Jeremiah Wright: ‘Them Jews’ Keeping Him from Obama

By David Waters A day before an anti-Semitic gunman shot and killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in … Continued

By David Waters

A day before an anti-Semitic gunman shot and killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, controversial Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright was making news with some anti-Jewish comments of his own.

In a Tuesday evening interview, Wright told a Virginia reporter that Jewish members of the White House staff had kept him from talking to his former church member, President Obama, since last November’s election.

“Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me,” Wright told the Daily Press in Newport News, Va. “I told my baby daughter that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office.”

Wright was interviewed after he spoke Tuesday evening at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers’ Conference in Newport News.

Wright was Obama’s pastor for 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side. He presided over Barack and Michelle Obama’s wedding. But the Obamas left the church last spring after Wright’s controversial sermons came to light, including remarks that the U.S. government may have introduced AIDS into the black community.

In Tuesday’s interview, Wright said, “Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing [by] the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don’t want Barack talking like that because that’s anti-Israel.”

UPDATE: Wright amended his comments on Thursday, in an interview on Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Make It Plain” with Mark Thompson. Wright said he had meant to refer to “Zionists” and not all Jews. “Let me say, like Hillary, I misspoke. Let me just say: Zionists.”

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  • 1djn


  • phoebesdatter

    Let’s see. A white supremicist, anti-semitic, right-wing fanatic murders an African American security guard at the Holocaust Museum, not long after a right-wing terrorist murders a doctor in his church.

  • ChrisFord1

    CGAMM72 – “HEY JOSHBlacks got Valerie Jarrett, now diverted onto stimulus agenda..and Caribbean black Eric Holder as their only policy-makers. Pretty token.Indeed, once the appointments were announced, back in December, blacks and Jews in Chicago had a pretty good dispute after Jews proudly said Obama was showing by his appointments that he favored Jews as the best people to carry out his vision, making him the 1st Jewish President. Enough Jews running things in the White House, the Jews boasted, to run their own Minyan..or establish a synogogue. Chicago blacks and black groups were not pleased to see all the Ivy league Jewish lawyers and bankers emerge to take positions – and many besides Wright have said so.PS – when the White House has a certain group other than Jews running most policy and granting or blocking access…this situation has hardly been swept under the rug in the past.Carter had the Georgia Mafia. Reagan, Clinton, and Bush I were more balanced – but then you had Dubya with his old circle of Texas acquaintances and people he picked for their Bush I loyalty.It should be added that Obama’s Jews are not the Zionist sort, but liberal progressives firm believers in socialist solutions like they implimented in the Soviet Union. And identity politics – but also convinced they are better educated and more adept at helping minorities than if the minorities actually wielded power and were trusted to make their own decisions instead of wiser, better people..Rev Wright resents this. He is not alone.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Wow, ChrisFord1, and I thought so many people were not alone in their resentment of Wright’s love for Farrakahn, he who earns his salary courtesy Muamar Quaddaffi, that great avatar of democracy.Gee, I thought so many African American Christians couldn’t quite get over Wright’s multi-million dollar home, golden parachute retirement package, lavish vacations, all while doing the service of the Lord.The president chose those best for the job. If he couldn’t find an adequate number of Christians, that could be, that like you, the majority have problems with logic, justice, etc.

  • nlynnc

    Posted by: Crucialitis | June 11, 2009 11:19 AM I don’t think I understand your defense of Wright in this context.Are you saying that if a person said, “those blacks are keeping me from being able to safely walk outside at night” that wouldn’t be a racist comment, because it would only be directed at the black people who are commiting crimes?Because, I’ve got to tell you, as a white person, if I heard someone make a remark like that, I’d think they were either a racist or too stupid to think past stereotypes.

  • votingrevolution

    Americans are starting to come down from the Obama hangover and realize just what kind of a true radical got voted into the white house. Americans also know how bad it is for the country to be ruled by one party,especially a pro marxist one.hope fully we can bring back the checks and balance that our forefathers intended in 2010.If not, it’s over!!!!!

