Damn America? Damn right!

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. is not doing Democratic Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama any favors with his latest round of speeches and television appearances defending his controversial remarks and preaching style.

His attempts to explain his rhetoric only serve those who want to use that rhetoric to raise fear and suspicion about Obama and keep the controversy in front of the American people.

Reports The Associated Press:

The former pastor of Barack Obama whose words have rallied many but offended others told an audience of 10,000 that his critics get it wrong when they call him divisive and polarizing.

“I describe the conditions in this country,” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. said during the NAACP’s 53rd annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner.

“I’m not here for political reasons. I’m not a politician. I know that fact will surprise many of you because many in the corporate-owned media made it seem like I am running for the Oval Office,” Wright said. “I am not running for the Oval Office. I’ve been running for Jesus a long, long time and I’m not tired yet.”

Receiving a lengthy and loud standing ovation, Wright followed in the footsteps of Obama, President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton in his speech at the event, a $150-a-plate fundraiser billed as the largest sit-down dinner in America.

Obama, who is vying with Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, distanced himself from Wright after publicity over the minister’s sharp criticism of America’s racial history and government policies.

The Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, stirred the crowd with an animated introduction to Wright. He let the audience know, among other things, that Wright speaks five languages and is an Egyptologist, writer, author, family man and “innovator and sustainer of the word of God.”

Anthony said at a press conference before the dinner that he was excited to invite the “hottest brother in America right now – outside of Barack Obama.”

Wright, who is retiring as pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, followed the dinner’s theme, “A Change is Gonna Come.”

He drew numerous contrasts between racial and ethnic groups in language, music and other aspects of American culture. He danced, beat-boxed and even sang an aria from the podium to make his points in the massive exhibition hall, which served as an impromptu pulpit.

“In the past, we were taught to see others who are different as somehow being deficient,” Wright said. “I believe that a change is going to come because many of us are committed to changing how we see other people who are different.”

There’s no doubt that Wright’s words infuriate a lot of people.

But is he wrong? Sadly, he is not.

America is a divided, racist nation. America is a nation where hate replaces debate, intolerance replaces tolerance and diversity is viewed as divisive.

When I hear a minister scream “God damn America,” I don’t see it as an expression of hate but rather a cry for help – a plea to come together to save a faltering, damaged nation, a country threatened with destruction by a divisive political system, a government that threatens our freedoms and a loss of hope for the future.

Rev. Wright is right, even if his timing is wrong. It is a sad commentary on what our country has become when change has to be couched in politically-correct terminology and when anger at the system cannot be expressed without drawing comparisons to hate.

Damn America? Damn right. George W. Bush damns God every time he invokes our deity’s name to justify his illegal, immoral and corrupt actions. Congress damns God every time it fails to stop the actions of the madman of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We’ve become a nation that not even God can forgive…and that’s a damn shame.


  1. Flapsaddle

    Should a minister of any flavor be interested in whether or not he is patriotic or unpatriotic? If he is seeking the favor of the state, then he may be in violation of some of the basic teachings of Jesus.

    The history of the misuses of religion by and for the sake of power is a history of human oppression and horror.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  2. DejaVuAllOver

    Well said, Doug. And frankly, I think Wright may be HELPING Obama, by the time the election rolls around. A lot of Americans, the ones with triple-digit IQs anyway, are sick and tired of the media sugar-coating everything we see. A guy like Wright, at the very least, sounds HONEST, which, for our media, is something akin to snow in July in the Los Angeles. My only fear is that Obama may be another Howard Dean. Timing is everything, and the real question is: Are Americans READY for the truth?

  3. Hoosier_CowBoy

    Hey America! There’s another world out there besides whats on that box you stare at for 6 hours a day. Ninety five percent of the worlds population has a different opinion of the American experience, and its not God Bless, its just like the good Reverend has said it.

    After 40 odd years of bombing otherwise defenceless people, we can expect the Reverends’ words to come back to us many times over.

    Remember something else, the Black experience in America hasn’t been a path covered with rose petals.

