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The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was an early concern, Obama aide admits

After he moved to Chicago in the mid-1980s to work as a community organizer, Barack Obama forged close ties with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- joining the pastor’s Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988 and using the topic of a Wright sermon, "the audacity of hope," as the title of his most recent best-selling book.

But more than a year ago -- long before some of Wright’s more incendiary sermons became hot-button videos on YouTube, forcing Obama to publicly renounce his pastor last week -- the Obama campaign had a sense that Wright's sharp tongue might spell trouble for the Illinois senator.  (For a sermon sample, click on the Read more line below.)

That was the word anyway Sunday from Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, who acknowledged during a conference call with reporters that Wright was disinvited ...

from Obama's official candidacy announcement on Feb. 10, 2007, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

Wright had been expected to lead an invocation of some kind, but never appeared.

“There was no doubt that there was controversy surrounding him,” Axelrod said Sunday.  “And we didn’t want to expose him … [or] make him the target and a distraction on a day when Sen. Obama was going to announce his candidacy.”

So if the savvy Obama campaign knew Wright was a problem a year ago, why did the Illinois senator, a parish member for two decades, wait until last week to disassociate and denounce the minister's inflammatory statements?

The topic is clearly uncomfortable for Obama and his aides, personally and politically. Axelrod's comments came only after prodding from a reporter and after he had initially suggested that Wright’s absence that day was due merely to the fact that the temperature was in the single digits.

And even as Obama has condemned some of Wright’s rhetoric and distanced himself from his longtime spiritual advisor, doing so has not been easy.  Wright remained on an African American religious advisory committee for the campaign until Friday.

“Rev. Wright married him, introduced him, as he said, to the church, brought him into the church, into Christianity, baptized his children,” Axelrod said.  “So this is a painful thing for him because he condemns the things Rev. Wright said, but he also knows him as a person.”

Wright has proven controversial in the past because of his association with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has made anti-Semitic remarks.  But the controversy has grown in recent weeks with the spread of videos from Wright sermons where he condemns the United States for its foreign policy and treatment of blacks and takes on Obama’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.

As Wright put it, “Hillary ain't never been called a nigger!  Hillary has never had her people defined as non-person."

On Friday, Obama posted a message at the Huffington Post website, explaining that he had not seen such sermons in person and saying that he disagreed with them.  "I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy," he wrote.

-- Peter Wallsten

 
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There is no way anyone would stay in a church like that without some knowledge of its racist leanings and anti-american sentiment. To know that the pastor was like that, and the association and admiraton of farrakhan and all the hate that represents, it is unthinkable that someone running for president would be in a church like that. If the democrats want to win the white house, they better find another candidate who has a chance to win.

The pastor is not the real problem. Barack Obama cannot survive with a spotlight on his THEOLOGY. See:
http://miraclesdaily.blogspot.com/

Rev. Jeremiah Wright and other black ministers have a mandate from God to speak truth to power. They share a prophetic directive to tell our nation when he believes it has sinned and what the consequences are for those sins. In his 9/11 remarks, he tells America that, in his opinion, America's foreign policies were to blame for the attacks. This is no different than the Revs. Rod Parsely, Pat Robertson, or Jerry Falwell preaching that 9/11 was the result of America's apostasy or pro-choice policies. This is not necessarily hatred for America or white America. I would never had said God damn America but the aforementioned white ministers have said the same thing when they said God's judgement or curse had come on America. Further, when Wright says Hillary doesn't know what it's like being a black man in America, that's just truth.

I believe the strong reaction to Wright's sermon's coming from the White community is white's refusal to face the hatred this nation has demonstrated home and abroad. It's akin to the same hatred that many whites had toward MLK and other preachers when they forced whites to face their hatred in fifties and sixties.

Well, here we have it. Looks like straight talk from Obama has gone out the window. So, is this what we can expect from "yes we can," and "change," and "hope"?

I would have respected Obama a lot more if he had simply said-
"look, this stuff goes on in the African American church all the time. Many of our preachers get overly emotional and a bit buffoonish at times, like Al Sharpton. Although many white people take Wright's words seriously, to all of us it's just a bit of a comedy show- comic relief."

