Jeremiah Wright

More On Aids And Race
March 20, 2008

I'm straying from the topic of the campaign, but this is fascinating stuff. So I want to follow up on my earlier post about Jeremiah Wright's views on the AIDS virus as a genocidal weapon. A colleague directs me to this 2005 Washington Post article about a study which found some deeply depressing attitudes within black America about the AIDS virus, its origins, and what's being done to combat it. To some degree these numbers are a reminder that, in the context of urban America, what Wright said is not so fringe.

Superdelegates And The Wright Controversy
March 19, 2008

Former Mondale campaign manager Bob Beckel has an interesting column up at Real Clear Politics. Here's what he has to say on Wright: Obama's other electability issue depends on the outcome of the controversy surrounding his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. This story broke at an especially bad time for Obama given the five week news hiatus before the Pennsylvania primary and intensified press scrutiny from reporters who felt an obligation to be tough after the Clinton campaign's endless complaints about soft coverage for Obama. ...

Todd Gitlin Reviews Obama's Speech
March 18, 2008

We reached out to several friends of the magazine to respond to Obama's big speech in Philadelphia today. Here's what Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, had to say. This speech was a triumph on so many levels, does one dare hope it will turn the trick for hordes of parsing skeptics and listeners whose eyes did not water? First, Obama took the high road, which is also the long and demanding road. He refused to "move on" with a cursory acknowledgment that "mistakes were made." He did not acknowledge. He preached and he reasoned.

Obama's Challenge To...everybody
March 18, 2008

Barack Obama's great speeches have generally taken place in the same sorts of settings. His keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, his victory speeches after South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the Potomac primaries--Obama gave all of the addresses before large, boisterous audiences. The speeches had a certain raw power, which Obama drew from the assembled crowds. They were memorable, yes, but as much for how Obama spoke as for what Obama said. Not today. This was a different, more unsettled political moment. And so Obama decided to give a different, more unconventional sort of speech.

The Politics Of Obama's Speech
March 18, 2008

With a couple hours to mull it over, my tentative conclusion is that Obama's speech is politically smart. His over-riding imperative was not just to stop answering questions about Jeremiah Wright, it was also to get out of Ferraroworld -- in other words, to stop allowing his campaign to be defined by racial tiffs. I don't know if he'll succeed, bu the speech was probably the best he could have done to accomplish it. Obama did a couple things toward that end. The first was to discuss white and black racial grievance in a sophisticated way.

John Mcwhorter Reviews Obama's Speech
March 18, 2008

We reached out to several friends of the magazine to respond to Obama's big speech in Philadelphia today. Here's what John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had to say. In his speech in Philadelphia this morning, Barack Obama revealed that he is most definitely his own man. Those who have found Obama's statements of dissociation from his pastor Jeremiah Wright's statements a tad studious must now be satisfied. This time, Obama did not rest with incendiary and divisive--words which harbor potential toleration (i.e.

Alan Wolfe Reviews Obama's Speech
March 18, 2008

We reached out to several friends of the magazine to respond to Obama's big speech in Philadelphia today. Here's what Alan Wolfe, professor of political science at Boston College, had to say. After his forty-six state victory and moving inauguration day speech, pundits gathered to recall that brief moment back in March 2008 when there had been a sudden flurry of interest in some intemperate remarks that had been delivered by President Obama's preacher Jeremiah Wright. "What was that all about?" they ask each other.

Obama: Damned If You Do....
March 17, 2008

It's not a new point to say that Obama probably felt both political and social pressure not to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church and the credibility within Chicago's black community it brought him, but this flashback from a Chicago Reader story from this very day in 2000 illustrates the point: Obama's detractors rap him because he didn't grow up on the south side. He points out that he's spent most of his adult life there, his wife is from South Shore, and he's raising his daughter as a south-sider. His enemies also say he's too white and too bright.

Putting Wright In Context
March 17, 2008

In one of his final TNR pieces last year, Ryan Lizza fleshed out Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright: On a Sunday morning two weeks before he launches his presidential campaign, Obama is at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side, gently swaying from side to side under a giant iron cross. From the outside, the church looks more like a fortress than a house of worship, with high whitewashed brick walls topped with security cameras.

Obama And Wright
March 15, 2008

Jeremiah Wright's 2003 "War on Iraq IQ Test" underscores that the now-infamous Wright clips playing on television were neither isolated outbursts nor mere efforts at being "provocative," as Obama described the post-9/11 tirade to the New York Times last April.