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Thursday, March 13, 2008


posted by on March 13 at 15:09 PM

Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Weight—a man who is at least as much a surrogate for the Obama campaign as Geraldine Ferraro was for Hillary’s—delivered a fiery, race-centric sermon arguing that Hillary, as a white woman, has never had to battle adversity (partial transcript below):

Jesus was a poor black man who lived in a country, and who lived in a culture, that was controlled by rich white people. The Romans were rich, the Romans were Italians, which means they were white, and they controlled everything in Jesus’ country.

It just came to me in the past couple weeks, y’all, why so many folks are hatin’ on Barack Obama. He doesn’t fit the model. He ain’t white. He ain’t rich, and he ain’t privileged.

Hillary fits the mold. Europeans fit the mold… Hillary never never had a cab whiz past her and not pick her up because her skin was the wrong color. Hillary never had to worry about getting pulled over because her skin was the wrong color.

I am sick of Negros who just do not get it. Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home. Barack was. … Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had her people defined as non-persons. Hillary ain’t had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by the rich white folk who run everything. …

Jesus taught me how to love the hell out of my enemies and not be reduced to their level of hatred bigotry and small-mindedness. … That’s why I love Jesus, y’all. He never let their hatred dampen his hope.

Meanwhile, Hillary attempts to heal the wounds Ferraro’s statements have caused in the black community.

I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously [Ferraro] doesn’t speak for the campaign, she doesn’t speak for any of my positions.

Once one of us has the nomination there will be a great effort to unify the Democratic Party and we will do so, because, remember, I have a lot of supporters who have voted for me in very large numbers and I would expect them to support Senator Obama if he were the nominee.

The fact that Clinton is encouraging her supporters to unite behind the nominee now—while we’re still in the midst of this overheated primary battle—gives me hope. Maybe, once this campaign is over, both sides will finally agree that racism and sexism (and classism and homophobia) are interlocking issues, and that none of them will be solved by pitting victim against victim, a la Ferraro or Wright. That would be nice.

RSS icon Comments


Jesus was black? In all the pictures I've seen he looks like a white aldy with a soft pretty beard.

Posted by inkweary | March 13, 2008 3:10 PM


Am hoping to see the Obama camp take this opportunity to seize on this point and level it.

On the positive side? At least he ain't the Rev. Parsley.

Posted by Max Bell | March 13, 2008 3:11 PM


Posted by infrequent | March 13, 2008 3:12 PM

oops: white lady

Posted by inkweary | March 13, 2008 3:12 PM

That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Oh well.

Posted by Not Holding Breath | March 13, 2008 3:13 PM

I agree that what Wright's saying is not a good thing for the Obama campaign. That said, I don't think he's a surrogate for the Obama campaign in the same way that Ferraro--an ACTUAL MEMBER of the Clinton campaign--was for her candidate's.

Posted by leek | March 13, 2008 3:15 PM

so he is part of obama's finance committee? or is he obama's pastor? Intellectually dishonest argument and a typo to boot ECB

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:16 PM

Wow, Erica,

It is now clear that you are on the winning side of things.

It is encouraging to see that you realize how easy it is to divert attention from the situation at hand and find a surrogate to place an equal ammount of blame on.

I can't count how many times I have seen this pastor on Hardball, Oreilly, Hannity, etc... shooting his coloured mouth off all the time.

Ferrarro wasn't even on TV that much, or really even campaigning for Hillary.

We all know that blacks have a problem with being thieves, and now they are trying to steal the election.


Posted by ecce homo | March 13, 2008 3:18 PM

Hillary, again, talks out of both sides of her mouth.

Your post is ironic, to say the least

Posted by Michael | March 13, 2008 3:18 PM

the conservative blogs are all up on this one...

what position did wright hold on obama's campaign?

Posted by infrequent | March 13, 2008 3:18 PM

She must have watched Keith Olbermann last night.

Posted by JC | March 13, 2008 3:19 PM

if he had called the romans, dagos, than that would have been funny.

this is gonna piss off the AY talians.

Posted by SeMe | March 13, 2008 3:20 PM

Whatever his connection to the Obama campaign, he just sounds like an ignorant, race-baiting hate monger to me. Replace "white people" with "gays" and you've got Hutch.

