Monday, March 17, 2008

It's not nice to hate people and other living things.

Obama Attended Hate America Sermon

Sunday, March 16, 2008 7:14 PM

By: Ronald Kessler Article Font Size

Obama claims he was completely unaware that the Reverend Wright’s trademark preaching style at the Trinity United Church of Christ targeted “white” America.

Clarification: The Obama campaign has told members of the press that Senator Obama was not in church on the day cited, July 22, because he had a speech he gave in Miami at 1:30 PM. Our writer, Jim Davis, says he attended several services at Senator Obama's church during the month of July, including July 22. The church holds services three times every Sunday at 7:30 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central time. While both the early morning and evening service allowed Sen. Obama to attend the service and still give a speech in Miami, Mr. Davis stands by his story that during one of the services he attended during the month of July, Senator Obama was present and sat through the sermon given by Rev. Wright as described in the story. Mr. Davis said Secret Service were also present in the church during Senator Obama's attendance. Mr. Davis' story was first published on Newsmax on August 9, 2007. Shortly before publication, Mr. Davis contacted the press office of Sen. Obama several times for comment about the Senator's attendance and Rev. Wright's comments during his sermon. The Senator's office declined to comment.


Contrary to Senator Barack Obama’s claim that he never heard his pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. preach hatred of America, Obama was in the pews last July 22 when the minister blamed the “white arrogance” of America’s Caucasian majority for the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.

Senator Obama has sought to separate himself from his pastor’s incendiary remarks, issuing a statement Friday rejecting them as “inflammatory and appalling” but failing to renounce Wright himself for his venomous and paranoid denunciations of America.

In his press release, Obama claimed, “The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity [United Church of Christ] or heard him utter in private conversation.”

Appearing on cable news shows this past weekend, Obama claimed when he saw recent videos that have Wright making such comments as “God damn America,” he was “shocked.” Obama implied that the reverend had not used such derogatory language in any of the church services Obama attended over the past two decades.

If Obama’s claims are true that he was completely unaware that Wright’s trademark preaching style at the Trinity United Church of Christ has targeted “white” America and Israel, he would have been one of the few people in Chicago to be so uninformed. Wright’s reputation for spewing hate is well known.

In fact, Obama was present in the South Side Chicago church on July 22 last year when Jim Davis, a freelance correspondent for Newsmax, attended services along with Obama. [See: ”Obama’s Church: Cauldron of Division.”]

In his sermon that day, Wright tore into America, referring to the “United States of White America” and lacing his sermon with expletives as Obama listened. Hearing Wright’s attacks on his own country, Obama had the opportunity to walk out, but Davis said the senator sat in his pew and nodded in agreement.

Addressing the Iraq war, Wright thundered, “Young African-American men” were “dying for nothing.” The “illegal war,” he shouted, was “based on Bush’s lies” and is being “fought for oil money.”

Obama’s most famous celebrity backer, Oprah Winfrey began attending Wright’s church in 1984. Last year, Newsmax magazine reported that Winfrey abruptly stopped attending years ago, and suggested that she did so to distance herself from Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric. She soon found herself a target of Wright, who excoriated her for having broken with “traditional faith.”

The Reverend Wright’s anti-white theology that Senator Obama expressed surprise over is evident on the church’s website. The site says the congregation subscribes to what it calls the Black Value System, which is described as a disavowal of “our racist competitive society” and the pursuit of “middle-classness.” That is defined as a way for American society to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly” or “placing them in concentration camps,” just as the country structures “an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.”

“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,” Wright wrote in the church-affiliated magazine Trumpet four years after the attacks. “White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”

The Relationship Unravels

Senator Obama now is attempting to minimize his long and close relationship with the controversial minister.

On Friday, John McCain’s campaign distributed a Wall Street Journal op-ed “Obama and the Minister” written under my byline based on my reporting for Newsmax going back to early January of this year.

The op-ed included details of a sermon Wright gave at Howard University blaming America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs, shamelessly supporting Israel, and creating a racist society that would never elect a black man as president. [See: “Obama’s Minister’s Hatred of America.”]

