“I am a part of all that I have met.” Ulysses by Tennyson
The Obama-lovin’ media wants you to believe that the Reverend Wright earthquake has passed. Some would have you believe that Obama turned a negative into a positive with his embarrassing public contortionism defending Wright and giving us a history lesson on American racism from Plymouth Rock to the Freedom Riders, as if Reverend Wright’s inexcusable hate needs a context.
Nothing is further from the truth.
There is much to be told about Reverend Wright, Obama’s mentorship with this hate-monger, and the larger implication this relationship has for the Democratic Party and its strained coalition.
Long before Reverend Wright entered the national stage, Ryan Lizza of The New Republic, in the March 19, 2007 issue, dropped this little gem:
Wright was a former Muslim and black nationalist who had studied at Howard and Chicago, and Trinity’s guiding principles–what the church calls the “Black Value System”[Emphasis added]
Why should Reverend Wright’s past as Muslim concern us?
First, Reverend Wright’s hate sermons are virtually identical as those given by his good friend, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who followed in the footsteps of Malcolm X. For example, this description by Ben Wallace Wells, published in Rolling Stone—a magazine that favors Obama, most likely in serving the interests of their demographic–in February, prior to the release of the Wright videos, makes clear the connection:
Wright takes the pulpit here one Sunday and solemnly, sonorously declares that he will recite ten essential facts about the United States. “Fact number one: We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college,” he intones.
“Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!” There is thumping applause; Wright has a cadence and power that make Obama sound like John Kerry.
Now the reverend begins to preach. “We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS. . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!”
The crowd whoops and amens as Wright builds to his climax: “And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!…This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr.
The racist paranoia of AIDS being developed by white America to kill blacks and other inexcusable statements are from the same framework of the NOI and Farrakhan. In fact:
In 1984, Wright was one of the inner circle that traveled with Farrakhan to visit Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Khadafy. The ostentatious Farrakhan junket came at a time when Khadafy had been identified as the world’s chief financier of international terrorism, including the Black September group behind the Munich Olympics massacre.
Secondly, while Obama’s plagiarism of a speech delivered by Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X to mostly black audiences has been correctly noted as a racial dog-whistle, it has not been examined in the larger context of the black separatist movement from which it originates.
Third, why did Wright’s church put the racist and anti-Semitic Farrakhan on the cover of its magazine Trumpet? Why did Trinity Church post:
a manifesto by Hamas that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist and compared the terror group’s official charter – which calls for the murder of Jews – to America’s Declaration of Independence[?]
The three points above show a consistent pattern of Wright parroting not only the language and but also the attitude of the Nation of Islam.
Wright has synthesized Christianity and an odious brand of Islam. When two religions become one, social scientists refer to this as a syncretic religion.
For example, the Mayans developed Mexican Catholicism as a subversive way to maintain their culture in the face of Spanish conquest.
The Reverend Wright may no longer be a Muslim, but he clearly embraces Hamas, Minister Farrakhan and others because they dovetail with his established world view, as with other syncretic religions.
Reverend Wright’s hate speeches are a glimpse of someone who has blended Nation of Islam and Black Nationalist Liberation Theology into a subversive Christianity, one that would hardly be recognized by most black Christians, and much less so mainstream American Christians, regardless of color. Indeed, one suspects that Jesus himself would have a difficult time recognizing the message delivered by Jeremiah Wright.
Obama’s 20-year mentorship with Wright not only demonstrates an incredible lack of judgment, but also highlights his views on race. Comments about his Grandmother being a typical white person may simply sound immature, unappreciative, and dismissive of the woman who helped raise him, but in the tradition of Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and Jeremiah Wright, calling someone a typical white person is an insult indicating a world view.
Thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne, PhD, for her assistance on this essay.