Posted by john cocktosin | March 13, 2008 3:21 PM

Your notion of who is a "surrogate" makes no sense at all. Sloppy, sloppy logic!

Posted by jonglix | March 13, 2008 3:21 PM

that's right, ECB is attack Obama's pastor.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:21 PM

"the Rev. Jeremiah Weight—a man who is at least as much a surrogate for the Obama campaign as Geraldine Ferraro was for Hillary’s"

Come on, really? REALLY?

Other than that, yeah.

Posted by w7ngman | March 13, 2008 3:21 PM

As much as I'm a supporter of Obama, I'm strongly against him using politics in his sermons. Regardless of party, politics should never ever be brought up in church.

With this said, if Obama's the nominee, the Republicans can easily use this video against him, as Fox has demonstrated.

Posted by apres_moi | March 13, 2008 3:22 PM

well played. this is not, in the end, good for obama.

Posted by infrequent | March 13, 2008 3:23 PM

Wright may not be part of Obama's finance committee, but Obama did name his book ("The Audacity of Hope") after a sermon of Wright's. Obama has also declared his mission as a politician to "go out and do the Lord's work." By that, I assume he means whatever Wright tells him to do.

Posted by jamier | March 13, 2008 3:23 PM

I don't understand why Hillary's supporters would unite behind a candidate who is unqualified to be president. Is Hillary going to tell them all she didn't mean what she has been saying all this time? That she didn't mean McCain was qualified and Obama wasn't? Or maybe she didn't mean that it matters whether or not they are qualified.

It's hard for me to see how Hillary wouldn't be a liability; Obama would constantly be asked to explain all the contradictions surrounding her bizarre statements.

Posted by elenchos | March 13, 2008 3:23 PM

I have to echo the sentiment I read somewhere on the internet that having a black man and a woman as the nominees has been 100% less fun that I expected it to be.

I think I am the only one left who thinks were still have two great nominees. The surrogates are getting disgusting. I felt like there was a lot more misogyny in the MSM at first against Hillary, but she's getting nasty and now there's getting to be more racism too.

It's as if everyone is fighting for scraps of justice because there isn't enough to go around. Well, if we stay divided there certainly won't be.

Posted by exelizabeth | March 13, 2008 3:24 PM

lmao "ECB is attack Obama's pastor". that is gold.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:25 PM

Clinton wouldn't be trying to make amends if she didn't need the black vote.

Ferraro wouldn't have made her comment if she wasn't a racist.

Weight wouldn't have made his comment if he wasn't a racist.

YOU have yet to denounce or reject ferraro's comments, and have only attacked the victim, which is telling (racist).

Posted by cochise. | March 13, 2008 3:25 PM

Wright has a formal role on the campaign:

Posted by ECB | March 13, 2008 3:28 PM

@21. unfortunately, i agree. and all these sexist and racist comments -- which would be difficult for repubs to air in the national election, are all out there in the open.

Posted by infrequent | March 13, 2008 3:31 PM

On the other hand, doesn't this tend to prove that he isn't a Muslim?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 13, 2008 3:31 PM

@8. damn you are a racist idiot. You make this sound like it's 1968 again. "colored"???

We all know that blacks have a problem with being thieves, and now they are trying to steal the election.

You think blacks have a problem being thieves? That's a fucking lie and stereotype you're brainwashed to believe. Do we need to remind you who killed millions of Native Americans, stole their land, drove them reservations, took blacks from Africa against their will, forced them into slavery, forced them to live oppressed lives after being freed from shackles, committed crimes against humanity upon blacks, latinos, asians, and Native Americans, forced millions of Japanese Americans to live in internment camps, treated blacks as lab rats to study the effects of Syphilis, and many other countless atrocities????

Posted by apres_moi | March 13, 2008 3:32 PM
Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Weight—a man who is at least as much a surrogate for the Obama campaign as Geraldine Ferraro was for Hillary’s...

If Rev. Wright is as much a surrogate for Obama as Ferraro was for Hillary, then you might as well say that Obama's daughters Malia and Sasha are as much spokespersons for the Obama campaign as Chelsea is for Hillary's.

Frankly, I have to think Erica is better than this. There's no way she's dumb or delusional enough to believe half the stuff she writes.

Yes, I have to believe it's just an act. Ergo, I have to say I admire Erica's creativity.

