Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jeremiah Wright - not actually that popular

Yesterday I predicted that one of the ironic benefits of the Jeremiah Wright nonsense is that it will force many public African American figures, particularly pundits and pastors, to distance themselves from him. Looks like that is already happening. The LA Times contacted several black ministers in Los Angeles for their reaction. They were responsible and measured in their responses, exactly as you would expect:
"This didn't have anything to do with the black church -- it was basically an attack on the individual message he proclaimed, which hurt some individuals," said the Rev. K.W. Tulloss of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Boyle Heights. "My own members were offended by Rev. Wright's words. His views have cast a wedge between people, and that's the exact opposite of the unity Jesus represented."

It's clear from this article that Jeremiah Wright is well outside the mainstream of black America:
But the biggest concern Tuesday among local black religious leaders -- and across a wide swath of black Los Angeles -- was not about Wright's words per se but about their impact on Obama's historic campaign. In barber shops and beauty salons, at church gatherings and on Internet blogs, African Americans said that Wright's remarks might be badly damaging the senator from Illinois.
Kudos to the LA Times for a solid piece of reporting, but, unfortunately, this was published on page A12. I'm not blaming the Times for burying it - Obama's response was on the front page. This isn't the main story. But it's also something that might be missed by most of white America. Fortunately there is more dialogue between black and white America than there used to be. I think the another hopefully positive outcome of this episode is that many, many African Americans will feel empowered by Obama to make it clear that the stereotype of the Angry Black Man does not apply to them.

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