June 11th, 2009
05:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Wright revisits 'them Jews' remark

 The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is looking to calm this week's firestorm over remarks termed anti-Semitic by critics.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is looking to calm this week's firestorm over remarks termed anti-Semitic by critics.

(CNN) – The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is looking to calm this week's firestorm over remarks termed anti-Semitic by critics, saying Thursday he meant to say "Zionists" instead of "them Jews" when referring to people in Washington who do not want President Obama speaking with him.

"Let me say, like Hillary, I misspoke. Let me just say 'Zionists,'" Wright told SIRIUS radio host Mark Thompson.

Earlier this week, the former Chicago pastor told Virginia newspaper The Daily Press he no longer speaks with Obama - a former congregant of his Trinity United Church - because "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me."

"I'm not talking about all Jews, all people of the Jewish faith, I'm talking about Zionists," Wright said Thursday, adding that his comments were in reference to "historical facts."

"I'm not talking about emotionally charged words or the fact that like Jimmy Carter's book, that because he used the word that Jews use, 'apartheid,' he gets labeled anti-Semitic."

"They can jump on that one phrase if they want to, but they can't undo history and the facts of Jewish historians and Jewish theologians who write about what's going on, who write about the enormous influence that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has on our government and on United States policy and the United Nations."

The White House declined to comment on Wright's original remarks this week.


Filed under: Jeremiah Wright
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Paul from Phoenix

    So Sarah Palin not denouncing the racial comments being made at her rallies was okay by you then huh? She still never apologozed for that and that's why I hate her guts.

    June 11, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. The Devil

    Oh Lord Reverend Wright, find a corner some where and sit your rear end in a corner. You meant what you said. You cannot un-ring the bell. For the love of Jesus go happily in the sun and enjoy your retirement. America does not need any further division as it is, and all you are doing is feeding the far right hate machine. So please do me a favor and stop talking. And for God's sake, don't pin this on me.

    June 11, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Brian

    He was the Presidents spiritual adviser for 20 years. Does anyone really believe Obama had no idea of the views he held? It would stand to reason the pupil holds many of the same views as his teacher.

    June 11, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Bit

    If Newt, Limbaugh, and Hannity can call Judge Sonia Sotomayor a racist and take it back, then a private citizen can do the same.

    June 11, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. FL

    We in america don't know our history and don't care to study our history. That's why we love cable news, it tells us what to believe!!!
    Rev. Wright is speaking on facts– please read and study the history.
    Americans needs to wake up b/c we will be doom to things in the past b/c we forget our history!!

    June 11, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    @ LacrosseMom, who wrote:

    "Dear CNN, what's with the Wright story? This man is just as vile as Limbaugh. Think you folks like to 'stir the angst' on the blogs.

    There are plenty of crucial issues to discuss, plenty of news to inform us about."
    _______________________

    Agreed. However, I find it interesting that you fail to opine as such on Palin, Gingrich, and McCain topics.

    June 11, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Dumbocrat

    This man is just not any racist, he is a pastor that baptized Obamas kids, wed Obama and his wife, been his mentor and spiritual leader for 20+ yrs. Obama called him "uncle" he calls Obama his "son"
    I think Rev. Wright knows Obama better than any blogger in here.
    If Obama saw that it would hurt his political goals he will distance himself from anybody. You saw it on the speech about racism, he threw his white grand-mother under the bus, the hand that has fed him and raised him to what he is today.
    Politicians do what they have to do to stay where they are, that said Obama is politician......

    June 11, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Melissa

    Wright isn't even worth of mention, so why should I care? The childish Republicans need to grow up.

    June 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    @ RealityKing, who asked "Anyone still wondering why republicans howled about Obama sitting in the front row of this guys church for 20 years!?"

    Yep..I'm still wondering. I sat in church from childhood to adulthood, over 20 years, and I still don't believe a word of any of it. Just because you GOPers and right-wing fundies take everything a dude in a robe tells you at face value while you're sitting in a pew, doesn't mean the rest of the planet does.

    June 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Rick

    Rev. Wright was right when he said goddamm America and he is right on Zionists controling Obama.
    Americans can't handel the truth.