Oops! Obama cannot say that, because, according to him, "words mean something." So, he will simply have to let the chips fall where they may, and fall they will. Particularly in every red state, and Florida, and Pennsylvania, and Ohio. At this point, I'm not sure Obama could get Jersey.

Obama seems like a nice guy. Really nice. I've got no problem with his personality. It's his judgement I worry about.

I suspect that Wright's commentary is a hit to Obama, but not a fatal one.

McCain is far from "thoroughly vetted" himself. It'll be easy to derail the "Straight Talk Express" once we get down to business.

Above all here is that right wing pastors like John Hagee who have said things like "Hurricane Katrina is God's judgment on New Orleans for homosexual activity", and endorsed John McCain, are not getting nearly the scrutiny that Wright (and by association, Obama) is under.

I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing that the MSM doesn't even take people like Hagee seriously anymore, but I certainly think the flap over Wright's remarks is exponentially larger than it should be and Obama's responses have been more than sufficient.

I admire Barack Obama for clearly condemning the outrageous words while refusing to throw his former pastor under the bus. I see no evidence of that the words Obama has rightly denounced have been reflected in his own beliefs or actions. I do see a double standard in the press coverage, however. When will the press give equal time to outrageous and bigoted statements by John McCain's spiritual mentors, Rev. Parsley and Rev. Hagee?

Tough situation for Obama, the person who intorduced him to Christ, vs. presidential ambitions.

This pastor is a racist pig! He should go back to Africa if he dislikes the USA so much. And this is Barak's mentor. God help us.

The troubling part is that Wright's white-bashing fits with the anger Obama describes in his book towards whites, and with his wife's comment that she has never been proud in her adult life of our country.

I understand that young people often deal with issues of anger, but this appears to go way into adulthood. How can Obama say that he is for all Americans when he appears to rail against, or approve of those who denounce white Americans?

I am none to proud of our country's actions, but I would not publicly blame one ethnic group. Most disturbing to me, the three people who nurtured, adored and sacrificed for Obama happened to be white. And he seems to have in some ways rejected them, too (his book speaks to this as well). I find it deeply troubling.


Obama knew his pastor and used his sermon to write his book. He has got to be kidding.

Reverend Wright was involved with Louis Farrakhan and who knows how many other radical leaders.

For Obama to address the American people and say that he didn’t know that Wright had sermons about race and the hate that he has for our country is absurd.

Shame on the media for not bringing this to the forefront.

The media should harp on this news.

Why would Obama admit that he thinks the way the pastor speaks to his congregation.

It’s a disgrace.

This is VERY SERIOUS.

No American should make light of this.

Wake up media! Wake up America!

— Posted by America the Beautiful

This, too, is part of the script. Remember first that Gerry Ferraro is no racist. Never has been, never will be. She is a political pro (like Ted Kennedy) who sees Sen. Obama, for what he is. A very lucky young man with a spectacular way with words who has been "packaged" for this "moment,"starting with his being fed others legislation for his own as an Illinois Senator, his speech at the 2004 convention, and his support from Ted Kennedy. By his own admission, this "lucky winner" of the DNC first black man as president lottery, has been running for president as soon as he entered the U.S. Senate, running so hard that he can't even hold a subcommittee hearing. And he's lucky to be black because it gives him plenty of built in teflon ... the media is reluctant to dig and vet this candidate for fear of being called "racist." He has carried entire states with a solid black vote, taken "proportionally allocated delegates" with a solid black vote, and will have yet another "moment" at the DNC Convention in Denver, which is conveniently being run by a black evangelical preacher. Hollywood could not have done better. Scripted to perfection. If he hits a few snags, he gives explanations (in this case Wright/Rezko) on a Friday evening low news cycle and then gets up on Saturday to invoke RFK and cry out for unity. While you conveniently file Wright/Rezko away, you hear the sweet talkin' guy and your mind wanders. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Since our guy repeatedly, conveniently, missed all these nasty sermons, maybe he was given a "heads up" that the sermon was gong to heat up and that he should be a no show. That explanation is as good as any other. Quick, time to invoke RFK again. He's been dead these 40 years and you can trash him too.

Something very wrong here: Obama has to be lying. this is one of the things that will cause his downfall. He is good at making speeches and thats it.The congress woman was right when she said the reason he is where he is today is because of being black . iThe musiloms would go crazy if we are crazy enought to put him in the white house

So many questionable relationships so few answers. And what anwers are emerging are very disconcerting. Obama set his own level of expectation to cast others as less than worthy. He has, it appears, failed. The Obama character has failed its own test.

