Barack Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, spoke with Bill Moyers recently. It was Wright’s first media interview since the controversy created when short excerpts from his sermons became part of the media’s news cycle.
To this observer, Obama’s reaction was spectacularly vile — he made a “major speech” on “race in America” in which he tried to hang on to his relationship with his pastor while distancing himself from the truths the pastor had uttered.
We’ve discussed much of this previously:
Now for the news: You can watch Wright and Moyers on video at PBS (and a link to the full transcript follows, for the record).
But first, some media commentary that’s too remarkable to pass up. ABC News, in a piece called “Obama’s Ex-Pastor Resurfaces, at Potential Cost to Candidate“, says:
In the PBS interview on the “Bill Moyers Journal,” Wright complains that reporters picked sound bites from his sermons with the intent of defaming him and, by association, Obama.
Quite obviously true, and what Obama should have said at the outset. He could then have used the fabricated “controversy” as an opportunity to educate some American voters. But no …
“At a political event, he goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician,” Wright told Moyers [photo]. “I continue to be a pastor … He’s a politician. I’m a pastor.”
The piece quotes National Public Radio senior political analyst Juan Williams:
“If he was a Barack Obama supporter, I think he would pull himself off of the stage at this point.”
“If you’re with the Barack Obama campaign this morning, you’re pulling your hair out.”
… calling Obama a politician would have Americans asking “was he simply being politically expedient, or was he being sincere?” during his “race speech” in Philadelphia last month.
This is the question I was answering last month; I never expected to see it in this form.
This comment from Juan Williams strikes me as bizarre:
“I think his manner, his demeanor, comes off being very appealing … but if you actually look at the snippets for what they are, where he’s damning America, or the KKK in America, or the white government spreading AIDS in America, it’s just so unappealing. At some point it’s hard to explain away why the words were coming from his mouth. And then it invites to question Barack Obama’s judgment, in sitting there all those years and being part of that kind of, what he calls by his own admission, ‘divisive, hate speech,'” said Williams.
Obama called Wright’s most controversial statements “divisive” but not “hate speech”.
But then again Juan Williams can say anything he wants, apparently. Did he just say damning the KKK in America is “unappealing”? That would tend to prove my point, no? Maybe he’d find it more appealing to support the KKK? Who knows?
Personally I’d vote for Jeremiah Wright in a heartbeat, even though he dares to pronounce unspeakable truths, like the one where he’s a pastor and Barack Obama is a politician.
And I’ll give him the last words, too:
… we are miseducated as a people. Or because we’re miseducated, you end up with the majority of the people not wanting to hear the truth. Because they would rather cling to what they are taught. James Washington, now a deceased church historian, says that after every revolution, the winners of that revolution write down what the revolution was about so that their children can learn it, whether it’s true or not. They don’t learn anything at all about the Arawak, they don’t learn anything at all about the Seminole, the Cheek, Trail of Tears, the Cherokee. They don’t learn anything. No, they don’t learn that. What they learn is 1776, Crispus Attucks was the one black guy in there. Fight against the British, the terrible. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal while we’re holding slaves.” No, keep that part out. They learn that. And they cling to that. And when you start trying to show them you only got a piece of the story, and lemme show you the rest of the story, you run into vitriolic hatred because you’re desecrating our myth. You’re desecrating what we hold sacred. And [what] you’re holding sacred is a miseducational system that has not taught you the truth.