Posted by cressona | March 13, 2008 3:34 PM

Yeah, being part of the "African American Religious Leadership Committee" (which as Ben Smith writes "the sort of largely honorary, advisory body") is just as much of being a surrogate of the campaign as being part of the finance committee. Are you really this bad at analogous relationships ECB?

Is this why Clinton isnt raising as much money as obama? because the finance committee is largely an honorary position?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:35 PM


yes, please, who?

Posted by cochise. | March 13, 2008 3:37 PM
Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 13, 2008 3:37 PM

finance committee member is to clinton as african american religious leader committee member is to Obama?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:39 PM

finance committee member claiming obama hasnt really earned anything in his career because of his race is to clinton as african american religious leader committee member saying that hillary doesnt know the struggle of a blacks in america is to obama?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:41 PM

@21 exelizabeth, I hear you.

It seems like associates of both candidates are jumping over themselves to say the most inane/stupid/racist/sexist things, forcing both Clinton and Obama to constantly be on the defensive because their pastor/finance chair/etc. stuck their foot in their mouth.

C'mon people! This should be obvious: use your position on the campaign to make your candidate look BETTER, not worse.

Posted by Hernandez | March 13, 2008 3:44 PM

'Hillary has never had her people defined as non-persons.'

Except when women couldn't vote. Or weren't allowed to work for their own living. And still can't become clergy in some backwards religions. But you know what, I think passion and righteous anger is a pretty good substitute for a real argument.

I mean, I haven't exactly led a life of hardship; but if I tell Diane Sawyer that my relatives were imprisoned in the holocaust, does that make me more eligible for the presidency?

PS I know you can't compare these kind of things, but the candidates and their 'surrogates' started it, so I'm gonna milk my ancestors' hardships for all they're worth.

Posted by dbell | March 13, 2008 3:47 PM

But Clinton supporters assured me that sexism was so much more of a problem than racism! How confusing.

Posted by tsm | March 13, 2008 3:48 PM

and since my attention's been alerted to it, @21 ftw -
'having a black man and a woman as the nominees has been 100% less fun that I expected it to be.'
- totally agree. Aren't we all supposed to be on the same team? You know, the one that doesn't throw accusations based on race- and gender-based misunderstanding around like a game of hot potato?

Posted by dbell | March 13, 2008 3:51 PM

dbell, did hillary experience the same historical repression within her lifetime that blacks like obama and wright have within theirs? i thinks not.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 3:54 PM

It just came to me in the past couple weeks, y’all, why so many folks are hatin’ on Hillary Clinton. She doesn’t fit the model. She ain’t a man. He ain’t male, and she ain’t privileged.

Barack fits the mold. People with penises fit the mold… Barack never never had a cab whiz past him and not pick him up because of his womb. Barack never had to worry about getting pulled over by the police because he had big tits. (Or, worse yet, not big enough tits!)

I am sick of women who just do not get it. Obama was never a woman. Hilliary was. … Obama can never know that. Barack ain’t never been called a "cunt" or a "bitch." Barack has never had his people defined as non-male. Barack ain’t had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by the rich male folk who run everything...

Posted by Erica SEE Barnett | March 13, 2008 3:55 PM

Once again, ECB, you're reaching. Really reaching a lot. You've pretty much lost all credibility. You've become Obama's Andrew Sullivan. Congrats.

Posted by monkey | March 13, 2008 3:56 PM

I dont know about the rest of you...
but I like the guy, I'd love to see more of his speech's
he's right you know

Posted by linus | March 13, 2008 3:57 PM

Wright's influence on Obama:

1) Obama called Wright his "mentor."
2) Wright converted Obama to Christianity.
3) Obama named his book "The Audacity of Hope" after one of Wright's sermons.
4) Obama asked Wright whether he should run for president.
5) Obama checks with Wright before making any "bold political moves."

Ferraro's influence on Clinton:

1) Ferraro advises Clinton on finances and, as Clinton said, "obviously doesn’t speak for the campaign."

Posted by jamier | March 13, 2008 4:00 PM

I'm no antiquities expert by any means, but didn't the Romans have a relatively hands-off approach to managing their occupations? As compared to the Greeks who insisted on Hellenizing other cultures.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 13, 2008 4:02 PM

I think Dick Gregory's version of "Clinton's ain't never been passed up by a cab!" far more entertaining.

