Is the Reverend Wright? or is the Reverend Wrong?

Reverend Jeremiah Wright addressed an enthusiastic group scholars, spiritual leaders, and press at the National Press Club this Monday. I watched the whole thing and found myself engaged by the charismatic delivery and penetrating content of his speech. Reverend WrightMy first thought was about how much this speech was going to clarify and reconcile some of the misconceptions that mainstream media had purported about Reverend Wright – and he was going strong, all the way up until the question and answer section.. oh boy. During the Q&A the press baited the Reverend with several loaded questions designed to enhance controversy and alienate Obama. Unfortunately, Reverend Wright played right into their hands, going so far as to suggest that Obama only distanced himself from Wright as a political maneuver to satisfy his conservative white constituency. Even if this were the case, by snitching on him, Wright has forced Obama into a very compromising position. The Rev. couldn’t have done more damage to Barack Obama’s campaign if he had tried.

So as I’m watching, thinking to myself “why would Reverend Wright take these stances at such a crucial time in Obama’s campaign?” I recognize someone at the table right next to him. He was talking to her right before he was introduced and delivered his keynote speech. It was Reverend Dr. Barbara Reynolds – an avid Hillary Clinton supporter. All the sudden, it clicked! Obviously Wright and Reynolds’ connection as spiritual leaders surpasses their commitment to either the democratic or republican party. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if this entire media frenzy (the National Press Club meeting was coincidently coordinated by Reynolds) was actually a calculated offensive strategy of the Clinton campaign. And a successful one at that! If it hadn’t already, Senator Obama’s momentum has certainly now come to a complete stop. But can he really blame Wright for telling like it is? I’m torn. Torn between actually agreeing with pretty much everything I’ve heard from Reverend Wright and wanting him to preach on, and wanting him to sit his butt down until Obama seals the deal.

When asked by a reporter why he was choosing to speak out now, at such a critical time, he responded by saying that he was “playing the dozens” and that he would not sit still while people were trash talking his momma (or the black church). This seemed to be a general thesis, as he framed all of the negative press directed at him as an “attack on the Black church.” At the beginning of his speech, Wright stated “the reality of of the African American church will no longer be invisible.” This makes it seem as if he’s using the recent controversy surrounding his comments to shine light on a serious problem. However, I believe he’s going about it all wrong. You can’t move the Black religious tradition “from the status of invisible, to the status of invaluable” through the National Press Club! He should have known better than that. But at the end of the day, as Wright reiterated repeatedly, he only has to answer to God. Unfortunately for Obama.

9 Comments to ‘Is the Reverend Wright? or is the Reverend Wrong?’:

  1. Maktaba on 1 May 2008 at 3:59 am: 1

    I like your take on this. Initially I had decided that if it’s between the truth and the American presidency, the latter can go to ****. Reading this makes me see that if Wright still answers to God, it shouldn’t have to be in front of the press – which is a political forum. But I don’t agree Wright should make decisions based on the Obama campaign because I don’t think Obama’s candidacy is all that. Soujourner Truth, Malcolm X, MLK and all the other African American greats did not fight for one man or woman to be president. They fought for all African Americans to to live in dignity. American presidency and freedom are not the same thing. But that doesn’t mean I won’t vote Obama – I will. I am proud of his achievements, but they are built on a foundation set by ancestors whom he doesn’t give enough credit to, and I don’t think he will improve on that when he gets to the white house.

  2. Z on 1 May 2008 at 9:36 am: 2

    Very well said Pierce. I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Congrats on the marriage!

  3. Z on 1 May 2008 at 9:36 am: 3

    Very well said Pierce. I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Congrats on the marriage!

  4. Britney on 1 May 2008 at 9:58 am: 4

    I agree with Maktaba on this statement about Obama, “I am proud of his achievements, but they are built on a foundation set by ancestors whom he doesn’t give enough credit to, and I don’t think he will improve on that when he gets to the white house.” I honestly believe this whole things was designed to divide blacks and force many Americans to vote based on their worst fears (against an angry black man seeking revenge…even if that person is associated with the president).

    Check out this article: http://www.theroot.com/id/46061

  5. Pierce on 1 May 2008 at 10:21 am: 5

    Agreed. the National Press Club was not the time, nor the place. His words were more fit for his congregation, than for all the political pundits whose mouths were watering every time he cracked a sarcastic joke at them. You could tell by his mannerisms-he was almost too sarcastic, too eager to chop down the media.. it was really like a couple of kids at school exchanging petty jabs. I almost fell out of my chair when the press presented him with a coffee mug. I was also appalled that they used Chris Rock’s joke to voice their own racist opinions about Wright

  6. Shanette on 2 May 2008 at 7:50 am: 6

    It’s politics. I think this articles makes an interesting point about the hidden political influences that if we do not analyze closely, we are sure to overlook. Rev. Wright took the bait of the press and they reeled him in. At the end of the day, we need a leader who is going to stand for the American people so let’s make our votes count!

  7. Z on 4 May 2008 at 6:47 pm: 7

    Rev. Wright is a narcissistic individual just looking for his 10 minutes. If he costs Barrack the election I will be very angry.

  8. Z on 4 May 2008 at 6:47 pm: 8

    Rev. Wright is a narcissistic individual just looking for his 10 minutes. If he costs Barrack the election I will be very angry.

  9. POLITRICKS on 6 May 2008 at 12:44 am: 9

    COME ON NOW, HMMM? LETS THINK, HALF A MILLENIUM, AND NOT A SINGLE BLACK PRESIDENT IN THIS RACIST COUNTRY.ARE ELECTIONS DECIDED BY ELITIST OR THE MASSES? WELL IF ANY ONE WOULD BOTHER TO READ AND RESEARCH YOU WOULD DISCOVER THAT ELECTIONS ARE DETERMINED BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. WE ARE BEING LIED TO, TIME TO WAKE UP!ITS ALL A GAME!

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Published on May 1, 2008 at 2:28 am. 9 Comments.
Filed under news/politics,spirituality,television.