Melissa Harris-Perry: I Was In Church for Jeremiah Wright's Post-9/11 'Anti-War' Sermon

Happen to notice if a state senator named Obama was there too ...?

Freshly-minted MSNBC weekend host and purported Tulane academic Melissa Harris-Perry revealed on Al Sharpton's radio show Tuesday that she was in the audience at Trinity United Church of Christ for Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermon on the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks. (audio clip after page break)

Harris-Perry described this in the context of discussion about the revelation of Obama's kinship with late Harvard professor and Critical Race Theory proponent Derrick Bell --

I'd like to get back to the Rev. Wright for a moment because we were, just like we're somehow we're supposed to feel negative emotions when we watch Derrick Bell and President Obama embrace, you know, twenty years ago or something, we were also somehow supposed to somehow be ashamed of the words of Rev. Wright. And look, I don't agree with everything that Rev. Wright has said, but I also don't agree with none of it. In other words, there are some things that Rev. Wright has said which I absolutely agree with.

And I'll say this, I was in Trinity United Church of Christ on the Sunday after September 11th. I was at the time living in Chicago, I attended church the Sunday after September 11, 2001 and I will never forget that Rev. Wright on that day preached a sermon that was an anti-war sermon before anyone was even fully talking about war. Rev. Wright understood that what the American state normally does is to respond to this kind of attack with war and that that war was going to be against poor countries and countries with people of color and it was probably going to be a war that did very little to keep us particularly safe relative to terrorism. And in all of those ways Rev. Wright was exactly right.

Yes -- "I also don't agree with none of it." Parents of college-age offspring mulling Tulane, consider yourself warned.

Wouldn't you love to learn where Harris-Perry and Wright do part company? Safe to say it's roughly where Obama and Wright diverge as well, to the extent they do at all.

Contrary to Harris-Perry's assertion, there were plenty of people "fully talking about war" right after 9/11 and, indeed, had been for years. The late bin Laden and his band of dour jihadists quickly come to mind. What was different about Bush's response to Islamic terrorism compared to the half-hearted and/or legalistic strategies of his predecessors was that this time, an engaged America was fighting back. Harris-Perry gets it exactly wrong about Wright -- he didn't preached "anti-war." He preached "anti taking existing war to our enemy."

Sharpton wasn't hosting his show when Harris-Perry made her remarks, with Andre Michael Eggelletion sitting in. Not surprisingly, Eggelletion did not ask Harris-Perry whether she saw Obama at Trinity United on Sept. 16, 2001. Obama denies he was at church that day. 

Harris-Perry's comments, while peculiar, resonated with me for a specific reason -- I thought much the same in September 2001, when like her I was a liberal working in the media. I remember telling a newspaper colleague that it was surely no coincidence that 9/11 was launched from one of the poorest nations in the world against its wealthiest -- textbook Marxist analysis. I'll never forget my father-in-law's withering response when I proudly repeated the claim. Why do liberals always blame America first, he sighed.  

In fairness, I somehow missed that non-existent racial component to 9/11.

Next up, Harris-Perry's incisive analysis of Sept. 11 as punishment for America's misogyny.

(h/t, Radio Equalizer)

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts