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. Tom

    I think the racist meant what he said the first time around. Get him, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton all together for a real gang of racist remarks, the 3 of them stir up more controversy that their combined worth together.

    June 11, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    @Dutch – I feel so sorry for you – NOT! I'm quite sick of you people calling everyone a racist that says something that you don't like. You people perpetrate racism!! Give it a rest – I'm sick of it and the likes of you!

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

    Rush Limbaugh saying he wants the USA to fail is NO different from Jeremiah Wright's GD* America comment!!!

    Get real folks; CNN is just putting the bullseye on this crazy pastor so one RIGHT WING WACKO go postal on him!!!!!

    June 11, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Another slow day for the news for Alexander Mooney. My My My

    June 11, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Tanya Jones

    Why did it take 20 years for Obama, who sat in Rev. Wright's church,
    to wake up one day and walk away? It was because out of necessity in order for Obama to win the election. There are many fine & decent black churches in Illinois that he could have attended in order to stay "connected" to the black community. Obama's excuses for attending this church does not wash. Where was his judgement as well as his wife Michelle's judgement when she referred to caucasions as "whiteys," a negative racial prior to the election? I suppose our now "first lady" lawyer learned a lot while attending Wright's church. Get Real Folks! I did not care for McCain either but these people are NOT the solution to the problems facing the U.S.

    June 11, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Mark from Minneapolis

    How does criticizing Zionism translate into being a racist or being anti-semite? Hasn't anyone noticed that anyone who says ANYTHING negative about Israel or Zionism automatically gets LABELED a bigot or a nut job? Does someone who say something negative about Chinese domestic or foreign policy automatically get labeled a bigot or racist? Of course not. So why are people so quick to label those who criticize Zionism? Indeed, there are plenty of Jews who are critical of Zionism. Does AIPAC even control our ability to think and speak for ourselves?

    June 11, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. big papa

    This site foments racism...

    ...it continuously censors constructive analysis...

    ...when it disagrees with the analysts...

    ...CNN's Political Ticker is a sick joke!

    June 11, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Susan

    The only shocker here is that Rev. Wright tried to backpedal on his remarks. He's a racist and a social pyromaniac.

    Of course, if the situation was reversed – if a prominent Jewish rabbi/cantor made a similar remark about "them black people" not only would the press be jumping down his/her throat, but also every Jewish organization in the US would issue an apology and move to defrock the person.

    I feel sorry for the children in his congregation who are being raised with these hateful messages.

    June 11, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Fernando

    @ 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?

    Don't confuse religion with actions of men. Religion as interpreted and practiced by man, will take us all to hell, regardless of the God.

    June 11, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. hm,florida

    wow. isn't it convenient for Wright and the Palins, Chenny's, Rushes and all the rest of "them" how they can always just say
    "well, what i meant to say".
    you have to be careful with karma you know.

    June 11, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Renee

    Reverend Wright speaks volumes. Not about Jews, Zionists nor President Obama, but about his own racist attitude.

    When people speak, they reveal themselves. Best to keep your mouth shut and keep everyone guessing.

    June 11, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Have fear Rev. Wright is here

    Lets see obama threw wright, his brother, and his grandma under the bus.

    Remember what he said about his mom [typical white person] soon he will throw u under the bus.

    June 11, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Sean

    No one SHOULD allow your calls through, whether they're Jewish or not, Rev. Wright. You're a perfect example of the past we need to leave behind in this country. And beyond that, you've been given chance after chance to move past your bigoted ways, yet every time, you choose to scream your hateful rhetoric to the world. Go away.

    June 11, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. deb0155

    Here, Here, Tanya Jones! I could not agree with you more!

    June 11, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Marc in Virginia

    Many many hypocrites on these boards. I can imagine the non-stop attacks if McCain or Bush had such a minister. Face it, people. It's easy to understand how Barack put up with this guy for 20 years. He was being expedient, politically speaking. I doubt B.O. believed half of what Wright said. BUT, your president DID take his KIDS to hear this man on Sundays. Like a true politician, Obama will even sell out his own children if it gets him an extra vote. He did it with Wright, his pal Akers, and even his own grandma. Disgusting.

    June 11, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Dan

    Zionists, ahhh these people that believe Jews are an entity deserving of freedom and respect.... ahhh...
    This guy cannot shut up!

    June 11, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Jim

    His latest comment should come as no surprise...it isn't a radical departure from previous statements he has made. Just keep in mind Obama listened to this stuff for two decades – right up until it looked like it might keep him from being elected, so he ditched Wright. Pardon the pun, but they are cut from the same cloth.

    June 11, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Malia

    See, we told you so...
    In my view, when things don't go the liberal way they immediately start blaming Rush, Hannity, Fox, etc., etc.


    June 11, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. donttreadonme

    Those of us from Chicago know what Trinity church is all about. Many in their community are black- Muslim and anti-Israel.
    No surprise that Obama’s former church gave Farrakhan an award. How could Obama stand 20 years of this?

    June 11, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I would like to enter a ring with Wright and BOUNCY Rush for a 3 minute round...I would deck them both with-in 30 seconds....Rush I wonder where you dine for lunch?

    June 11, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. CJG

    The Dems have their own Rush in Jeremiah!

    Hate is still hate who ever spews it !

    June 11, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Expat American

    Racism is not a 'white thing'...it's an 'ignorant thing'. I am a democrat and consider myself pretty liberal.

    However, I wish that Reverend Wright would realize that there is no need for him to backtrack and explain what he 'really meant to say'.

    No one cares what he says either way. He is an old fool who sounds like he missed the call back for some failed 1970s sitcom.

    Go away crazy old bastard.

    June 11, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Sick -n- Tired

    Wright is a typical religious wacko so take it for what it is!......Morons!

    June 11, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    20 years in Wright's "church" hearing the same hate-speech. Now we know where Obama gets his position on Israel and Hamas and Hezbollah.

    June 11, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. makesUwonder

    Guess the old Rev. got a call from his buddy Barry Obama asking the Rev. to announce he "misspoke".

    The Rev. didn't misspeak, he said exactly what is in his heart. He's a racist, has always been a racist, and will always be a racist.

    There's no doubt that the Obama's feel the same way the Rev. feels. You don't hang out with someone for 20 plus years and not share their views.

    June 11, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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