June 11th, 2009
05:47 PM ET
13 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. Coloradem

    Billy Graham: Graham agreed with Nixon that Jews control the American media, calling it a "stranglehold" during a 1972 conversation with Nixon.

    Ann Coulter: "Jews need to be perfected."

    Rush Limbaugh: "Elie Wiesel gets up there and he does his thing but it's 65 years here or close to it…He’s up there and he’s ripping Germany for what it did 60 or 65 years ago, blah, blah, blah, blah."

    Pat Buchanan: Referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory."

    More Buchanan: Challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka: "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody."

    Jerry Falwell: "I know a few of you here today don't like Jews.
    And I know why. He can make more money accidentally
    than you can on purpose.'

    June 11, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Tricia, Florida

    We all have the right to free speech, but sometimes we need to monitor what comes out of our mouths. Especially when we are in a position that could influence others. I am praying for you Reverend Wright, I am praying.

    June 11, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Scott Alexander

    Wright might not have worded it in the greatest of ways (he needs to remember its okay to hate Palestenians in this country, but not Jewish folk). I do agree that Obama has been a disappointment though. He's letting conservatives, who only want to take this country back to the stone age (socially at least), dictate his policies. Obama needs to show more of a backbone, even to the spineless Democrats in Congress who have already made it their life's work to cower to the bigots who want to ruin this country.

    June 11, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Illinoistom

    He means the President is controlled by Zionists? I'm sure glad Dear Leader sat in his pews for 20 years. Real comforting.

    June 11, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. TORAH

    What is a difference between them JEWS and them HEBREWS

    More than you can imagine.

    The land of Canaan, today’s Israel, wasn't promised to the JEWS as in inheritance, but to the HEBREWS

    The Jews systematically wiped out the Hebrews over time and the Jews are the ones who write our history.

    June 11, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Illinoistom

    Letterman should interview Wright. They could tell each other how misunderstood they are by the evil right wing media.

    June 11, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Matt

    So this is the guy that inspired and taught Obama huh. Wow you libs just overlook character everytime.

    20 years Barack sat in this guys church, every other week he said and got tapes of sermon when he missed them. But no Barry never heard any of this. Right.

    Don't forget Barry only distanced himself from Reverend Wright because he looked bad hanging out with him. Not that he does not believe the same as Wright anymore.

    Based on his policies so far they tow the same line only every lib in America is an apologist for Barack when it gets called out.

    June 11, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. markus

    my dear sir, you have obviously not mastered the art of damage control.

    June 11, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Matthew

    This guy is like a gift that keeps on giving. Really? Can't open your mouth for one second and NOT say something outrageous and cartoonish?

    June 11, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Allan

    Rule #1: when you're in a hole, stop digging.

    June 11, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Frank

    Wrights like crazy old uncle everyone has in their family. He says a bunch of crazy things and you kind of ignore him and tell to go out to the garage and fix something. And you never let him be present when company is there. You give him some movie money and send on his way.

    Wright is just a crazy old guy.

    June 11, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Reality Counts


    But why blame yourself when it so much easier to blame someone else?
    He is a real Ferricon type guy?

    You would think that he had embarrassed himself and Obama enough during the campaign.

    You would think that he would have gotten the message when Obama told hem to quiet down and stop digging a deeper hole.

    But no this fool won't listen and CNN wants us all to hear

    It's the sizzle the sells
    CNN or FOX should set up a debate between Rev Wright and Rush L.
    now that would be a show for all to cheer
    better than the play-offs

    June 11, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Malia

    @Sniffit == June 11th, 2009 5:52 pm ET

    FYI – "Objective" is my middle name. You liberals are sooooooo
    ill-informed about politics.

    June 11, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Mike

    Nothing new with that statement of belief. Typical liberal extremist view shared by Muslim radicals like Obama.

    June 11, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  15. HUGO

    I bet the 78% of the jewish voting population referenced that reportedly voted for Obama wish they had their vote back now! Anyone, and I mean right or left that is still blind to the massive power grab of this Administration and the abuse to our constitutional rights should never be allowed to vote again. Just think, we have three plus more years to look forward to this kind of government leadership, if the economy doesn't come back in one more, it may actually prove to be sooner.

    June 11, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. Dan

    I agree with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

    June 11, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. CO

    Nothing about Obama's statements, writings, or relationships indicates that he agrees with any of Wright's racist statements. Unlike Wright, Obama continues to show a love and respect for people of all races and nationalities, and his opponents should admit this fact.

    June 11, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Malia

    Comment by "Shawn" == June 11th, 2009 5:57 pm ET

    More like 72%! But nevertheless, they too got caught up in the Obama hype and now they know better...

    June 11, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Leslie

    These comments show that things are not black and white. Another commentator today was pointing out that some right-wing groups hate Jews like von Brunn, and others are Zionists who support Israel to the point of bringing on the Holy Apocalypse. Goddess help us all to stay human!!

    June 11, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Dave

    Maybe he meant Eric Cantor is keeping him from talking. Eric is one of them jews.

    June 11, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Barbara Campbell

    Seems to me that Wright has a progressive dementia, forcing Obama to part ways with him.

    June 11, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Pa for Obama

    People may not like the way reverend Wright phrased it, but he is right about the outsized influence of the Jewish lobby, as well as their brutal oppression of the Palestinian people, something that even President Bush called "the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people."

    June 11, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. Independent

    oh my god I hate you liberal loons so much Rush never said he wanted the usa to fail he said he wanted obamas socialist agenda to fail. he is more patriotic than the president of the united states, to compare rev run to him is stupid, you people are stupid. 20 years 20 YEARS I hate my president just as much as he hates this country, and that's a lot believe me. 16 czars 16 CZARS in charge of 1.7 trillion dollars are you kidding me! our president is evil, and he is actually doing much more than even the biggest right wing wacko said he would. I can't wait till this is over.

    June 11, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Robin in Tampa, FL

    oh no ... his backtracking by replacing Jews with Zionists is even worse.

    June 11, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Walter

    People who aren't under the spell of our pathetic political parties can see that the media and general public is treating Obama exactly the same way they treated Bush when he was first elected. He's infallible, isn't challenged by the media, isn't checked by Congress, is adored by his blindly devoted minions, etc...

    Both sides of the political spectrum have turned their scumbag politicians into celebrities and demigods. It proves that even though the left and right are always at each other's throats, they are ultimately the same worthless pile. Adolf Hitler and his former ally, Jozef Stalin, were perfect examples of this phenomenon. Their governments supposedly stood on opposite ends of the spectrum yet their beliefs, policies, actions and results were remarkably similar. The right-wing sheep were spoon fed their gruel for the last 8 years so now its time for the left-wing zombies to get their fill of the sludge.

    June 11, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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