April 29th, 2008
09:26 PM ET

How Wright won – and lost – in 72 hours

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/28/art.wright.jpg%5D

Roland S. Martin, CNN Contributor
360° Contributor and Radio Host

"Why don't Rev. Jeremiah Wright just sit down and be quiet? Don't he know he's hurting Sen. Barack Obama?"

If I had a nickle for every time someone has asked, emailed or texted me that in the last three days, I could retire.

And trust me, I get it.

Wright has had a negative impact on Obama's presidential aspirations because of the constant playing of snippets of his sermons. And many believe that his interview with Bill Moyers on PBS; his speech at the Detroit NAACP; and the appearance at the National Press Club on Monday morning is all about him.

Yes, that is all true.

But what would you do? If your 36 years in ministry was degraded, would you go and hide?

If right wing radio and TV hacks like Sean Hannity, Lars Larson and others called you a bigot and anti-Semitic, and others who don't even realize that you served in the Marines and the Navy for six years castigated you daily as being un-American, would you defend yourself?

Of course you would!

But there is a fine line that you must walk. And depending on how you do could determine how you are viewed and whether the presidential aspirations of Obama are severely damaged.


The interview with Moyers, along with the Detroit NAACP speech, were perfect opportunities for Wright.

He came across as thoughtful, smart, theologically sound, and more importantly – human – than he has in the last month. He has been unfairly portrayed as a raging lunatic, courtesy of the YouTube clips, and that's not him.

It's so much easier in a one-one-one setting to have your views heard.

Even his speech on Sunday was pretty good.

At moments funny and hilarious, Wright shone a light on our differences, and how we need to overcome them.

There is nothing wrong with having different music and worship styles. Its when we try to impose one as being superior or favored over the other. That was an excellent point he made.

I got a lot of emails from folks who said they saw him differently based on this, and that's always a good thing.

Even the morning's papers spoke to his message of change. He got great reviews from a variety of sources.


I never thought appearing before the National Press Club was a good idea. I even told my radio audience a week ago that he should cancel.

One, it's not his element, and with there being questions, you never know which direction they are coming from.

Wright's opening statement was a good one, but it went all downhill from there.

The issue wasn't always just his answers. It was also HOW he answered them. He was too flippant, comfortable, cocky and arrogant in some of his answers. Where he should have expounded, he allowed a quip to simply end a statement. Where he should have been thoughtful, his histrionics and facial expressions led the way.

I'm sure someone will say that style over substance is silly. I concur. But Wright's style was a part of the substance, and he let it get in the way.

The one danger in being a smart ass person is that you come across as a smart ass. Wright was that way Monday.

Finally, he stepped on his own story! The headlines showed that his Sunday speech was well-received. Why let that moment not settle and folks get to savor it?

Now we're left with a different taste in our mouth.

Folks, perceptions matter. How people think of you, regardless of what you say, does matter.

Wright had a moment to rise above the "playing the dozens" statements and the "when they talk about your mama" rants. He could have presented himself as the learned man that he is. But he allowed the silly stuff to cloud his message.

Either his media handlers were incompetent, or he ignored them. That, folks, is a recipe for disaster.

As for Obama? Wright even more dismissed him as a politician, and that's not good. He did his member no favor with his actions, and Obama is going to have to bear down even more so to move beyond Wright.

If you disagree, fine. But Wright had an opportunity to elevate the conversation. His speech Sunday was damn good. But 12 hours later, that was dismissed, and he walked into the lion's den, thought he could tame it, and got mauled.

And with his member slamming him and forcibly pushing him off the front page, Wright has no one else to blame but himself.

soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. S. H. Passler

    How insulting and what a farse! The Obama campaign has it down. They could not "quiet the rage" with BO stating he never heard his fearless leader state these comments. So what better ploy??Bring R Wright back and let him reiterate his dirty remarks. Yes Sir! Now the publicty is on the Rev. And Oh My, poor ole Barack can now stand up and disown and assult The Reverend and act hurt. Maybe the pity will get him some votes from the Stupids of the earth. What a crock of BULL. The worse part is the media has to act so naieve, and feel sorry for Obama and continue to play it up to Obama'a advantage. I maybe Democrat but I'll never Vote for him. This little sharade makes me realize how bad for America he would be.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:43 am |

    Please MOVE ON, Theres plenty of issues to worry about, no one person or group is going to change what the Rev. Wright feels or says about this country, and the media infactuation with Wright feeds right into this controversy. If you don't believe in what he says,or share his views, who cares. I take Obama at his words, that he does not share those views and thats whats important. ECONOMY, THE WAR, GAS PRICES thats whats important not some Pastor with negative views of my beloved AMERICA

    April 30, 2008 at 1:41 am |
  3. Tom

    I happen to attend a semi mega church which has a bookstore that sells DVDs of past sermons. I have been attending that church for some years. But i do not go in the bookstore and buy those DVD's nor do i order them online. If i happen to miss a sermon, then i miss it. Also, to those people commenting about how a person can attend a church for 20 years and not know the views of his pastor is very easy. Parishers of most of these mega churches, such as the one Rev. Wright had, do not hear these type sermons every Sunday or every week or even every year. At this particular moment, i have no idea what my pastor's views are, except what he preaches about when i do attend. Appointments have to made to even speak with the pastor. Another thing, these pastors are very adamant about parishoners attacking their sermons.

