Rev. Jeremiah Wright was the pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) from March 1972 until February 2008. For the last twenty of those years, he was the pastor and spiritual mentor of TUCC’s most famous congregant, Barack Obama. Obama and his wife selected Rev. Wright to perform their 1992 wedding ceremony and, later, to baptize their two daughters. Obama sought Wright's counsel before formally declaring his candidacy for U.S. President in 2007. On December 4, 2007, Wright was named as a member of the Obama campaign's African American Religious Leadership Committee. Other notable members of the Committee included Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and Rev. Otis Moss III. Wright would step down from this Committee in March 2008, after videotapes of his controversial sermons had repeatedly ignited fierce public debate and criticism.
Wright embraces the tenets of black liberation theology, which seeks to foment Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial rather than class solidarity. The writings, public statements, and sermons of Rev. Wright reflect his conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustice. He has stated that “racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run”; that “we [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority … more than we believe in God”; that 9/11 was a case of “America’s chickens coming home to roost”; and that “capitalism as made manifest in the ‘New World’ depended upon slave labor, and it is only maintained by keeping the ‘Two-Thirds World’ under oppression.” Wright is also a strong supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
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