President Barack Obama’s former spiritual advisor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, was in Washington, D.C. on Sunday to deliver a sermon marking the 100th anniversary of the historic Florida Avenue Baptist Church.
In a way, Wright didn’t disappoint anyone. The toxic waste of a sermon no doubt pleased his African American audience who were already immersed in his kind of Black Liberation Theology. And for critics of the president, who regularly point out that Barack Obama attended this man’s church for 20 years and hired him as an advisor to his campaign in 2008, there was plenty of racist fodder to highlight and comment on.
Speaking at Washington’s Florida Avenue Baptist Church, which marks its 100th anniversary this week, Wright urged parishioners to teach their children true African-American history and not to cede their educations to “our enemies” who teach “his story,” one that “distorts our story, disses our story.”
Children may “only know Oprah and Obama,” he said, so it’s up to elders to teach about Nat Turner, Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, Paul Robeson, Zora Neale Hurston and other black voices.
“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,” he said to applause. “But we also need to tell them how we have black politicians who steal money.”
Wright also blasted people who he described as “biscuits” and “sheep dogs” — African Americans raised in the white world.
“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,” he 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.”
“There’s white racist DNA running through the synapses of his or her brain tissue. They will kill their own kind, defend the enemies of their kind or anyone who is perceived to be the enemy of the milky white way of life.”
Though the Obamas severed their ties to Wright and his church in 2008, the preacher has remained an emblem for some conservatives of the extreme views they believe the president has.
Gee…why would anyone think that?
Wright has already been declared off limits by Democrats, the mainstream press, and Mitt Romney for 2012. This means that the kind of lunatic ranting for black separatism Wright spews on a regular basis cannot be discussed in any meaningful way as it relates to Barack Obama’s political beliefs and cultural outlook.
It seems incredible when you consider if Mitt Romney attended a church that promoted white separatism for 20 years and then hired the pastor of that church as a spiritual advisor for his campaign, that a similar disinterest (or desperate avoidance as is the case with the Obama campaign), would be evident in the media and Romney’s political opposition. Romney would have — and should have — been mercilessly grilled about his ties to such a nauseatingly racist church if the shoe were on the other foot and it was the GOP candidate who’s associations were being questioned.
But we are used to racial double standards, largely because the media fears a backlash from the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The press fears being accused of ringing the Pavlovian bell for white racists who have their own agenda for highlighting the radical preacher. So the media simply refuses to acknowledge the toxicity of people like Wright, while dancing away from his connection to the president. For much of the media, the Wright story was put to rest in 2008 when candidate Obama gave his Philadelphia speech where he acknowledged that Wright’s point of view was not his own, but that it was a legitimate voice in the black community.
For Obama, it is not so much whether he agrees with Wright. Taking him at his word that he doesn’t is not the point. For the voter, it is a question of judgment, which is directly to the point of any candidate’s fitness for office.
Obama has never addressed his decision to spend 20 years in the pews of this noxious preacher’s church, only to throw him under the bus when he became a political liability. It is some of the unfinished business left over from 2008 that will probably remain so again.