In an exclusive interview at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers` Conference, Wright told the Daily Press that he has not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, and he implied that the White House won`t allow Obama to talk to him."Them Jews ain`t going to let him talk to me," Wright said. "I told my baby daughter that he`ll talk to me in five years when he`s a lame duck, or in eight years when he`s out of office. ...This, of course, has caused a bigger controversy than Wright writing in December 2007 about Italians` having "garlic-noses" and calling Jesus`s Crucifixion "a public lynching Italian style."(To Wright, the Bible, and almost everything else, is just Chicago ethnic politics writ large.)Wright goes on to say:
"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He`s a politician; I`m a pastor. He`s got to do what politicians do."Wright also said Obama should have sent a U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, but that the president did not for fear of offending Jews and Israel. He specifically cited the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group."Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing (by) the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don`t want Barack talking like that because that`s anti-Israel," Wright said. ...In the interview after a nighttime sermon Tuesday at the ministers conference, Wright offered that he has no regrets over the controversy that resulted in a severed relationship with Obama, a former member of the Chicago church of which Wright was the longtime pastor."Regret for what ... that the media went back five, seven, 10 years and spent $4,000 buying 20 years worth of sermons to hear what I`ve been preaching for 20 years?"Regret for preaching like I`ve been preaching for 50 years? Absolutely none."Wright said that when he went to the polls, he did not hold any grudge against Obama."Of course I voted for him â€” he`s my son. I`m proud of him," Wright said. "I`ve got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven`t stopped loving any of them."He made mistakes. He made bad choices. I`ve got kids who listen to their friends. He listened to those around him. I did not disown him."
According to their 2005-2007 tax returns, Senator and Mrs. Obama donated $53,770 to Rev. Wright`s church after his election to the U.S. Senate.
Itâ€™s sometimes argued in Obamaâ€™s defense that, while this kind of thing sounds crazy-left to white people, itâ€™s actually merely on the left half of the mainstream among blacks. For example, Jodi Kantor wrote in the New York Times in 2007, â€?Mr. Wrightâ€?s church, the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ, is considered mainstreamâ€”Oprah Winfrey has attended services, and many members are prominent black professionals. But the church is also more Afrocentric and politically active than standard black congregations.â€?
Oprah, however, quit. As Allison Samuels reported in Newsweek:[Oprah] Winfrey was a member of Trinity United from 1984 to 1986, and she continued to attend off and on into the early to the mid-1990s. But then she stopped. A major reasonâ€”but by no means the only reasonâ€”was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. According to two sources, Winfrey was never comfortable with the tone of Wrightâ€?s more incendiary sermons â€¦
Unlike Obama, Oprah could quit because sheâ€™s black enough. Newsweek goes on:Friends of Sen. Barack Obama, whose relationship with Wright has rocked his bid for the White House, insist that it would be unfair to compare Winfreyâ€™s decision to leave Trinity United with his own decision to stay. â€?[His] reasons for attending Trinity were totally different,â€? said one campaign adviser, who declined to be named discussing the Illinois senatorâ€™s sentiments. â€?Early on, he was in search of his identity as an African-American and, more importantly, as an African-American man. Reverend Wright and other male members of the church were instrumental in helping him understand the black experience in America. Winfrey wasnâ€™t going for that. Sheâ€™s secure in her blackness, so that didnâ€™t have a hold on her.â€?
Conversely, according to Obamaâ€™s campaign adviserâ€™s logic, Obama is insecure in his blackness so he couldnâ€™t quit.