After the Somali elder garb near-scandal which almost hurt his fame forcing Obama to publicly defend his religious stance, which some still doubted, Rev. Jeremiah Wright in his rather civil-right-style preaching seems to have cleared that religious hurdle for Obama.
Mr. Obama is a busy man. While Hilary is concentrating on her campaign unabatedly, Mr. Obama has had to prove himself worthy to be called all-american. Visible difference it seems remains an issue to be dealt with all the way. Was Rev. Wright in anyway out of contest when he said “Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary! Hillary ain’t never been called a ‘nigger!’ Hillary has never had her people defined as a non-person.” Does it or not take a “non person” to fiercely prove himself as a person when facing one that is considered a “person” by all standards? Is Rev. Wright’s statement that shocking?
Obama has had to prove himself a an american “person” all the way. First there was his middle name to defend; Second, the Somali garb which was everything but a religious attire; Third, Geraldine Ferraro’s reminder of Obama’s colour, although his mother stands a better chance of being considered whiter than Ferraro herself in europe; And last but definitely not least, Rev. Wright’s combination the two, Obama’s religion and the colour issue.
Before the race entered full gear, Rev. Wright told the New York Times “If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me … I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”
Rev. Wright was described by Obama, in a CNN interview, as his spiritual guide and not a political adviser, he also described him as someone who was born and raised at the height of the civil rights movement further indicating that he has been instrumental in shaping the african american identity.
At a time when many African Americans were rejecting Christianity as a religion imposed by slaveholders and turning to Islam, Rev. Wright took the helm of the Trinity United Church of Christ in 1972 and made its motto “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian,”
He also built the church into a powerhouse and became one of the most influential black pastors in the country with his embrace of the civil rights movement, message of empowerment and celebration of African roots, thereby attracting members like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.
While addressing this twist in tale, Rev. Otis Moss III, current pastor of the church said “It is an indictment on Dr. Wright’s ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite,”
“The African American Church was born out of the crucible of slavery and the legacy of prophetic African American preachers since slavery has been and continues to heal broken marginalized victims of social and economic injustices,” Moss also said. “This is an attack on the legacy of the African American Church which led and continues to lead the fight for human rights in America and around the world.”
Amid the uproar ignited by the Rev. Wright pronounciations, it seems though that Obama has recovered his christian dignity.