Hilary may not be perfect but she never claimed to be. Hilary will, as she has demonstrated, fight for Americans, be bloodied for Americans, and win for democrats to build a better America.

God Bless America

BIG MISTAKE. I FEEL WE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED. JUST WORDS........G** D*** AMERICA.....JUST WORDS.....USKKKA.....JUST WORDS...CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST....JUST WORDS. HOW DO YOU ERASE ALL OF THOSE WORDS FROM OUR MINDS AND OUR HEARTS? YOU DID NOT WALK AWAY....THAT'S ALL YOU HAD TO DO......WALK AWAY. INSTEAD YOU DONATED $22,500 IN JUST 2006 FOR THE SPREAD OF THESE DISEASED WORDS.

Obama has totally lost all credibility with his 'denial' of knowledge of Wright's rants. It is totally absurd that this sophisticated, accomplished, and intelligent man could have a close association with Wright and his parishioners for two decades and not know of his hateful and racist sermons. It is like Peter denying Christ three times before the rooster crowed.

Poor Obama. I can imagine that this is really difficult for him. You know...I would never want to be held accountable for everything my pastor (who is extremely, extremely homophobic) ever said. It's just unfair. And I don't think Mccain who has a crazy pastor of his own, will ever be asked to denouce him.

Anyway, I think he's handled this really well.

How can people claim the moral high ground? After churches have covered up for pedophile priests, claimed that God put GWB in office, or engaged in genocide and slavery. Who are these people, who blindly follow Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy? Or protest at a soldiers funeral. Or bomb the world for Jesus. And for the record, our corrupt foreign policy is at the heart of why people hate America around the world. One look at South America will show you this. Anyone who doesn't acknowledge this is not fit to be president.
Mr Wright looks more white than Obama. I think they both are trying to find their roots. I would rather have that than a televangelist or door to door god salesmen. He ain't a Muslim, and that is what matters.

For twenty (20) years and Sen. Obama doesn't know the sermons preached by Rev. Wright??? Yeah, right!
A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING HE IS!!!

Now Obama's campaign is acknowledging that Rev. Wright was a concern before this came out... Why not let the people of America know his objections to some of the thoughts by his pastor before this new information was released? I hope people actually think before casting their votes.

Wake up America,,,
Shirley

Senator Obama has distanced himself from the Rev. Wright and condemned the Reverend's statements. Making a claim that the senator now has to leave his church to show that he is serious in his denunciation smacks of political grandstanding by his opponents. If Sen. Clinton were intellectually honest, she would say "Senator Obama has addressed the issue, so let's move on." Fat chance of that.

Something else is strange here. I would assume that Rev. Wright would like to see Sen. Obama elected President. Is he so full of himself, so drunk on the media spotlight, that he can't see that he is hurting the Senator's campaign? Can the Rev. Wright not control his mouth for a few months? Is that too much to ask? (Whether there is truth in his statements is another issue entirely. One that could well be addressed *after* November.)

With "friends" like the Rev. Wright and, on the other side, Geraldine Ferraro, which of these candidates needs enemies?

Do you want president Hilary or an also ran candidate
Obama the republicans cant wait to rip the head off and
defecate down his neck ? Wake-up before we loose
another white house.Our opponents will have a ball
talking about secretary of state Louis Farrakhan and
attorney general Jeremia Wright.Real change that no one
would want to believe in.

As a Veteran I am outraged at the Reverends words about our Country. Is this a glimpse into what happens at a typical Black Church these days? The Pulpit is used for Political and Country damnations? Its no Church I know.

I will Not be voting for Barack specifically because of this disclosure. I believe the man is a confirmed Empty suit whose judgement and leadership is without question, Lacking.

Obama is not electable. Wright only makes that more certain. The Democrats better learn this sooner rather than later.

WOW - The Clinton Folks are sure out in force tonight!

Sorry, as much as you would like to use this to smear Senator Obama - It won't work! You have seen/heard about 2 or 3 Sermons out of 14,000 that Rev Wright might have given and you ASSUME Senator Obama was there - where in fact, while being a Public Figure - he was in Springfield IL or Washington DC much of the time!

