April 27th, 2008
08:03 PM ET

More than 8,000 in Detroit to hear Wright at NAACP banquet

Roland S. Martin
360° Contributor


DETROIT – The Detroit NAACP has already set a world record for having the largest sit-down annual dinner in the world – I believe it was 10,000 – and this year is no different.

According to the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the chapter, more than 8,000 people have bought tickets this year, and suffice to say that the room is packed.

To put it in perspective there are six head tables assigned by color – yellow, black and white, green, red and the blue, which is considered the main table.

The stars are also out in full force, including: Hill Harper; Anthony Anderson; Vivica A. Fox; Morris Chestnut; Judge Greg Mathis; Michigan Gov. Jenniger Granholm; Michigan U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin; Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick; former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer; and CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

I'm typing on my BlackBerry, but the photo I'll send soon will show you the expansive room.

The room is hot because the guest speaker is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It has been a busy day for him; earlier he preached two worship services at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, pastored by the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III.

Well, I'm sitting one seat over from where he'll be speaking so you'll get a taste of what he had to say. I also have my Flip Video camera so we hope to have video as well!

Editor's note: Read other blogs from the 360° team of contributors at cnn.com/360

Filed under: NAACP • Raw Politics • Rev. Jeremiah Wright
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Shannon McMurphy

    Thank goodness we are not just hearing sound bytes anymore – now EVERYONE can see what a card-carrying lunatic this guy is.
    Obama supporters must be just as whacko!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  2. Mitch

    I think that you are a real hypocrit Rick Sanchez.. Their was nothing wrong with Rev Wright's speech. BUT YOU as a MEXICAN who strongly disagreed with those who came on strongly against the MEXIVCAN march. YOU ARE NOT WHITE...YOU ARE A MEXICAN WHO GOT LUCKY...a$$h*(*...

    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Barbara Rademacher

    I am an evangelical Christian, and I usually vote Republican. I think Pastor Jeremiah Wright's speech was terrific, and I am more inclined than ever to support the candidacy of Barack Obama. Rev. Wright spoke vividly to people like me who love Jesus and want to do the right thing. Rev. Wright's call to the social justice ministry spoke to me as a Christian and as an educator. I particularly enjoyed his comments about differences in learning styles, and the need for us to deal with the "logs" in our own eyes.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |




    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  5. Raschelle

    I didn't get to see the speach yet, but I as I look at CNN, I notice that they too are only pulling out information that some people could call offensive(because they don't understand where he is comming from). It is unfortunate that the media is still going to show him in a negative light.
    I know Hillary Clinton is going to jump all over this, becuase you know her motto is "by any means necessary", so that means that she will agian try to drag him in the dirt.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  6. neicy

    It's a shame that racism still exist very strong in this world. I've never heard so many mean and hateful words spoken about a Reverend. And it's aweful that people would pick their candidate because of association. It's very clear that "race" does still play a part in society today.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  7. A. Solomon

    I am so sick and tired of the spin presented by your commentator, namely, Rick Sanchez. I and the American people can analyze and understand any speaker if they are allowed to speak and be heard. Shut up and let Rev. Jeremiah Wright (& others) speak for himself. CNN may not remember or is purposely trying to confuse the American public, but we do have a seperation of Church and State here in the US. Barack Obama will not be hurt by Rev. Wright. Those two men are independent of one another. I and everyone I know see thru the BS presented by the media.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Offensive speech. I will cast my lot with Hillary Clinton. I heard her speak today and can support her. She is the one in touch with all of America. She talked about our loosing our jobs in record numbers today. Getting our troops home for good and a national health care.