    What is really going on here is that ever since Hillary Clinton whined about the media being too hard on her and why does she always get the first question in a debate and why don't you ask Mr. Obama if he needs another pillow have we been bombarded with this onslaught against Barack Obama. Black americans have broken almost every barrier to what used to be "whites only" institutions. The only ONE that has lasted throughout our 200-plus years as a country is the WHITE HOUSE where only pictures of WHITE men are portrayed as president. As much as we hate to admit it, it appears that white americans seem to think that WHITE men (sorry Hillary) are the ONLY ones who are capable of running this country and how dare you nominate a BLACK over a WHITE, even if the WHITE happens to be a woman. This isn't racial, this is real. Totally absurd, but real. For instance, black men have been leading countries in Africa forever.

    We have to get past that in America. And on the Michelle Obama comment about being proud of this country for the first time, America is really OVERRATED by Americans. We do not want to look at the bad things that our country does to its own citizens, but we want to target other countries like China. We have cops in New York shooting and killing unarmed Black men, we have Polygamist compounds exploiting underaged White girls, we have the disaster of hurricane Katrina where a lot of blacks families have been displaced, etc. So,when someone, even myself looks at how this country treats its own, i can see some people not being proud of that. Mothers are sometimes not proud of their own children, depending on the child's behavior.

    We, as a country can do better than that. One other thing to note is that other major countries are not far behind us in this racial thing. France, Canada, England, Spain,Germany, Australia, just to name a few, have never had a black leader either. So, these countries are just as raciallly polarized as we are.

    But, i do predict the we will be the ones to pave the way. Even if Obama does not win this election, the barriers will have been broken and we wont have to listen to White newscasters reporting stories on networks run by White editors having to tell the American public whether a Black candidate is legitamate or not. Just like there are black governors, black senators, black secretaries of state, black supreme court justices, it is only a matter of time for there to be a black president. I just hate to see blacks tearing down blacks. It is an old trick of whites. Pit them (blacks) against each other and step out of the way and let them tear each other down. Whether it is the Clintons or the Media doing this, that is what is going on. We, as Black, understand this, but we now finally see that there is someone who is smart enough to recognize it and do something about it.

    Ego from both Obama and Wright play a part, but it is Wright's ego that is hurt more. Martin Luther King,Jr and Malcolm X both fought for equal rights, but had different ways of executing it and gathering followers, hence the split between the two movements. This is old stuff. People really need to understand history (all history) to understand the present, and quit being so easily sold and persuaded by the media.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  4. Richard

    All the candidates should be judged by the same standard.

    Just as we judge Obama on the affiliation with the Pastor of his congregation, based on what the pastor says, so must we judge the other candidates on the actions of their associates.

    Then we would not have to question the wisdom of putting back in the White House some one whose on the job inappropriate behavior was an international insult.

    Ho hypocritical?

    April 30, 2008 at 1:34 am |
  5. Carol Thompson

    The Rev. Wright's divisive, often offensive, style is nothing new, no matter what Obama says about never having heard him express such views before. Wright spoke at my college (Wheaton College) all the way back in 1996, and managed to offend almost everyone there, regardless of their race. He was delivering a speech about the history of the black church in America when he veered off topic and started mocking the way white people worship. He told us that heaven wouldn't sound like a white church, but rather like his church. He sang a little bit of "Amazing Grace" the way he thought white people sing it, and then the way he would sing it and told us that the way white people sing isn't real worship. This was all the way back in 1996, so this is nothing new from him – he's just enjoying new found celebrity for it!