What does come out is how much hatred there is in the US for Blacks - Especially if they are Brazen Enough to Run For President!! Don't try and kid any readers - your dislike and animosity towards Senator Obama for preceded anything written in the last 2 weeks!!

You are Sad Representatives of the Clinton Campaign who are attempting another Lynching!!! And Yes That is the appropriate word here!!

Remember God's 8th Commandment - "Thou Shalt Not Bare False Witness Against Thy Neighbor" and that is exactly what 99% of the above comments are doing... Unless you can PROVE One IOTA of your accusations - i.e. he was THERE for these 2 or 3 Sermons - than what you are guilty of is Slander!

It is so easy to say that white people have hatred towards black people. If we are to ever get past race, it must not be a topic of discussion--by anyone. People are created equal in the eyes of God. However, with the sermon that was shown seems to be nothing but hatred from the black reverand towards white people in general. It is even worse to get the entire church feeling the same way, jumping up and down. Even if Hillary has never been called a n..., doesn't mean she hasn't been called other hurtful things. Any kind of name calling is not good, and I don't feel that Jesus would be very proud of it. It is a shame that people just can't be nice to each other to make the world a better place. My fear with Obama is what "change" truly means.

YES HE CAN! I am so glad LA Times took the time to print this. He is a member of a radical racist church. I have known it for a long time and have sent out lots blogs of what goes on within his Church. A church that breaks IRS tax laws by promoting politics and should suffer losing their tax exempt status.

Did he know- Yes you guys have computers there are videos of Minister Wright saying GD America while showing Obama in the church pews - are you blind or just desperate? Electing Obama would be like electing Hitler- No We Can't!

I find it hard to believe that Obama could have know this pastor for 20 years, and never have heard that his pastor believed such garbage. some of the commenters on here seem to suggest that this is not that uncommon a sermon at african american churches. Is this true? Also, Wright states in one speech that Jesus was a black man (there is zero evidence of this). I would be curious if there is a reporter brave enough to ask Barak if he belieives this as well, and if this would have any effect on his white supporters.
By the way, the San Antonio pastor (Hagee) that endorsed McCain (it was not his pastor) has some problems with Catholisism, as do many Protestants. I cannot see how that is even a close comparison to Rev. Wrights outrageous hate-filled diatribe.

To: jhutson and others with same question:
Q: When will the press give equal time to outrageous and bigoted statements by John McCain's spiritual mentors, Rev. Parsley and Rev. Hagee?
R: Don't need to... we know them already. Obama is running on the "power of words" and those words are powerful. He is also running as a non-traditional politician... but his attempt to cover up and still defend Wright bespeaks his true political identity.

Pastor Wright (for according to the Bible, only God is reverend) is correct. Most of us do not know what it is like to make well over 100,000 a year and still be struggling and poor as the Obamas were in the beginning of their marriage. That 100,000 was only Mrs. Obama's salary from her law work. Mr. Obama made a paltry 70,000 or so in addition to that. Must have been very tough, and to be black on top of that, well . . .

Except for the very privileged of women, most women know exactly what it is like to be a nonperson, Pastor Wright is Wrong about that. Women are still considered nonpersons, and the ugly sexist remarks coming out of this year's election campaigns has brought a lot of it to the surface.

"Iron my shirts!" was the least of it. But I can just imagine if it had been Obama instead of Clinton and the words had been, "Shine my shoes!"

It's OK to say the worst anyone can imagine about any woman, but don't say anything about a black person, not even the facts, because you will be labeled a racist to shut you up.

Obama cannot win the general election. That's because the Republicans have been voting for him in the open Democratic Primaires, and they won't be there to vote for him in November. They'll be voting for McCain then. The only states he's won are red states, and no Democrat will carry those states in the general election. He needs to win Blue States and Pivotal states. He hasn't.

This year's election is proving that the U.S. is not ready for either a black president or a woman president. We haven't gone nearly as far as we thought or as far as we should have. It's a shame.

David - all Clinton supporters have done precisely that today (called for the media to move on). My respect for her has only increased as a result. Every one of Obama's surrogates however began their response with a dig at her -- taxes and donor list etc. that she has addressed more than once. Look it up!