    If the superdelegates are smart they will support Hillary. To many people will not forget Rev. Wright on election day. It will definately hurt Barack Obama. I think McCain is hoping Barack Obama gets the nomination.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Sheryl

    I thought his speech was excellent! I wish the people you bring on CNN to comment on the speech would first do us all a favor and listen to the entire speech before they make comments.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  10. ccarter30@neo.rr.com

    Why is the truth, or more important facts deemed so controversal to White America? It is because factual American history has never been told? Just what cost went into the building of America and to what is to be considered Western Society? There is no number that can be totaled to the people of color who were murdered for the success of European Society. Entire nations totally distroyed so their evidence of their higher civilization can be put on display in European and American Art galleries.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  11. george

    I don't think America is ready to deal with, let alone hear the truth about the black experience. I agree with almost everything Rev. Wright had to say, but this is not the time to say it. He should know this is all fuel for the Media to "Spin." People fear what they do not understand. That being said, This will be spun negatively, to scare voters from Obama.
    I see people (Mr. Sanchez included) call him very entertaining... To me he is no different from any other Pastor in the black community...Passionate.
    Either way you look at it, he is telling the truth. They say the truth hurts, well this is going to hurt... Obama that is.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  12. Herb Smith

    WOW, great inspiring and educational speech! Thanks CNN for airing it.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  13. Chris_CO

    I still am having doubts that Obama can win. His motives are great, he has pretty good Ideas, and is a great speaker. Yet his campaign has banked on the assumption that the people in America are smart, unbiased, know what is right from wrong, and want what is best for them, the people around them, and the United States in general. Yet to quote from Men in Black the real problem with the way he has ran his campaign The "person is smart" "people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals". I mean look at how many people still think Rev Wright is Barack Obama any person would know the difference.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  14. Michelle, Farmington NM

    I watched the Rev. Wright Speech and found myself very moved by what he had to say. I am a preschool teacher in our local Headstart program, and I have to agree that children do learn differently based on their cultural background. I would also like to know if your Republican analysist I believe her name is Cherie has ever taught in a classroom to make her such an expert in how children learn. She needs to start checking her facts there are studies that show children from different cultural backgrounds do learn differently. So thank you Rev. Wright for telling it like it is. Cherie you could learn a thing or two from Rev. Wright if you would just listen

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  15. Julius Ceasar

    Wright is a mad man. God Bless Obama!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  16. Francisco Sesatty

    As the "most" civilized country that we like to think we are, why are you discussing the political impact this speech could have? Should not we discuss the social impact and social behavior we are starting to see from our America? People want change and this speech I believe speaks for many Americans that do see that there is ought to be a change in our social behavior and being divisive is not the right way to go. I believe that the social movement aspect of this speech is what ought to be discussed and analyzed by your network. If you were to pick a topic that is worthy of discussion, it would definitely be the social aspect behind it, and not the political effects that this speech may have. I believe this speech should go beyond the point of seeing how it affects a political candidate, and focus on the truths that Rev. Wright has pointed out to the American people.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  17. Osagyefo

    I am happy that Rev. Wright took a stand and did not hide from all these attacks. He represented himself well to the American people and made it hard for the corporate media to snippets of his speeches to mis-represent him and manucture consent of the unsuspecting public. Thanks to CNN (Corporate News Network) for trying to be fair sometimes. This Wright misrepresentation is one of those things that was meant to cause damage to the Obama campagn but will turn out to be a good thing for Barack. A change is gonna come. This will work very well for the Obama campaign.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  18. Bsip

    I have watched Rev. Wright for years on cable. In fact, I wake up around 6 a.m. on Sundays to watch him. As an African American, this type of preaching/speaking is not uncommon.

    I think he has his hands on the pulse of aAfrican Americans.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  19. Linda

    I find this all very sad. I listened to Wright's entire sermon and it was most definitely racist. He didn't for a minute acknowledge the fact that there were people of all races that live in poverty, that may be upset with some of our governments policies and struggled all there lives. He simply sounded very anti-American and anti all whites. He did say a few things about women, buy hey, he had women in that church so he probably had to. Now they are accusing non African Amercans of being racist. Why doesn't anyone get that voting against Obama is voting against racism. Anyone of any color or nationality can be racist. I, as all of my friends, would have no problem of voting for any race or sex if a candidate was the best candidate and not racist or sexist. Unfortunately, after sitting in that church listening to that crazy Wright for 20 plus years with his children in tow, I cannot and will not ever respect Obama.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  20. J King

