Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, Jr., (born September 22, 1941) is Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), in Chicago with a congregation exceeding 6,000. In early 2008, Wright retired after 36 years as the Senior Pastor and no longer has daily responsibilities at the church.
Consider the case of Derrick Bell. Some people would rather fire an "uppity" Black lawyer like him than hire one woman of color. If you don't believe me, send for the transcript from Phil Donahue. Race matters in this country. There is no reason to pretend it doesn't. It doesn't make sense to bury one's head in the sand. Some of us want a Holy Ghost that is blind and dumb, one that will give us tongues but will not give us truth.
Some of us want to run past this issue of race and pretend that race does not really matter. However, Jesus had a faith that did not avoid the reality of race. He kept bringing up the Samaritan issue, because race does matter. Every time Jesus said the word "Samaritan," while talking to Jewish lawyers, it was just like saying the word "nigger" to some Klansmen in America.
Jesus is a perfect model for the best type of faith. Jesus had a faith that did not avoid the realities of race. Modern reasoning tries to avoid the issue of race and pretend that race doesn't really matter.
That is a lie. Race does matter. Race is a reality that one cannot ignore. America was founded on racism. America lives and breathers racism. In this country, racism is as natural as motherhood, apple pie and the fourth of July....
What this country is is about racism from day one. The moment you take your first breath as a black person in this country, you have four strikes against you. You cannot ignore race.
“Take that baby him or her away from the African mother, away from the African community, away from the African experience … and put them Africans at the breasts of Yale, Harvard, University of Chicago, those trinity schools, UCLA or U.C. Berkley. Turn them into biscuits then they’ll get that alien DNA all up inside their brain and they will turn on their own people in defense of the ones who are keeping their own people under oppression,” Wright said.
He continued: “There’s white racist DNA running through the synapses of his or her brain tissue. They will kill their own kind, defend the enemies of their kind or anyone who is perceived to be the enemy of the milky white way of life.”
Rev. Wright married Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."
An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright's sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.
"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
Sen. Barack Obama's pastor says blacks should not sing "God Bless America" but "God damn America."
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side, has a long history of what even Obama's campaign aides concede is "inflammatory rhetoric," including the assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own "terrorism."
“Church is not their thing. It was never their thing,” Wright says of Barack and Michelle Obama. “She was not the kind of black woman whose momma made her go to church, made her go to Sunday school…so the church was not an integral part of their lives before they got married — after they got married.”
After Wright made these comments, Klein said, “But the church was an integral part of his politics…because he needed that base.” Wright agreed with this statement, at one point saying “correct.”
“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’
“And what did you say?” I asked. “I said, ‘I don’t see it that way. And anyway, how am I supposed to support my family?’ And he said, ‘Well, I wish you wouldn’t speak in public. The press is gonna eat you alive.’
“Barack said, ‘I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s my problem?’ And he said, ‘You have to tell the truth.’ I said, ‘That’s a good problem to have. That’s a good problem for all preachers to have. That’s why I could never be a politician.’
“And he said, ‘It’s going to get worse if you go out there and speak. It’s really going to get worse.’
The New York Post on Sunday published a conversation between Wright and Klein, the latest tidbit to come from the book. In it, Wright said once his fiery sermons surfaced during the 2008 campaign, he received an email asking him not to preach until after November:
“Who sent the e-mail?” I asked Wright.
“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”
“He offered you money?”
“Not directly,” Wright said. “He sent the offer to one of the members of the church, who sent it to me.”
“How much money did he offer you?”
“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Wright said.
“Walking humbly with God is walking with Jesus, restoring life to the bodies of children and thereby restoring life to the hearts of their parents. Walking humbly with God is walking with Jesus and making the wounded whole, healing the sick, liberating those in prison, touching the untouchables and overturning the thrones of the ‘Untouchables!’
“Walking with God means giving women their rightful place, weeping with those who mourn, releasing the life-giving power of the law, challenging and confronting the powerful on the basis of justice and mercy… confronting them in their temples and in their palaces and giving them notice that the Kingdom of God has come.
“Walking with God is to stand where God stands, and to fight for whom God fights: the poor, the weak, the powerless and the defenseless. Walking with God is to have the courage to know that fear and trepidation before the might of the powerful is overturned by the fear of the Lord! Walking with God is to understand, without doubt or equivocation that justice is what Yahweh requires.
“Justice is not what God seeks or asks. Justice is not what God requests or hopes to eventually coax from our humbling hearts. Justice is what Yahweh requires!”
God says in Micah 6:8 that Yahweh requires us “to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.” These three requirements are my philosophy for ministry and for life. The third requirement, walking humbly with God, is best expressed, for me, in the words of Rev. Allan Boesak.
At the end of May 2008, Dr. Wright retired as senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. He became Pastor Emeritus and now spends his time preaching, teaching, leading study tours to Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean.
Dr. Wright is married to the Rev. Ramah Wright and has five children, Janet, Jeri, Nathan, Nikol and Jamila; and three grandchildren, Jeremiah, Jazmin and Steven.
People who love the Lord and who embrace the noblest concepts of our democracy will enthusiastically applaud the establishment of the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Lectureship. The Lectureship appropriately salutes the Pastor and mentor who prepared President Barack Obama for the role of President of the United States.
“Mr. Obama had hardly any grasp of the meaning of being a Black person in the United States. By example and exhortation, Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., cured that deficiency, sending to Washington a President qualified to give America a chance to actually become a democracy!
In 1972, he became pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. At the time, the congregation on Chicago's impoverished South Side had only 87 adult members. It now has about 8,000 (including Barack Obama since 1988), becoming the largest church in the liberal, mostly white United Church.
Barack Obama first visited Wright's church in 1988 when he was a community activist. He joined Trinity United in 1992. Wright married Obama and his wife, Michelle, and baptized their two daughters.
Wright, inspired by John F. Kennedy's 1961 challenge to public service, gave up his student deferment to join the U.S. Marine Corps. He became part of the 2nd Marine Division with the rank of private first class.
After two years of service, Wright transferred to the U.S. Navy and entered the Corpsman School at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. After graduating valedictorian, Wright was trained as a cardiopulmonary technician at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, graduating salutatorian.
Minister. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., was born on September 22, 1941, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in the racially mixed section of Germantown.
Wright's father, the Rev. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, was pastor at Grace Baptist Church from 1938 to 1980. His mother, Mary Elizabeth Henderson Wright, was a schoolteacher. She was the first black person to teach at Germantown High and Philadelphia High School, where she became the school's first black vice principal for girls.