Rev. Jeremiah Wright (pictured), the former spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama, made headlines over the weekend for delivering an angry sermon just a scant few miles from the White House.
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Speaking at the Florida Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, Rev. Wright once again aimed harsh words toward the White political establishment and was critical of African Americans who studied at predominately White universities and colleges. A one-time friend and ally of Obama’s, could Wright’s outburst reignite a feud between the men during a critical moment in the election cycle?
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“As we celebrate the foundations of our future, this is not a time to romanticize because we have the first African-descended president in the White House,” Wright said during his Sunday sermon at the church that celebrates its 100th anniversary this week. “You see what the tea party is trying to do.”
Wright would add, “We need to tell our children how we got from a Black congressman named Adam Clayton Powell to a black president named Barack Hussein Obama. But we also need to tell them how we have Black politicians who steal money.”
Perhaps the sharpest digs that may have been aimed toward the president were also the most tongue-in-cheek references made. Referring to Blacks who were raised in White society as “biscuits” and “sheep dogs,” Rev. Wright’s words were not minced.
“Take that baby, him or her away from the African mother, away from the African community, away from the African experience and put them Africans over at the breasts of Yale, Harvard, University of Chicago, UCLA, or UC Berkeley,” Wright said.
“Turn them into biscuits. Let them get that alien DNA all up inside their brain and they will turn on their own people in defense of the ones who are keeping their own people under oppression. Sheep dogs.”
It should be noted that President Obama attended law school at Harvard.
Rev. Wright’s politics are known to the media, especially to conservative pundits who sought to attach his rhetoric to Obama’s initial election campaign back in 2008. The meltdown of the pair’s relationship has been fodder for critics of the president and this surely will drum up much of that same talk considering the stakes in November.
The question that hangs in the air after Wright’s sermon is this: Could his timing have been any worse considering the poll numbers show a tight race between Obama and the presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney?
Another question that can and should be posed is whether or not Wright’s stance will have any effect on Black voters as fall quickly approaches.
Lastly, is Rev. Wright within his rights to speak critically of African-Americans who seek higher education at vaunted institutions? Wouldn’t that be limiting the potential of a young person? It appears that in this instance of blurting out his feelings, Rev. Wright has once again proven that some thoughts are better left censored or unsaid. By no means should Rev. Wright be held from speaking openly about the Black experience or not to be critical of Obama, but was the church pulpit the best place to address his concerns? Probably not.
It may be too early to tell, but those keeping a close eye on the election should expect the White House’s communication staff to handle this issue swiftly and create as much distance as possible between Obama and Wright. While it would be brave for Obama to directly address Wright by name, it would also serve to be politically foolish.
What do you think?