    I am amazed there are so many people who could watch this and still consider this man a hatemonger or some sort of "cancer", as one poster suggested. This entire process has enlightened me that there is still a covert blanket of racism in America. This, I believe, is the real cancer; the people who do not aspire, or even want to, understand. I remain hopeful there will come a day when the change Rev. Wright spoke about does come. Maybe, by this being such a big issue and coming to the forefront, we can continue this dialogue and come closer together because of it. Some medicines don't taste so well going down.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  21. Cherry R.

    Looks like the media is trying to control the outcome of the election. Senator Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright are not one and the same person. They are two different people. Stop insulting our intelligence. Of course the media can form the opinions of the ignorant. Enough.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  22. Florida USA

    The speech was great.... And Realitiy check...... is exactly what the speech was all about Not Obama.... Not Hillary but the difference of cultures yet one America

    Thanks CNN

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  23. Darlene

    Everyone needs to take a deep breath and think to themselves.
    To White America: How many times have you heard or spoken the "N" word and you didn't denounce it or speak up against it?
    To Black America: How many times have you heard or spoken the "C" word and you didn't denounce it or speak up against it?

    White America has to realize that most blacks in this country view America very differently then you. I'm sure Rev. Wright does having come through the Civil Rights error when fire hoses where still being turned on blacks. Black America has to realize that White America get's very offended when you even bring up the "race" word because it didn't effect them so most don't have a clue on how it effects you to this day. In the perfect world we could all sit down and discuss our differences and use that as a strength to unite this country and that is what Obama is trying to do. However when you have people who totally close off the other side not wanting to understand then we have the problems we have now everyday in this country.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |

    The people at CNN are trying so hard to make an issue of the speech by Rev, Wright that it's almost comical.. He gave a good speech that wasn't offensive and had no anger to it, It's just driving CNN people crazy. Eventually, I am sure they will get someone to say something negative. Or they will go back to former "statements" as FOX did and harp on those.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  25. S Rahim

    Under no time and age irrationality should overtake basic religious teachings. Muslims in particular do not endorse such emotional outburst which could lead to any disorder in the society. Though Rev Wright is trying to give the impression that people of all faith share such views. It is totally incorrect. Obama should positively aloof himself from such characters to prove his worthiness as an nationalist American.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  26. ALPHAX

    CNN, Please do not associate the speech of this Reverend with the position of Barak Obama in the political race. You guys have it wrong, please listen ...

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  27. Garfield

    Rev Wright's speech was a very positive, true and pragmatic reflection of the "different" realities of all people in America. His speech filled with empirical data speaks volume of his character; well read and highly intelligent person he is. I am very impressed with his speech and his vibrant demeanor. I must confess I was one his harshest critic but hearing the man telling who he is and what he is about my opinion of him is now a positive one.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  28. becky, California

    Rev Wright's speech was not only dead on, it was overdue. His insightfulness and compassion rings clear, as does his passion for
    much needed change. I am a 52 year-old hispanic woman who is
    grateful for his words and courage. Let this be a lesson to all the media
    for the unjust 24-7 snippet of his damaging portrayal. I believe they owe him and Barack an apology.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  29. Janet

    Is Jeremiah Wright running for President? NO. So can we get over it? I guess no, because the media, including CNN, just can't. If you are successful in taking Obama down, well then gee, wonder what fun we'll have with the Clintons?