    April 30, 2008 at 1:34 am |
  6. Jackie

    Why so much ngative statements and comments on Obama?
    When the media let go of this Rev. Wright thing. Now I am hearing about a respond from The Rev Wright on what Obama said on today. When will this stop? The focus on the election should not be Rev. Wright but on the issues of today. If the media let it be Obama can move on and do what he has to for the election. He is losing votes because of you the media because some poeple depend on you the media to help them decide on who they will vote for, What about the statement Hillary Clinton made on Bosnion that went nowhere with the media. She lie and those words came from her mouth. So, what did she gain from making that false statement. What about her former pastor? Please get off the Rev. Wright and get down to the heart of the election. It's time for this country to come togeather and stop bashing each others. Do some people in the media know what American Values Is? Race will aways be a problem in this country and I can am beginning to see it in the media.
    I love CNN and Fox News but since this election I am having second thoughts.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:33 am |
  7. samuel hernandez

    Obama deserves all the negative publicity he is getting, if from the start he would have said what he said about the reverend, then the public would have seen hes the person he claims to be. However we only see him reactin more agresively only when he feels the reverend was attacking him. ( seems selfish to me) Why did he not react this way when he first was made aware that this was going to be a political nightmare, He might be smart but he is slow

    April 30, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  8. Jefferson NK

    Let wRight go right ahead and do all he is and willing to do! It is all up to the American people (WE/US) to decide who we want to be our next president. wRight needs to go back to SCHOOL!

    April 30, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  9. Rl Kerr

    This is real easy for me. But before I explain let me say that it is Obama supporters that would like to make this all about Obama
    not being the one who gave the speeches. That way they don't have
    to explain why Obama would not leave the church. Would not denounce Mr. Wright in the beginning. Or explain how he
    could have relationships with a congregation that could give a man a standing ovation for that part of the speech that was the most disturbing. Let's face it if you didn't buy into some part of that how could you bring your family there.

    So let me explain why these last few days are easy for me to understand. It is clear that greater minds have got together to come up with this "fight" between Mr. Obama and Mr. Wright to allow Mr. Obama to distance himself and not make it look like what it really is. THE HEAT!! Mr. Obama needs to find someway to put this fire out because he knows even if he gets the nomination he will have to answer questions about Mr. Wright all during the general election if he doesn't. Now for all of you who have already wrote me off as a lunatic let me ask you this: Mr. Obama didn't say he was done with the church. Changing the pastor has little to do with the message or the people sitting in the pews. Knowing the way his congregation feels about whites, and America should alone be reason not to belong to that church. Could Hillary be a member of the KKK and get a pass from the media by saying she doesn't quite agree with a lot of the things they say. By not saying he would not attend the church means he can stay there as long as he wants. If he had taken the high road and left the church he could never go back after he was elected.

    Nice try Mr. Obama and Mr. Wright. Maybe if you don't get the nomination you can try being an actor.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:27 am |
  10. f. molag

    CNN gives Reverend Wright too much media attention feeding on his big ego. Be kinder too Obama and drop Rev Wright of the radar sceen; he is very dedructive

    April 30, 2008 at 1:27 am |
  11. Laura

    This is another sign of why I wouldn't and will not ever vote for this man....Too many skeletons in your past for me MR. OBAMA, If you are our nominee, Your not getting my vote.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:23 am |
  12. john

    hope obama wins next tuesday primary,if he loses both or wins one ,especially losing indiana,rev wright will say i told u so,this guy already sacrifice a lot at this time

    April 30, 2008 at 1:21 am |
  13. Brandon Hayes

    "If the corporate media had been as diligent about watchdogging President Bush as they have been about watchdogging Reverend Wright, it's very likely we wouldn't have invaded Iraq.

    If the corporate media had spent as much time exposing the obvious flaws and grotesque inequalities of Reaganomics throughout the last 30 years as they've spent on Wright, we wouldn't necessarily be staring into the maw of another depression.

    If the corporate media were as diligent about debunking the lies surrounding Iran's so-called nuclear program as they've been about Wright, there wouldn't be such a sense of inevitability in terms of attacking - or entirely obliterating - Iran."

    April 30, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  14. Skyler

    ...but Sen. Obama, Rev. Wright is "like an uncle" remember??? How can Rev. Wright's views be so wrong after your 20 years of association? Just like an uncle, you can't divorce yourself from him because he makes some outrageous comments.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  15. Cathy

    I believe Senator Obama when he says that Rev. Wright is his "former pastor" and feels that Rev. Wright's media remarks are disturbing and does not wish that they be contributed to him. I found Senator Obama's presence to be composed and his words appeared to me to express his emotion and concerns. The inferences I drew from his words were that he was in disbelief and diappontment that his former pastor would talk in such a way a way that he had never heard before. Why did he take so long to respond because I belief Sen. Oboma is not a "hater". I suspect he took time to think about the words he knew, not the media, not his campaign advisors, but he personally had to make to the general public concerning Rev. Wright's words. I feel it is the media that gave Rev. Wright a platform and continued to give Rev. Wright more than his 30min of fame. It is the media that asked Rev Wright questions that were "baiting" These questions were, "How does it make you feel when Barrack denouced you (journalist on PBS). Journalist at the mike at the press conference, "Did you feel disappointed when Barrack,,,,," Journalist and commentators are very clever when they pose questions or make inferences to their audiences. I feel it is up to us voters to decide on our own what is best for us. If you want to know what someones views are listen to the candidates, read their books in their own words, look at their works during their adult years- why did they decide to run for public offices, what did they do while in public office, what are their passions, their dreams, and concerns about the current state of affairs. Are they representative of the party that the majority of voters state they are affiliated to/or want to feel an affilation to. I feel we are more than just Americans we are part of a world which is changing quickly and many in America and the world for that matter are suffering. Please media let the american public decide without statements that one has to be a "philosphy major or understand a false inference from a sound and vaild statement question. Thanks.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  16. Mike

