The Corner

History of Wright and Farrakhan

In an earlier post, I showed that Wright’s lauding of Farrakhan as a great figure is old news. Of course, so is the tight relationship between Wright and Farrakhan. It’s been long known that Wright and Farrakhan traveled together to meet with Muammar Gaddafi in 1986. Wright also attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995, but the story goes even further.

Wright was scheduled to speak at the march, but wasn’t able to reach the podium on time. After the march was over, Wright actually co-published a book defending the event. The book is called, When Black Men Stand Up for God: Reflections on the Million Man March. I’ve read it. The first half consists of a series of sermons by Wright lauding the march and defending it from critics. It’s true that, in contrast to his recent glorification of Farrakhan, Wright in this book tries to downplay the Farrakhan issue, chastising the media for focusing on it (sound familiar?). But Wright does say, in defense of Farrakhan, that: “The enemy is not white people, but white supremacy. The enemy isn’t Farrakhan. The enemy is still white supremacy.” In the end, the mere act of publishing a book in defense of the Million Man March is a major public gesture in defense of Farrakhan. Obama had to know about this book, and probably about the many sermons Wright delivered on the issue.

In my recent piece, “The Audacity of the Real ‘Audacity’,” you can find a longer defense of Farrakhan from one of Wright’s sermons of the early 1990′s. Clearly, given that defense, Wright’s later decision to attend and speak at the Million Man March, his decision to publish a book of sermons defending the march, his earlier trip to Libya with Farrakhan, his recent award to Farrakhan, the magazine cover story and the laudatory statements accompanying that award, and Wright’s opinion of Farrakhan can hardly have been unknown to Obama.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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