of course, that’s not what folks here want to hear.

    Here’s what I will say.

    Folks are quick to rush to Obama’s defense and to denounce any and everyone they think hurts Obama’s chances to win, with little to no regard for the circumstances.

    What makes folks think that Obama’s former pastor Wright has chosen the timing for this ruckus?

    Sermons Wright preached seven years ago have been trotted out by the media and used to discredit Wright and Obama as racist militants.

    Why should Wright have to keep quiet when it’s his name that has been pummeled and discredited by the media, and when he’s been all but denounced by his former church member (Obama) as someone who’s like an eccentric old uncle?

    I suspect that Wright has taken the initiative to speak up for himself, with no thought about hurting or helping Obama’s campaign, because he’s a man who feels he has been unfairly used as collateral damage in a “battle” that has nothing to do with him personally. This is probably about Wright speaking up for himself and not letting others (including Obama) define who he is and what he stands for. And let the chips fall where they may. Obama has distanced himself from his pastor, and that’s fine. Wright probably think he is on his own to clear his name. Let Obama do what he has to do, and Wright is doing what he has to do. And that’s what is unfolding before our eyes.

    IMHO. LOL.

  26. Jasmine A says:

    rjw: Cosign! People like to forget that Rev. Wright is certainly not the first to make sermons/statements such as the one in question. I challenge those who disagree with Rev. Wright to go look into many of MLK Jr.’s speeches. He was not very well liked by mainstream America in the end, he gave many a speech/sermon just like those of Rev. Wright. Many people today have no idea what MLK really was about. He has been “Disneyfied” and all we know is “I have a dream”. There was much more to him. He was a minister, called to speak the truth, just like Wright.
    Rev. Wright is not a politician. He is a minister. He and Obama speak to two totally different audiences. He was called to minister to the people of God. He is called to tell the truth to the people of God, regardless of the current national climate.
    Where exactly was he wrong?

  27. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    Now thank you Auragirl,and to edessedesign I have the right to speak my mind,and comment on this blog even if you don’t agree with what I say.

  28. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    I understand what you are saying @rjw ,but i never heard of Rev. Wright before this.Something happened over the last few weeks then a man just trying to clear his name.I Smell Money!

  29. Well said Jasmine, many people don’t know about the anti-war speeches that got Dr. king blacklisted by blacks and whites or how he was used by Planned Parenthood against the people he fought so hard for. We don’t know everything but its powerful to read the blogs by sista’s teaching so that we all can be better informed no matter what our opinions maybe.

  30. Bella I have read your blog since inception and this is probably the first time I have felt taken back by a post and comments.

    I have to respectfully disagree that Rev. Wright’s comments were unacceptable. I have NEVER sat in the pews of Trinity and felt anything Rev. Wright (including the Pastoral staff) said was inappropriate nor unacceptable.

    I am a member, 9 1/2 years, of Trinity United Church of Christ. The fact is what was said in the referenced sermon is 100% true. If we can get past the fact that Rev. Wright is Obama’s, now former pastor, and see the truth to what was said we would all be fine. No one wants to admit that our “glorious” country would ever supply billions of dollars to foreign nations. Nor do we want to admit that our nation should have seen the acts of 9/11 coming (research Clintons last year in office). Research our nation’s policies, specifically from the 40′s until present time (I will not go into a history lesson, I promise).

    I am mentally exhausted seeing and reading the negativity surrounding Rev. Wright. On one hand “we” support a black man running for President, but on the other hand “we” are condemning and rejecting another black man who has done nothing, but attempt to educate black people and a man with an impressive resume longer than a city block. What a shame! Only when it is convenient for us are you supportive of our own.

    The majority of people who have judged Rev. Wright have NEVER listened to an ENTIRE sermon of his. It is very unfortunate that opinions are based on a mere 10 second sound byte or garbage filled emails being circulated. The sermon everyone is discussing is 7 years old! Rev. Wright did not ask for his sermon to be released to the public. Sure not many people knew him until now and I am sure he was just fine being a Southside pastor.

    If someone were to publicly discredit what you have worked SO hard toward, you have every right to respond and Rev. Wright did such. He does not have to have Obama’s “permission” to do so. Nor does Rev. Wright’s life revolve around Obama’s campaign. He is not on the ballot nor is he running for any office. If anyone chooses not to vote for Obama it is on there own accord not because of the comments of a Chicago Southside pastor.

    One persons thoughts should never be interpreted as a representation for another. Would you want to be judged on the account of your friend or parents? “Judge not that, ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1)

    If he is being paid so what. Last, I checked Bill Clinton is paid for his speeches, what is the difference? That’s right, because he’s Obama’s FORMER pastor. Bill made over $51 million in speeches alone!

    Selfish? On what grounds can you call this man selfish? Because his remarks might have hurt poor Obama’s ratings? Rev. Wright is SELFLESS! Has anyone sat through an entire sermon? Has anyone had the opportunity to meet him? Are you even aware of a 1/4 of this man’s accomplishments?

    The things Obama can do for blacks? Are you serious? That was our problem when we elected Bill Clinton. We were so focused on what he was going to do to help a brother and sister out and what happened? NOTHING! Step up and take the initiative to accomplish something on your own and not wait for a “brother” to be elect as President.

