Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama: "Reverend Wright does not speak for me."

By Michael J.W. Stickings

There has been a lot of reaction today to Obama's remarks on Rev. Jeremiah Wright in response to the latter's self-promotional publicity campaign. Obama discussed his former pastor at length in his brilliant speech on race and politics, speaking highly of him even as he distanced himself from his more outrageous comments, but, given what Wright has said in recent days -- given how Wright has taken advantage of the situation to threaten Obama's campaign -- it was time to speak decisively once and for all.

Make sure to read the entire transcript of his remarks. Don't rely on the snippets upon which the news media dwell. Here's some of what he said:

Yesterday, we saw a very different vision of America. I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday.

You know, I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992. I have known Reverend Wright for almost 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought, either.

Now, I've already denounced the comments that had appeared in these previous sermons. As I said, I had not heard them before. And I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church. He's built a wonderful congregation. The people of Trinity are wonderful people. And what attracted me has always been their ministry's reach beyond the church walls.

But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS, when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century, when he equates the United States wartime efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced. And that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.

Creature: "Barack Obama did what he had to do today. He told his former reverend off (for all the world to see, no less). It was sad, actually. Though the cynical out there will still say this was all politics and posturing by Obama, I don't think it was. Not at all. Politics would have been throwing Wright aside the first time around. Instead Obama made a valiant attempt at respect. It's a shame his former pastor wasn't having any of it.

Sullivan: "Cynics may scoff -- and certainly will. They will parse every nuance and try to paint Obama as another cynical, positioning pol. I don't believe it. He has more sincerity and integrity than the vast majority of politicians, more honesty, and more resilience in a very tough spot. And today, we found that he can fight back, and take a stand, without calculation and in what is clearly a great amount of personal difficulty and political pain. It's what anyone should want in a president. It makes me want to see him succeed more than ever. It's why this country needs to see him succeed more than ever."

Obama did what he had to do, and he did it well. His opponents, including Hillary, will continue to try to take advantage of the controversy for political gain. To me, however, Obama was clear and conclusive. He is obviously a man of incredible magnanimity, but, simply put, he has had enough.

And we do indeed need him to succeed more than ever.


Here's the clip:

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  • One thing Obama has going for him, is if Wright continues to behave the way he did in that "spectacle" the American people will tire of Wright far sooner than the November election. Wright seems so "out there" it seems doubtful most Americans will take him seriously...and it is hard for such a figure to do real damage. There is another good article on the Obama-Wright situation here:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:52 PM  

  • Sorry -- Wright has done serious damage to Obama. Get ready for Presidents Clinton (Redux) or McCain.

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 1:05 PM  

  • Yes, and we need him to restore our civil liberties. Yesterday, I was pulled over for speeding (I admit to that). My car was fully searched, including the trunk, without a warrant. Nothing was found as I am law abiding (other than the speeding) and have nothing to hide. I was then cuffed and brought to the local precinct. I was then stripped searched, admittedly by another another female, but WITH A MALE OFFICER PRESENT SNAPPING DIGITAL PHOTOS!! The woman cop inserted fingers into both my vagina and rectum. I was forced to bend over and spread my cheeks for the anal cavity search, and for the vaginal check, I had to spread eagle my legs and hold my lips open. I am also big breasted, so I had to lift them up and apart in case I was "hiding" something in them. I was so horrified! I threw up when I got home!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:18 PM  

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