    And by the way where did you get Rick Sanchez and why don't you distance yourself from him??? GEEZ

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  30. Karen

    Great speech! He is a very entertaining speaker and he made some great points. I am a typical 49 year old white female and I found the speech very informative. Rev. Wright has done A LOT of good and people need to look at the whole man! At least he is not one of those pastors who puts one to sleep.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  31. Andrea

    BRAVO!!!!! Once again, Rev. Wright was WRIGHT on point and I give CNN 1/8 of a point for showing this broadcast and re-airing it in its entirety. Why and 1/8? Because Lord knows CNN did their fair share to character assassinate Rev. Wright and hamper Baracks candidacy.
    Last I checked this is America and we have 1st amendment rights and Rev. Wright has every right to speak truth to power. And he did that brilliantly.
    Now, Durbin should not be on t.v. since he did NOT see the speech. Clearly, Rev. Wright spoke of change, hope, a bright future. And Rick Sanchez is asking the wrong questions.
    Like I said 1/8th!!!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  32. Sally Wilke

    I think this man is a modern day prophet. I am concerned about those people that do not have "ears to hear". I just hope Barack Obam has the courage to invite Rev. Wright to offer the invocation at his inauguration!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  33. Alma Cazares Fahme

    Wow, I'm so glad I had an opportunity to listen to this man!

    No wonder Obama has gone to his church for 20 years. I wish I had a priest in my catholic church that inspires like him. I'm sure we would not have as many gangs on the streets. This airing will definitely help everyone understand who he really is and why he is held in such high regard by many.
    I was going to vote for Obama anyway.......I want change!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  34. Isa

    I was very impressed by the reverend's speech. He is very cerebral and I think that is why at times, some people may find his message difficult to follow. My point of departure from his speech is that I don't quite agree with his opinion on race affecting learning styles and I think it has to do more with one's cultural background. Regardless, what is most important is that he is not the quack the media is hellbent on trying to portray him as.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  35. Mary Ellen Galloway

    I find it strange that all of these "racist individuals" claim that Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a "racist". As I was taught, you can not be a "racist" unless you are in a power position over another minority group of "peoples". But this reverse name-calling does not surprise me. It is simply a defense mechanism to continue a state of "denial".

    April 27, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  36. YT

    Why does CNN put on superdelegates who have not seen the speech!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  37. Natashia

    I'm not a blogger, but I had to comment. REVEREND WRIGHT IS JUST THAT, A REVEREND/PREACHER. It's sad that in 2008, we can't see the forrest for the trees.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |

    great speech, the sad thing about alot of americans is most refused to consider another view. please trust me, america provides mult-views. the speech moves to provide a foundation for understanding and enlightenment....but from some blogs that foundation completely flew over their heads....regarding race, where are we as a nation???

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  39. Nancy Levin

    Remarks from Republican Jacobus show an alarming ability to overlook the obvious. Does she work for Clinton.? Rev. Wright's speech was delightful, informative and some of us think very helpful to OBAMA. Rev. Wright AND Obama are obviously on the same page even if the delivery is different..NOT DEFICIENT!!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  40. Nancy, Jonas

    We just need a White "Rev. Wright" with greater vision For America to bridge the cultural and racial divide in this country. It is quite interesting to see a son of former slave teaching the sons of his former masters in such a sublime way!!!

    Long live America!!!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  41. Amazed

    Diane Villeneuve – You clearly knows NOTHING about Blacks in America.

    Guess what – I am not typing from jail, I can count pass 10, and I read pass 9th grade level. I don't have kids and a bunch of baby daddy's and if I did have kids, because of how I was raised (by my Black parents) I would not raised them in violence.

    One more thing – there are a substantial number of non-blacks, including euro-americans, who would fit your description. Also, re-read your last sentence and identify the contradiction in your post.

    Like I said, our society, despite how "civilized and advanced" we are, are not truly ready to have a sincere discussion regarding pass ills that apparently still influences the perspective of people today. Sad – just sad.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  42. TJ

    I greatly appreciate the professionalism and courage demonstrated by CNN in deciding to show Dr Wright's speech in its entirety. CNN gave a lot of people the opportunity to read the book about Rev Wright rather than hear a 30 second "cover" over and over again. Dr Wright has certainly given America a different insight to who he really is, a part of him that we were not aware of.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  43. Susan P

    I thought Rev. Wright did an excellent job... If anyone thought it was deviscive they aren't listening... People need to listen and not simply prejudge...

