Barack Obama denounced his former pastor in his sharpest language to date.
The U.S. senator from Illinois and contender for the Democratic presidential nomination made his critical comments Tuesday in North Carolina, where he is campaigning ahead of a primary next week. Obama’s remarks came a day after his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., defiantly defended his controversial views that the United States commits terrorism, is still racist, and is in part to blame for the terrorist attacks it has suffered.
“His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church,” Obama said. “They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs.”
Obama also blasted Wright’s paean to Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. “When he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the United States’ wartime efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses,” Obama said. “They offend me, they rightly offend all Americans, and they should be denounced. And that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.”