This morning on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams gave the most thoughtful perspective on the Wright scandal. Here’s the Williams portion of the transcript:
WALLACE: Juan, let me get to what I think is the key question, because, and this is why I think it’s different than one of the ministers, Hagee, who has supported McCain, but they don’t have any real connection, and has said some horrible things about the Catholic Church.
Obama’s been a member of this church for two decades. He was married there. His children were baptized there. Does it say anything about him that he’s a member of this church and he is a member of Reverend Wright’s flock?
WILLIAMS: Of course it says something about him. And I think this goes back to what Bill was just saying. He joined this church really to solidify his credentials as authentically black and authentically a part of that South Side Chicago community, because it’s the largest church there and Reverend Wright is well known not only in Chicago but nationally.
And he’s known for making these outlandish comments. And he falls into a tradition of black ministers who, you know, they say it’s social gospel, or whatever.
But really, what it comes down to is an expression of black nationalism and trying to affirm black folks and say, “You know what? Racism in this country’s terrible and it’s a burden to be black in America,” and all that. But they go beyond the pale at some point, then, and start off with this whole victimization, blaming people, damning the United States. And it goes to the point, then, where I think it becomes sort of, it picks up and leads to what Michelle Obama said about, only for the first time has she, this Ivy League-educated prominent American lawyer, proud to be an American because you’re having support for her husband.
I think that’s wackiness. But yet that’s the kind of thing that spirals out of this. And I think it’s very key here that, unlike the notion that Barack Obama wants to advance that he didn’t, or wasn’t aware of it, I find that unbelievable, or that this is a crazy uncle speaking out, this is a man who he chose to be associated with.
It’s not a family member. He chose to be associated with Reverend Wright and saw advantage in it. And that’s why he exploited it up to a point when he realized, especially when he was announcing, that he couldn’t have Wright by his side for the announcement in Springfield and now seeks to somehow distance himself.
But it speaks to his character, and it speaks to the judgment which is the basis on which Barack Obama has been running his campaign. So I think it could be a big problem.
WALLACE: Well, wait. I want to follow up on this, because, you know, look. Quite frankly, African Americans see a lot of issues differently than whites.
WALLACE: And sometimes we don’t understand. What do you think it says about Obama’s character and his judgment?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think that what it says is that Barack Obama, who says he wants to be transracial, that he wants to be the crossover, I mean, he is the fruit of a generation.
This is the closest black people have ever been to having a president of the United States of America. And suddenly, you say “Wait a second, he’s playing games and corners here on the race question.”
He’s not being straight ahead and saying, “You know what? I stand astride racial polarization.” He’s saying, “I play racial polarization at one moment to my advantage,” Reverend Wright, “the next moment, I will distance myself and disavow Reverend Wright when that’s convenient, too.”
That is why I say for me, it just strikes, wait a second. I want to know you. I want to know what you think and who you are. And in this case, I realize I don’t.”
That’s a pretty stunning set of statements. Juan Williams is one of the most honorable men in Washington. I don’t think that the words statesman or ambassador are too strong in describing Juan Wlliams. That’s why it’s stunning to hear Juan Williams say that he doesn’t know who Barack Obama is.
I think that it’s noteworthy that Juan chastizes Michelle Obama, saying “But they go beyond the pale at some point, then, and start off with this whole victimization, blaming people, damning the United States. And it goes to the point, then, where I think it becomes sort of, it picks up and leads to what Michelle Obama said about, only for the first time has she, this Ivy League-educated prominent American lawyer, proud to be an American because you’re having support for her husband.”
As incredible as that is, Obama’s church fired back this afternoon:
â€œReverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.â€™s character is being assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe,â€ the leaders of Trinity United Church of Christ wrote Sunday in a statement distributed to the media.
Claiming that Wrightâ€™s 36 years as pastor of the church, the largest United Church of Christ congregation, with 8,000 members, is being demeaned, Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, said, â€œIt saddens me to see news stories reporting such a caricature of a congregation that has been such a blessing to the UCCâ€™s Wider Church missionâ€¦Itâ€™s time for us to say â€˜Noâ€™ to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends.â€
With all due respect to TUCC’s leadership, that’s hogwash. Jerremiah Wright’s character isn’t getting assassinated. It’s being called into question because he’s said some hateful, inexcusable things. Wright’s character isn’t being called into question because he “preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globeâ€; it’s being called into question because he spewed anti-American bilge far too often from the pulpit.
Juan Williams is right in thinking that he doesn’t know Obama. It’s because he only knows the media’s charicterization of him. The fact is that the Agenda Media didn’t do its job in telling us the truth about Obama. Instead of telling us who Sen. Obama was, they chose instead to tell us only about the public part of Obama. Had they done their job, journalists like Juan Williams wouldn’t be disenchanted with the carefully crafted image of Obama.
Rest assured that this blog won’t tell only part of the picture. That’s my promise to the readers.
UPDATE: Hot Air has the video of Juan Williams’ smackdown of Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama.
Cross-posted at California Conservative