    Unfortunately, when the truth slaps some of us in the face we still refuse to acknowledge it’s the TRUTH!!

    Fr. Pfleger, bless his heart!!! This man is the truth to his community. With so much troubling Englewood, that area needs to clone him 100 times and then some.

    p.s. Bella I still love and adore your blog and I am in NO way bashing you. I invite you and everyone for that matter, on any Sunday you are available to watch a sermon. Learn more about the man before we condemn the man. Tune into the church’s website, http://www.tucc.org If you are interested I have a few links with past sermons I can email you.

  31. Jasmine A says:

    Mrs.Mckinzie, I understand that you have never heard of Rev. Wright before, but don’t believe the hype-he is very well known in this country amongst white & blacks. People who are opposed to Obama are using this man as justification for saying some of the horrible things they are saying about Obama. But Rev. Wright has long been a preacher-man that many people in the political world have gone to for help (including the Clintons). Bella, and any others interested, Bill Moyer interviewed Wright on his show that aired just this past Sunday. Good to see a journalist who is actually doing his job, asking relevant questions without all the B.S.

  32. read the article says:

    So Obama has denied Rev. Wright three times, a person from whom he took spiritial guidance from for decades, for a lousy government job? weak, very weak. I say he’s finally showed his true “color”.

  33. Viva-LaFro says:

    I know Rev. Wright has the right to defend his name and clarify his position, as they seem to have been misconstrued. HOWEVER- I do think he should have been more thoughtful about the timing and impact of his media tour. Sometimes you have to take one for the team when the benefits can have WIDE-REACHING positive effects for everyone. He had to have known the negative effect this will have on Obama’s campaign. Obama is trying to do something huge- more influential, dare I say, than anything Rev. Wright has done. I can’t help but think of the phrase- ‘play your position’. Now is just not the time for all this mess!

  34. *sigh*
    I have to agree with auragirl; every time Wright opens his mouth, a Clinton supporter cackles with glee. Surely he has to know that he is doing nothing more than cutting Obama’s chances with every appearance, sound-byte, and comment, no matter how well-intentioned. There is a time to shout and a time to be silent, and certainly this is the time to be silent! I can’t help but think he has people behind him urging him to ‘tell his side’ of things, knowing that no matter what he says, it will reflect badly on Obama’s campaign — even though it shouldn’t.

    All it’s doing is spearing more fear into a lot of non-black people’s minds about just what Obama stands for, issues be damned. Whether or not Wright is right isn’t the issue; Obama’s got an *extremely* fine line to toe here, and perception is everything.

  35. wrightiswrong says:

    you all should read this — Wright is fraternizing with Clintonites who are pushing him to speak up

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/columnists/louis/index.html

    things that make you go hmmmm

  36. wrightisracist says:

    Wright is a racist & opportunist. He sees himself as a little MLK, Jr.

    Man, this educated man can’t see he has European blood running through him right in the mirror. How can he deny it? How can you hate half of what you are?

  37. I too am from the South side of Chicago (Hyde Park) and I attended Rev Wright church for most of my childhood. Let me tell you Reve Wright does not come off as the type of man who will bite his tongue for anyone. Not for Obama or Hillary

    It seems to me that most of the people who are upset with Rev. Wright’s comment are white. Most Black folk especially those in Chicago argue with Rev. Wright.

  38. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    All of the Hillary Clinton supporters are just not getting the point about Rev.Wrights timing.He has the same agenda that her supporters have,and that is to make Obama loose .

  39. something’s real fishy…
    im no conspiracy theorist…but something doesnt smell too right. bad timing??!! ..nah i think this was all planned.
    i mean, the first wright drama went down..all hell broke lose. u mean to tell me he comes back again in the spotlight. either homeboy loves the limelight or hes up to no good. meanwhile obama’s stayin the hell far away lol
    yea yea, half the talk hes talking is true, but geez louise obama’s tryna win an election, can’t he (wright) stoop off his soapbox til after november!! doesnt make any sense?
    how much yall wanna bet he comes out with a book in a month’s time..lmao
    crabs in a barrel i tell yall…
    this whole election coverage is like watchin wanna those spanish soaps on telemundo :s

  40. emmy kay says:

    NO disrespect bella! I love your blog!

  41. afrobello says:

    I don’t know how “wrightisracist” came up with those grand assumptions, but having a complexion lighter than chocolate doesn’t equal disassociation with your people’s struggle. Many of us have European blood in us, for sure. Yet white folks aren’t in the habit of treating us like family members. Giving your country tough love doesn’t make you a racist either.

  42. wrightisracist says:

    What I believe is that we all originate from African descent. Scientist are proving this to be factual. We all have DNA that is from different blood lines. If we keep this segregation of I am this and not that (including racist “white folk”), we aren’t going anywhere. We need to identify with each other now.

    Personally, I want to be embraced by the darkest of skin and the lightest of skin as my brothers and sisters, but it isn’t happening yet. Some welcome me and some hate me. Racism does exist in every culture.

  43. Pearlsrevealed says:

    WATCH THE SERMON before you pass judgement. Simply go to YouTube or the church website for more than a 5 second soundbite of the sermon from which he has been maligned. Any moral, thinking person would change their opinion of the right reverand

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