Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Martin Peretz on Morton Klein on Jeremiah Wright

Thoughts on Wright

I've just read Dayo Olopade's fascinating piece, "Far Wright," on Barack Obama's far-left preacher, Jeremiah Wright. It's an insightful piece, and it evoked memories of the two black churches I sometimes attended when I lived in Georgetown. But I'm no expert and Dayo is.

A good friend of mine, Morton Klein, who is president of the Zionist Organization of America, a post once held by none other than Louis Dembitz Brandeis, sent me his own impressions of Jeremiah Wright, impressions that contrast with what one might think after having heard Obama characterize his pastor. Now, Klein is not for Obama; and I am. But what Klein remembers about the Philadelphia in which he and Wright grew up is a contribution towards understanding this strange but apparently common type of preacher.


OBAMA'S PASTOR RAISED IN PRIVILEGE, NOT POVERTY

How do I know?

It happens that, as a Philadelphian, I attended Central High School – the same public school Jeremiah Wright attended from 1955 to 1959. He could have gone to an integrated neighborhood school, but he chose to go to Central, a virtually all-white school. Central is the second oldest public high school in the country, which attracts the most serious academic students in the city. The school then was about 80% Jewish and 95% white. The African-American students, like all the others, were there on merit. Generally speaking, we came from lower/middle class backgrounds. Many of our parents had not received a formal education and we tended to live in row houses. In short, economically, we were roughly on par.

I attended Central a few years after Rev. Wright, so I did not know him personally. But I knew of him and I know where he used to live – in a tree-lined neighborhood of large stone houses in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. This is a lovely neighborhood to this day. Moreover, Rev. Wright's father was a prominent pastor and his mother was a teacher and later vice-principal and disciplinarian of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, also a distinguished academic high school. Two of my acquaintances remember her as an intimidating and strict disciplinarian and excellent math teacher. In short, Rev. Wright had a comfortable upper-middle class upbringing. It was hardly the scene of poverty and indignity suggested by Senator Obama to explain what he calls Wright's anger and what I describe as his hatred.

In recent days, we have seen clips of several of Rev. Wright's sermons, showing him declaring "G-d Damn America," blaming America for intentionally creating the drug problem, for creating the AIDS virus, for supporting Israeli "state terrorism against Palestinians," for being responsible for causing 9-11, for being white supremacist and racist and for intentionally keeping people in poverty.

We have also learned that, last year, Rev. Wright's Church honored with a lifetime achievement award Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, who has said that "Judaism is a gutter religion," that "Hitler was a very great man" and that "white people are potential humans, they haven't evolved yet." In fact, Rev. Wright accompanied Farrakhan in the 1980s on a visit to Muammar Gaddafi's Libya, which was then illegal under U.S. law. Nevertheless, the Church and Wright's successor as pastor, Rev. Otis Moss III, have issued a statement defending and praising Wright, while completely ignoring Wright's horrific statements.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America.

6 Comments:

Blogger Michael Pascoe said...

Wright is wack (or is it wacked?) But, anyone that is too far one way will preach messages similar to those that are too far the other direction. I think it was Pat Robertson that said similar comments about 911. And those other preachers also have made racist remarks. My man Jesse and Al have not gone that far. They still believe in the brotherhood of all. They just seem a little radical (a little bit?!)

That’s why I can’t align myself with Wright, but I like Jackson and Sharpton. I know their heart is in the right place. There is a reason they haven’t said anything. It’s that damned if you do, damned if you don’t mentality. I’m sure they wished that Wright keep his mouth shut. Wright I think is so blind, he needs to replace those shades with a pair of rose color glasses.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Tony Forkush said...

Hilary will destroy him in Pennsylvania, and then run the table with wins in Kentucky, Indiana, a shocking win in North Carolina, another shocker in Oregon and then West Virginia and Puerto Rico.
She will come to the convention slightly behind in delegates and the Obama camp will say that they have the delegates and the popular vote, which will be a shanda (sham) due to the disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan, which if counted would give her both the delegate lead and the popular vote lead.
The super delegates will see all of this and vote accordingly, giving Hilary the nomination sparking riots in six to seven cities.
Such is life, my Paizan.

Brother Tony

10:47 AM  
Blogger Michael Pascoe said...

I am not looking forward to the convention. With luck, I won’t get voted for it and I’ll watch the cacophony on TV. I am going to the debacle that is the redo of the Clark County Convention this April. I hope we get it right, but I don’t have faith in Nevada politics.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Jerry'O said...

March 30, 2008

In light of statements from Clinton that she’ll be in the race ‘til the end, and in the face of odds that make her endorsement as a candidate numerically unlikely, a recent swath of endorsements seem to be sending back to her a reactionary message:

First, Obama gets the endorsements from Gov. Bill Richardson, then Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr., then most notably Vermont's Patrick Leahy...

