Obama Denounces

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Writing on Huffington Post, Barack Obama has denounced the widely viewed comments of his pastor in no uncertain terms. Impressively, he acknowledges the legitimacy of the questions raised by the comments about his relationship with Wright:

Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church.

Of critical importance is the following assertion:

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments.

The evidence on the record of their being called to his attention can be found in a New York Times Magazine piece by Jodi Kantor, “A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith.” There, Obama is quoted as follows:

”The violence of 9/11 was inexcusable and without justification,” he said in a recent interview. He was not at Trinity the day Mr. Wright delivered his remarks shortly after the attacks, Mr. Obama said, but ”it sounds like he was trying to be provocative.”
”Reverend Wright is a child of the 60s, and he often expresses himself in that language of concern with institutional racism and the struggles the African-American community has gone through,” Mr. Obama said. ”He analyzes public events in the context of race. I tend to look at them through the context of social justice and inequality.”

Not quite a condemnation, but perhaps close enough.