    Here’s a black American Experience of someone I knew, a minister, in fact:

    Imagine you are a black Marine, you have served with honor in the Korean Conflict, Purple Hearts, the DSC, the whole shebang. You are discharged and you come back home to 1950’s Florida, you can’t sit at a lunch counter, you have to use a different public bathroom, your kids have to go to a run down school and you are generally crapped on everyday by a bunch of inbred rednecks. Would your American experience be a little different from lilly white? I think so, and your anger would be holy and righteous.

    God Bless America? Cheap air….

    The best part of this parade is that the Good Reverend has got the podium he needs, to rain fire and brimstone down on the heads of consumer America.

  4. ekaton

    America has become this bully swaggering all over the earth as though it owns it. America sponsors and implements death squads. America invades other countries without provocation and I’m not talking about just Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan. America calls a country an ally one year and declares it to be an enemy the next. America has all but abandoned its constitution.

    God damn America? Looks like that process is well along.

    — Kent Shaw

  5. ekaton

    “The jock then rights dam on the paper because he can’t understand it.”

    If only he had LEFT the proper spelling on the paper.

    — Kent Shaw

  6. yarply

    Mr. Wright if nothing else brings a good point to light.

    As stated in Deu 11:26-28
    Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
    A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:
    And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

    This verse was/is directed to Gods people who at the time were mainly/strictly Jews or Israelites but now from the time of Messiah/Christ has been expanded to Gentile believers in Yeshua/Jesus.
    (Yeshua is the original Hebrew proper name for Jesus of Nazareth)
    Eph 2:11-13
    Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles (non jewish) in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    As I believe the point of Mr, Wrights message is/was that how can God bless thoughs who are supposed to be his people if they follow not his ways. Will he not curse or “damn” them instead.
    It is a very fundamental question. CAN, God bless this country,, or will and must he curse it instead for the Sin and corruption which permeates this country and world according to his Word.

    Of course if you do not believe in God, or are against the idea of a Holy God who asserts his will, the whole question is moot and pointless to consider, but to others who do believe in God, or a god the question may be a very crucial and relative point to consider.

    Does America deserve a blessing, or a curse,, in the eyes of a Holy God?

    So I think this may be Mr Wrights drift of thought. BUT,,, I may be wrong.

  7. griff

    He is pretty much right, unfortunately. But what I find fascinating is the idea that so many people think that Obama will miraculously cure it.

    Racism, being a form of prejudice, is born in all of us and fostered either positively or negatively throughout life’s experiences and upbringing. Education and time will be the only cure, if ever one is to be found. You can’t change human nature, but you can influence the nature of humanity.

    One thing is certain though. Politicians have no problem using it as a means to divide and conquer, as we are apparently all too ready to sanction.

    As is proven time and time again, government is incapable of legislating equality or morality. Government and the media exacerbates it by encouraging group-think and catering to one group over another.

    Affirmative Action is a prime example. While encouraging the black community to betterment is a worthy cause and a necessary one, does hiring a black prospect over a more experienced or qualified white prospect really accomplish anything other than feed racial tension? Was there maybe a better way to do that?

    I don’t think that’s what MLK had in mind when he spoke of content of character and color of skin.

  8. jgw

    If one listens, carefully, to this guy he is not too far off the track. His is just yet another voice of concern about our obvious path to empire (there will be more. Ron Paul, I think, was one of the first but, obviously, not the last (and he did it a LOT less offensively)). The problem is that this guy LOVES the sound of his own voice and is determined to use the pulpit, that media is currently providing to him, to shoot off his mouth.

    Since he is preaching the gospel, its unfortunate that he couldn’t be a little more charitable as he is seriously hurting Obama whilst shooting off his mouth. On the other hand he does entertain!

    Port Angeles, WA

  9. Sandra Price

    Rev. Wright is a self promoter riding on the tails of Obama and his family. This action of his appearing on the Washington National Press Group made me sick.

