The fallout from Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright continues. Though I agree with some of Rev. Wright’s positions, I find some of his comments distasteful and insulting. The latest dust-up stems from disparaging comments he made about Italians. Enter the Italian heritage group Order Sons of Italy in America. The have called on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor emeritus at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, to apologize for remarks he made in an article published in the church’s November/December 2007 Trumpet Newsmagazine.
So what is it that has the Italians upset, and rightly so? “(Jesus’) enemies had their opinion about Him,” Wright wrote in a eulogy for the late scholar Asa Hilliard. “The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.” Wright continued, “From the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth (in a barn in a township that was under the Apartheid Roman government that said his daddy had to be in), up to and including the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ death on a cross, a Roman cross, public lynching Italian style. …” I am sure there will be people who agree with his statements and many others, including myself who didn’t. I am no Sister Christian, but Jesus didn’t come to divide, He came to unite.
“Our initial response was that we were offended,” Philip R. Piccigallo, national executive director of Sons of Italy, told Cybercast News Service. “These remarks are totally inaccurate and anachronistic and didn’t seem to be in the realm of justifiable anger.” “We were in a quandary,” Piccigallo said. “We did not want to become immersed in a political media circus, and we did not want to appear to be siding with anyone, but we could not stand idly by. As the story was being discussed or managed or reviewed in various ways, the Italian American aspect of it was omitted. Clearly, (Wright’s remarks) were aimed at Italian-Americans.”
He said that after careful consideration by Sons of Italy board members – and the “hundreds and hundreds” of e-mails received from members across the country – made it clear that the group needed to take a stand. “It seems Italians are the last ethnic group that can be treated with total impunity, because we basically accept a lot,” Piccigallo said. “We had to do or say something, if not for the record.” To be quite honest, I really don’t blame the Italians for being a little ticked off with Wright’s statements. Thus far, they have been very decent about their position and not obnoxious as Sean Hannity, who continues to try to make this his lead-off on “Hannity & Colmes” nightly.
So, once again Obama is faced with the issue of Rev. Wright that will not go away. I suspect that this will be a major issue in the months leading up to the presidential elections. I am positive that John McCain and the Republicans will use the issue to continue to remind people of Obama’s association with the Rev. Wright. No matter what he does or say, this will continue to be a very divisive issue. It is my hope that this will not have a “Swift Boat” or “Willie Horton” effect on his candidacy and derail his aspirations to become the next President of the U.S.A. Just my thoughts, you be the judge……