    Barack Obama has done nothing but tell the truth. In his entire campaign he has tried to speak to the American people like adults, but obviously we are not grown up enough to see what the real issues are. Hillary has done nothing but dirty politics and even after this Obama rose above it and stayed fair, only speaking facts. And I don't have to tell you there are plenty of things to say about Hilary Clinton, have you ever looked into her pastor or McCain's pastors. However, THOSE TOPICS ARE NOT IMPORTANT!!! The economy, the war, the environment, Washington lobbyists, the homeless, and corporate corruption are the real problems this country has to face.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:17 am |
  17. paul

    the news media continues to put rev. wright in the presidential race. he is not running for president. Obama is. let it go and lets continue to cover the important issues like gasoline, education, jobs and stupid spending on stupid so-called wars.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  18. Lauren, Wheeling WV

    Rev. Wright must be missing the attention after his retirement.because apparently, he can't stand sharing the spotlight with a man more popular than himself.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:11 am |
  19. Ann Marie

    We must remember that the question period during the Press Conference is where Rev. Wright was out of character. It was like a trial. That�s not his comfort zone. Did George Snuffleupagus prepare the questions? I agree Rev. Wright should not have gone to the Press Conference, but I find that the questions were rude and insulting. That�s when Rev. Wright got upset I believe.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:11 am |
  20. Kahlaya D.

    Rev. Wright said Obama is only distancing himself because he is a politician, Is that a hidden message from Wright meaning that Obama would agree with his views and feelings if he weren't running for office? Obama said himself that he refers to Rev. Wright as an uncle, wich me Obama is his nephew, family...it doesn't get any closer than that. What over the course of their 20 year relationship, bonded them so closely that they refer to eachother as family?

    April 30, 2008 at 1:10 am |
  21. Judy

    I usually agree with you but on this I take issue. If the Reverend were truly interested in seeing Obama become the first black Afro-American nominated for the highest office in the land he would keep his mouth shut. He could always write a book later and collect all the royalities and clear his name. He does not have to emerge NOW.
    As a supporter of Senator Obama, I find Wright utterly offensive. Now that he has emerged on center stage he has proven to be just what the NYT called him, an "egomaniac." It is hard enough for Obama to transcend race and speak on the issues that plague us without having to deal with someone who finds it hard just to sit on the side-lines. You wonder what his real motive is. Is he devisive, yes and all you can hope for is that the black community will blame him if Obama loses his chance to be the role model he so wanted to be.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:04 am |
  22. Amber

    The problem is with your candidate Roland! If Obama had made more of an effort to show Americans what he believes and define himself more clearly no one else would be doing it for him.
    The reason Rev. Wright is in the foreground is because of a lack of previous understanding of Obama.
    Obama is a great motivator, he speaks of change and he speaks it often. He also says to his attackers 'you know me better than that' the problem is that America doesn't.
    The real issue is not Rev. Wright, it is what does Barrack Obama believe in? Besides the general change. Even in the faith forum I failed to come away with a firmer understanding.
    You want to help your candidate then get him an interview spot on 360 where he addresses direct questions about his beliefs. A one on one, not a gym full of people.
    I am still open to your candidate and if he gets the nomination I want to believe in him. I just need firmer ground to stand on.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:02 am |
  23. Shertl Hogan

    PLEASE ANDERSON! Do not stoop to the lower common denominator. Enough of the Wright story and Senator Obama. I have admired your work . Do not become a muckracker! There are much more important issues then this. Maybe you have no choice or voice? You do, we do. Sheryl Hogan

    April 30, 2008 at 1:02 am |
  24. Larry in New Orleans

    When is the press going to put it all of this Obama and Rev. Wright stuff together? Today Barack Obama says "he is outraged and saddened” that this “wasn’t the person that I met 20 years ago”. Has anybody really listened to Michelle Obama? Obviously she has been going to church…"People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and…for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback”. It sounds to me like Michelle Obama is a disciple of Rev. Wright. Does Barack Obama really expect us to believe he didn’t know this Rev. Wright? The depth of this relationship is staggering… And now he flip-flops and denounces Rev. Wright expecting us to believe him; too little way to late. Thank you Rev. Wright for showing us the real Barack Obama.

