Reverend Wright … The Gift that keeps on giving, this time its the Trumpet Newsmagazine. Also, character is defined as what one does when no one is looking and the acts that one does when you cannot benefit personally from their outcome.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (MLK Jr.)
As Obama comes closer and closer to the Democratic nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the 2008 Presidential Election some serious character issues remain. Obama can distance himself all he wants from Reverend Wright after the fact when it is politically expedient to do; however, that does not explain away his judgement to having spent 20 years in a church listening to a message of hate. Why did Oprah find the judgement to leave?
Obama’s latest spin is that he never attended a Wright sermon where the reverend made such hateful comments. However, as the Weekly Standard states, “A careful reading of nearly a year’s worth of Trumpet Newsmagazine, Wright’s glossy national “lifestyle magazine for the socially conscious,” makes it next to impossible to conclude otherwise.”
Wright founded Trumpet Newsmagazine in 1982 as a “church newspaper”–primarily for his own congregation, one gathers–to “preach a message of social justice to those who might not hear it in worship service.” So Obama’s presence at sermons is not the only measure of his knowledge of Wright’s views. Glance through even a single issue of Trumpet, and Wright’s radical politics are everywhere–in the pictures, the headlines, the highlighted quotations, and above all in the articles themselves. It seems inconceivable that, in 20 years, Obama would never have picked up a copy of Trumpet. In fact, Obama himself graced the cover at least once (although efforts to obtain that issue from the publisher or Obama’s interview with the magazine from his campaign were unsuccessful).
One did not have to attend sermons to know what Wright was about. There was so much other material that was available that it would simply be impossible not to have known. Wright has been correct on one issue, Obama distanced himself from Wright for political reasons only, he acted like a typical politician.
I obtained the 2006 run of Trumpet, from the first nationally distributed issue in March to the November/December double issue. To read it is to come away impressed by Wright’s thoroughgoing political radicalism. There are plenty of arresting sound bites, of course, but the larger context is more illuminating–and more disturbing–than any single shock-quotation. Trumpet provides a rounded picture of Wright’s views, and what it shows unmistakably is that the now-infamous YouTube snippets from Wright’s sermons are authentic reflections of his core political and theological beliefs. It leaves no doubt that his religion is political, his attitude toward America is bitterly hostile, and he has fundamental problems with capitalism, white people, and “assimilationist” blacks. Even some of Wright’s famed “good works,” and his moving “Audacity to Hope” sermon, are placed in a disturbing new light by a reading of Trumpet.