Today in remarks at the National Press Club in Washington Rev. Jeremiah Wright called Louis Farrakhan "one of the most important voices of the 20th or 21st centuries" and said of Farrakhan: "He is not my enemy." He noted that Farrakhan had called "Zionism - Zionism, not Judaism - a gutter religion 20 years ago" and Wright refused to disassociate himself from those remarks.
The Associated Press has already describe Wright's appearance as "defiant" and noted that Wright said he's told Obama that if he is elected in November and is inaugurated in January, "I'm coming after you." He said that's because his differences are not with the American people, but U.S. policies.
Wright also refused to take back any of the words of his controversial sermons saying "there is no excuse" for the things that the American government has done and declaring that the government of this country "grinds under people" [grinds people under]. Regarding 9/11, he repeated that "if you engage in terrorism you will have terrorism committed against you."
He said America's leaders must "apologize for racism and slavery" and "until that apology comes" he doesn't feel a need to apologize for anything he's said about America.
Of Obama, he said: "He speaks as a politician and does what a politician does and I speak as a pastor and do what a pastor does. . . He did not denounce me. He distanced himself from some of my remarks, like you, having never heard the complete sermon. He had to distance himself - because he's a politician - from what the media was saying I said . . . He [Obama] said I 'didn't offer any words of hope.' How would he know? he never heard the rest of the sermon."
He revealed that just before Obama made his formal announcement of his presidential candidacy last year at the Illinois Statehouse, he [Wright] prayed with the Obamas and their children "downstairs."
He compared America's "troops stationed all over the world" to the age of Roman "imperialism" and talked about "ages of oppression" adding: "Yes, I can compare that because we have troops stationed all over the world. We run the world."
He said that he did not speak up in the immediate aftermath of the controversy surrounding his remarks because he was trying to follow "my mother's advice, which is 'better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.'" Wright said "they [the media] were trying to make a fool of me." He said he finally decided to speak up "to defend the tradition of the black church."
In one of the last questions Wright answered (about whether or not he thinks it is God's will for Obama to be President) Wright said that "if God intends for Mr. Obama to be President then no white racist, no candidate and no political pundit will get in the way; for God will do what God wants to do."