  • dem4life1

    Black religious leaders are the absolute worst bigots on the face of the planet, along withe their white evangelical bedmates. Take a look at the black church leaders campaign in DC to ban recognition of gay marriages perormed in the growing number of States sanctioning gay marriage. It’s ok to bash gays, it’s everybody else that desreves equal treatment….religious hate-mongers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Hate is hate and religious fanatics are usually found front and center fanning the flames of intollerance in the name of a fictional god. What a pathetic lot.

  • floucka

    THE POINT IS THAT REV. WRIGHT WAS THE FAMILY PASTOR TO THE OBAMA’S FOR TWENTY YEARS.TWENTY YEARS…THAT IS THE STORY.Exactly. Obama dropped him like he was hot as soon as his more radical viewpoints were widely reported. Hard to believe Obama never saw this coming.


    outragex, you are kidding, right? In MHO getting older does not give Jeremiah Wright or anyone else the right to be nasty and evil. If you said age may have caused him to have a marble or two missing, I might agree. If anything wisdom and grace should come with age and I cannot say that Jeremiah Wright has either one.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    These Christian identity categories–white, black, Latino, etc.–are both illogical and empyrically false. There are at least one million Latino Jews and an equal number of black Jews. Consider Yemen, Ethiopia, Uganda–yes, and even the Carribbean. I am a brown Jew, appear Middle Eastern to Americans, as I should. I am.Wright is a simple bigot, and like all simple bigots overlooks complexity. Why make this more complicated than it is?

  • fendertweed

    Obama must quickly and forcefully repudiate Wright’s ignorant bigoted garbage …unless he answers directly by saying something like ” … no … in fact nobody is keeping me from talking with anybody … the fact is that I am not consulting with Wright because of the kind of bad judgment and ignorance shown by his recent repugnant statement.”If he doesn’t do that, he will lose a ton of respect from me and many others.There is no middle ground or parsing of words when an ignorant piece of garbage like Wright spews his venom.He is no better than the O’Reillys, Hannitys, or Limbaughs of the world.

  • wa_idaho_lonewolf

    the attack yeasterday was indeed troubling insofar as it revealed what right-wing evangelical racist southern christians can be capable of. BUT WAIT!! what scares me even more is the fact that even in the state of oregon there are many of these racist lunatics around. how do i know? because i spent 6 months working on the obama campaign working phone banks and canvassing neighborhoods. what an education that was!!

  • Crucialitis

    If you understand MTG, you would understand how accurate this is:

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    garrafa10:”Perhaps we should be concerned that there are not enough Jews in the government?”Wow. Gee, garrafa10, perhaps we should NOT be concerned that there aren’t enough racists on this thread?

  • ripvanwinkleincollege

    Wright is a loon. You can find people like this in all walks of life, and of all races and creeds. If not anti-Semitism, he would be spouting off some other version of ignorance and bigotry. Chicago, is after all, the home to the Nation of Islam, which was originally very racist but has moderated some in recent years.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    ripvanwinkleincollege:”Chicago, is after all, the home to the Nation of Islam, which was originally very racist but has moderated some in recent years.”You forget that Wright is a close friend of Farrakahan, to whom the Reverend gave a lifetime achievement award. Indeed, they’ve jetted off to Lybia several times to meet Farrakahns sugar daddy, Quaddafi, that great avatar of tolerance and democracy.No. Wright is a bigot, a simple bigot, that’s all. MOst people in Chicago do not pal around with the Nation of Islam, certainly not clergyman. The man is a bigot. Simple. Very, very simple. Simple bigotry in a simple man. Bigotry is a form of intellectual surrender. Wright surrendered a long time ago.

