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Controversy of Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright is nothing new

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March 18, 2008

The recent controversy over comments by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s former pastor in Chicago, is nothing new.

Wright’s scorching sermons suggesting a combative Afrocentrism and anti-Americanism were documented in articles going back more than a year.

An article in the Feb. 22, 2007 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine described the Trinity United Church of Christ as a “a leftover vision from the Sixties of what a black nationalist future might look like.” The article reports on a Sunday sermon given by the Rev. Wright in which he declares that he will recite ten essential facts about the United States : "Fact number one: We've got more black men in prison than there are in college," he intones. "Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!"

And it was widely reported a year ago that Obama made a last-minute decision not to have Wright speak when he announced he would run for president.

In an interview with PBS’s “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly,” recorded just before Obama’s announcement last year, Wright said he warned the senator that their association could pose political problems , partly because of his history of supporting Palestinian causes.

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