    April 30, 2008 at 1:00 am |
  25. Bernice

    Let's do what should be done, what Obama said, let's take this time to share and enlighten we other so that we can grow and develop into a better nation, one that truly embraces each other, one that recognizes the difference, but accept that we all have a share in this nation cause ain't none us willing to leave each group claims it share!
    Instead of tearing down the best candidate this nation has let's make the most of what is at hand. Yes! I am upset about a lot of things that have been said, but I have to believe that we as a nation can rise beyond this I only ask that we don't bite off our foot before we do!

    April 30, 2008 at 12:57 am |
  26. Lynn

    Liberation theology is misguided & distorts Christianity.

    Christ was crucified to liberate all people from sin & eternal death.
    He promises Paradise in Heaven for Eternity with Him; not on earth; this valley of tears & suffering.
    In Jesus' own day different groups were wanting him to be the type of Messiah that they wanted Him to be; & for preaching God's true plan He was murdered out of envy.

    Rev. Wright is just another misguided, though decorated, leader who has lost his way & is leading people astray; off of the narrow path to Christ. I guess he thought he could improve on Christ's Way.
    It's of utmost importance whom we choose to follow. We have so much false advertising in this world that I believe we have forgotten how to discern what is noble and true.

    Our lives must be full of daily good works to help and love those less fortunate than ourselves. Weakness, selfishness, sloth, fear, greed & lust for power are main obstacles to a better world filled with loving compassion. Sound religion & govenrment can be beneficial instuments to peace & prosperity for all people. It's up to us; we the people.
    Let's move on from Rev. Wright & not give him anymore undeserved publicity. We truly could use some good news for a change!

    April 30, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  27. Shannon McMurphy

    I can understand Obama renouncing Rev. Wright as the crackpot he is.
    HOWEVER, I can't believe he and his wife sat in that church for 20 years and NEVER heard anything similar. It just doesn't make any sense. Rev. Wright MUST have said similar things during all that time.
    Seems too convenient to say he was "never there" when he made those comments.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  28. Donna Vaughn

    As a Christian it really troubles me to see a professed man of God be so dismissive of Obama. Here is a man born to a white mother and a black father watching as his pastor totally disregards his birth legacy. I had initially thought that Rev. Wright was unfairly depicted but his performance over the last few days changed my mind. I also think that it is sad that other Christians are holding Barack hostage for the foolishness of his pastor. I believe Obama when he stated that he had not heard Rev. Wright 's hatred filled sermons because that would be disrespectful to his grandmother that raised him. I also believe that he is a family man and he would not subject his daughters to a conflicted hate filled message knowing that they have white grandparents. Hopefully the wisdom of our elderly and the freshness of the new generation will see though the media circus and realize this simple fact. Barack Obama loves his parents and his grandparents and the conflicted views of Rev Wright that have been recently revealed to him are a contradiction to that love. So Barack did the right thing today in totally distancing himself from Rev Wright.
    donna vaughn

    April 30, 2008 at 12:47 am |
  29. Paris

    It is more than ever apparent that Senator Obama doesn’t have the judgment to become President at this time.

    We need a leader.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  30. Bernice

    Des Houston,

    How dare you speak to something you have no clue about first of all the fact that you would suggest that your parents be spoken to back your comment says a lot, you are obviously a young person, that's fine, nothing wrong with being young, but being young would mean that you are not old enough to understand and appreciate the depth of this situation at hand. What we are dealing with here is a man (Rev. Wright) that has lived here in a nation that he loves, but in a great many ways did NOT love him back, but has been guilty of inflicting a unspeakable amount of PAIN more sudden NOW, but at one time his time if you will they made an open sport of doing so. THAT'S A FACT! A fact that unless you experienced it YOU my friend know NOTHING ABOUT!!

    Now this thing about you being an American before you were black!! That my young friend is the most foolish thing you said yet. Are you to suggest that you skin did not become black until or upon coming to America? What I would suggest YOU ASK your parents if they have the same view as you on the matter because I'm am most willing to bet that if they are at least 40 years or more they will attest to things that they obviously have not shared with you about their black experiences whether in Africa or America. Ask them if they became black only after coming to America?

    April 30, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  31. Phyllys

    Most people seem to have forgotten that Obama is the one that connected himself to Rev. Wright. The press did not, and Clinton did not. He did that all by himself. He has gone to great lengths to be sure everyone knows that Rev. Wright has been his "spirital mentor" for the last 20 years. Obama listened to Rev. Wrights tapes, and Rev. Wright was also his inspiration in his book about Audacity. How could he not know about Rev. Wrights opinions? Did Obama make it all up? Perhaps he lied. What is the truth?
    Or has he only attended church when Rev. Wright didn't rant on and on with his hate and divisivness? Did he only listen to the tapes that did not include the hate and divisivness?
    Obama is playing both sides. One side has to be a lie.
    The things that Rev. Wright says is very relevant to Obama. The press does need to keep covering the Rev. Wright story and not be side-tracked by the Obama campaign that so desperately is trying to "get back to the issues". Rev Wright is the issue since it says how Obama makes choices in his life. If Obama has been so wrong about Rev. Wright even though he has know him for nearly 20 years, how can Obama be trusted to make decisions for the United States?

