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Morning Headlines: Rev. Wright Press Tour Analysis

Rev. Wright

The cover of the 'New York Post' on April 29, 2008. hide caption

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Here's just a sample of what some of the nation's papers and editorial writers have to say about Rev. Jeremiah Wright's recent media blitz:

New York Post: Fiery Rev. O's Cross to Bear — "Barack Obama's worst nightmare ... delivered his most brutal wallop to his pal's campaign ..."

Chicago Tribune: Wright's Curious Mission — "By the end of Wright's performance, you had to wonder if he was trying to torpedo Obama's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination."

Chicago Sun-Times: Wright's Words Could Leave Obama's Campaign in Pieces — "Instead of dousing the flames, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. has rekindled the fire ..."

Bob Herbert: The Pastor Casts a Shadow — "The Rev. Jeremiah Wright went to Washington on Monday not to praise Barack Obama, but to bury him."

Washington Post: The Audacity of Rev. Wright — " is the Rev. Wright, not Mr. Obama, who yesterday chose to further discredit himself."

Eugene Robinson: Where Wright Goes Wrong — "This media tour he's conducting is doing a disservice that goes beyond any impact it might have on Obama's presidential campaign."

George Will: A Pastor at Center Stage — "[Wright] is a demagogue with whom Obama has had a voluntary 20-year relationship."

How do you think this situation play out? What's your impression of Rev. Wright? Is he intentionally trying to throw Obama's campaign off the rails?



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I don't fault Rev. Wright for expressing his long held beliefs and views. What is surprising is how some in the African-American community are rushing to muzzle these utterances for the sake of political expediency. Right or wrong, what Rev. Wright is saying has been said within the Black disapora for decades. Yes it makes people nervous, but that's how a lot of people feel. If Obama is going to become President he's gonna have to figure out a way to deal with it.

Rev. Wright obviously isn't going anyway anytime soon. Obama needs to let people know in the strongest, plainest possible terms where he stands in relation to Wright's views. If Obama doesn't do that he forces people to draw their own conclusions.

Sent by Bill M | 2:59 PM | 4-29-2008

I just read that Barbara Reynolds, of Reynold News, an enthusiastic support of Hillary Clinton was the person responsible for bringing forth Jeremiah Wright to National Press Club as a way of "thanking" Hillary Clinton.

Someone should look into this. This is outrageous and it makes me mad as hell to see as has been too often a practice within our race that one of us will try to demolish another one of us -- for selfish gains, real or perceived.

Please, please verify or deny this.

Respectfully, rb

Sent by Ruby Bailey | 10:30 PM | 4-29-2008

Rev. Wright???s response is a clear reaction to the realization that change is about to happen, and his premier place in the movement for racial and social justice to which he has given his life to, is about to be put aside. I believe that he fought for just what is happening but never prepared himself for, or possibly never truly believed it would occur in his lifetime. This means that rather than embrace his success he may be subconsciously beginning to feel useless. In a last ditch effort to regain his place in the movement he has lashed out against the movements most accomplished prodigy, Sen. Obama. I believe Rev. Wright should have focused himself on becoming a ???Professor Emeritus??? for the new and transitional movement that is replacing the old movement.

Sent by Tom Aloi, Fort Worth Texas | 1:59 AM | 4-30-2008

So, is Barack Obama as well unfamiliar with the "prophetic tradition of the black church"? How will the apologists for Wright and his hate speech spin Wrights latest bit of demogoguery and Obama's clear denunciation? Sad to see Wright consciously and selfishly leap to take his 15-minutes of fame at the expense of his reputation, the great works of his church over these many years, and the true possibility of an Obama presidency. When will "experts" and "academics" from the Black community who have blindly defended Wright's outrageous pronoucements finally give their mea culpas and condemn divisive hate speech even when it spews from a Black Minister? That choice of intellectual honesty over blind vested interest would be a step towards bridging the racial divide.

Sent by William Shih | 3:42 AM | 4-30-2008

Dear Tavis,

You were right; we should not have blindly accepted Obama because he looks like us. And yes, he has been running as far away from specifically black issues as possible.

Please forgive us, Tavis, and come back. If not now, once the super delegates throw it to Hillary. And yes, we are expecting you to chastise us a little bit, but we deserve it.

