Wright’s purpose now seems quite clear: to aggrandize himself–the guy is going to be a go-to mainstream media source for racial extremist spew, the next iteration of Al Sharpton–and destroy Barack Obama.
Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks (“God damn America”) and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.
In front of 30 television cameras, Wright’s audience cheered him on as the minister mocked the media and, at one point, did a little victory dance on the podium. It seemed as if Wright, jokingly offering himself as Obama’s vice president, was actually trying to doom Obama; a member of the head table, American Urban Radio’s April Ryan, confirmed that Wright’s security was provided by bodyguards from Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.
UPDATE: Commentary’s Jennifer Rubin:
It’s now absurd to contend that Barack Obama never really “heard” the venomous utterances of Rev. Wright. He heard, he understood, and he stayed for twenty years. Whether he did it to gain credibility in the African-American community or whether he actually believed Wright is unclear and unknowable. But it’s dishonest for him to say he didn’t understand the tenor of his mentor.