    April 30, 2008 at 12:45 am |
  32. Ava

    I know the Obama's were affiliated with this church 20yrs, however I don't think that the relationship that Barack said they had ("He's like an uncle to me".)was indeed a close relationship.

    After watching Rev. Wright's speeh here in Detroit I was willing to give a pass on some of the comments he made,specifically the comments made toward Pres. Kennedy and the way he spoke, they highly offensive and disrespectful of a deceased president. But the speech here in Detroit was over all well done.

    But the spectical at the national press association was over the top. He threw Obama under the bus the first chance he got. It almost seemed as if he was mad at Barack.

    This situation has gone to far, the media has played a major part in grinding this story to death. However, my prayers and support go out to Sen.Obama and Michelle because I know this was not an easy decision to make. We must all remember that we are human first and life is real regardless of your ambitions and goals. I respect and support his position and I hope we can move from this tragic story.

    Ava Obama 08!

    April 30, 2008 at 12:43 am |
  33. Larry S

    why do you think he went downhill, well I must say if the truth hurts you need to wake up, nothing he said even though you thought it was offencive, was said to open up you eyes and minds, Obama is being political the rev. stated that and politician do just what politicians do, spin and say thing they know people want to hear, but the rev. was saying what they don't want to hear, truth about seperation and desegration, superior and inferior, when I first heard those soundbite of Rev. Wrights I was taken back, but after hearing the whole sermon and all of his speeches the Moyer, Naacp, and the press club in its entirty, not bits and pieces, I had a better understanding and a respect for what he was saying, I'm not a follower of Minister Farakhan, but he to has worked hard to free black men from drugs and low esteem, the opposite of what our society is and has done for years of incarsation not rehabiltation, the truth hurts white america

    April 30, 2008 at 12:33 am |
  34. Sandra Boland

    In this controversy regarding why Sen. Obama has attended this particular church for so long and that it infers that he agrees with everything Pastor Wright preaches, I think it is worth noting that individuals attend a given church for far more reasons then "The Pastor". Church is often a place that has great programs for our kidz, that fosters relationships with others of like faith that support and encourage growth as a person and spiritually. Many parishiners I would say don't agree with everything the Bible says or everything the particular denomination holds as truth let alone what the pastor preaches. Simply, selecting and attending church is not just about "The Pastor".

    Sandra Boland

    April 30, 2008 at 12:32 am |
  35. Bernice

    This is so very sad it truly makes me want to cry I saw today the hurt in Obama as he stood before the nation having to do the one thing that he did not want to do, the one person that he was willing to risk all for. For weeks now Obama has had people from every aspect of the media and political arenas insisting that he go beyond denouncing hurtful sermons insisting his separation and denunciation of his pastor, having to endure the possibilities of a failed race to white house because of his refusal to do so because of his love for this man that has been a special part of his and his family's life. This pastor baptized him and his children.

    What most in the white community do not understand is the close relationship most blacks have with their pastor, that relationship may not necessarily be personal or one on one but it is one of the heart, especially if he or she was the instrument used by God to draw you to Christ and doubly hard if that person is an elder. We as blacks have a fondness for our elders so much so that we will tolerate a lot of things from them that we will not from others. Whether we agree with them or not we love them. In most black churches we are FAMILY and as in every family we disagree if that pastor is an man he becomes a father, brother, son and yes an uncle to his members. It's amazing that most whites do not understand that . They have said so many times over these pass weeks they don't get a lot of things, well for us we don't get the fact that they don't get it! How can they be in churches for so long and not become FAMILY? Not understand Obama's relationship with pastor Wright?

    Most in the black community are angry that whites have asked Obama to leave his church, we're thinking how dare they even have the nerve to ask this, it's almost like asking most blacks to leave their home!
    We were so very proud that Obama was not willing to denounce his pastor, Obama knew he could not do this he knew blacks would think the worst of him. After all Rev. Wright did not do say anything wrong and plus he was at home when he said what he said, how dare they come in our home and take what was said there and demand that it is wrong, it;s not as if there were lies to hurt anyone, there were no secrets, the doors of the church were open to welcome all, but they went in and came out with deceit in hearts to misuse what we said and then put us on display for all to pass judgements about our church, the heart of our culture.

