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Rev. Wright Gets Standing Ovation In Church

From the Chicago CBS affiliate, CBS 2:


Rev. Jeremiah Wright Makes Surprise Appearance

Sen. Obama’s Controversial Former Pastor Spoke In Public For First Time Since Scandal Broke

March 28, 2008

CHICAGO (CBS) ― The Rev. Jeremiah Wright made a surprise appearance in Chicago Friday night.

Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor appeared at Saint Sabina church to hear famed African American poet Maya Angelou speak, and only CBS 2 cameras were there.

Wright has been laying low ever since some of his controversial sermons surfaced, and his appearance Friday seemed to come as a surprise to the audience — but they quickly showed their support.

Wright received a thunderous welcome. The audience had no idea the man at the center of a national political firestorm for the past three weeks was even coming to their church.

Rev. Wright was invited by Saint Sabina’s pastor, Father Michael Pfleger to attend an event at which Maya Angelou spoke. She was the main draw of the church’s African American speaking series.

Wright was looking tan and smiling as the audience sang happy birthday to Dr. Angelou, who turned 82.

His friends that CBS 2’s Diann Burns spoke with did not bring up with him the latest comment from Obama on national television Friday, distancing himself from Wright.

"Had the Reverend not retired, and, had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people, and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying there at the church," Obama said on "The View."

People who know Wright believe it is clear the ordeal has taken a toll. It is not clear how the pastor feels about the senator distancing himself from him, his spiritual advisor of 20 years.

Just as suddenly as he appeared Friday night, Wright was invited to speak, and he did.

Wright did not mention Obama, or the tapes that won’t go away. He simply gave the benediction, received another round of thunderous applause.

"He looked affected. I mean, it’s hard not to be affected when that many things are said on a national stage about what you are," said Chicago School Board President Rufus Williams. "It’s hard to ignore it and it’s hard to not be affected by that."

After he spoke, Wright went to an office off the pulpit, where dozens of people lined up to greet him.

"I wanted him to come tonight as a guest, because he loves Dr. Angelou, and I wanted him to see the love of people for him," Pfleger said. "And so when I asked him about coming he said it would be an honor to come and it was a blessing having him here."

Apparently the church had top-notch security, since everyone seems to have survived unscathed. At least physically.

But isn’t reassuring to see such a warm reception for such an America-hating racist?

Still, I hope the celebrants remembered to tell each other "good morning." That is my all time favorite Maya Angelou quote. I use it all the time. (Admittedly, sometimes without proper citation.)

One also wonders if the poet laureate Angelou is still a Hillary backer. If not, maybe she and Mr. Wright could collaborate on another literary epic.

Maybe something called "Ridin’ Dirty."

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, March 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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