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

Wright revisits 'them Jews' remark

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/11/art.wright1.gi.jpg caption=" 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. Tulsa

    lol.... Nick-o,
    love it.

    June 11, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. J in NJ

    If not for Rev. Wright spewing his hatred of Jews the poor security guard in DC would not have been shot.

    June 11, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. jm for sc

    How much is the GOP paying him since nothing else will work.

    June 11, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Paul from Phoenix

    @ Dutch:

    Uh, no, what happened at her rallies was wrong, and she should have apologized, and I didn't vote for her.

    But this is not about her, it is about Wright.

    Why is it when somebody in one party does something wrong, the only defense by people like you is to find someone on the other party and point your finger at them?

    There are plenty of racists in BOTH parties.

    June 11, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. I can see Canada from my house!

    The thread with all of these political sideshow people, like Wright, Ayers, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc, is that they are all, in the words of Dr. House, morons.

    Lets find something a little more uplifting than watching yet another depraved person with a microphone or a gun cheapen our society.

    June 11, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Jean 2

    Some one always manage to find the "Bottom Dwellers" to quote and that quote drives the news coverage of the day.
    The real pity is that we are limited by this kind of journalism that only adds fuel to the simmering hate that exist just beneath the surface of our somewhat peaceful society.
    The question is, "How much will we as citizens of America have to pay before those with the microphones ( reporters, consultants and pundits) take the responsibility of their professions?

    June 11, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Allen

    It still amazes me that even after years, you can find out you really don't know someone. How many of us have know someone for years only to find out something about them that you would have never thought could be true...especially when it comes to racism. This story is especially sad as it comes after the attack at the Holocaust Museum…it goes to show that that racism still exists, even in places you would never think it could be.

    June 11, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why, CNN, is this such an important story to visit two days in a row? Why is this hatemonger so newsworthy? What point are you, CNN, trying to make?

    June 11, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter

    What a dork! He continues to put his foot in his mouth. Have a nice day!

    June 11, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. economist

    And this is apropos to *which* of the million problems facing the nation *right now*?

    June 11, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Kiss

    Its to late. Open mouth insert foot.

    June 11, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. GOP or RIP?

    The problem with those that like to say "see the dems have idiots too" don't seem to realize the difference between Wright and Limbaugh/Newt

    Wright has no power within democratic political circles. Limbaugh, obviously does, as countless republicans change their views/backpedal after being called out by Limbaugh. Newt, of course, served for the republican party

    That being said, Limbaugh and Wright should no longer be in the "ticker." Obviously CNN just wants to stir things up, get more hits. People like these idiots don't deserve the recognition CNN gives them. It is no wonder that news agencies are dying, they don't report news anymore. They all are turning into entertainment rags. I'm about done with CNN.

    June 11, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. big papa

    ...and one more thing...

    ...a double standard is the blowhard, high school educated druggie...

    ...being afforded the power of the airwaves DAILY to spew his hateful rhetoric!

    June 11, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. phoenix86

    J. Wright, you have a reservation in hell.

    June 11, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Grog in Ohio

    I'm really just as tired of Rev. Wright as I am of Gov. Palin. Can someone tell CNN to concentrate on the NEWS?


    June 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Luke Brown

    This guy is a joke. Hey news media, let it go.

    June 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. B.W. Harris

    Wright's comment leaves me completely mind boggled. What could he even mean by it? Perhaps he is making a reference to Obama's position in having to being an ultimate ambassador to Israel? Perhaps Wright knows that his extreme takes on thing can not dictate Obama's decisions while in office.

    Obama is a versatile and compassionate person, which he how he differs in from Wright. Keep in mind that Obama has grown up in diversity when it comes to culture and that Wright is undoubtedly not the only influence on Obama. The President at the end of the day is his own man and not a robot of some preacher. If he wasn't fit for the job of President and was just another part of the choir that Wright preaches to then he would still be sitting there in Chicago chanting "amen'! Followers don't get elected, leaders do.

    Anti-semantics really confuse me. I have not met more than a handful of Jewish people where I live (TN), and every one I have met was a nice as can be. Whether it be a comment from Rev. Wright or an assault from Von Brunn the hate is completely beyond my understanding.

    June 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. RepubliKLANs Are Stupid As Stupid Does

    CNN want to put this crazy pastor in the sportlight so one RIGHT WING NUT CASE will exercise his supposed 2nd amendment right by going postal on him – we have had too many nut cases already this last couple weeks!!!!

    ....CNN, dont follow the footsteps of Bill O'reilly, Sean Hannity & Rush Limbaugh who are calling the RIGHT WING NUTS TO ARMS and chanting GD* OBAMA and let the USA fail!!!!!

    June 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Steve (the real one)

    @Rick June 11th, 2009 4:50 pm ET
    Rev. Wright was right when he said goddamm America and he is right on Zionists controling Obama. Americans can't handel the truth.
    So I imagine you just bought a one way ticket out of this country, right??

    @Melissa June 11th, 2009 4:50 pm ET
    Wright isn't even worth of mention, so why should I care? The childish Republicans need to grow up.
    Not worthy of mention! Yet YOU mention?

    June 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Mike in SA

    Racism comes in White, Black, and Hispanic. At least this one isn't a Supreme Court nominee. Unfortunately our President seems to be attracted to these types of characters.

    June 11, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. jj

    The President is working so hard, please stop bringing him down....

    June 11, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Dawn in Pa

    The Rev. J. Wright needs not to speak another word, not retract his rhetortic... Go back to Chicago... Pray to a Heathen god.... Pray for someone to bless you with some smarts, because after you said what you said, someone tried to destroy a part of History that the extreme right-wing lunatics who claims that it never happened...

    Thanks.... and CNN please post this.....

    June 11, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    @JUDE – boy, you need some schooling! What spelling, grammar, etc. – you don't have any right to criticize Hannity! At least he speaks the truth and he speaks English very well. Something you haven't mastered yet.

    June 11, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Bob Peters (Illinois)

    Sometimes, the best policy is to just to keep your mouth shut!

    June 11, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. frustrated

    I know this is really hard for some to swallow but Judism, like ALL organized religions, has extreme, fringe elements. No religious culture is immune to this phenomenon. Not even the Jews who have suffered for their beliefs as much as, if not more than, any people in human history. Zealots are zealots. But until we learn to seperate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, the US will not be successful in brokering any kind of substantial peace in the middle east.

    June 11, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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