  • TracyDC

    Rev. Wright makes the same mistake too many on the Left do: mixing a critique of Israeli treatment of Palestinians with anti-semitism. Some of the most outspoken opponents of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians are Jewish, and those folks take a lot of heat for their beliefs, often getting wrongly called “self-loathing Jews.” These are also people who have a deep love of their Jewish heritage, and in many cases, who are observant too. So it’s not either/or, and for those of us who are critical of Israel’s actions in Palestine, we need to make sure we are not making the same slide into hate that Rev. Wright does. I also think that because the Holocaust was 60+ years ago, anti-Semitism has fallen off the radar of the US Left as something worthy of attention. It’s still out there, and it’s still dangerous. Yesterday’s shooting reminded me that we need to look out for each other.

  • Taylorsucram

    I think the point of this article is to question the undue influence that the Israeli Lobby has on American leaders in the White House and in Congress. Jews make up less than two percent of the population of the US yet they hold 13 Senate Seats. The body that votes for War and/or Police Actions. AIPAC, PNAC, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Henry Kissinger, Robert Reich, Casper Weinberger, Sandy Berger, Paul Wolfowitz, Ari Fleischer, Rahm Emanuel, Lewis Libby etc., no one disputes the fact that these individuals have “dual-citizenship” and can rightly be questioned as to where their allegiances lay. Do they work for America or do they work for Israel. Our unswerving relationship with Israel has resulted in Israel being caught spying on us and stealing state secrets many times and the deaths of over 37 American naval personnel when Israeli Jets (bought and paid for by the U.S.) knowingly fired on the American Naval vessel USS Liberty during the 6-day war. They receive 10’s of Billions of Dollars in loans and aid that they never have to pay back ( thanks to the late Democrat Senator Alan Cranston, a staunch supporter of Israel) and when you add this amount to the stealing of Millions of Dollars worth of “PELL Grants” during the Clinton administration (money meant for inner-city youth college funds) perhaps you can at least understand the Rev Wrights attitude. I keep my eye on these organizations and question everything that they promote. They are the “tail” that wags the “dog” and I am getting sick and tired of it.

  • adrienne_najjar

    And thousands continue to follow these idiot “clergymen”. Humans are nincompoops. They should stop and ask themselves if Jesus would approve of the hate they spout.

  • EarlC

    Rev. Wright is entitled to his opinion, and this is all it is. His talk is vintage Jeremiah Wright. I do not hear “hate” speech. The “Jews killed my Jesus” preaching at Sarah Palin’s church is also very interesting theology in these times. Let’s make a distinction between Wright and the neocons and neo-Nazis that are stirring a pot of hatred toward government, the President, and all those not like them.

  • luca_20009

    Amazing how Barak Obama managed to attend this guys guy for nearly 20 years and never hear any of this….pretty damn lucky, huh?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Interesting array of response from the OnFaith panel. Thus far Jews, a Mormon, a Muslim, a Bahai, two Protestants, an atheist.Given this fiction of the “Abrahamic” religions, courtesy of the former pope, what “Abrahamic” religion is glaringly unrepresented?

  • ravitchn

    While you might think blacks would avoid anti-semitism like the plague their Christian beliefs reinforce anti-semitism. They hear and read what the New Testament says about Jews, often written by Jews who accepted Jesus to attack Jews who did not. Christianity is the source of this anti-semitism no matter how much many Christians deny it.

  • lildg54

    Wright is at it again, a true racist, yes a very true racist. Believe it or not people of color can be and tend to be more racist than whites but hey if whites say that then we are the racist. Wright is evil to the core he preaches hatred and racism he is almost preaches it violently but again whites must tread careful or who will be blamed for racism. I supported Obama but he did stay in that church for 20 years never once denouncing Wright or what he had to say until he had to for political reasons. That has to stop and make you pause? Jews did more to help in the civil rights movement then any other ethnecity but as Wright says them Jews wonder if a Rabbi said them blacks if the place of worship would be burned down by the blacks . They sure live by a double standard.The least they could do is admit it.

  • OneGovt_Worker

    “They” “They” “Them” “Those people”…Ravitchn, you sound no better than Mr. Wright (I don’t think he deserves to be called a Reverend if spew even a little hatred.)I’m missing why we elevate others’ hatred into the spotlight. Leave it in the trash where it belongs. Not like I have to qualify myself, but I’m a African American Christian and I don’t hate/dislike Jewish people or Judaism one bit. I do, however dislike any person from any race who makes generalized statements about an entire group of people, whether they are a part of that group or not.