Obama’s campaign quickly responded to the Wall Street Journal op-ed, posting a statement on the Huffington Post. In his statement, Obama acknowledged that some of Wright’s statements have been “inflammatory and appalling.”

Saying he strongly condemns Wright’s comments, Obama continued, “I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.” [emphasis added]

Again, Obama moved to narrowly distance himself from specific comments Wright had made, while still praising his minister in recent interviews for leading him to Jesus and preaching a “social gospel.”

Obama went on to claim that he first learned about Wright’s controversial statements when he began his presidential campaign. But this assertion conflicts with the fact that just before Obama’s nationally televised campaign kickoff rally on Feb. 10, 2007, the candidate disinvited Wright from giving the public invocation.

At the time, Wright explained: “When [Obama’s] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, “a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.”

According to Wright, Obama then told him, “'You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.'” Still, Obama and his family prayed privately with Wright just before the presidential announcement.

Apparently Obama never foresaw Wright’s sermons making national television or becoming a sensation on YouTube. But lending graphic detail to the saga, ABC News and other networks began running a 2003 sermon in which Wright said, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible, for killing innocent people ... God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” [Click Here to see video]

Obama has described Wright as a sounding board and mentor. Wright is one of the first people Obama thanked after his election to the Senate in 2004. Obama consulted Wright before deciding to run for president. The title of Obama’s bestseller “The Audacity of Hope” comes from one of Wright’s sermons. Obama’s “Yes We Can!” slogan is one of Wright’s exhortations.

Apologists for Wright have said that what he says is normal in black churches, and many blacks claim such preaching cannot be understood by whites.

“If you’re black, it’s hard to say what you truly think and not upset white people,” the New York Times quoted James Cone as saying. Cone is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and the father of what is known as black liberation theology.

But Juan Williams, a Fox News commentator and author of “Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America,” tells Newsmax that Wright’s sermons reflect “the victim mindset that is so self-defeating in the black community and one that is played on by weak black leadership that chooses to have black people identified as victims rather than inspiring them as people who have overcome. In posing as victims, they say the most prejudiced and vicious things, not only about whites but about America. They call it theology. In fact, it’s nothing but bigotry.”

In failing to condemn Wright himself and claiming that he was unaware of the preacher’s hate-filled speech, Obama is continuing a longstanding pattern.

Obama often refers to Wright as being "like an old uncle, who sometimes says things I don't agree with." Wright is not Obama’s “uncle” — a person born into a blood relationship — but a man he has cultivated for decades as a close friend, mentor and adviser.

After Newsmax broke the story on Jan. 14 that Wright’s church gave an award to Louis Farrakhan in December for lifetime achievement, Obama again sought to denounce his minister’s action without criticizing Wright himself.

Like Wright, Farrakhan has repeatedly made hate-filled statements targeting Jews (calling Judaism a “gutter religion”), whites, and America. He has called whites “blue-eyed devils” and the “anti-Christ.” He has described Jews as “bloodsuckers” who control the government, the media, and some black organizations.

After the Newsmax story, Obama issued a statement purportedly addressing the issue.

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama said.

Again, Obama was careful not to condemn Farrakhan himself or Wright who had spoken adoringly of Farrakhan and put their church behind the award to the controversial Nation of Islam leader.

“When Minister Farrakhan speaks, black America listens,” Trumpet quoted Wright as saying. “His depth on analysis [sic] when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye-opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest.”

Obama adroitly said, “I assume that Trumpet magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree.”

In fact, Trumpet is published by Wright’s church using the church’s offices. Wright’s daughters serve as publisher and executive editor.

Having gotten away with sidestepping Wright’s adoring comments about Farrakhan, Obama told Jewish leaders flatly in Cleveland on Jan. 24 that the award was because of Farrakhan’s work with ex-offenders. To date, no news outlet has pointed out that Obama’s claim is false.

Obama went on to explain away Wright’s anti-Zionist statements as being rooted in his anger over the Jewish state’s support for South Africa under its previous policy of apartheid. As with his claim that the award to Farrakhan was made because of his work with ex-offenders, Obama made that up. Wright’s statements denouncing Israel have not been qualified in any way.

On Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes on Friday, Obama said he would have quit the church if he had “repeatedly” been present when Wright made inflammatory statements. He was not asked why he did not quit the church when it gave an award to Farrakhan.

Having considered Wright a friend and mentor for two decades, Obama now often mentions that his pastor recently retired. Wright suggested to the New York Times last year that he and Obama might have to do something of a distancing act in the run up to the election.

"If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me," Wright was quoted by The New York Times. "I said it to Barack personally, and he said, ‘Yeah, that might have to happen.'"

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.


Blogger Jerry'O said...

Hi, Tone-- Jerry'O again... I just listened to the Barack speech he gave in Philly today... It is a masterpiece. Here is a link, if it still works, and it's about a 45 minute speech. You can copy and paste this:

I was for Obama since the beginning. When I hear the various arguments going back and forth, I keep coming back to 2 basic ideas... feelings really, more than thoughts...

Number 'One') Obama is from the original 'Generation X'... Those of us at the tail end of the baby boom, the 'bust-ing' part; by some people’s measurements those born between 1958 and 1964, roughly.

I think this observation matters more regarding the perspective which his campaign is viewed through, than his race. It is why I think his campaign appeals to the young so much. The late Bill Strauss (co-founder of the Capitol Steps, that Bill Strauss) co-wrote a series of books about the world’s historic and generational peculiarities and divides, and it’s too bad he’s dead because I really wonder how he’d view Obama’s candidacy through this prism.

To clarify, here’s a quote of a description I found on the net of his book ‘13th Gen’ (I apologize, I can’t find my own copy here in the house):

“It's "13er" Nancy Smith's "...generation after. Born after 1960, after you, after it all happened." It's those born after the Boom, but before the Babies-on-Board 1980s, between 1961 and 1981 (I was born in 1977). It's those alternately tagged "Generation X," "Baby Busters," "Computer Babies," the "New Lost," "Nowhere," "Boomerang," or "MTV" generation. It's the generation with a terminally bad image, one no spin doctor press agent would have even tried to manage... Everyone hears about sagging test scores, rising violence, sexually transmitted diseases, the declining job market and the fact that this generation will be less well off than those which came before...”

We of this bust period were the ones who arrived late to the Summer of Love, after eating and buying all the philosophy and pabulum, and ready to party...

Only, oops! Reagan’s in office and, hey, where did all my older brothers and sisters go..?

We are the ones who’ve been dubbed the original ‘Slackers’. We’ve been largely the service industry for those others: Waiters, then office administrators and other mercenary service society to those who came before, and more than a little disillusioned by it... It’s argued we’re viewed largely with confusion, distrust and even as a threat by the boomers before us... Because, hey, we’re pissed, and why shouldn’t we be..?

Think you’re gonna get that job after the boss retires..? Sorry, didn’t you hear they’re raising the retirement age to 75..? Didn’t get that memo..? Oops, my bad... Well, you know, we can’t go anywhere just yet because we’re all so healthy and pumped up from yoga... And it’s like, our spokesman, Dennis Hopper says in the Ameriprise commercial, “We’re not going out to pasture!”, because hey, we don’t really have as much money saved for retirement as we need (because we’ve been blowin’ it all on those little blue pills and Botox injections).

Obama will not be trusted, and not because of race really, and not because of the so-called bad guys he (more than any other politician we know) associates with; but because he’s, get this, like those other Slackers... inexperienced... can you hear Jimmy Hendrix..? Are you experienced, Obama..? Are you ‘experienced’?

Yeah, give it to the yuppie; not the puppy...

That’s just Number ‘One’...

Number ‘Two’) Listen to his Philly speech... Try not to cry... not because he’s somehow manipulating you... but because of the truth of it...

Hillary is sincere with her tears, and I do believe they come from her heart. She believes with all her heart in her ideals and will fight to the death to defend them,

But Obama brings the tears from you, because he has resonated more than once with a truth many feel in their own hearts.

People have tried to nail him to the wall with his imperfections as a man or politician with facts dug up from here or there...

