Obama Divorces Wright
In a rather public breakup, Democratic presidential frontrunner Senator Barack Obama took severed ties today with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, contending that his former pastor’s words were outside the bounds of decency, calling them wrong and destructive. I think Obama’s public denunciation of Wright was a necessary, albeit poll-driven, step that may keep his campaign from being derailed by the controversy surrounding Wright. However, Obama may be kidding himself if he thinks he’s putting this issue to rest. While it won’t keep him from the nomination, it will prove to be political poison in November. Obama runs the risk of being seen as disingenuous by contending that he didn’t know what Wright was about. After all, he disinvited Wright from his campaign announcement speech in February 2007. Obama and his campaign knew then, and now, what Wright was about.
This may prove to be a seminal moment in the campaign that may cause a problem for him in the Black community. Obama has essentially thrown a very popular Black minister under the bus. That may not mean much to the larger society, but Black, church-going people may see this for what it is: poll-driven political expediency. That may damage Obama more than we now know.
Michael K. Fauntroy is an assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University and author of the recently published book Republicans and the Black Vote. A registered Independent, he blogs at: www.MichaelFauntroy.com.
Thank you so much for blogging about today’s events. Yours is an opinion I always look forward to reading and I wish you would post more often.
Obama’s denouncement of Rev. wright today rocked me to the core. I always suspected that Obama “wasn’t about nothing” (to politely rephrase my mom). We could explain away the absences at the State of the Black Unions or the commemoration of MLK’s assassination. He has never made any campaign promises to African Americans. I could even understand the mealy mouth response to the Bell shooting and acquittal.
What I don’t understand is how he could divorce Rev. Wright today and think that he will win the presidency. First, no one with any damn sense believes that this was the first time he heard Wright make those comments or respond in that manner. Even if he wasn’t a regular churchgoer at Trinity, they were friends.
Second, a significant portion of the AA population believes that some parts of Wright rants are truthful.
Is he divorcing us also?
Does he not know that he hasn’t received substantial criticism from Black America because he is a politician and we knew that he dismissed us and said what he needed to say to white votes because that’s what he needed to do to win.
Obama was appalled that Wright would make that assertion? He’s got to be kidding me.
If he wins the nomination, I’m sitting this one out. My vote is good enough for him but he has no regard for me or people with beliefs similar to mine.
This pains me because, I have no one for whom to vote. This is a big deal for me. I’m from Da’ Dirty and not voting isn’t acceptable especially when I think about all the sacrifices made so we would have that right.
You really have to wonder why Wright insinuated that Obama was disingenuous. I don’t understand that. He almost seems like he is working for Hillary Clinton with his latest comments. I watched the interview of Wright on Moyer with a friend that goes to Trinity and when Wright made that statement, I said - what is he is doing?
I smell a rat somewhere!
Posted by cynthia
on 04/29 at 06:56 PM
I think it is imperative that we put this entire situation into its proper context. First and foremost all of us should understand that when it comes to poliitics the candidates goal is to spread ones net as wide as possible to obtain as many votes as possible. At the same time the politicians ultimate and continuing challenge in spreading his or her net is to not loose oneself while casting the net.
Sen. Obama is running for the Office of President of the United States of Black People. Therefore it is his primary responsibility to own, protect and defend all theories, ideas, beliefs and statements of all Black people.
Okay seriously, at the end of the day he is applying for a job. And just like any job interview that you or any of your readers have been on we understand that there may be personal beliefs, ideas and yes relationships that we don’t promote in a job interview.
For instance, I used to be a criminal prosecutor. I knew brothers and sisters from all walks of life. However, at the end of the day friends with whom I shared similar ideas and beliefs respected me and my professional goals enough to allow for sufficient separation so I could survive and achieve in the workplace.
While I will not comment on the substance of Rev. Wright’s statements, I will say that it does not appear as if during his latest round of public appearances that he thought one second whether or not this was helping Sen. Obama to cast his net and collect votes.
We know that the history of liberation theology dates back to slavery, but we also know that this was something that was generally confined to the walls of our church.
My point is at the end of the day, Rev. Wright is being selfish. He has to know that his friend is applying for the job of President of the United States of America. Further that the overwhelming majority of Americans have not been exposed to real liberation theology since Dr. King’s murder. He knows at the time of his death Dr. King was reviled in large segments of this country by both White and Black people. So he has to know that his latest actions would cause harm to his friends campaign.
He should have just chilled and waited until the first Sunday after the general election and busted out with a firery tirade. Just my thoughts.
Oh yeah, Kima on your next job interview you should make sure you let your perspective employer know that you are an ardent supporter of Rev. Jeremiah Wright!
Dr. Jeremiah Wright is not running for public office. That he honored invitations to speak at various venues in no wise undermines or even remotely challenges Obama’s Presidential campaign. Wright’s opinions are exactly that, his opinions, nothing more. How much more is Obama expected to derride and repudiate his pastor just to assuage the fears of too easily frightened white Fox News viewers?
This is ridiculous.
THE CLINTON BIG AS DAY FOOTPRINT
Too bad. Wright wandered into the path of a fast moving bus, driven by a power drunk driver and was fatally injured long before Barack threw him under the bus.
Did you know that Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, a vocally strong Clinton support and member of the National Press Club is the person who, on the Clinton’s behalf, invited Wright to Washington; arranged for and organized his press conference AFTER persuading him to speak out NOW. We Americans deserve BETTER politics!
These sites will provide you more information
Rev. Barbara Reynolds is supporting Hillary who said that she would have left Wright’s church. Reynolds on the other hand is a strong defender of Wright. Go figure! http://agonist.org/schecter/?p=9409
Reverend Wright speaks from his ego and not from his heart. He is an angry narcissistic man who has his own agenda which may or may not coincide with the needs of other black people. It is hard to believe that his hateful comments just came to the surface. Obama should have distanced himself from this man years ago, not when it became a politically necessary thing to do. It is likely that Reverend Wright has severely damaged the chances of the first black man to become president.
Posted by Neil
on 05/02 at 07:40 PM
<b>That may damage Obama more than we now know.<b>
You wish this was true.
Posted by cynthia
on 05/05 at 08:41 PM
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