By DAVID SQUIRES |757-247-4639
June 10, 2009
Rev. Wright says he doesn't regret severed relationship with president
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. speaks at Cahn Auditorium at Northwestern at "For Members Only" State of the Black Union on Nov. 7, 2008. (Charles Cherney, Chicago Tribune / November 7, 2008)
HAMPTON – - The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.
Wright also said that he had not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, implying that the White House won't allow Obama to talk to him. He did not indicate whether he had tried to reach Obama.
"Regret for what... that the media went back five, seven, 10 years and spent $4,000 buying 20 years worth of sermons to hear what I've been preaching for 20 years?
"Regret for preaching like I've been preaching for 50 years? Absolutely none," Wright said.
Wright said that when he went to the polls, he did not hold any grudge against Obama.
"Of course I voted for him; he's my son. I'm proud of him," Wright said. "I've got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven't stopped loving any of them.
"He made mistakes. He made bad choices. I've got kids who listen to their friends. He listened to those around him. I did not disown him."
Asked if he had spoken to the president, Wright said: "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. 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. ...
"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."
Wright also said Obama should have sent a U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, but that the president did not do so for fear of offending Jews and Israel.
"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 said.
Wright is in Hampton this week attending Hampton University's 95th Annual Ministers Conference. The son of a pastor, Wright said he has attended the conference since he was a child – though he was not spotted at the conference in 2008 during the heat of the debate over comments he made that many in the media branded racially divisive.
Perhaps without the Wright controversy, the issue of race might not have become a part of the 2008 presidential campaign.
After the initial rounds of the controversy, Obama made his famous speech in Philadelphia on race relations, in which he said he could no more disown Wright than his own grandmother.
But the issue heated up after more comments by Wright at the National Press Club and from other controversial speakers at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Obama eventually distanced himself from the church.
To read more, see tomorrow's edition of the Daily Press.
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Related topic galleries: Trinity United Church of Christ, The White House, Barack Obama, Government, National Government, Jeremiah Wright, Hampton University
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