Reverend Lee

A virulent hatred of the Jewish people runs rampant in the black community. It is manifested, for example, in the anti-Israel statements of Barck Obama’s spiritual mentor and in his Hamas-friendly church bulletin. In the speech that was prompted by the videos of Reverend Wright’s sermons, Obama described Wright’s comments as “not only wrong but divisive” and “a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”
Obama subsequently commented on Reverend Wright’s reprinting of Hamas propaganda in the church bulletin on the pastor’s page that he “certainly wasn’t in church when that outrageously wrong Los Angeles Times piece was re-printed in the bulletin.” Wright’s admiration of Louis Farrakhan is of course part of the same phenomenon, as is Farrakhan himself. In its own way, so is Wright’s bizarre letter to the New York Times’s Jodi Kantor. And yet Obama found himself no more able to “disown” Wright than he could “disown” the black community.
On April 4 the national black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi honored Daphna Ziman with its Tom Bradley Award on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Following the award Reverend Eric Lee — president of the Los Angeles branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — took the podium as the event’s keynote speaker. In his talk Lee addressed Ziman and issued an anti-Semitic diatribe. Roger Simon interviews Ziman regarding the event. Ziman likens Lee’s comments to those of Reverend Wright. Ziman comments that “it’s time for all those reverends to stop.” She calls on Obama to take reponsibility “for sitting in that church for 20 years.”
In the old Roberta Flack song, “Reverend Lee” was tormented by a lustful dream of “Satan’s daughter.” Today Reverend Lee is tormented by hate-filled visions of the Jewish people. For those like Obama who otherwise seek to place Reverend Wright’s comments in a larger context, Ziman’s experience tends to show how unequal to the task Obama’s comments on Reverend Wright and his ilk have been.


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