    The only way for us to accept Obama rejection of Rev. Wright is if he did something intentionally to hurt campaign and / or any group, that's the only way for an denouncement, well he did just that, he went TOO FAR on Monday, he should have left the other two days events as well enough. So Obama had every right to do what he did today!! Only it is of very sad for both Obama and Rev. Wright, I hurt for both.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:27 am |
  36. richard

    Brother Roland! Where is your empathy brother? The Reverend was just telling it like it is you know and we know that we must be as one. The Pastor has the right to denounce Obama and you know what Brother Martin, your boy is not in the clear when he knew about this every Sunday at Trinity Christ. Roland you are cool but man when the timing is right you come out and defend Barack when God himself knows full well that Pastor Wright did nothing to Obama except tell it like it is!!! Brother Roland even Reverend Al Sharpton agrees with Pastor Wright how is it that you disagree with the truth of the people. Brother Roland Farrakhan even agrees with Pastror Wright. We are united in this and we must overcome and let the people see the light. God bless brother Roland!

    April 30, 2008 at 12:17 am |
  37. Deborah

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright you have made yourself Saul and Barach David. Rev. you had your day and you stated the truth on Friday and Sunday, however on Monday you were out the box. Did you not get enough sleep the night before. I believe if you can't say anything good about a person/people than don't say anything at all. Rev., why would you take an innocent politician and belittle him in your condescending way and think you can get away with it. Rev., please use the wisdom God gave you and let this young man dream his dreams. Rev. stop chasing Barach now, don't you remember the story of David and Saul, repent turn from your antiquated thoughts and pray. David wins in the end and Saul dies with a broken heart. Nobody owes you anything, you of all people know that we're here on this earth to help others. Let Barach live his life, God can payback better than you or I ever could.
    Barach loves you like you were his Father, just like David loved Saul.
    Always think before you speak. You have become divisive! Have you seen your Monday morning press conference? I don't think you saw your behavior. This can pass, so let it and get back to doing God's Work.
    Peace and Love, Deb

    April 30, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  38. Larry S

    I have heard so many mis representations of Rev. Wrights speeches,and I have to say just how onesided the media is, you chastize a man for telling the truth, about a double standard country, OH how one can say those things,well he's tell the country just whats wrong with the country, I reject Obama for his rejection of someone who is speaking the truth, yes Obama is being political, he wants to save face with the white establishment, so he disavows what every black person knows as the truth, saying he want to bring this country together, I say what pipe is he smoking, as long as people cannot face the fact that different isn't deficient, and white isn't superior to black, brown, red or yellow but we all bleed the same and made the same. can we overcome seperation and discrimination, the first thing Obama and the american people need to come face to face with is as the rev. stated that we are all made in the image of our maker, even though the white race seem to think he made a mistake when he created people of different colors, in gods eyes we are the same.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  39. Ruth NC

    Everyone agrees that we need to get back to the issues, but the reason this Wright situation is so importend is that if Obama lied about what he knew and when, is important.
    If he, as Wright seems to indicate, believes in the same values and sees the world thru the same galsses as his pastor, we need to know.
    How else do we know how much, if anything, of what he tells us is true and he will work toward these goals?
    Once he is in the white house it's too late.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:12 am |
  40. April Garlow

    I am amazed at how many people say Rev. Wright is speaking the truth. I am white married to a Native American, with a sister who has been married to a black man for 35 years, and we have alot of mixes of race in our family. Most people that I know, are so worried about thier own problems, they aren't trying to keep other people down. Believe it or not, we all are just too busy for that, so it bothers me that I am somehow lumped into that sort of group. Black racism isn't any more acceptable than white racism. Putting down people because of the things that thier great, great, granparents did, is unjust. My grandfather was persecuted in Hungary and left for America at age 8. His parents did not want him to hang onto bitterness and anger , and I would not want to.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:09 am |
  41. Terry

    I can't believe all these people, talking about I can't believe that Obama was a member of this church for so long and didn't know what was going on. When in reality this is not the first time that a person has been caught off guard and felt let down by a church. The Catholic Church had its down falls and if you think about it I bet you can name a lot more. So it shouldn't be a surprise preachers are only human.

    The Truth hurts, so I know this won’t make it onto the Blog, but it needed to be said anyway.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:07 am |
  42. Victoria

    You CAN NOT go to a church for '20' years, choose to be MARRIED there by Pastor Wright, have your children BAPTIZED there by Pastor Wright and NOT know the beliefs of the minister!
    By staying in the church, Obama was saying that he accepted what was being preached. Obama even called this minister his “MENTOR”. We all saw the clips of the congregation laughing at and applauding the outrageous ideas of Wright. Yet, today, Obama called the congregation “good people”. This cleartly shows where Obama’s head is!!! Indiana and North Carolina. It also explains Ms. Obama comment about not being proud of her country until 'now'.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  43. Terry & Christine Noble