But he’s not choosing, for the most part, to fight with facts... He’s choosing, like other imperfect but truly inspired leaders before him, to align himself with truth... that inner stuff... as long as he takes the high road the facts thrown at him will only show what we already know— that he’s just a man... but it won’t change the truth he’s aligning with...

The truth is a funny thing-- You can throw facts at it, you can shoot it, you can call it names, you can says it’s inadequate, dysfunctional, you can associate it with as many bad things and people as you want, but it will only be the man who is flawed, who dies or loses an election; not the truth he aligns himself with...

For better or for worse, I feel in my heart of hearts that this man is honestly attempting to take this high road... to align himself with the truth...

That’s why this has become a ‘movement’. This isn’t at the level of rhetoric anymore...

This is part 2 maybe, of what the boomers started years ago... and it’s more than a little ironic that they couldn’t see it coming...

The party is finally just getting started.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Jerry'O said...

Okay, I wrote the above off the top o' my head, and I now see I misspelled Jimi's name-- and I donna' wanna hear it, you guys! The right brain don't talk to the left sometimes when your (sic)creative-- watcha gonna do... I also see the link to the speech didn't come out... I'm sure the 'SPAN' has an online copy or you can google it... and... Happy B'day again, my friend.

4:08 PM  
Blogger JamieB. said...


I'm not sure of your motivation for posting this, it's an already discredited article. You obviously don't know anything about Ronald Kessler or You should check out both. They're in the vein of Obama is a muslim, etc. There's many reasons to question the candidacy of Senator Obama but writers like this and sites like this only bring bring out the worst in all of us. Instead of watching today's speech you should take the time to read the text. Here's a link to it just in case.

Issues like these can seem ugly in the short term but America always ends better in the long. That's why the speech today was so historic. Whether Obama wins or loses we ultimately are reminded of how far we've come as a country and how much we have to be proud of.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Tony Forkush said...


Thank you for your birthday wishes, but more importantly, for your passionate soliloquy about Obama. I'm sure from my non-stop barrage of blogs lately, you can surmise that I am not as enamored of him as others, to say the least. I appreciate very much your distilling him through the prism of the modern age, and putting him into context, all things that I agree with wholeheartedly.
But from that point on the emperor's new suit simply disappears for me. It vanishes as quickly as my allegiance to all things liberal vanished lo these many moons ago, somewhere around Christopher Hitchen's flip flop between ideologies. Somewhere around the time of September, oh say, 2001. That's when I really became a Jew again. Not religiously by any means, but by waking up to what I had so absurdly disassociated myself from. In that month it became clear to me that no matter how many jokes I might tell, no matter how many hail mary's I might say, that, in the end, they would still come for ME. I could hide, I could claim my hungarian ancestry first and my US citizenship second, but ultimately, they would walk over each and everyone of you to get to my family. Absurd thoughts in this golden age of humanism, no doubt. Yet, my genetic memory is more Vulcan than anything else, more, shall we say "Pon Far".
I wasn't expecting such a wake up call from Lawrence Fishburn and his crew and ol' uncle Nebachanzer. But when he gave me the capsule (was it the blue or the red one? I can't remember, much like I can't remember what happened to six million of us), I simply wasn't able to turn back. I had been bitch slapped with a yellow star and it was on. Nothing has been the same ever since.
And so, in the world of politics, where only one's agenda is imporant, mine remains fiercely, rather irrationally dare I say it, Zionist. Because, as crazy as it seems, I trust my DNA now. I never did before, cause it was so easy to meld into the cathedrals with the lay.
But, again I say, they still will always come FOR ME. Never again? Probably. Fear induced disassociation caused by a chaotic free-fall of cross connected confluences?...Sure.
But this is about, Israel. Make no mistake. And that has nothing to do with what I know or read. That is a call home.
Because, in spite of what I believe, they will still come for me.
Much love brother.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Jerry'O said...


I do so understand your response— more than you may know (and Jamie, I haven’t mentioned this in Tony’s forum before, but it’s also good to see you drop a line from time-to-time, so hello to you too).

