Jeremiah Wright controversy
The Jeremiah Wright controversy gained national attention in the United States in March 2008 when ABC News, after reviewing dozens of U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama‘s pastor Jeremiah Wright‘s sermons, excerpted parts which were subject to intense media scrutiny. Wright is a retired senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and former pastor of President Obama. Obama denounced the statements in question, but critics continued to press the issue of his relationship with Wright. In response to this, he gave a speech titled “A More Perfect Union“, in which he sought to place Dr. Wright’s comments in a historical and sociological context. In the speech, Obama again denounced Wright’s remarks, but did not disown him as a person. The controversy began to fade, but was renewed in late April when Wright made a series of media appearances, including an interview on Bill Moyers Journal, a speech at the NAACP, and a speech at the National Press Club. After the last of these, Obama spoke more forcefully against his former pastor, saying that he was “outraged” and “saddened” by his behavior, and in May he resigned his membership in the church.
Barack Obama first met Wright in the late 1980s, while he was working as a community organizer in Chicago before attending Harvard Law School. Wright officiated at the wedding ceremony of Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as their children’s baptisms.
The title of Obama’s 2006 memoir, The Audacity of Hope, was inspired by one of Wright’s sermons. This sermon also was the source for themes of Obama’s 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. Wright was scheduled to give the public invocation before Obama’s presidential announcement, but Obama withdrew the invitation the night before the event. Wright wrote a rebuttal letter to the editor disputing the characterization of the account as reported in an article in The New York Times.
In 2007, Wright was appointed to Barack Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee, a group of over 170 national black religious leaders who supported Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination. However, it was announced in March 2008 that Wright was no longer serving as a member of this group.
On May 31, 2008, Barack and Michelle Obama announced that they had withdrawn their membership in Trinity United Church of Christ, stating that “Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views”.
Controversial sermon excerpts
Most of the controversial excerpts that gained national attention in March 2008 were taken from two sermons: one titled “The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall”, delivered on September 16, 2001, and another titled “Confusing God and Government”, delivered on April 13, 2003.
“The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall”
I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday. Did anybody else see him or hear him? He was on Fox News. This is a white man, and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end. He pointed out — did you see him, John? — a white man, he pointed out, ambassador, that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true — America’s chickens are coming home to roost.
Wright spoke of the United States taking land from the Indian tribes by what he labeled as terror, bombing Grenada, Panama, Libya, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and argued that the United States supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and South Africa. He said that his parishioners’ response should be to examine their relationship with God, not go “from the hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocents.” His comment (quoting Malcolm X) that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost” was widely interpreted as meaning that America had brought the September 11, 2001 attacks upon itself. ABC News broadcast clips from the sermon in which Wright said:
We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye… and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.
Later, Wright continued :
Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that, y’all. Not a black militant. Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said the people that we have wounded don’t have the military capability we have. But they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them. And we need to come to grips with that.
“Confusing God and Government”
Clips from a sermon that Wright gave, entitled “Confusing God and Government”, were also shown on ABC‘s Good Morning America and on Fox News. In the sermon, Wright first makes the distinction between God and governments, and points out that many governments in the past have failed: “Where governments lie, God does not lie. Where governments change, God does not change.” Wright then states:
[The United States] government lied about their belief that all men were created equal. The truth is they believed that all white men were created equal. The truth is they did not even believe that white women were created equal, in creation nor civilization. The government had to pass an amendment to the Constitution to get white women the vote. Then the government had to pass an equal rights amendment to get equal protection under the law for women. The government still thinks a woman has no rights over her own body, and between Uncle Clarence who sexually harassed Anita Hill, and a closeted Klan court, that is a throwback to the 19th century, handpicked by Daddy Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, between Clarence and that stacked court, they are about to undo Roe vs. Wade, just like they are about to un-do affirmative action. The government lied in its founding documents and the government is still lying today. Governments lie.
The government lied about Pearl Harbor too. They knew the Japanese were going to attack. Governments lie. The government lied about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. They wanted that resolution to get us in the Vietnam War. Governments lie. The government lied about Nelson Mandela and our CIA helped put him in prison and keep him there for 27 years. The South African government lied on Nelson Mandela. Governments lie.
Wright then stated:
The government lied about the Tuskegee experiment. They purposely infected African American men with syphilis. Governments lie. The government lied about bombing Cambodia and Richard Nixon stood in front of the camera, “Let me make myself perfectly clear…” Governments lie. The government lied about the drugs for arms Contra scheme orchestrated by Oliver North, and then the government pardoned all the perpetrators so they could get better jobs in the government. Governments lie…. The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. Governments lie. The government lied about a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and a connection between 9.11.01 and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Governments lie.
He spoke about the government’s rationale for the Iraq War:
The government lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq being a threat to the United States peace. And guess what else? If they don’t find them some weapons of mass destruction, they gonna do just like the LAPD, and plant the some weapons of mass destruction. Governments lie.
Wright then commented on God and government:
And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating her citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains, the government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton field, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America”. No, no, no, not God Bless America. God damn America — that’s in the Bible — for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America, as long as she tries to act like she is God, and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent.
Jeremiah Wright: “God Damn America”
Published on Nov 27, 2012
A longer reel of the famous “God Damn America” sermon from President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
God Damn America
Dick Gregory Refutes Jeremiah Wright Controversy 1 of 9
Uploaded on Apr 3, 2008
Speaking before a standing room only congregation at Rev. Walter E. fauntroy’s New Bethel Baptist Church in the historic Shaw District of Washington, DC, activist Dick Gregory presents an impassioned challenge to the conventional wisdom surrounding the controversy of the comments made by Barack Obama’s spiritual leader, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 2 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 3 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 4 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 5 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 6 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 7 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 8 of 9
Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 9 of 9
I’ve often listened as Americans tell me how this nation was once the greatest nation on earth, and how America will one day return to that greatness. America was never great. America will never be great.
No nation is great that builds it’s foundation on the backs of slaves stolen from their native Africa and forced into servitude for the benefit of caucasian masters.
No nation is great that massacres and enslaves a nation of several hundred tribes of Native Americans with the express purpose of stealing Native American lands….for themselves.
No nation is great that imports a nation of Asian American to build their railroad system, then treats those Asians as slaves and 4th class citizens.
No nation is great that denigrates it’s women and denies them basic human rights afforded that nations male population.
The United States Of AmeriKKKa is not great and never was great.
Unless you are a caucasian male. God Bless America? God DAMN AmeriKKKa.