Bill Moyers interviews Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cleverboy, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #1
    So, I'd heard Wright was going to the Press club and giving an interview with Bill Moyer. I had an argument with my friend at work, where he asserted that Wright should just shut-up and "wait things out" because talking wasn't doing Obama any favors (he has the same opinion of Michelle Obama). I got a bit mad, because my opinion is that while bad interviews or more poorly worded statments ARE certainly bad, that Obama's supporters and family don't do Obama any favors by simply "hiding" while people destroy their character and control the dialog about them.

    If you knew someone was a good person, and their words were taken out of context, or a misstatements was being used to paint a wildly inaccurate picture... what would you have them do if their reputation existed in a smaler context that something else that couldn't afford side distractions.

    At any rate... I'm in the middle of listening to this interview with Bill Moyers.

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04252008/watch.html

    It's a really, really good one. It definitely puts Wright into a broader context. I didn't know Dateline had done a story on him. I didn't know he stood over Lyndon Johnson while Johnson was hospitalised, and Wright was serving in the Navy (after his service in the Marines). I didn't know the full context of his mission in his church, or any of his spiritual mentors or struggles.
    Very good interview anyway. The comments made on the blog are dotted with people who apparently didn't actually listen to the interview though. It's amazing to see how this goes.

    A lot of what I understood about Rev. Wright and Trinity United was served by my existing knowledge of the black church and the struggle that has gone on to lift the community up and preach a message that has relevance to real people.

    I remember being in a program called METCO that brought inner city kids out to suburban schools in an effort to mix cultures. One special, and uncommon trip we took was to a community center once... where we learned about the 7 principles of Nguzo Saba. A collection of Swahili words that left a strange indelible mark in my brain, that made me recognize that there was a larger context and a spiritual yearning in my community that would not be served by simply "existing" and letting popular culture and the often random good intentions of parents and teachers completely define my future and outlook on the world.

    Sometimes it takes "vision". If nothing else. This whole "Wright" controversy tells me how poorly informed America is about the "context" of what goes on in its various ethnic communities, and the importance of preachers that aren't always "right", but have a passion and a promise to their congregation.

    ~ CB
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Yep- and people also don't take the time to see what Obama's done in the Senate either. If people would, they'd be impressed. Not to mention the fact that he's also had more time in government than Hillary. For some reason her campaign likes to lie about that as well. The Obama camp really needs to start bringing atention to all this stuff.
     
  3. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #3
    I think the thing is, half the time you combat lies with "truth", you don't get much traction unless those truths are bombastically so... that the contrast is SO amazing, that the liar must be the construct or spawn of purest evil. --Truth unfortunately is somewhere in between. --Moreover, the best lies have kernels of truth. When people want to believe a lie, all they need is something to hang on to. Human nature can be depressing, but if there's anything that Obama's campaign has stirred in me, is the feeling that having faith in people to be smarter than the politics of what divide us, isn't entirely unfounded. It's there. We just have to keep believing in it, or hope simply fails through complacency and cynicism.

    ~ CB
     
  4. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #4
    I too found this interview to be first-rate. Other than a few edited video clips, mainly used in the smear campaign, I had not heard the reverend speak. The way he was being portrayed, I was expecting him to be a crank, but nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, it is only possible to glean so much from a single interview.

    I did not realize the import role the church plays in the black community. It is larger and more integrated than the churches I am familiar with. Reverend Wright seems to really have a keen awareness of the daily issues faced by members of his congregation. His church has numerous programs to help address many of them.

    The right-wing smear machine certainly seems to have done this man a great disservice by dragging him into a very unfair, backdoor attack on Senator Obama. Regardless of where each of us falls within the political spectrum, we deserve better than this constant bombardment of chicken-sh*t, valueless personal attacks. Enough is enough!
     
  5. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

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    #5
    While Rev. Wright might have helped himself with that interview with Bill Moyers, Wright surely didn't help himself with that live speech in front of the NAACP earlier tonight, which was carried live on both CNN and the Fox News Channel. :rolleyes:
     
  6. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

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    #6
    As a pastor and successful church leader, Rev. Wright has his place as just that.
    I think that Obama not denying Wright is a plus for Obama and his character.

