We expect this over at Fox "news" where they've been reflexively repeating the false equivalence that somehow the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is somehow the same or even worse than former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke and that President Obama sitting in Wright's church for years is supposedly more offensive than Rep. Steve Scalise paling around with some white supremacists since the day the Scalise scandal broke.
If anyone thought this was confined only to Faux "news" they'd be sadly mistaken. As our friend Driftglass pointed out, we've got former Cheney sycophant Ron Christie polluting his corner over at The Daily Beast with this same nonsense. And then there's Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, who sat there like a potted plant this Sunday while one disgraced former House Speaker Newton Leroy Gingrich pulled the same stunt: Gingrich on Steve Scalise: Obama Got a Pass on Reverend Wright:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended embattled House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) by bringing up President Barack Obama‘s association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and questioning why Obama got a “pass.”
“The president explained he didn’t hear any of [Wright's controversial remarks about America], and we all gave him a pass,” Gingrich told Bob Scieffer on Face the Nation, adding Obama made a “great speech” in Philadelphia as a candidate when he attempted to distance himself from Wright.
Gingrich also invoked former Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat who was a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. He also brought up words of support from Rep.-Elect Mia Love (R-Utah), who stood by Scalise, and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who said Scalise does not have a “racist bone” in his body.
“For a 12-year-old speech to be blown up into a national story, I think, is frankly one more example of a one-sided view of reality,” he added.
Yes, it's so one-sided alright. One sided that there's no one on that set to call you out for pretending that you can remotely compare the two.
And here's more from your supposedly "liberal" MSNBC, with host Steve Kornacki allowing former Rep. Nan Hayworth to do the same thing. Kornacki didn't so much as blink an eye and was just ready to move onto the next segment and more useless handicapping of the next presidential race.
I would like for one of these talking heads to please explain to me just what it is that Rev. Wright supposedly said that is "hateful" about America, or not true for that matter. Roland Martin did a very nice job back in 2008 of putting Wright's speech in context and it's worth a read again today. It would be nice if a few of these hosts took the time to read it as well before they allow another Republican to appear on one of their shows and claim that black liberation theology is exactly the same as white supremacy.
As this whole sordid episode regarding the sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has played out over the last week, I wanted to understand what he ACTUALLY said in this speech. I've been saying all week on CNN that context is important, and I just wanted to know what the heck is going on.
I have now actually listened to the sermon Rev. Wright gave after September 11 titled, "The Day of Jerusalem's Fall." It was delivered on Sept. 16, 2001.
One of the most controversial statements in this sermon was when he mentioned "chickens coming home to roost." He was actually quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan's terrorism task force, who was speaking on FOX News. That's what he told the congregation.
He was quoting Peck as saying that America's foreign policy has put the nation in peril:
"I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday did anybody else see or hear him? He was on FOX News, this is a white man, and he was upsetting the FOX News commentators to no end, he pointed out, a white man, an ambassador, he pointed out that what Malcolm X said when he was silenced by Elijah Mohammad was in fact true, he said Americas chickens, are coming home to roost.”
"We took this country by terror away from the Sioux, the Apache, Arikara, the Comanche, the Arapaho, the Navajo. Terrorism. "We took Africans away 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 teenage and toddlers, pregnant mothers and hard working fathers.
"We bombed Qaddafi's home, and killed his child. Blessed are they who bash your children's head against the rock.
"We bombed Iraq. We killed unarmed civilians trying to make a living. We bombed a plant in Sudan to pay back for the attack on our embassy, killed hundreds of hard working people, mothers and fathers who left home to go that day not knowing that they'd never get back home.
"We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki, and we 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 that 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. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said the people we have wounded don't have the military capability we have. But they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them. And we need to come to grips with that."
He went on to describe seeing the photos of the aftermath of 9/11 because he was in Newark, N.J., when the planes struck. After turning on the TV and seeing the second plane slam into one of the twin towers, he spoke passionately about what if you never got a chance to say hello to your family again.
"What is the state of your family?" he asked.
And then he told his congregation that he loved them and asked the church to tell each other they loved themselves.
His sermon thesis:
1. This is a time for self-examination of ourselves and our families.
2. This is a time for social transformation (then he went on to say they won't put me on PBS or national cable for what I'm about to say. Talk about prophetic!)
"We have got to change the way we have been doing things as a society," he said.
Wright then said we can't stop messing over people and thinking they can't touch us. He said we may need to declare war on racism, injustice, and greed, instead of war on other countries. Read on...