This country deserves what it gets if we elect this man. While he has great promise -- I do NOT trust him any more. Worse, supporters like his make me SICK! He has spread his divisive message and subversive tactics (look up what he did to get into the Illinois state senate) to national politics and the Presidency. As many have said before me.. WAKE UP AMERICA!

"Hillary has never had her people defined as non-person."

The notion that women don't have souls and are not human has been going around for centuries, if not millennia.

It looks like Obama has condoned Wright's views all this time. What a shame...

Obama is AntiAmerican and AntiPatriotic. This golden-throated promiser of good will has not passed the American Patriot test of heartfelt love for the land and the Constitution. By being AntiPatriotic, Obama is cursing the hundreds of thousands of Americans that have paid the ultimate price(of life) to make America the place that it is today. We've already suffered 8 years of a terrible president, let's not make it worse by electing a hypocrite of American freedom and tradition.

Obama's God and Pastor "Da*n" America for defending herself:
http://tinyurl.com/3x5md4

Michelle Obama slips and let's out the "Let's Hate America" sentiment that she studies at church:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVLc7B5cLLc

Obama doesn't follow US code, and more importantly shows that he is not a heartfelt patriot by either forgetting or refusing(which is worse?) to place his hand on his heart during the playing of the National Anthem (although all other candidates have their hand on their heart):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccbPVMBKQpA&feature=related
And here's the link to the US Code which shows that government officials(as in senators) should place their right hand on their heart during the National Anthem:
http://tinyurl.com/3346o7
and
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/36/301.html

The President is responsible for upholding the Flag of the United States. Obama's "refusing" to wear the flag on his chest shows there is a problem with his character as he's displaying the hatred he has for America and everything that has happened for the past 200+ years to make America what it is today. No childish game of defacing the flag should be tolerated by a person who is trying to become the #1 Patriot in the land. No person that desecrates our stars and stripes should be allowed the responsibility of protection our Constitution and our way of life. Ask Obama, if wearing the flag does not show patriotism, why are soldiers and presidents that are no longer with us having their coffins draped in the colors of the United States? Our United States Flag is no parlor joke, this is a symbol of America(that hundreds of thousands have died in protection of) that you're making seem like a "pin made in china".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccbPVMBKQpA&feature=related


Everyone makes mistakes and flubs up, but when the same patterns of flubs continue to reappear, it becomes obvious what a person's true character is all about.

Denouncement after Denouncement - after awhile people should wonder how a person got themselves into the situation in the first place. Obama has run out of denouncements, it's time to wake up and smell the Rat America!

While you or I would never want to held responsible for what our preacher, pastor or what ever, said, if you belong to a church like that and believe in the word of the Lord, you too will be held accountable along with your pastor reverend, or what ever.
McCain's pastor did not say anything wrong against all Americans, just homosexuals. Most authentic religions are against homosexuals also.
Also, why is it that every time a liberal is caught in some embarrassing position, thier supporters always strike back with” Well this guy did this or that"?.
Liberals/Democrats, can't take the blame for their actions. Whimp’s!

I read people saying "his pastor should go back to Africa" or "he is a racist" or "he is anti-America". In truth, there are patriots who speak out against the war and there are patriots who speak out against injustice and there are patriots who speak out against American leaders when American leaders act contrary to the greatness of the Constitution and our citizens. GW Bush has done unconscionable wrong by lying about WMD in Iraq, invading a sovereign nation that had not attacked us, killing countless thousands of innocent Iraqis, etc. When it comes to 9/11, there is nothing that justifies attacking and killing innocent people. Nothing. Not in Hiroshima, not in Iraq, not in NYC. So, even though you've got a lot of rage and outcry, I think the character assassination of Rev. Wright is totally out of line. He deserves the right to speak his mind. He deserves the right to dissent with our government. And he is a proud Marine who served his nation - he deserves respect and he knows that George Bush's policies are not American.

The thing that upset me was the way that Wright tried to divide on the basis on race, tried to say that Hillary Clinton "fits the mold" when very clearly she'd be a groundbreaking candidate as the first woman in history to hold the presidency. I support Obama, but that remark of Wright's was out of line. Saying G-D America was also pretty extreme, though I understand the context and I recognize that he was interpreting the Scripture, which has some pretty strong statements about condemning those who commit murder and tolerate injustice.