    I also think they should separate after and leave their relationship in church.

    White America is not ready to think a firebrand black preacher/spiritual advisor such as Wright may have any influence on Obama as president.

    He's got the black vote, he needs the white and Wright may grate some the wrong way.
     
  7. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I'll have to check those out. He's clearly NOT a politician. I think that's probably the biggest recurring issue. If he WAS a politician, everything he said would be designed to sound pleasing to the ear, no matter who you are or how much you here. If I had to "sound bite" proof every speech or public address I made, I'd lose my mind. I love how Fox has ceased on the term "public crucifixion", as if Look Out! --NOW Wright is comparing himself to Jesus Christ. Oy.

    I think its another one of those things, regarding whether Wright has an influence. Until he's passed on, I don't think anyone who criticises Obama will think otherwise. Wright is not an "advisor" to Obama, and stepped down from any formal relationship with the campaign.

    ~ CB
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #8
    A lie (or in this case a distraction) can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting it's pants on. But the GOP (and now Hillary) are desperate, and really, what else do they have to go on? So they take some sound bites and try to destroy him with guilt by association and everything else that really doesn't matter as much as the real issues no one seems to want to cover. I liked Obama's speech on it though, turning a negative into a plus. Wondering how many Americans feel the same way though, and will actually see what McCain now stands for, which is not something most of us actually want.

    I'm sure there are still those out there who will criticize Obama based on this and other associations, the way some here do, ignoring what he's actually done and wants to do, but let's face it, most of those people wouldn't be voting for him anyway.
     
  9. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

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    #9
    Formal yes, but informal? The speech I watched yesterday in Detroit, he did a little too much white boy mocking & I'm sure it makes some uncomfortable.

    White boys can't jump, clap or sing?
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    I didn't watch the whole thing, and didn't even like all of what I did, but I can dig up a link I posted somewhere in another thread that was from a white preacher who was friends with Wright who went to his church quite often. I've heard similar stories from others, also white, who've said the same thing. He did say something about Obama having to be a "politician" about the whole thing, which I didn't like since it's not like Obama disavowed him and he could have. I won't go as far as Bill Maher did in my condemnation, but he could have rephrased it or better yet, just not said it.
     
  11. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I think the whole "politician" comment is just that. It means that you have to consciously understand that you're appealing to a very broad audience that will take your words in numerous ways based on their unique experience. --So, if you're a politician, you have to make sure you're unequivocable in places where you otherwise might lean towards "nuance" in a more friendly audience. Hillary Clinton in fact school Obama on this point with regard to "rejecting and denouncing" Farrakhan. --Also, as evidence, just look at Obama's "bitter" quote and the fall out over THAT nuanced (and widely considered true, when interpreted/read accurately) bit of commentary.

    In Obama's speech on race, he clearly states the bitterness that is part of the black experience, but when he acknowledges the bitterness in rural white communities, somehow, he's immediately elitist. Amazing. That's "politics". So, when Wright says Obama's a politician, it's pretty clearly no form of "insult" from my view. It's just acknowledging the reality of who he needs to speak to and how he needs to speak in order NOT to be misunderstood. Wright was just saying that he didn't take any comments from Obama personally. --Specifically, Obama said that Wright was wrong-headed, because he made the mistake of not recognizing race relations have improved. --On the contrary, I'm pretty sure Wright DOES know things have improved, but he's still speaking out against what hasn't and needs attention. That's just not a mission Obama can afford to embrace if he's speaking to the entire nation, and not a predominantly black church on Sunday mornings.

    I have to say, I didn't really care for Wendell Anthony's "intro" to Wright, but for the little I've listened to, it didn't sound as if Wright was doing anything more than preaching. Considering I've stopped going to church a long time ago, I think the religious tone and cadence of repetition is the only thing that "urks" me about his speech. I didn't notice any "white men can't jump" talk, other than an attempt from Wright to draw some unweildy distinctions between his opinion of the black church preaching style (by and large), and the styles used in (what he calls) "European or European American" style churches. That whole conversation BORES me to death, but I don't see anything to be offended by... but again, I have a problem listening to the whole thing... 'cause I don't go to church no more for a reason.