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  44. montiana sherman

    i must say that i am a 48 yr. old african american Entreprenuer and this is my first time making a comment on the CNN site. i have gotten out of bed because i'm inspired to speak on this matter. Because of the way the Media had portrayed Rev. Wright...unfortunately, many black americans have been made to some what feel ashamed of Rev. Wrights comments, based on the sound bites, that the media has been flashing in the past weeks and it has put me personally at an interesting position..wandering if this guy should just tone things down.....making me feel as though he would damage obama campaign ...I just didn't know what to do about this ... i realize that the media just like other times in past history has tried to make black Americans feel as though every time we had a positive representative to speak out.. about the truth of what was really going on in this country that if it wasn't the way white Americans thought they should speak ,,,or if it wasn't what they thought they should say.... then they would just try to tear him down and try to destroy him and turn all black American against him... or even try to kill him.... BUT after listening to Rev. Wrights Speech today i realize that i was wrong to have these feelings.......i realize this is a man that is telling the truth about who we are as black people, who we are as americans, who we are as imigrants, who we are as people of other religions, who we are as as gays, who we are as jews, and who we are as a nation AND THERE IS NO WAY I WILL HOLD MY HEAD OR MY TONGUE IN SHAME FOR THE WORDS THAT HE SPEAKS AND NEITHER SHOULD OBAMA. I CLEARLY UNDERSTAND HOW HE HAS SAT UNDER THIS MAN FOR SO LONG, I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING ALSO..... you might not like what Rev. Wright has said but rest assured, he has hit the hammer on the nail...he has told it like it is....he has spoke the truth and shamed the devil. if this country stands for one nation under God....Indivisible with LIBERTY and JUSTICE FOR ALL then in no way should anyone be offended by this speech.....this is the truth!!!!!!!!!!!. AMERICA MUST FACE ITS DEMONS....IT IS TIME FOR AMERICA TO FACE THE MUSIC......IT IS DEFiNITELY TIME FOR A CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  45. Bob

    Airing this speech is a good test, it should bring it to a head and if the country can't get past it then the country is just not ready yet. Reading some of the above post they reek of racism, true colors showing to say the least. This is what goes on in the black churches all over America, about time we had a wake up call.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  46. Patrick

    Simply put: Great speech. I must say it changed my opinion of the man. Thank you CNN!

    April 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  47. trina

    thank you cnn for airing the full message of rev. wright.
    for months now all we have seen have been soundbites of what we thought was a madman. i believe these you tube clips started with fox news showing them continuously day after day. i finally went on you tube and listened to a full clip, so i knew they were taken out of context.
    the one i heard was where rev. wright was telling his congreation a story he had heard on fox and he repeated what an "alexader pope "had said on fox a few days before his sermon, it was the story about the chickens coming home to roost.
    fox only wanted us to hear the clips they played so we would think wright was crazy, so that would mean something was wrong with senator obama.
    i have learned rev. wright is an extremely intelligent and tallented man.
    Fox needs to be banned for trying to play games with the american people.
    i commend CNN for covering this fair and balanced.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  48. Robert


    He was preaching togetherness, he was preachers divisiveness. That is the issue. He feels the power alright, but it isnt coming from heaven. He's thinking white house. well you can kiss that goodbye.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  49. Em

    As a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 8, I think Wright's speech was great and it's about time that we have heard from him in his own words! My children and grandchildren will learn from him.

    I am 64 and white and an Obama delegate and I respect both of these men. I do not see them as identical and can tell them apart. All whites do not agree on every single detail of how they experience and view life and I do not expect all blacks to share the exact same viewpoint. Let each of these men express himself.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  50. Beverly, Utah

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for airing the speech in its entirety. I found Rev. Wright to be articulate, clearly well educated, funny, and dead on target in many of his points. I hope all Americans are able to look within, and make the changes he talked about. It's the only way we are going to survive as a nation.

    April 27, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
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