  • jimeglrd8

    I don’t think that the mere fact that Reverend Wright uses the word “Jews” is an example of anti-semitism.

  • maddymappo

    Anyone who does not consider Jeremiah Wright an anti-semite is probably in denial about their own anti-semitism. President Obama’s decision not to meet with Rev. Wright is not because he is being brainwashed by his Jewish advisers. Clearly Pres. Obama has made his own mind up about Rev. Wright’s prejudiced and inflammatory statements and manipulation of Christ’s teaching to justify them. As far as Wright’s criticism of Zionism, it is not necessarily a sign of prejudice to criticize Israel, but if the judgement is being made by someone who has a history of blaming Jews for the ills of this world, then of course it is suspect as being a sympton of an overiding prejudiced point of view.

  • LeeH1

    If Jeremiah Wright spews lies, half-truths and hate when he speaks, then how can you trust anything he says about the love and forgiveness of God and Jesus? If he lies to you about Jews, he will lie to you about Jesus. This man does not serve God. He does not speak God’s words. He does not know God. He does not follow Christ.May God forgive him his sin of prejudice.

  • Crucialitis

    “I don’t think that the mere fact that Reverend Wright uses the word “Jews” is an example of anti-semitism.”This is the same as his statement about rich white people, and everyone flipped out. But look around, most meet that description. He makes simple (albeit inane) observations, and the media expresses faux-outrage.

  • Crucialitis

    “This is the same as his statement about rich white people, and everyone flipped out. But look around, most meet that description.POSTED BY: CRUCIALITIS | JUNE 11, 2009 11:17 AM “Wait, that reads wrong. Not to say that most white people in general are rich, but that the people in power are. He basically described the upper 3% and everyone thought he meant all white people and took offense. Then they played it over and over again for a whole month.

  • alamo2

    I am a liberal member of the United Church of Christ. I am deeply embarrassed by Jeremiah Wright (I refuse to call him Rev.), and regard him as bigot in the extreme. He is not representative of the UCC that I know and love.

  • amos3_3

    We Christians love the Jews and Israel and would never speak evil of them. For it is written: “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.” Romans 11:28Christianity could never be the source of anit-semitism, because of the Jews we Christians are blessed with all the blessings of Abraham. God bless President Obama and Israel

  • BubbaRight

    I find it difficult to believe that Wright has just gone crazy in the last year. Obama had to have heard similar rants over the last 20 years and did nothing about it.

  • Hotshotron25

    “Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me,” if you cannot make out antisemitism out of that you need to get your thought process checked. It is a specific statement targeted at a select culture. Now do I think Mr. Wright wants to kill all Jews, no but I think he is severely mis-firing on some neurons. If this guy even wished to be in the same spotlight as President Obama he really did not do him self any favors here.

  • gratefolks

    If how an individual perceives a comment constitutes whether or not that comment is offensive, then yes, what Wright said is offensive. “Them Jews,” followed by the tired old pablum about a Jewish Conspiracy is bigoted. I am really tired of hearing half-twisted justifications for such drivel. As an 18 year classroom teacher in this area I’ve worked diligently to help students overcome their own parents’ and communities’ bigotry, regardless of race, religion, etc. The kids keep trying to distance themselves from you and your regressive thinking but they can only resist so long.If you are defending this man or others who choose to separate and point fingers then you are part of the problem. And until you change our society will not progress. Please stop.

  • forgetthis

    Uh-oh. Looks like a ticking time bomb to me. Countdown until the secrets start flying out the closet. 10,9,8,7….