    Wright at NAACP (YouTube):

    PART 2 (seek to timecode 1:40)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw9aEWEa0sI
    PART 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXibQ5Fm8vo
    PART 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11TcMdzxkSk

    ~ CB
     
  12. stevento macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I dont understand why Rev Wright feels the need to do this. He's lucky he didn't do hardly any damage to Obama's camp. Quit while you're ahead.
     
  13. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    He's being vilified. After a while, he'll be permanently synonymous with Louis Farrakhan's name. If there was a time to try and set the record straight, its probably now.

    If he didn't care about his ministry, reputation and history of service to his community... I'm sure he'd just roll over, but let's say Obama doesn't get the nomination or doesn't win in the general election. By January, Wright's image will be more solidified as crap... and with nothing to show for it. Conversely, if Obama DOES win in the general election, he'll be expected to what... sit in darkness forever, just because of the snippet hunting media?

    The only thing I'm dissappointed with at this point, is that Moyers didn't call Wright on the STUPID statements he's preached from the pulpit. While few and far far between, the government HIV thing was a goof-up Wright should clean up, and even apologize to his congregation for. Sadly, most of these quotes are never dated, so we don't even know what point in history they were said in. Luckily, we Internet-saavy folks have sites like "Snopes" to tell us that Tommy Hilfiger didn't make racist statements on Oprah or conversely the Lauryn Hill made racist statements about white people. Unlike folks like Wright, from another generation, left to read material and traffic in hearsay and anecdotes... much like they had growing up under segregation when the media reporting on injustice and oppression was hardly comprehensive. I'm sure the REAL stories, like that of the syphillis experiment patients seemed just as believable as the HIV stories.

    Sadly, the USAKKK statement and god DAMN America comments were mostly just overstatements, no doubt seemingly justifiable at the time to him, but which sound pretty bombastic to anyone who hasn't heard ministers rant in ways designed to make sure people aren't finishing their Sunday morning nap in the pews. I sware, some ministers I've heard on Sundays sounded like they were going to break their throats with what they were screaming. God help America if they ever start seeing video of the black churches that get all "freaky" with people going into spastic trance-like dancing, the organ getting mashed, and people "falling out" in the aisles. My mother went to one of those when I was really young. I was scared. Televangelists like John Hagee don't even begin to touch that level of looniness. But, its out there.

    ~ CB
     
  14. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

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    #14
    The more he walks around flapping his gums like the National Press Club talk yesterday, the more will hurt Obama - period.

    He reiterated all of his past statements and apologizes to no one. Bad news.
     
  15. Pittsax macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I don't know...part of me thinks that the more direct exposure Wright gets, the more people will realize that he's just a talking head who loves to hear his own voice. As long as Obama doesn't go off and embrace the guy again, he should be ok.
     
  16. leekohler macrumors G5

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    #16
    I agree. Wright is someone most people aren't really going to pay that much attention to. It's already been done, and I don't think many people give a crap anymore.
     
  17. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Meh. Obama, as of TODAY, has publicly stated that in light of his most recent statements, that their relationship has changed. He's denouncing him.

    The National Press club appearance put things over the top, bringing up all his past statements and standing by them (that was the one thing I didn't think he'd fully do, because its PURE STUPID... what do you say to someone who walks wide-eyed into a soundbite smorgasborg?) I suppose that puts the capper on it. Wright has shot the spectrum from Moyers (positive) to the NAACP (irksome) to the National Press Club (belligerent), going from bad to worst, cloaking himself in the "black community" and pumping up his own ego in the process.

    There's a certain point where a REAL "man of God" takes a step back and says, "Maybe I need to excert more humility." Watching his mannerisms throughout many of these speeches, its pretty clear he's absolutely self-righteous at this point, bolstered by the applause of the people surrounding him.

    That said... I think he's a good person. He's not a politician, and moreover, he's not someone who does himself any favors in the national eye. All he needed to do was be reasonable, and he'd have a spectrum of supporters.