  10. CheckerboardStrangler

    When I read and listen to Reverend Wright’s detractors trying to smear him with the hatespeech card it simply reminds me of all the old jingoistic hard hats that were so fond of the slogan “My country, right or wrong!”.
    They never did realize that the entire slogan is:

    “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

    And apparently another generation is bound and determined to continue this ignorance, even in the days of “thuh innernets”.

    JeffH in Occupied TX

  11. ekaton

    Failing to pay taxes to a rogue nation like the United States that constantly attacks others without provocation in order to protect “American (business, fascist) Interests” is an act of heroism. I wish I dared do the same.

    — Kent Shaw

  12. Sandra Price

    No Kent, you don’t want to do the same. If you want the end of the IRS, we must do it legally. Too many Americans are investigated by the federal government for remarks like yours. Please do not even joke about this. Some day you will know that I warn you as a friend.

  13. TRUTH 101

    Truth 101

    Finally I have returned to the “system” which seemed to log me out a few months ago for no apparent reason.
    But, Doug is absolutely right on the mark as unfortunate and as awful as it may sound when one says it.

    Mr. Wright is right. What he said NEEDED to be said although he could have chosen a far better forum and a better way of saying it rather than the hype and blather from the pulpit. I thought he was VERY credible at the National Press Club as in a calm and collected manner, addressed all the questions with a cool head rather than firey rhetoric. That in my opinion is what caused the firestorm in public opinion, NOT what was said, well unless you believe in FOX News and their slanted take on anything that doesn’t glorify the far right no matter what they do or how badly they hurt the country.

    In my opinion it is the like of this channel that is helping to destroy the nation. Blond bimbos, celebrity wannabes and many FIRED from real news organizations who want to call themselves journalists who are willing to bow down and scrape at the altar of Rupert Murdoch who’s only mantra is “REPEAT AFTER ME”

  14. Sandra Price

    Jeremiah Wright paid off his back taxes (over $40,000) ten years ago. Don’t ask me how I know this.

  15. Hoosier_CowBoy

    Americas’ Isiah?

    A Nation needs Prophets, just like the Israel of the Old Testament.

    Prophets that don’t sit back in the comfort of the Temple.

    A strong nations needs Prophets that wander in the desert, seeking and telling the Truth, putting themselves at risk, and showing the way to those that can understand.

    Yes, Couch Potato America, you need a good ass chewing, you need to get hit over the head to wake up. Lets hope the Good Reverend is up to the task.

  16. ridingchick

    Doug, you are correct!

    Griff: Please read Dr. MLK’s letter from a Birmingham Jail. Afterwards, Rev. Wright’s comments will make a lot more sense to you.

  17. km0591

    “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

    – H.L. Mencken

  18. old_curmudgeon

    Finally! A sane voice from the wilderness. Thanks Doug for saying what must be said. I spent most of my working life playing in the government/military arena, listening and watching. The things that have been done in the name of this country would make a sane person wild, only if they would accept what they’re told as truth. The government has corrupted the truth, twisting it tomsuit their purposes for so many years and so thoroughly that when one comes forward and starts to lay out the facts, it is difficult for many to accept and believe.

    Whether one believes that our government was involved in the 9/11 incident or just a bystander is irrelevant. The actions and policies of our government laid the foundation for the reason it happened. Bin Laden told us why it happened. But we don’t want to talk about that. It’s easier to ge the people riled up when they’re told it’s about our way of life, not our actions. It’s about our freedoms and not about what we’ve done around the world in the name of peace and freedom. Smoke and mirrors. And too many people believe what they’re told to believe.

    And THAT is the problem. Not enough people open their eyes and see the truth. Not enough people take the time to try and understand why things happen. Not enough people are willing to believe that our government could, would, did, and does evil and then lie about them.

    Not enough people are willing to not believe what they’re told by our government. If that were not true then Bushco et al., would have never gotten a sceond term or at the least been impeached.

    But we know the answer to that one.

    So, again, thanks Doug for saying what needs to be said.

    But that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion.

    BTW, I really enjoy the weightloss popups!! I need all the help I can get nowadays.

