Reverend Wright, Revisited

Reverend Jeremiah Wright is back in the news, denouncing the Founders and Fox News. (Fox is in good company, I guess.) In honor of Wright’s retirement, Barack Obama should consider buying him a ticket to some place far away.

Wright’s return comes on the heels of Obama’s self-revelation in San Francisco. This should remind us that Obama’s selection of Wright as his spiritual mentor was also an act of self-revelation. Obama grew up in a secular family, and converted to Christianity as an adult, specifically because he was drawn to Reverend Wright and the theology that Wright preached.

So it is rather stunning to hear Obama explain, in his own words and in his own voice, what it was about Wright that he found so compelling. In fact, it was Wright’s denouncing Hiroshima and teaching that the world’s problems are caused by “white men’s greed” that, by Obama’s own account, brought him to tears. Listen to it:

Barack Obama is an extraordinarily divisive figure, not because of who he is, but because of what he says. Does he still find the claim that the “world in need” is caused by “white men’s greed” to be credible? No Presidential candidate has run for office on an explicitly racist platform since the Democrats of the mid-19th century. But if Obama still endorses references to “white men’s greed,” as he did when he wrote Dreams From My Father, he is disqualified from office on grounds of racial divisiveness alone. Can you imagine what would happen to a white candidate who said that he selected a church and attended it for twenty years because he liked the fact that the minister said the world’s problems are caused by “black men’s [fill in a vice]”?

Barack Obama has a great deal of explaining to do, not just to the voters of small-town Pennsylvania, but to all voters across the United States.

By the way, the audio clip is from Obama’s audio book of Dreams From My Father, and is duplicated under the doctrine of fair use. Anyone is free to download or copy it, to put it up on another web site, email it, or whatever.


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