  • captn_ahab

    You wonder what ol’ Rev. Wright sounded like on Jews, when ol’ Prez. Obama attended the Rev.’s Church.Probably didn’t sound much different than he sounds now.Then you wonder, how Obama and the other church members dealt with it.Just wondering what’s really happening…Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

  • obx2004

    Here’s an idea: STOP interivewing him, STOP inviting him to speak, STOP giving him all this air time.Of course Obama’s staff doesn’t want him near the President! Every time he opens his mouth, it’s something inflammatory!

  • loudubin

    Mr Wright is Mr Wright… He has lost the “Wright” to speak for anyone one but himself.

  • linda_521

    Be it Jewish, Islam, or Christian (Budist, Hindu) whatever: It is the right wing that causes the problems. All the god ‘rap needs to be removed from governments. All the god stuff, and all governments.

  • BenThere

    Wright is delusional and should step down from his church if he hasn’t already. Any chance he had of meeting with President Obama was blown during the campaign when he failed to realize that he (Reverend Wright) was not/is not the candidate or the story. I’m so sick of hatred in this country whether it comes from Reverend Wright or from the white supremacist who took the life of a good young man yesterday. Sadly this is what our country has become – a shadow of hatred and bigotry from the fifties and sixties disguised as democrats and republicans.

  • abqcleve

    “In Tuesday’s interview, Wright said, “Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing [by] the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don’t want Barack talking like that because that’s anti-Israel.””Wright inadvertently makes a point we all should note: single-minded zealousness, even when directed against evil, will distort the mind and soul.Wright makes a legitimate, important point about Israel’s actions in the Gaza. He’s been making this point for many years and that’s the right thing to do. However, a couple of negatives to this “crusade” of his have become clear. First, it has become an idee fixe; it’s become a central part of his rhetoric about what’s wrong in the world. He makes a very good living trumpeting his outrage at Israeli policy.Second, he has made the fatal mistake of confusing political policy with the worth or motives of an entire people. Jews are not all Zionists and I’m certain not all Zionists support Israeli policy in the Gaza. By using the expression “them Jews” and claiming this monolithic obstacle is what keeps him from the President, Wright does indeed reveal the same myopia that afflicts all zealots.He, like right wing radio (interesting bed fellows in this respect), needs to be told in no uncertain terms that making money from fear and stereotyping has no legitimate place in America. These people exist on the right and the left and must be called out.

  • g30rg3544

    The gunman is “anti-Semitic” but the Rev Wright is “controversial”. Nice writing. Obama listened to this “controversial” man preach for 20 years, was friends with him but never knew how “controversial” he was. Yeah and I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell you.

  • outragex

    Some people age gracefully; some do not. Let’s cut Rev. Wright at least a little slack. We have all had elderly relatives who say outrageous things out of keeping with their younger character. This is especially true when people’s feelings are hurt. P.S. Many Christians agree that while Israel must be safe, the persecution of Palestinians and settlement of contested land must be stopped as it is wrong and an obstacle to any lasting peace in the Mid east.

  • cgamm72

    HEY JOSHWhat if it were some white guy and he said “I don’t think that those “blacks” will let me talk to the president”

  • genjisan007

    I think its a sad commentary on human behavior that a group of people “the jews” had one of the most hideous crimes against humanity committed against them by the Nazis, and instead of making sure that nothing like that ever happens again, they went and immediately started a 60 year campaign of terror and theft on the state of Palestine. I think perpetual victims usually perpetrate the crimes they were victims of on others to regain some sense of control. Notice that Wright said “zionists” this is a different group than “jews”. I have many jewish friends but I don’t have any zionist friends. Zionists are a racist right wing extremest group every bit as bad as hizbollah. If you don’t believe me ask Isreali peace activists what they think about zionists. Israel is not sacred, it is a bank account and an apartheid regime built on a wasteland. There should be one state neither Israel or Palestine in which everyone lives free and with equal rights. Until humanity gets over the past and stops being pathetic little victims, we will continue on the march of violent extremism. Both sides are pathetic and I am sick of hearing about it. And all voices critical of Israel and zionists are NOT anti-semetic. Semetic peoples include persons of Arab decent.