Rev. Wright's comments is not shocking to me as an ex-X'ian church goer. I hear hate voiced by church leaders all the time. From the white churches, I hear anti-black and anti-gay speech... from the black churches, I hear anti-white and anti-gay speech. To all the black people arguing that "blacks can't be racist" a la Spike Lee... wake up.
I'm a gay black man and I would not support anyone who wears his religion on his collar. GW Bush does this and looked where that got us.

To the Barack "supporters" (I am assuming you are Dems?): You are missing the big picture here. You are talking about sticking to the issues but this is the issue and it is called BAD JUDGEMENT. I am a life long DEM and until a few days a go I couldn't decide between are two candidates. We can’t sweep this under the rug. If you do (by the blog comments I am reading all over the web) you are handing the 2008 election to McCain. Maybe McCain doesn't seem that extreme right now but you can bet his running mate will come from the far right and do you really want this guy or his VP picking a couple of Supreme Court justices? Suck it up and get behind Hillary whether by voting or donating and spread the word to other Barack "HOPE" Obama followers. The only HOPE about his campaign now is for the GOP. They are salivating at this very moment over this - the will energize them and bring them out in record numbers. John Mc Cain will never have to touch this or even have to run a single ad. The GOP 527's are going to do all the work for him. Karl Rove has been offering his services to McCain - if McCain doesn't hire him the GOP 527's will and WE ARE GOING TO SEE ad after ad after ad this FALL of clips of these "sermons" edited with Baracks smiling face and themes of HOPE and CHANGE and JUDGEMENT - it is Karl Rove's dream script. There is nothing Barack can do to distance himself enough from this guy. There are hundreds of quotes of him calling this Wright his mentor, saying he chose THIS church and this man as his spiritual guide and those clips and quotes will be editied together with clips we have already scene of Wright and lots more that have even come out yet and Barack is going to loose big time.

Hillary did not make this mess. She hasn't even commented on it. She is the only answer. Before you go with the macho "I'll just vote for McCain then" line just remember the balance of the Supreme Court. This may be the most patriotic thing you do for a very long time. Please Please listen this will not go away.

Eskew:

You are only touching the issue superficially. Wright said Obama was "not white, not rich, and not privileged" (close to the original quote). He has told 2-1/2 lies from the pulpit in "church." He also also used the term bull___t in church, hoped that God would damn America. He also said that Jesus was black (He was actually Jewish). So Reverend Wright is spouting both hate and lies in "church." Is this okay for him to do?

there is absolutely no way to equate McCain’s acceptance of the anti-Catholic Hagee’s support with that of Obama’s acceptance of the racist Wright’s. Obama has no excuse to have only suddenly distanced himself form this hate filled, ranter whom he has called his “spiritual mentor.” For decades Obama has known of, and sat in a congregation listening to, the wild-eyed rants by this man. Barack has accepted him as part of his family closely associated with his wife and children. Barack Obama has been very close with Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. for 20 some years.
On the other hand, John McCain has only just met John Hagee.
You just cannot equate the two.

Obama would like to pretend that this is just a personal, private matter. Yet he's running for president on the basis of his judgment - to make up for a lack of legislative or executive experience.

So should I trust his judgment based on his choice of spiritual guides? His pastor? His pastor's style and paranoid conspiracy theology? Can you really know somebody for over 25 years, hold hundreds of hours of conversations and listen to hundreds of sermons, and be "shocked, shocked" at Wright's politics? That strains plausibility.

Perhaps Senator Obama simply deferred to his wife in choice of church and theology. Okay, that only begs the question of whether Obama can lead our united nation to overcome terrible divisions of race, class, religion and religion? Giving militant pastors, devoted to ugly, hateful and false racist conspiracy theories, a place at the table will not help.... especially as we attempt to isolate Islamic zealots and religious bigots.
I'm sorry, but Senator Obama has failed a very basic test of leadership - the ability to choose wise advisers who can calmly and rationally understand and explain political events. As a moderate Democrat who despises Senator Clinton's secretive style and hoped for Obama to lead the party to victory in November, I'm very disappointed. I'm also more than a bit annoyed that the media protected Senator Obama from simple, basic questions - and may have thrown the election to another Republican President. How did the media let personality and style replace experience and leadership skills - and vital issues like protecting the dollar and our homeland - dominant the primary election?