Posted by Andy Niable | March 13, 2008 4:05 PM

exactly jamier. It is ECB's complete ignorance which I am detesting. She has so much more to work with but she doesnt even know enough to start with a valid point.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 4:06 PM

@27 Awww- it's so cute to see a Slog Newbie!

(For future reference, ignore ecce homo... he's a troll.)

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | March 13, 2008 4:06 PM

@38, I'll refer you to the last paragraph of my comment. Of course it's ridiculous to compare the hardships thatthe two have faced.

Overcoming adversity is admirable, but its ridiculous to posit that HRC is less fit to be president because she's not black, or that BHO only got where he was because people pity his background.

My point was that both campaigns are acting like children. And it makes me not want to be associated with the party.

Posted by dbell | March 13, 2008 4:17 PM

Did he say something that isn't true, or just something you would prefer not be said. I think it's the latter but maybe you are called a cunt in public, or have cabs drive past you. If so, then your post makes sense. If not why does it bother you for someone to speak the truth.

Posted by Mike in Iowa | March 13, 2008 4:18 PM

you would think that in 2008 these people might realize that everything they say can and will be recorded, disseminated over the internet, and held against them at some future date. and considering the guy is both literally and figuratively preaching to the choir here, his sentiments ring pretty hollow. lame stuff. reject, denounce, fire. next!

but whatever, i'm just waiting for hillary to provide documentation proving a cab once whizzed past her based on her gender. THEN things might get interesting.

Posted by brandon | March 13, 2008 4:22 PM

Both Ferraro and Hils were born with silver spoons in their mouths, just like GWB was.

You can tell, cause they talk trash and swear like sailors.

Seriously, there's a high correlation there.

Along with this "I deserve this" attitude they all share.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 13, 2008 4:26 PM

two days ago, some were arguing on slog that ferraro's comments were not racist. now, we are arguing about whether or not obama's pastor is as much a part of the campaign as ferraro was a part of clinton's. this is a clinton win win.

1) we are no longer only focusing on the outrageous statement ferraro made,

2) the response made (which was bound to come from someone) by wright is unsettling for many voters.

Posted by infrequent | March 13, 2008 4:35 PM

Nothing about Hillary gives me hope. Nothing.

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Baltimatt) | March 13, 2008 4:39 PM

Hillary Clinton has had to battle sexism, but not adversity. She was born into an upper-middle class family, and attended exlcusive ivy league colleges where a sucessful career path is part of the graduation package.

I'm sure she has had her private struggles and personal tragedies, and is certainly intelligent and hard-working, but she's also had a lot of very good luck.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | March 13, 2008 4:42 PM

Wow. Anytime someone breaks out the "Black Jesus" myth, you can just stop listening to them. This is tin-foil hat stuff.

The "logic" behind a black Jesus is really far-fetched. It's based on the notion that Moses was black, because he could pass as Pharaoh's grandson. And since Egypt is in Africa, and all Africans are black.... Pharaoh must have been black! And if he was, then anyone who could pass as his grandson must also be black (the irony of "passing" here is great). And since Moses was black, then the ancient Israelites must also have been black. Jesus was an Israelite, so he was black too.

The truth is that the Egyptians were fair to olive skinned. We know this from the graphics left in the pyramids & other places. They have distinct black people, from south of Egypt, as well. The Egyptians of Moses' time, and even of Jesus', do not exist anymore. They were wiped out in the 7th & 8th centuries CE by the moslem hoard spreading from Arabia. North Africa used to be populated by Semitic & Greek peoples, but the moslem genocide (still used in Darfur) erased most of that lineage.

The Romans were "Latins", who were far different looking than the Latinos of today. They were often fair haired & fair skinned. (They really didn't discriminate based on color. They'd kill anyone that didn't pay up.) The Roman art exhibit here in Seattle will illustrate these facts pretty clearly. The Italians of today have a lot of arab & african genetic makeup to them, hence the darker features. A lot happens to the gene pool over 2,000+ years, especially when organized genocide & rape are part of the equation.

Anyone who spouts off the "Black Jesus" garbage should be looked at like someone who says the sun revolves around the earth. There's just no facts at all in their story.

Posted by Sir Vic | March 13, 2008 4:51 PM

this is what i'm talking about. this cannot end well.

