By Michal Ortner
Jeremiah Wright spoke to the United Church of Chapel Hill on Saturday, October 3, and made indirect references to President Obama. Though the two were closely associated before his candidacy, Obama distanced himself from the controversial pastor while pursuing election. Most recently, Wright accused President Obama of sitting still in the face of structural racism.
“My daughter and granddaughter call him our Halfrican-American president—he don’t want to talk about reparations,” Wright said. “It’s not personal responsibility. It’s not ‘pull your pants up.’ Don’t get on Fox News and lecture black men. You’re missing the point. Let’s talk about white-on-black crime. Until we have a hard dialogue, it’s all gonna be superficial, ‘Kumbaya,’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’”
Wright continued his speech by sharing a sheepdog metaphor regarding their innate ability to protect a flock of sheep once it has been ingrained in them to do so. A sheepdog will also go against its own kind for the flock.
“We got a lot of sheepdogs in the African American community,” Wright deliberated.
When asked by an older woman if he believe reparations should still be paid, Wright pulled some concepts from Luke 19 about repentance.
“One of the reasons America has never confessed to its original sin is that confession means repentance, and repentance means you gotta pay,” he said. “That’s not black people getting a check next week—it’s structural issues” like housing covenants and redlining, he said prior to pointing out the President’s discrepancies.
Obama not only distanced himself from Wright, he publicly condemned Wright for his politically charged sermons in which the pastor was known to repeatedly say “God d**n America.” In a public statement, Obama said these types of sermons by Wright “saddened” and “outraged” him.
The Chapel Hill meeting was centered on the theme of racial reconciliation.
Wright took time to give some thoughts on Donald Trump as well.
“I heard Donald Trump say if you’re here illegally you need to go back. Let’s start in the 1400s!” Wright said before making comments about “the illegal state of Israel.”
Sympathizing with the Palestinians, he said, “What kind of God you got that promised you’re a** my land?”
“You want to talk about thugs and rapists?” he said, jumping back to Trump. “Georgia was founded as a colony for criminals!”