This is an incredible assault on a church, a church that has done tremendous good.

The UCC is not a racist church. Repeat, not. Go read about the UCC on the web instead of acting like Fox parrots.

36 years of Wright's sermons have been distilled for the most incendiary comments. Some of these comments are over the top, some are no different than those stated by Ron Paul for example. It would appear that in recent times Rev. Wright has perhaps even lost his faculties.

But look at this beautiful sermon, "The audacity of hope" sermon. It is a profoundly Christian sermon, one in which there is only goodness. Read it for yourselves and reflect.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/03/for-the-record.html

Very light-skinned older black men like Wright are often the most militant. This guy probably has more white in him than Obama himself, and certainly could pass for white whereas Obama could not. Wright has probably been exposed to less racism than darker skinned African Americans, but the ambiguity over his racial identity has caused him to overcompensate in order to prove he belongs in the black world.

Fact is, the things he said were mostly true. Unless the media has a racial agenda I'd suggest they expose the likes of Falwell, Hagee, Parsely (McCain's spiritual adviser), Robertson, anti-semite Billy Graham, etc, etc, etc.

How many times have we heard this type of stuff from White evangelicals who are as racist as Reverend Wright. Is anyone really surprised some Blacks have racist sentiments after centuries of discrimination?

MIndy,

You are correct: neither Democrat candidates are going to survive. Obama (his pastor; his wife; his vote against providing medical care for babies who survive abortion) and Clinton (providing pardons to terrorists; her perjured pervert of a husband getting back into the White House) have too much baggage. Throw in the Democrat party's idiocy in all of the delegate counts, and you might as well start practicing saying "President McCain" right now.

Attention Buletin of last minute

If voters have a genuine concern for Pastor Wright words, lets prevents his words to become a prophecy by voting by Senator Obama.

If Senator Obama becomes our next President that will be the proof that Pastor Wright words are not meaningful.

I've seen the CNN and MSNBC interviews and read his HuffPost piece, and never heard him "renounce his pastor." He made it very clear that he was renouncing certain comments made in the short clips that were being replayed ad nauseum. He also noted Pastor Wright's service in the military, commitment to the people of his church, social service in his neighbourhood, among other things. Sounded to me like he was condemning words in the videos and not the man himself. Under the circumstances, I thought that Sen Obama was taking a political risk, and that showed character. It would have been easier to just throw the man under the bus.

By the way, I've listened to sermons that some would characterize as disturbing. I've been a member of "separatist" places of worship. I've heard "racist" comments directed at "the others." Where? At my family's synagogue!

Obviously, and I mean this with the sincerity that comes from drinking an import and fretting about which institution to attend for my next masters degree, there is a gulf between the "white experience" and the "black experience".

The parishioners in back of Rev. Wright are not, by their body language, saying Yah, The US created AIDs to Kill Blacks. They are rather saying Damn It's Tough To Be Thought Inferior: Sure feels good to be in our church having that feeling validated.

I don't know what to think when reasonable educated men and women keep telling me the same thing over and over. It's creepy.

Aye, there's the gulf.

There is no excuse for telling a willing and cheering and
'Amen-ing' crowd that Black Americans should sing; God Damn America.
There's also no excuse for people to excuse it by pretending that all Black Churches hold such a view.
I am a Black American...I will not vote for Obama...and I
say God Bless America.

Let me understand this: Obama claims to have no knowledge of the Rev. Racists positions, statements or racist rants after attending the church for twenty years.

No knowledge. Never heard a word. Not one word from a fellow parishioner......nothing...twenty years.

And America is supposed to put this man in the White House, a man who hasn't heard or seen anything at all out of the ordinary for twenty years.

Oh, boy.

This is hardly "hate speech." And this is coming from someone who strongly disagrees with what Wright and other religious figures have said about gays.

He is not urging his congregation to burn crosses on the lawns of white people, to lynch anyone or to deny them their rights. He was in condemning domestic inequality and a genocidal foreign policy in America. Why is this considered racist?

And for those commenting that Wright should go "back" to Africa even though obviously many of his ancestors were white and he was born in America, I would do some serious introspection before commenting on someone else's "racist" views.

I'm going to donate to Hillary now, even though I voted for Obama on SuperTuesday in Cali.

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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