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. the rector

    Man I love this guy! He just doesn't know when to shut up, and that's great! And since pretty much every jew on the planet feels they have the right to be in isreal and treat the arabs like animals, they are very nearly all zionists. So in retrospect the good rev. is probably right, no pun intended.

    June 11, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Besalel from Kew Gardens

    Thank you Rev. Wright for reminding us that anti-Semitism today has masked itself behind the complexities of the Mid-East conflict. An anti-Semite, such as Rev. Wright need only replace the word Jew with Zionist and all of the sudden his words are acceptable to society. Historically, anti-Semitism has taken many forms: socialist, facist, capitalist, tribal, religious, political, democratic, liberal, monorachist, tyrannical...Let us be clear: WE REJECT ANTI-SEMITISM IN ALL ITS FORMS (including the present anti-Zionist form)

    June 11, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. Chad

    HEY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE! Not everybody who goes to church takes everything they hear as an abosolute! I went to church when I was a kid, Sunday school, and Wednesday kids sessions and I sitll turned out Athiest! Not everyone thinks the same way you do...try to not cast judgment. Isn't that a Christian practice? Thought I read that somewhere....

    June 11, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. dr.mimi de la cruz

    Wright was wrong, is wrong & will be wrong.
    The man had his 15 minutes of fame only because he was Obama's pastor. & as we have seen with religious leaders of all denominations,
    sometimes they are the worst example of a human mind gone wrong.

    June 11, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. bob in LA

    I thought he retired. Shouldn't that have included his mouth? And it certianly should have stopped the coverage of him.

    June 11, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Dave C - NJ

    Wright doesn't represent the left, doesn't represent the Dems, doesn't represent Obama.

    So what if he went to his church? Seriously...you think Obama is that much of a weak minded fool? Sorry, move along.

    June 11, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Chris

    @ LacrosseMom,

    It is possible that Obama wa not present when Rev Wright had his sermon that has been all over youtube and the media; hoever, a man like the Rev Wright, a hate monger, does not throw this time of venom out every once-in-awhile, it is what drives his sermons.

    Convenient for a politician to have been absent every time over a 20 year span where this Rev spewed his hate...

    Afterall, ignorance is bliss, right?

    June 11, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Ted Tartaglia

    Reverend Wright is just a fool trying to do damage control. I'm sure he meant his remarks as he stated them.

    June 11, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Gary

    A rose by any other name...

    June 11, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. Larry

    Why is he opening his mouth anyway

    What,s his point

    Get in the news again ???

    A lot of sick people on this planet ...

    June 11, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. Panzerman13

    I'll bet Rev Wright's church is next door to James W. von Brunn's.

    Two peas of the same pod in my opinion....

    June 11, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Michelle Bell from Alabama

    Wow so who cares really. How can YOU be accountable for what others say. Just because you attend a church and have respect for the pastor doesb't mean you agree with everything he says. Use common sense people and quit listening to audio clips

    June 11, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Bob Whitford

    I happen to be Jewish, and I'm a Zionist and yet I generally support Rev Wright and his viewpoints. And no, except for the right wing Likudniks and their imperialistic ilk, I'd say Jeremiah Wright has nothing to worry about in speaking to the President.

    Zionism does not equate automatically to the extreme right views of the Likud in Israel. I would hope the Rev Wright would come to that realization.

    June 11, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. the rector

    Everyone is racist. It's a simple fact that deep down people are hard wired to distrust and suspect those who are not like them. Anyone who denies this fact is lying to themselves. That said we can still coexist in a peaceful if not totaly honest way. The problem is most people are afraid of being seen as they truly are, helpless and scared. The only thing this guy did wrong was to back track and try to smooth over the issue. That made him look cowardly, I mean whats the point he is already a known racist and hate monger. So why pull punches now? And yes "them jews" are racist too, just like you and me. Live with it.

    June 11, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Michael

    Funny how this Rev Wright story is not part on any on-air discussion(s) on CNN or MSNBC of Hate Groups or Hate Speech. Amazing huh (?)

    June 11, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. Lucky Akponi ,ATL

    I do not see any important in Rev. Wright talking point this time again, but i do see is a lamentation, by Dr. Wright that President Obama whom he nurtured had abandoned not just his/their church. Rev. Jeremial Wright want to link himself to the president but his acts last year had stained a relationsip they have built over the years.Commom people, Jeremiah is human too. But for the Jews, i think what he sees as the barrier between him and the president is what he call the ZIONIST, but he alsoput it in a better perpectives what he meant. But em..............................................

    June 11, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. J Davis

    Reverend Wright,

    Please be quiet! We have had enough.

    June 11, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. S Callahan

    Ame n! (to Shane's comment)
    He who guards his mouth and tounge keeps himself from calamity. Proverbs 21:23

    June 11, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Peter V

    Uh oh – I just realized something after reading previous posts and Googling around. Obama's actual last name is the arabic 'Obhama.'

    Why is this important? See for yourself:
    "Barack Husein Obhama"

    How many numbers in each name? Let's see... there's 6 in the first; 6 in the middle, and 6 in the last name.

    I guess I'd change my name too if they spelled out those numbers.

    June 11, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |

    Jeremiah Wrong at it again.
    Jews, Gentiles, African-Americas, Whites,
    Latinos & all the wonderful in between have
    elected President Obama. From that very
    blessed moment on, we are all fist & foremost

    June 11, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    For all you people out here who think Rev. Wright is a left wing nut, NO he is not. Rev Wright just speaks the true about this country which he has all the right too. That's the problem with this country and white America, when ever some one of color speak up about all the racist things that go on in this country, he's Anti-American or he's a racist, PLEASE. Yes racism is here and yes white people discriminate against people of color. Until we admit that we live in a racist country and stop trying to act as if it doesn't excess, we'll never have peace in this country. So speak your mind Rev. Wright b/c the true HURTS to white America.

    June 11, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Yocheved K

    Let's be perfectly clear, Jews and Zionist are one and the same: if an antisemitic person say he/she is anti Zionist it means the same thing as anti Jewish. A bigot can be white or black. Unfortunately, nothing ever changes, hate is hate.

    June 11, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. LacrosseMom

    @ Steve (the real one).... Your angry comment to me speaks volumes. Seriously, like I told "Chris" Wright is not a politician, he is a nut case.

    However, I should mention that Wright, Limbaugh, Hannity all have the Freedom of Speech, we can disagree with them, but they do have the Freedom to spew hate and lies....... or craziness.

    Steve, Palin, Newt, etc., are politicians, its different. I do complain about CNN covering Palin, she is a big drama queen. We have more newsworthy stories to discuss. Peace be with you!

    June 11, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Simmy

    Bridgette....The answer to that is NO....

    Negativity is the order of the day with some in the media, especially when it relates to the President.......Mr. Wright should drop his title (Rev), and go on a 'jealousy/haters' tour' with Cheney, Gingrich, and Limbaugh......In addition, CNN needs to stop reporting this story.....It's in poor taste, considering what happened yesterday in DC.....

    June 11, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. Obama's Mentor and Spritual Adviser

    Obama is wright;s disciple and he will the Palestinians over Israel to the chagrin of his party. But, Obama is, by birth, a Muslim

    June 11, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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