It was painful to watch. But for brief intervals, I could not take my eyes off it — the train wreck that is Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. which was on display for the world to see during a live televised news conference at the National Press Club on Monday. I was filled with a stomach churning combination disgust and embarrassment at the cocksure bombast exhibited by the former spiritual father of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama. The not-so-good Reverend seemed to bask the glow of the spotlight. Finally, he had his 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of one of his most famous congregants.
Knowing how devisive a national figure he was proving to be why would Reverend Wright choose to speak now on the eve of two important primaries, North Carolina and Indiana? Why now when the furor generated from his previous remarks seemed have died down, if just a bit? Some have supected that something more sinister is afoot. Why would a man who purports to champion the cause of black America be so hell bent on orchestrating the demise of someone who possibly can take, not only the black race but the nation, to the next level?
The answer is really quite simple. It’s just old fashioned tried and true haterism. Yes, Rev. Wright is a hater. His love for “his people” does not supersede his love for himself. He is not man after God’s own heart but a man seeking the “hearts” of whatever “fan” base he can draw to himself. And yes, he resents, as any hater does, the ascendency of someone who can easily garner the attention he so craves.
Reverend Wright neglects to understand that it not “we” but “he”. The movement may get you to the base of the mountain but the climb is often a solo effort. It seems that if Obama is unwilling to share the glory with Wright, the Reverend is determined to make him share the misery.
And Wright may be successful in his efforts thanks, in no small part, to the media. As they have helped to give relevancy to “leaders” who operate in a similar vein, most notably, Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson, they will give, if they continue to cover his antics, similar “power” to Reverend Wright.
So, I implore you, members of the media, please do not feed the beast that is Reverend Wright’s ego. I will do my part; please do yours.
On Tuesday, afternoon, Barack Obama responded to Wright’s televised comments at a press conference in North Carolina:
“I’m outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle we saw yesterday,” Mr. Obama said, speaking to reporters here today. He added, “I find these comments appalling. It contradicts everything that I’m about and who I am…”
“[The comments] offend me, they rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced,” he said. “That’s what I am doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.” (For full transcript, click here)
Good for Obama for standing up to Wright and standing up for himself. But if Wright is true to form, this may turn out to be a protracted game of the dozens.
It seems that my alma mater, Northwestern University, was going to give Reverend Wright an honorary degree, but no more according to Bloomberg:
Northwestern University withdrew its offer to give the Reverend Jeremiah Wright an honorary degree at this year’s commencement because of the controversy over past sermons by the former pastor to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
The honor was withdrawn in March after recorded excerpts of Wright sermons, denouncing the U.S. government and suggesting its policies were to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks, began circulating on the Internet and were broadcast on television.
In a statement released today, Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said the university…was concerned that the furor over Wright would disrupt the June commencement ceremonies.
“In light of the controversy around Dr. Wright and to ensure the celebratory character of commencement not be affected, the university has withdrawn its invitation to Dr. Wright,” Cubbage said.
The offer was rescinded in March. This action may have been the final blow to the Rev’s ego that led to Monday’s shenanigans.