Posted by infrequent | March 13, 2008 4:53 PM

@53, Don't know much about his early life in Hawaii, but Obama went to Columbia. Ivy league last I checked.

On the other hand, Hillary went to college at Wellesely - elite yes, but NOT an ivy.

They both went to law school at ivies. don't go spreading rumors.

Posted by dbell | March 13, 2008 5:00 PM


Prove anything you just wrote. Just one thing.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 13, 2008 5:21 PM

@54 - everyone knows jesus was a hippie. i mean FUCK.

Posted by some dude | March 13, 2008 5:24 PM

OK, so strictly speaking, Hillary did her undergrad at a Seven Sisters, which were long regarded as the female equivalent of the Ivy League schools. (Most of the Ivy Leagues were male-only until the late 60's-early 70's.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | March 13, 2008 5:33 PM

strictly speaking, ECB is attacking Obama via his pastor of 20 years for being part of his campaign in a non important committee, for saying some real shit about hillary not facing explicit adversity like black people, instead of attacking Obama via his Pastor for being Obama's Pastor.

Why not?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 13, 2008 5:45 PM

...and the circular Democratic Party firing squad proceeds apace...

Posted by Mr. X | March 13, 2008 6:21 PM

Check any ancient history text book. My degree is in classical history, and none of the items I mentioned are really in dispute by legitimate scholars. Even Wiki will confirm this stuff.

You can't seriously believe the "Black Jesus" line, can you?

If the ancient Israelites were Africa black, how did the most well preserved ancient bloodline lose all those traits?
Why do their well preserved ancient texts never mention anything close to dark-skinned Jews?

The "Black Jesus" line was promoted by Elijah Muhammed, the founder of the Nation of Islam. It was his way of stealing whitey's thunder by taking their god away from them.

You repeat a lie often enough, and some people will start to believe it.

Posted by Sir Vic | March 13, 2008 6:33 PM

Just saw a clip of Obama's mentor and preacher Wright on the news. He sounds exactly like Farakahn!

Posted by raindrop | March 13, 2008 8:17 PM

Is no one else amused (bemused?) by the fact that the analogy Wright creates between Jesus and the Romans posits Obama as Jesus and Hillary as the Romans? Not that he would be the first to state that Obama is the messiah, but still...

Posted by johnnie | March 13, 2008 9:15 PM


I wasn't referring to the black Jesus crap, I was referring to your specious claims that: the Ancient Egyptians were white and that they were the victims of genocide at the hands of Muslim hordes. While I'm not an expert on antiquities, I do know something about the early history of Islam. Those "hordes" did not slaughter people wholesale. They expanded as any empire expands and native peoples wound up adopting their conquerors' culture and religion.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 13, 2008 10:14 PM
Obama has also declared his mission as a politician to "go out and do the Lord's work." By that, I assume he means whatever Wright tells him to do.

My nomination for the stupidest smear on Slog this week. Is there a single thing Obama has said in his campaign that makes anyone think he is fronting for Wright's ideas on race? Hasn't he consistently said exactly the opposite?

Posted by duh | March 13, 2008 10:30 PM

several points.

the use of the term surrogate implies a puppet relationship. This may be true in some cases but I highly doubt whether either GF or Wright received scripts. A more accurate term would be associate or whatever their specific title. In both cases, this might as well be "loose cannon."

BA, I think you are being too concrete in demanding an equivalence between the two loose cannons. unfortunately they both function the same way, That is to alienate potential democratic voters. I agree with you though that the issue is why is Obama's listening to this tone of rhetoric for religious inspiration. I can only imagine that Wright has other sermons that Obama finds moving.

That said, short of a complete blackout on comments by proxies, associates and friends of the candidate, you are always going to have gaffes. The examples of Ferraro and Wright are disturbing but are not anything that has not been thought or said by various supporters of each side. A careful thoughtful repudiation such as "these are the views of my fill-in-the-blank. I do not share them nor do these views inform my policy, but we agree on other things" should be sufficient for most gaffe's. Slurs however are different. Slurs are ad hominem attacks. This is the line that Powers crossed. Both campaigns have been sloppy or negative in various ways. This is unfortunate.

A final disturbing aspect the attention to these loose cannon statements is that both campaigns are getting bogged down with this BS. Are there not more important events and subjects to talk about?

Posted by LMSW | March 14, 2008 12:30 AM

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