Wright 101 “Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Rev. Wright’s anti-Americanism” By Stanley Kurtz


“It looks like Jeremiah Wright was just the tip of the iceberg.”



It looks like Jeremiah Wright was just the tip of the iceberg. Not only did Barack Obama savor Wright’s sermons, Obama gave legitimacy — and a whole lot of money — to education programs built around the same extremist anti-American ideology preached by Reverend Wright. And guess what? Bill Ayers is still palling around with the same bitterly anti-American Afrocentric ideologues that he and Obama were promoting a decade ago. All this is revealed by a bit of digging, combined with a careful study of documents from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, the education foundation Obama and Ayers jointly led in the late 1990s.

John McCain, take note. Obama’s tie to Wright is no longer a purely personal question (if it ever was one) about one man’s choice of his pastor. The fact that Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Wright’s anti-Americanism means that this is now a matter of public policy, and therefore an entirely legitimate issue in this campaign.

Obama’s Knowledge

Given the precedent of his earlier responses on Ayers and Wright, Obama might be inclined to deny personal knowledge of the educational philosophy he was so generously funding. Such a denial would not be convincing. For one thing, we have evidence that in 1995, the same year Obama assumed control of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, he publicly rejected “the unrealistic politics of integrationist assimilation,” a stance that clearly resonates with both Wright and Carruthers. (See “No Liberation.”)

And as noted, Wright had invited Carruthers, Hilliard, and like-minded thinkers to address his Trinity congregants. Wright likes to tick off his connections to these prominent Afrocentrists in sermons, and Obama would surely have heard of them. Reading over SSAVC’s Annenberg proposals, Obama could hardly be ignorant of what they were about. And if by some chance Obama overlooked Hilliard’s or Carruthers’s names, SSAVC’s proposals are filled with references to “rites of passage” and “Ptahhotep,” dead giveaways for the anti-American and separatist ideological concoction favored by SSAVC.

We know that Obama did read the proposals. Annenberg documents show him commenting on proposal quality. And especially after 1995, when concerns over self-dealing and conflicts of interest forced the Ayers-headed “Collaborative” to distance itself from monetary issues, all funding decisions fell to Obama and the board. Significantly, there was dissent within the board. One business leader and experienced grant-smith characterized the quality of most Annenberg proposals as “awful.” (See “The Chicago Annenberg Challenge: The First Three Years,” p. 19.) Yet Obama and his very small and divided board kept the money flowing to ideologically extremist groups like the South Shore African Village Collaborative, instead of organizations focused on traditional educational achievement.

As if the content of SSAVC documents wasn’t warning enough, their proposals consistently misspelled “rites of passage” as “rights of passage,” hardly an encouraging sign from a group meant to improve children’s reading skills. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge’s own evaluators acknowledged that Annenberg-aided schools showed no improvement in achievement scores. Evaluators attributed that failure, in part, to the fact that many of Annenberg’s “external partners” had little educational expertise. A group that puts its efforts into Kwanzaa celebrations and half-baked history certainly fits that bill, and goes a long way toward explaining how Ayers and Obama managed to waste upwards of $150 million without improving student achievement.

However he may seek to deny it, all evidence points to the fact that, from his position as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama knowingly and persistently funded an educational project that shared the extremist and anti-American philosophy of Jeremiah Wright. The Wright affair was no fluke. It’s time for McCain to say so.

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It’s also consonant with Obama’s partnership with William Ayers. Remember that Ayers was a “community organizer”, too. He organized the SDS and later the Weather Underground to impose social change on America, explicitly based on race policies. Ayers wanted (and still wants) to channel rage into action in overthrowing the capitalist system that oppresses people, or at least does in Ayers’ opinion. What Ayers couldn’t achieve through elections or bombings, he attempted to do through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge …. and managed to fail there as well.

All of this is perfectly legitimate for public debate. Obama ran the CAC while a state Senator, and his efforts on educational reform are part of his record and germane to his potential policies as President. Obama sent money to some very radical people as CEO of the CAC.

In that sense, though, one doesn’t need Jeremiah Wright to make the argument. Instead of mentioning Wright, why not just stick with the CAC and its funding of radicals like Asa Hilliard and Jacob Carruthers? Why not stick with William Ayers? It would be better to stick with Obama’s record in public service than to hit him on his (mostly) private church membership. If Kurtz extracted Wright from his essay today, he would still have a powerful argument painting Obama as a politician sympathetic to radicals, without the extra baggage of debating Obama’s religious preferences.

Wright may help paint a better picture, but it brings a lot of baggage — and most people have already learned of Wright’s rantings and calculated them into their evaluation of Obama. McCain would do better to focus on those parts of Obama’s public record that voters have not yet learned in order to complete the portrait of a Leftist ideologue walking in moderate clothing.

Stanley Kurtz Barack Obama Jeremiah Wright

2 Responses to “Wright 101 “Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Rev. Wright’s anti-Americanism” By Stanley Kurtz”

  1. jeanniejo Says:

    sisterrosetta: my longtime traveling companion —

    I appreciate your post at Larry Sinclair’s blog. I am fine and awaiting the return of my computer from the tech shop —

  2. rosettasister Says:

    Oh good, jeanniejo!

    I feared all was not okay in OK!

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