There is a marvelous chapter in Cornel West’s ‘Race Matters’ on Black-Jewish relations which describes the ongoing dialog (like our own bit here) impeccably. I’m gonna do one of those excerpt thingies-- Please bare with:

“Without a sympathetic understanding of the deep historic sources of Jewish fears and anxieties about group survival, blacks will not grasp the visceral attachment of most Jews to Israel. Similarly, without a candid acknowledgement of blacks’ status as permanent underdogs in American society, Jews will not comprehend what the symbolic predicament and literal plight of Palestinians in Israel means to blacks...”

Later, same chapter...

“My fundamental premise is that the black freedom struggle is a major buffer between the David Dukes of America and the hope for a future in which we can begin to take justice and freedom for all seriously. Black anti-Semitism— along with its concomitant xenophobias, such as patriarchal and homophobic prejudices— weakens this buffer. In the process, it plays into the hands of the old-style racists, who appeal to the worst of our fellow citizens amid the silent depression that plagues the majority of Americans...”

Later, same paragraph...

“And without principled opposition to the xenophobias from above and below, these desperate channels will produce a cold-hearted and mean spirited America no longer worth fighting for or living in.”

This is simply a candid description of a Platonic dialectic— of a ‘process’. Much like Barak’s speech today pegged in so many ways. I have said over and over to my self and to others that life is not a ‘zero sum game’ (the exact words I heard in his speech today). One need not necessarily lose for the other, or all, to win. This is an old concept of win or lose, black or white... It’s like, the world is still flat and the center of the universe, ya know...

Those who would change our dialectic into a debate or argument want us to see it that way... I refuse to see life in that way; or there’s simply no reason to hope for the future. Real life has lots of gray, complexity and nuance...

And complexity? We can overcome this... Adult humans can do complexity well when we try... There can be peaceful solutions... and we cannot be sucked into the fears of our ancestors, nor allow rhetorical manipulation by today’s special interests that fear they’ll ‘lose’...

We are better for our progenitors’ struggles; not less than, otherwise we dishonor their memory, their souls (let alone our genes).

1:15 AM  
Blogger Tony Forkush said...


My God, spoken like a true father. I forget: ALL things change when one becomes a parent. This I may never understand, unless I get right with myself and clean up my intimacy fears. You see generations down the line now. I still see from a pretty self-centered place.
I have posted Shelby Steele's Wall St. Journal from yesterday.
Heroic and very brave.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Michael Pascoe said...

We are all Zionist. We all want to go back to the Holy Land. You see, we all came from the same place. We keep putting up these borders; Jew, Black, Islam, Christian. Borders, man. Borders. Wedges designed to separate us. Let’s start a new frontier and do what no one in human history has ever done.

Let’s forget our hate, but unite in love. Love is so not in style. One thinks of the ‘60’s the Flower Power generation. What happened to that thinking? Why is hate preferred? We are cynical and think that all men and women are evil. We are born with original sin, but we can cleanse that.

Take the best from Buddha, take the best from Mohammed, from Solomon and Moses, and the man called Christ. This is not about pessimism. Pessimism is negative, but sometimes it’s a wakeup call to reality. We need to a time of contrition so we can achieve our real goal on Earth and that is pure love. Let’s hope this contrition is not too painful. Let’s hope that we wake up before it’s too late.

10:55 AM  
Blogger JamieB. said...


You little victim, you. I can't believe what's happening right now with you and your keyboard. Whenever I talk to you on the phone you sound like such a man. I always feel reassured about almost all things after any conversation with you, quite frankly. But reading you? You're like some feverish, Jewish, commando, jackass all of a sudden. You don't even resemble at least 70% of the shit you're throwing up right now. And another thing. Just because you're squishing your DNA between your fingers right now, that should not preclude you from being the guy who cracks me up. Please bring me at least something about the Dodgers. - Shameful- that you had no comment on the Tommy Lasorda interim run or his final game, him entering through the spontaneous tunnel of Dodger bats onto the field. Jesus Christ, I'm better at being Tony Forkush than he is.

8:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home