"I'm not divisive," Wright says
The outspoken former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama told an audience of 10,000 at an NAACP dinner Sunday that despite what his critics say...
The Associated Press
DETROIT — The outspoken former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama told an audience of 10,000 at an NAACP dinner Sunday that despite what his critics say, he is descriptive, not divisive, when he speaks about racial injustices.
"I describe the conditions in this country," the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. said during the 53rd annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner held by the Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
"I'm not here for political reasons," Wright said. "I'm not a politician. I know that fact will surprise many of you because many in the corporate-owned media made it seem like I am running for the Oval Office. I am not running for the Oval Office. I've been running for Jesus a long, long time, and I'm not tired yet."
By speaking at the event, Wright was following in the footsteps of Obama and the senator's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as former President Clinton. It's a $150-a-plate fundraiser billed as America's largest sit-down dinner.
"I am not one of the most divisive" black spiritual leaders, he said. "I'm one of the most descriptive."
Wright received a long, loud standing ovation.
He became an issue in the presidential race in March after the circulation of videos of old sermons in which he accused the U.S. government of racism and accused it of flooding black neighborhoods with drugs.
Wright, who is retiring as pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, is scheduled to speak today to the National Press Club in Washington.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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