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The Wright Side of Wrong April 30, 2008

Posted by Reginald Johnson in African-American, Election '08, Elections.

What a strange web we weave…

Senator Barack Obama put his historic chance at becoming the next president of the United States before a long-term friendship. This time, after much soul searching, Obama broke with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. He’s trying to what he can to get away from the man.

Probably what was the last straw was Wright’s remarks over the weekend at the NAACP meeting in Detroit and his morning newsmaker at the National Press Club here in Washington. What should be interesting is the fact that during this same weekend Obama talked extensively about his plans as president. Almost no news agency, including the one that he gave his remarks to, gave him much airtime. Everyone has set their sights on the great J. Wright.

Obama strongly believes race should not be an issue in this campaign, but those who support him disagree. Here in the District, I hear people all the time saying, I am going to vote for Obama because he’s black. I’ve even heard his detractors say, “I won’t vot for him because of that reason.”

Many people believe that Rev. Wright doesn’t have Obama’s best interest at heart – that he is attacking his old friend for not standing beside him as he thought he should. Meybe he’s right. Maybe he’s not. Whatever the case, Obama is trying to rid himself of a heavy-weight problem.

After seeing/hearing Wright’s speech at the NAACP, in its entiriety, I have to say that I am not very pleased with his methods of getting his message out there. I’ve attended many black churches growing up and do not recail seeing any messenger of God putting the word out there in that way. It belittles it, if anything.

Obama finally said something, but is it just lip service? Is it, as Wright put it before, “…something a politican would say?” It’s a valid question considering he is a 20 year friend and spiritual advisor. Now I think you are teetering on believability in Barack’s case.

Many people in the democratic party – voters and politicans alike – are surprised at how much media attention this whole thing has brought. Hillary might be enjoying this. Some believe this is enough to give superdelegates pause. ‘I’m a little surprised at how much traction it is getting, and I do believe it is beginning to reflect negatively on Senator Obama’s campaign,’ said one democratic politician. ‘I think he’s handling it very well, but I think it’s almost impossible to make people feel comfortable about this.’”

Several black leaders are a little frustrated at Wright for undertaking a publicity tour in recent days that may have harmed the chance to elect the first black president. He’s putting himself ahead of the movement….or as Obama says, “Change.” With all of this noise going on he’s secured himself a place is pop culture history and maybe a few book deals. Wright didn’t really need to make as much of a show of this situation.

His antics at the NAACP meeting and the National Press Club only showed where his heart lied – in milking this for all it was worth. What really is disappointing is some of what he said is true (his remarks about the black church).

A number of African American church leaders expressed alarm that Wright claimed on Monday to speak for all black churches. Rev. Wright didn’t keep his eyes on the prize. Black religious leaders at the Howard University School of Divinity on Tuesday tried to talk to him about his antics; but Wright declined. Something that I found to be interesting was his remarks during this religious leaders meeting. A reporter tried to ask him to clearify exactly what he said the day before, he responded, ‘You heard what I said [Monday] morning,’ he told a reporter. ‘I just wish that the media would focus on more of what they are saying in there, because they are trying to make this about me and Barack.’”

He personally made this about him and Barack when he said, “If it’s God’s will that Sen. Obama becomes president, there is nothing that voters, or politicians or Man can do to prevent that.” Now what I thought when I heard that was, ‘If he’s not elected, then is then is something that God did not condone?’

All of this goes to what the Boston Globe said:

The Boston Globe: “The condemnation was a dramatic shift for Obama, who had tried to navigate a personal and political minefield: maintaining a relationship with the minister who brought him to Christianity, performed his wedding, and baptized his two daughters, while distancing himself from Wright’s most incendiary sermons and trying to quell a controversy that threatened to undermine Obama’s campaign’s focus on racial unity.”

Barack, this is more than a Sister Souljah moment. Get it together, because that sleek machine that is $42 million strong is starting to show kinks. Remember, Wright won’t simply fade away.


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