And now on Saturday, Obama wins a majority in a second round, in Texas of all places, of delegates, putting him at 51 to her 49 percent there, and giving him an additional overall delegate lead of 1,858 to her 1,270.

This is more than a little ironic since she actually won the Texas primary; the popular vote...

It’s ironic because the basis of one her arguments for a win is that she still has the potential to win because Delegates and super-D’s both have a right to vote any way they want— even if this goes against the popular vote; the will of the people...

Well, it seems with Texas she’s being proven correct somewhat... but the result is not in her favor...

Then regarding Florida and Michigan, she argues let the people speak (even though she signed an agreement regarding those states not counting); and regarding the convention she more than implies that the super-D’s can vote their consciences, regardless of what the will of the people says— Going against the will of the people, in fact, is the very basis of her argument that she can still win...

So, her message here is simple, the people should count, when their votes are for ‘me’; or the delegates’ votes (regardless of what the people say) should count, when the votes are for ‘me’...

Then add to this her repeated ‘lapse of memory’ over the barrage of gunfire she supposedly dodged on that trip she took as a first lady... later proven not as she described...

As for ‘your’ litany of states falling in succession... well, specifically Oregon, which is where I’m from... Obama and Richardson were here together and 12, 000 tickets went away in less than 5 hours or something ridiculous like that (and later they were selling them on craigslist)... Obama will take Oregon, just like Washington...

And as for the PA double digit lead in PA polls... Twenty-somethings and many Thirty-somethings only carry cell phones... They are not being polled... This has been the essence of the surprising numbers in the democratic turnouts... numbers which have literally made precincts order more voting cards...

And who is responsible for generating these numbers... The same candidate whose average donation from contributors is around $109 dollars and (though he’s gotten PAC contributions for senate earlier) has taken ‘no’ federal PAC money for his presidential bid...

Gov. Bill Richardson (a likely and eloquent wise old Obi Wan VP or Secretary of State potential), Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (as if to actually punctuate with his endorsement Obama’s recent Wright Speech; or is that the Right Speech), then most notably Vermont's Patrick Leahy... and now the Texas delegates...

So, what is the blowback we see here as a result of her obvious manipulative-ness..? The answer here is simple... If Billary doesn’t take the so-called projected double-digit lead she claims probable in PA and especially if she doesn’t stop the negative campaigning which threatens to take down the entire party with her...

And if Billary can’t quell her feelings of entitlement... her avarice... the Supers are simply gonna do it for her...

The recent spate of endorsements is a warning... and they will become a barrage well before June if Billary can’t take a hint...

Bring on the rain...

12:05 PM  
Blogger Jerry'O said...

Regarding what I wrote above, here's a little extra. This, just in:

Obama Snags More Superdelegates

Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor March 31

The trickle of Democratic superdelegates declaring for Barack Obama is turning into more of a gusher, fast closing Hillary Clinton's one lead in the nomination race and ratcheting up pressure on her to defend her candidacy.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is announcing her support this morning. The Wall Street Journal reported today that all seven Democratic US House members from North Carolina plan to come out for Obama in one fell swoop before that state's May 6 primary.

"The Democratic Party is blessed this year with two candidates with many excellent leadership qualities, and I believe each of them would be a strong president. I am endorsing Barack Obama today, because he has inspired an enthusiasm and idealism that we have not seen in this country in a long time," Klobuchar said in a statement issued by the Obama campaign.

"I am endorsing Barack because he is a new kind of leader -- speaking with a different voice, bringing a new perspective and inspiring a real excitement from the American people. He is able to dissolve the hard cynical edge that has dominated our politics under the Bush Administration. I believe Barack can unify the American people to address the many challenges facing our nation.”

She is the 64th superdelegate to endorse Obama since Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

Obama, boasting a more than 6-1 edge in superdelegate endorsements since Super Tuesday, is quickly catching up to Clinton in that count. He already leads in overall delegates and popular vote heading into the next contest, the April 22 primary in Pennsylvania. The 795 superdelegates -- elected officials, party leaders, and others -- are likely to decide the nominee because neither Clinton nor Obama appear likely to reach the clinching number just from those delegates awarded by primaries and caucuses.

Clinton, who along with Obama is campaigning today in Pennsylvania, stressed several times over the weekend that she has no plans to drop out and may indeed take the fight all the way to the national convention in late August.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Michael Pascoe said...

I just sent a reply and it disappeared. I can't remember all of the details, but basically the same thing is happening in Nevada. But, Billary is up to their same old tricks. They just contacted a friend of my wife and asked her to be a delegate. They can't do that. We were all voted in and they are trying to cause the same problem that was the mess a month ago.

11:21 AM  

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