  • LightningBolt1

    The only thing keeping Jeremiah Wright from speaking with President Obama is his own mouth and the inappropriate and sometimes hateful things that come out of it.

  • daler1

    Mr. Wright speaks for Mr. Wright and no one else.For those making a pathetic attempt to drag in Obama through guilt by association do really think an anti-semite would have so many jews on his staff (including chief of staff)??Get real.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    What is there to say? While the flag flies at half mast outside the USHMM, while the staff is devastated by the murder of young Johns, Wright’s long-standing racism becomes darkly ironic. Among the sadder notes is the fool’s ignorance of a million black Jews, any number of whom have now read his learned opinion.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    gafafalo:”What you should be concerned about is how many in this country are tiring of the endless parade of Jewish government officials and Jewish writers in the mainstream media.”Why?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Garafalo,Clarification of preceding post:I mean why should I be concerned about them being there and why should I be concerned about “how many are tiring.” Also, how many ARE tiring, numerically speaking? And of what are they tiring?Put another way. Suppose I said I were tiring of how many Christians/Catholics/blacks/men/women/gays/straights, you pick it. What would I be tiring of?Then, again, how many?

  • garrafa10

    Farfool:You have no problem attacking and denigrating Catholics and others who don’t share your opinions. You also have absolutely no problem attacking Catholics and others for being “too Catholic”. Therefore it is not unfair to ask if Geithner, Paulson, Summers, and Emmanuel are “too Jewy” and why are they so heavily represented in all spheres of government when their numbers are so small as a percentage of total US population. You cannot have it both ways. As to how many and why you should be concerned, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    garrafa10:Btw., when did I ever use the phrase “too Catholic”?If I were to follow your “too Jewy” would I say “too Catholish”? “Too Popish”? “Too Romanish”?I could go on. Do you get it? Do you understand? Yet?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    garrafa10:This continues from the preceding post, which you probably should read first. Trying to follow your reasoning by analogy: Are Biden, Pelosi, Justices Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito “too Popish,” or “too Popy” in your view? “Poopy”? In your view?Do you get it? Yet?

  • MonkeeSage

    The USHMM shooter (von Brunn) was a right wing Christian? Really?Here is a tiny sample of von Brunn’s view of Christianity: “The Big Lie technique, employed by Paul to create the CHRISTIAN RELIGION, also was used to create the HOLOCAUST RELIGION … CHRISTIANITY AND THE HOLOCAUST are HOAXES.” His extremely left comments praising Marxism are equally striking.Refer: —-Regarding Wright, it is possible that the emphasis was intended to be “*Them* [Zionist] Jews” rather than “Them *Jews* [the ethnic group]”, in keeping with his later explanation, but to my ear it really sounds like he was using “Jews” as an ethnic slur (i.e., they are misleading Obama, and won’t let Wright speak with him, *because* they are Jewish).

  • MonkeeSage

    @Farnaz:What in the world? You’re as bad as Mr. Wright!You said: “They [Christians], however, are not unconcerned about me. They hate me and have for two thousand years. Just a couple of days ago they strolled with a rifle to the USHMM because `It’s time to kill the Jews.`”You just lumped ALL Christians into a generic stereotype based on the actions of a minority (not-to-mention that von Brunn was as much anti-Christian as he was anti-Semitic). What kind of ignorant bigotry is that?How would you like it if I pointed out individual Jewish people who have been indicted for fraud, embezzlement, petty theft, &c, and said “They [Jews as a general group] are greedy, underhanded crooks”? I imagine you’d (rightly) call that what it is: unbridled prejudice. How is it somehow different when you do the same thing to Christians? Simple answer: it’s no different, and it’s just as unfair.Even if the majority of Christians were guilty of what you claim (hardly even possible, given that about a 6th of the entire population of the Earth is claim the Christian religion in some form or other); even if that were true, you would still only be accurate in saying “most Christians X, Y, Z” (like as you accurately said “most Jews” not “Jews” as a generic group applying to every single Jewish person).Hate is hate, no matter who is the object of the scorn. Please don’t help to perpetuate it.