    I wonder what this means for the upcoming races.

    ~ CB
     
  18. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

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    #18
    Obvious closet bigotry aside,
    It begs the question that if Obama had a personal relationship with him for close to 20 years and he didn't have the wisdom & foresight to understand and distance himself from Wrights shenanigans in that period, how's he going to deal w. N. Korea, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Russia - and others that will say whatever is expected and do as they please?
     
  19. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Wright is generally considered a bigot, a racist, breaking the law by taking political stances on presidential candidates and endangering his church of losing its non-profit status by doing so, not doing his job as a Christian church leader because he is preaching hate instead of love

    There is not supposed to any difference in teachings between a predominantly black Christian and non-predominantly black Christian church but Wright has managed to do that, too.

    Wright has since stepped down, Obama has distanced himself from Wright and Wright is now considered nothing more than any other street activist such as the likes of Sharpton and Jackson.
     
  20. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #20
    Interesting that you've only hit on those on the left of the U.S. political spectrum, but by your metric this church has obviously broken the law as well.

    Let's face it, the churches everywhere have a preference for a candidate and try to influence their congregations one way or the other. Some are more covert and some are pretty obvious, but only rarely is something done to them. Didn't the Catholic Church have many priests trying to bar John Kerry from Communion because of his stance on abortion? It's sad that the churches can't keep their noses out of politics.
     
  21. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I don't think this is related. Wright appears to have gotten caught up in his own ego, and is doing Obama a disservice by drawing attention to himself and not apologizing for his "grandstanding" and bombastic statements. As far as "foresight" in gauging a personal relationship? I think in these cases, you need some kind of excuse to distance yourself from "family", even family you consider a little "weird" or "quirky". If you don't have an "event", you come off as a plastic politician. --Unfortunately. Ironically, Wright said in an interview sometime back, that he foresaw a point where Obama would need to distance himself. Maybe this was an attempt to create that opportunity. Dealing with governments and foreign leaders? Sorry, only Bush looks into their souls. For every other smart politician, its diplomacy, brinksmanship and trust but verify.

    ~ CB
     
  22. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

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    #22
    ^^
    Who's talking about Bush?
    This is big problem discussing issues with those already decided. Fact is Wright has seriously harmed Obama's image (in the short term at a minimum) and made some of us white independents wonder. I'm not liking any candidates - again - and it's a travesty. Ralph Nader, here I come.
     
  23. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Riiiiight. Er, hm. Don't presume every informed opinion represents a mind closed to additional perspective. It might simply be YOU who've "already decided". Ralph Nader? Ha. Try Ross Perot. Sometimes the political vitriol drives one to crazy extremes, and sadly it may not mean anything other than the person threatening to make crazy political voting choices is a victim of evil media overload. It's YOUR choice to let yourself be a "white independent voter". Personally, I prefer being an "independent voter", saying "F-YOU" to the media, and reminding myself that the world is a complex place, people make it complicated... and the actual ISSUES are going to matter longer than the eccentricities of a charismatic black preacher in a struggling minority neighborhood.

    But, hey, that's me. I've already shook my magic 8-ball. McCain will win. I'll vote Democratic. The American decline will be in full swing by the time my unconceived children start school. The promise of America innovating its way out of global economic trends will be lost forever. By the time a truly promising candidate gets into office, it will be too later... much too late to make any difference. Until then, I'll do my best to stay in touch with why I care about politics.

    HINT: It's not the mudslinging.

    ~ CB
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #24
    Not real happy that he has to distance himself when he's not the one who said any of this and we're still not talking about anyone else's associations, but I can understand why Obama did it.

    We don't, but the press keeps trying, and someone is watching/reading/listening.

    Sort of wondered that myself, but like the Farrakhan endorsement he flat out declined, there are some who will still try to make the connection and talk about it so they don't have to do any real work and focus on the boring issues we actually care about.

    No one actually. McCain either. Despite similar connections. Kinda part of the problem.

    Edit: Obama Disavows Wright; McCain Still Silent on Hagee, Armageddon and Iran
     

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