    June 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Mick

    More ugly comments from a supposed "man of God". Why is there just enough religion in the world to get people to hate one another?

    June 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. JUDE

    i wonder who have got you in their back pocket rev wright; its like here we go again. this is the same reason why me and religion parted at the fork in the road. i'll just put god first and know jesus has my back. you are beginning to sound like what macolm used to say about you kind of preachers " rev chicken wing". and you know the road that the president is being laided for him [a lame duck] is being made all the more easier as long as you pop out the woodwork w/this kind of rhetoric. man he's got to contend w/ them red state racist, and the people who represent them. to folks like you. i want all you frauds to know from ol fake SHAUN "let not your heart be troubled" hannity to folks like you REV. WRIGHT GOD IS NOT MOCKED.

    June 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Fred the Moderate

    Wright, the gift that keeps on giving. He reminds me of Cheney – they both can't figure it out that we don't want to see them, hear them or read about them anymore. They are irrelevant, washed-up, has- beens. We have moved on in this country. We don't want to know they have ever existed.

    Some one please tell them – there is no room in a big tent for small minded people!

    June 11, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    See? It's not just GOPers who don't know when to shut the hell up and stop digging their hole. Of course, they're responding to Wright digging his hole deeper by digging their own hole deeper with comments trying to put Wright's words in Obama's mouth...but hey, I consider the Commentary sections of the Ticker to be a fantastic repository for irony. I just wish more people realized it.

    June 11, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Steve (the real one)

    LacrosseMom June 11th, 2009 4:42 pm ET
    Dear CNN, what's with the Wright story? This man is just as vile as Limbaugh. Think you folks like to 'stir the angst' on the blogs.
    There are plenty of crucial issues to discuss, plenty of news to inform us about
    -------------------
    Interesting reply. So let me understand this, if CNN reports a negative story on a republican (Palin or Bush for example) its OK and you jump in and attack. If CNN reports a negative story about a democrat, you want them to just blow through it and report on crucial issues instead? There are no crucial issues when the report is on Palin? You are a HYPOCRAT!

    June 11, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Have fear Rev. Wright is here

    His mentor of 20 years, his two kids were baptized by him..

    June 11, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Sam I Am

    I don't think "them Jews" are preventing Wright from talking to Obama. I can see it now. The White House operator rings the Oval Office. Obama asks who is calling. She tells him, "it's Reverend Wright". Obama says, "Tell him I'm not here." Wright should get a clue. Not only does Obama not want to talk to him or hear from him, neither does any other rational and reasonable citizen.

    Certainly there is freedom of speech in this country, but freedom of speech is not absolute. If you are spewing hatred and racism, if you are advocating death and destruction of other people, no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, your "freedom of speech" marginalizes you and in extreme cases, can land you in jail. Mr. Wright, like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and Coulter have shown us how the right to free speech can be abused. Let us hope in the near future rational and decent people will pull the plug on these people.

    June 11, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. fishy fish

    Obama socialist dictator? Well, Mr. Wright is still talking, rather than being waterboarded at guantanamo.

    June 11, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Christian

    Why then is the media still giving this segregationist a pulpit to broadcast his anti-Semitic hate speech from?

    Please, journalists, look at your stopwatch and notice that "Mr." Writes 15 minutes have long since expired.

    June 11, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Doug

    He's right,and anyone who questions Americas relationship with Isreal is immediately demonized.

    June 11, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Gary

    He is a racist and an antisemite and an embarrassment to President Obama and to the country.

    But freedom of speech allows him to spew his hate.

    How could President Obama have stayed in that church for so long. It calls into question his character, courage and attitude.

    June 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. James from Cali

    Well that's the President's pastor.

    June 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. stormerF

    Wright just can't keep his mouth shut,about his pupil Obama.Obama who listened to Wright for 20 years and never heard a word he said,makes you wonder if he was going to church for the right thing?Or just a Nap like some?.....How anyone could be friends with a preacher for 20 years and never know about his racial hatered for America?LIar,Liar..

    June 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Susan

    WRIGHT: Will you shut up already?

    June 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. ZION

    Maybe he wants to run for president in.....in.....in...in....in.....

    June 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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