Watching Wright at the National Press Club, I thought the headline would be that he said we have witnessed an “attack on the black church, not an attack on Jeremiah Wright.” But he’s hitting a wide variety of notes… hitting the Bush administration for “cutting billions in food stamps to pay for war in Iraq.” Wright mentions his Goddaughter arrived in Iraq last week; he declares that those who questioned his patriotism used their positions to avoid military service.
Hits those who “worship Sunday mornings in a black clergy robe, then burn crosses on Sunday evening with a white Klan robe.”
“The Christianity of the slave-holder is not the Christianity of the slave.”
UPDATE: Wright says, “launched by people who know nothing of the African-American church”…
On Farrkhan: “How many people do you know who could get one million people on the mall? Farrakhan is like E.F. Hutton. When he talks, black America listens. Whether they agree with him or not, they listen.”
On Obama’s reaction: “We both know that if Obama had not said what he said, he would never get elected.”
A genuine laugh: “I’m not running for office… I am interested in being vice president.”
Asked about God d*** America: “I’m not a spiritual mentor… I’m his pastor. I told him that if he’s elected, on November 5, I’m going after you, because you’re now a representative of a government (check transcript?)… It’s about policy.”
“We have never apologized for slavery. We have never apologized for Japan.”
I missed it, but I understand that he said, “You can’t do terrorism, and not have it come back to you.”
“He had to distance himself from those statements because he’s a politician.”
On the Government created AIDS: Have you read “Medical Apartheid”? I read different things.. Cites the Tuskeegee Experiments. “I believe our government is capable of doing anything.”
Obama denies likening Israel to apartheid. Says that was Jimmy Carter. Says he believes Israel has a right to exist, and that Israelis have a right to exist, and but that “reconciliation” is necessary.
“In Biblical history, there isn’t a word between Genesis and Revelation that wasn’t written during one of six eras of oppression. Says he was comparing oppressions… Imperialism was going on in Luke… We have troops stationed all over the world. We rule the world.” (A smattering of applause.)
Wright reiterates two key points — one, not that he was not attacked, but that the entire “African-American church was attacked.” I wonder how many African-American churches are comfortable with Jeremiah Wright being the national spokesman for their entire religious community, elected circumstance.
Second, Wright keeps emphasizing that his critics know “nothing of the traditions of the African-American church community.” But how much must one know about the African-American church in order to decide whether or not something is offensive? Is the declaration that the U.S. and al-Qaeda do the same acts under different color flags — do you or I need to have extensive background in that field of study before rejecting that argument? Declaring that our policies “grind people under”?
Are only historians of the black church entitled to criticize Jeremiah Wright?