The Chicago Tribune recently transcribed some controversial sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's former pastor. As can be seen below, many of his remarks were taken out of context.
SEPT. 16, 2001
Sound bite: "We've bombed Hiroshima, we've bombed Nagasaki, we've nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye. . . . We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant. Because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Wright in context:
"I heard Ambassador [Edward] Peck on an interview yesterday, did anybody else see him or hear him? He was on Fox News. This is a white man, and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end. Did you see him, John? A white man. He pointed out, an ambassador, that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true, that America's chickens are coming home to roost.
"We took this country by terror away from the Sioux, the Apache, the Iroquois, the Comanche, the Arapaho, the Navajo. Terrorism. We took Africans from their country to build our way of ease and kept them enslaved and living in fear. Terrorism. We bombed Grenada and killed innocent civilians, babies, non-military personnel; we bombed the black civilian community of Panama, with stealth bombers, and killed unarmed teenagers and toddlers, pregnant mothers and hard-working fathers. We've bombed [Moammar] Gadhafi's home and killed his child.
"Blessed are they who bash your children's heads against the rocks. We bombed Iraq; we killed unarmed civilians trying to make a living. We bombed a plant in Sudan to pay back an attack on our embassy. Killed hundreds of hard-working people, mothers and fathers who left home to go that day, not knowing that they would never get back home.
"We've bombed Hiroshima, we've bombed Nagasaki, we've nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye. Kids playing in the playground, mothers picking up children after school, civilians not soldiers, people just trying to make it day by day.
"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and Black South Africans, and now we are indignant. Because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards.
"America's chickens are coming home to roost. Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred and terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that, y'all, not a black militant. Not a reverend who preaches about racism.
Sound bite: "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America'? No, no, no, not 'God Bless America,' 'God Damn America.' "
Wright in context:
"…The United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on the reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating the citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains. The government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton fields, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of the racist bastions of higher education and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America'?
"No, no, no, not 'God Bless America,' 'God Damn America.' That's in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating its citizens as less than human, God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent."
JAN. 13, 2008
Sound bite: "Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain't. Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinski. He was riding dirty."
Wright in context:
"There is a man here who can take this country in a new direction. 'But he's a black man.' There is a man here who is empowered by hope to usher in an era of change in a country that is in desperate need of a change. 'But he ain't black enough.' There is a man here who can get Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and persons of no faith to sit down at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood and talk about our common humanity and our common future. 'But I ain't gonna vote for him 'cause I don't want to waste my vote.' 'But Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us.' No he ain't. Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty."
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service.