Sent by KGC | 11:45 AM | 4-30-2008

At first, I was among those who thought Rev Wright was being mistreated. Then he decide to go on the see me-see me tour. It has to be said that if the "media" spent this sort of ink on the lead up to war we might not have gotten involved but anyway, one has to assume that Rev Wright is either naive or deeply self involved not to have considered how his statements in defense of himself would be received. Of course he had a right to speak but it seems that part of his calling as a minister is to see the world and beyond in a larger context. Rev Wright's self serving remarks made it very clear that he doesn't really give a damn about Sen. Obama. If he cared for their long association he would have used his 15 minutes of fame to reach for healing while pointing us all to a higher vision. Instead he dismissed it all with a wave of his hand saying, "He(Obama) says what he has to say as a politician, while I(Wright) speak truth to power." It all seems a clear case to me of the crushed ego of the mentor/spiritual father figure and Rev Wright should be ashamed of himself.

Sent by Raul | 8:55 PM | 4-30-2008

KGC pulease. What is this 'chastise us' nonsense? Well you can see yourself & those that feel the way you do as CHILDREN. But adults don't need Tavis or anyone else to speak for us and certainly not 'chastise us'.
Who ASSUMED we 'blindly accepted Obama'? Only someone who thinks that we don't have the capacity or ability to examine the issues & come to our own conclusions like everyone else. TOTAL NONSENSE unless one is a child!

Please tell me, and I've asked this question before and not gotten an answer. What are the 'specifically Black issues?

Sent by Jon J | 2:32 PM | 5-1-2008

Why are you surprised? Muzzling voices is nothing new in the 'African-American community' and in many cases death threats are all too common. Happens ALL the time if you don't tow the proverbial line or if you're a threat to someone's hustle. The insulated 'African-American' community has ALWAYS fascist-ly muzzled voices. And most of the time it's some Rev. who leads the charge. Or others to intimidate & keep intake their hustle. That's the "prophetic tradition of the black church" too; where we abdicate our individual responsibility and due diligence for understanding to some guy shouting these very loose references.

Where you get nonsensical statements like the government created Aids for Black people. You can't stop there; empirical evidence or at least make a circumstantial case. Who in the government? Where? Does government mean white people? What white people? There is a huge number of Black professionals employed by the government. So was it Blacks in the government; are they indicted too or is he suggesting they are just too stupid to realize? If the government is so evil & intent on destruction of Black people then why are government programs seen so often as the solution? It doesn't make sense and lots of loop holes if one critically examines the statement. But when Rev. so & so says it, well that's enough.

Basically the modern world is over these guys heads and they are scrambling for relevance. But because of the anti-intellectual, superstitious & suspicious strains this stuff flies. And I don't mean intellectuals limited to those with social science orientations.

Name one secular popular Black voice embraced by the masses? You won't find any and Blacks with advance degrees & educated at the Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc. are criticized for 'not reaching back' but seen as outsiders who can't be trusted as though you have to be one of 'us' to provide leadership & talent (Unless you're White & liberal, so go figure). Even the traditional civil rights leaders had to down play their credentials.

See because smarts just isn't a 'black thang'. When we talk about the ignorance of working class blue collar whites in the middle of Ohio & Penn., who vote for a guy they can have a beer with...think about the parallel.

To do his community work Obama with his Harvard education HAD to reach out & placate some popular preacher and tolerate a guy he was obviously smarter than, not to mention the more worldly perspective.

We have cultivated & provided a climate for this type of thinking and as long as we rely on brother preacher for stuff outside salvation as guides for a post modern world they don't understand; these unsophisticated public 'spectales' are indeed: chickens coming home to roost.

Sent by Jon j | 3:21 PM | 5-1-2008

I am going to come at this differently since I have been a member of Trinity for 11 years. For one thing, I do not believe for one moment that white people care one iota about what Rev. Wright says. He was the pastor of Trinity for 36 years and his style and content has not changed. If Obama was not a member Wright would have rode off into the sunset, and some historian might have discovered his sermons 50 years from now. My struggle is why white people are so afraid and angry about Wright? What is it about him and what he says that gets them all riled up. They don't seem nearly as concerned about blacks and our issues on any other day of the week. Wright has no power outside of his congregation, he cannot affect public policy, and up until now most people had never heard of him. I certainly wish that the Bill Moyers interview had been all Wright had done, but in the end it is a sad situation for everyone. My concern now is that my church continue to be a beacon of hope, salvation and community activism in the black community that it has been for many years.

Sent by David | 11:59 AM | 5-2-2008