    The world, the media, everyone needs to re-focus their attention on the main issues here and STOP being sidetracked by this one individual, Reverend Wright. This is one of the problems we need to learn to rise above as intelligent people. We waste more times and energy reporting and discussing issues that are insignificant and has no value or merit because this is what most of the people want to hear. How many times do we have to hear or see re-runs on this footage? Why should Senator Obama or I, if I were in his situation, continue to apologize for the words spoken from another’s mouth and not his own? Everyone knows that no one can control or dictate the words or actions done by another. So why are WE trying to make Senator Obama responsible for the words and actions of Reverend Wright, just because of their association? Let the real truth be told! Some of the people are frightened to know that there is a strong possibility that we could have a black president for the first time in history. So, we start to look and build on every negative aspect that surface to stop this from occurring. The media continues to plant and repeat these negative messages and images of Obama so that the people will not vote for him. Let your thoughts and mind be not shadowed by this smoke screen at hand and yet to come, because your heart knows the real truth even if it goes unspoken. Let's move on....

    April 30, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  44. Diane

    It sadden me that so many American people just don't get it! I am so sorry to see Obama and his Pasture's relationship damaged. Rev Wright's opinions are understandable because of the time in history in which he has lived. We love Obama because he understands how tire the American people are of the divisions we deal with everyday be it racism, lack of health, using attack tatics to solve issues. the war, oppression of others attacks like we seen today. It is a sad day if all it takes is Rev Wright's speech to change how the America people vote

    April 30, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  45. k from miami

    you know, i am not quite sure what to be more unsettled about...ms. clinton's unabashed pandering (and truly foul lies about bosnia and snipers) , or mr. obabma;s associations. i guess for me, his honesty and ability to confront the latest hurdle tossed in front of him (not without genius exactitude in terms of propaganda from the other candidate, such is war). i watched your show (as i flip back to fox, just for laughs) tonight, and i can't really reconcile the need for such devision between not only the races, but between women, homosexuals, intellectuals, trades people, and so on. ay, such is the plight of the whole hearted.

    April 30, 2008 at 12:03 am |
  46. Raphael

    Roland Martin the man who just a few days ago was boosting what a great man Jerimiah Wright is and defending his sermons.
    What a difference a few days makes. Obama and Roland represent the same thing "Change" to whatever is going to benefit you that day.
    Take a stand and stick with it.

    Roland Martin-Hypocrite

    Barack Obama-Bigger Hypocrite

    Jerimiah Wright-Priceless

    April 30, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  47. Kimberly

    Let me first say I never had any intention of voting for Obama. I believe that unity between blacks and whites has been more improved due to the Obama campaign, I think Rev. Wrights statements in his sermons especially the attitude, arrogance and indifference displayed in the past two days have been a set back to all of us who want this country move forward.
    Kimberly, Las Vegas

    April 29, 2008 at 11:59 pm |
  48. jimmy vekmen

    there are no more excuses for Obama to cling to.
    His "major speech "on Pastor J. Wright was nothing more than his usual rhetoric. and now his Pastor Mentor Friend of 20 years is even more vehement and radical. Speeches alone are not eniugh
    to explain Obama's poor judgement.. He said it in his speech and is on record. " I could no more disown him (Pastor Wright) than he could disown his own church" Obama's words did not ring true.

    April 29, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  49. Harry-From some place In the world

    Mike, KD, Xtina, and the rest, it's funny how you say what you say. Obama is his own man. He should answer for himself. Not for what someone else says. This guy is running for the highest office in America. And some parts of the world. Guilty by association is in effect only if he is still getting advice or being mentored by this guy. The sermon is something that was preached years ago. Obama's public records show that he was not present when the speech was given. So it is true that maybe he didn't know the whole fact. But let's get serious here for a second. What is this really about? We all know that if Obama was White with such a lead on Hilary, he would have been tossed out long since. Furthermore, if it was Hilary in the lead, I think by just a half a percentage point, white America would have forced Barack's to drop out. Wright is your tongue in the public. He says what you don't want to. He says what you are thinking. Don't think for a second the black people are not smart enough to pick up on this. How many other presidential hopefuls have ran and been elected who the public did not know much about. White America working Americans using the scape goat that they don't know Barack, and that he needs to come to them and introduce himself. Well, how well did you know the current president when you voted for him. look at how many jobs he has preserved for you and how much he has done for the white middle class. We are in a recession, gas prices are high, food prices are going up and we are in a war that is costing us a billion dollars a day. Something to think about. Stop using Rev. Wright to stop Obama.

    April 29, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  50. Cathryn Carroll

    In some way Rev. Wright reminded me of those old testament prophets shaking finger and voice at the powerful. But with the press club performance he turned into a racist and a buffoon.

    Obama is a once in a lifetime candidate. I am in the demographic that is supposed to support his current opponent. I don't. I want Obama to be president. I hope our electorate turns out to be as good as he is.

    April 29, 2008 at 11:53 pm |
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