  19. Charlie Couser

    One can view the current circumstances in the country as a glass one-half full of water. Those who view the glass as one-half empty would do as Mr. Wright has done by asking God to damn his country. On the other hand, there are those who see the glass as being one-half full and would prefer to ask God to bless this country.

    By invoking negativity as Mr. Wright has done, he only seeks to further divide this nation racially, ethnically and religiously. He wants only to improve the black community. A better solution would be for all of us to work for the betterment of society as a whole and not just for one group — irregardless of race, ethnithacy or creed.

    As Jesus Christ admonished us so long ago: “…no one gets to the Father except by Me… .” I, for one, don’t see that path through anything Mr. Wright has said.

    May God bless this country!!

  20. Jeffers

    911 hotline???

    Doug, I too have listened to some of the Reverend Wright’s speeches and found them interesting, inspirational, and intriguing. And funny, but that doesn’t start with an “i” (intertaining?). However, how are we to interpret his accusations of 911 as our own making and our government created aids?

    It makes it hard to get a handle on whether he is a brilliant scholar, or a radical with a silver tongue. I would at the very least find it easier to remain awake in church.


    Peace without freedom is still slavery.

  21. old_curmudgeon

    A better solution would be for all of us to work for the betterment of society as a whole and not just for one group — irregardless of race, ethnithacy [sic] or creed.

    If we do not get to a point where we acknowledge or accept the reasons for the problems we will never learn and never get to the “better solution.” The problems have nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or creed. And it definitely not a religious problem – well, maybe it is, but that’s another story altogether. It’s an American problem.

    Wrapping ones’ racism in a cross (or flag) is an example of how far this country has devolved.

  22. bryan mcclellan

    The Creator belongs not in this equation/election/debate.

    Smirkies god has brought untold death and destruction, the Reverends god is ever stirring hate. Both by design are driving a wedge between us.

    Neither man is of the fabric the Creator chose when he unveiled the tapestry of life. Each has his congregation of rabid zealous followers, and both are mistaken in their pursuit of the Creators good graces.

    The Creator does not intervene in the lives of men nor fight our battles for us. His contribution is the moral compass and the choice to do or not to do, what is truthful and fair, no more, no less.

    There is great power in words, and curses ever reverse to haunt those who speak of them. PMFOT’s

  23. Sandra Price

    Thank you Doug for opening up some truth that needed to be seen in print. Never in my history of political interest have I seen such distrust of our government. Many here want this changed and sadly, few know how to find it. I choose not to use God in this search but open honestry from our government to stay within the confines of the law of the land called the U.S. Constitution.

    The Constitution is the American bible. All members of the government are sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution. Somebody should tell us all that “nobody gets to the White House except by the Constitution.”

    Thank you Doug for the following statement “God damn America? Damn right. George W. Bush damns God every time he invokes our deity’s name to justify his illegal, immoral and corrupt actions. Congress damns God every time it fails to stop the actions of the madman of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

  24. nigeldh

    Bully Doug,

    How many of Rev. Wright’s critics can even spell damn correct?
    Like the old Oxford/Cambridge crew/rugby/sports jock joke about giving the jock the easiest exam possible to try and get them to graduate.
    The jock then rights dam on the paper because he can’t understand it.
    The punch line is “If he had spelled it correctly, we could have passed him.”

    What really needs to be put on You Tube is historical images and movies from the Library of Congress of what all Americans, Northern, Southern, etc. did to African Americans, and other immigrants, with the Rev. Wright’s sermons as sound track.

  25. Ladywolf55

    My first thought when I read this rant was “Finally, someone see’s Rev Wright’s words as I saw them”. Not as a damning of America and it’s people, but as a wake up call as to what we have become as a nation, and he was CORRECT in his assessment.

    Thanks, Doug. You get it.


  26. Janice

    I agree completely with your words.

    I am glad you wrote this rant – it needed to be said and needs to be spread across the country. I am tired of the character assignation coming from the media in their quest to manfacture news and lead the people of this country in what ever direction their elitist owners dictate.
    If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
    Mark Twain