The video's here: http://rawstory.com/rawreplay/?p=808 (Thanks, nausved, for the link.)
Sharpton points out that he sees Wright strongly criticizing the government and the Clintons but doesn't see him making sexist or racist comments like Imus did. Americans have a right, Sharpton argues, to say controversial things about the government or politicians -- Fox News commentators do it all the time. Show us an example, he requests, where Wright spews racial hatred. Van Susteren apparently isn't prepared to do so, and promises instead to have him back on the next day.
The next day is here: http://rawstory.com/rawreplay/index.php?p=814
Van Susteren recaps their disagreement the previous day, and then plays a tape of bits from various Wright sermons, asserting that they represent "hate against whites".
You can watch the video if you want. But I've noticed that many people -- especially conservatives -- are unable to focus on the actual words spoken rather than on their emotional reaction to those words (yes, liberals often have this problem too -- but mostly I see in it conservatives, perhaps because they dominate the realms of talk radio and email forwarding). Anyway, for that reason, I've transcribed the words coming from Rev. Wright's mouth. Put them down on paper so we can -- hopefully -- look at them calmly and accurately.
As you read these words, ask yourself: is this hate speech against whites? or instead is this liberal ranting against the government, the wealthy, and the Clintons? Greta van Susteren says its racism against whites. Al Sharpton says it's the latter. For my part, I'll follow each quote with my own opinion.
This government lied about their belief that all men are created equal. The truth is they believed all white men were created equal. The truth is they did not believe that even white women were created equal—in creation nor in civilization. The government had to pass an amendment to the Constitution to get white women the vote. Then the government had to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to get equal protection under the law for women. The government still thinks a woman has no rights over her own body, and between Uncle Clarence who sexually harassed Anita Hill, and the [closeted ?] [clanned ?] Court that is a throwback to the 19th Century, hand-picked by Daddy Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, [but?] between Clarence and that stacked court they are about to undo Roe versus Wade just like they're about to undo affirmative action. The government lied in its founding document and the government is still lying today. --Rev. Wright
First, Wright is wrong: the ERA never passed. The four sentences prior to the ERA statement are uncontroversial facts of history (although most historians probably see it as something a lot more complex than the authors of the Constitution simply "lying" about their belief that all men are created equal -- the phrase comes from the Declaration, not the Constitution anyway).
The sentences that follow the ERA misstatement are an exaggeration -- after all Roe v Wade is still the law of the land as it currently stands. On the other hand, the Supreme Court may possibly overturn it, and yes, aspects of affirmative action (eg busing to integrate schools and the use of race-related selection criteria for admission to college -- but not law school -- have been overturned).
But to the bottom line: Is there any "hate against whites" in this segment of speech? No, unless reciting widely recognized facts of U. S. history (that blacks and women were initially disenfranchised, and slavery allowed) constitutes hate. I'm pretty sure that conservatives will agree that reciting historical facts does not constitute race hatred.
Nor do I even see "implied" hate except toward certain famous individuals: Clarence Thomas (for being against affirmative action and abortion rights, and for [allegedly] sexually harassing Anita Hill), George Bush (41), Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford (for "stacking" the court with justices against affirmative action and abortion rights, making it a throwback to the 19th century when separate but equal reigned and Jim Crow laws were the norm).
Score at this point: Greta is looking silly so far. This doesn't even come close to supporting her claim.
For every 1 Oprah, a billionaire, you've got 5 million blacks who are out of work. For every 1 Colin Powell, a millionaire, you've got 10 million blacks who cannot read. For every 1 Condolessa Rice, you've got 1 million in prison. For every 1 Tiger Woods, who needs to get beat at the Masters, with his [blazing hits?] playing on a course that discriminates against women, for every 1 Tiger Woods we got 10 thousand black kids who will never see a golf course. - Rev Wright
Ok, I detect some apparent animosity towards Tiger here (but my interpretation is possibly dependent on the phrase I couldn't understand), but "hate speech against whites"?
Come on, Greta, you are striking out big time so far. Are Wrights facts correct? Are there 5 million blacks out of work, are there 10 million blacks who can't read, are 10 thousand black kids who will never see a golf course -- I really don't know, but these figures sure seem plausible. As for "1 million in prison" (notice Wright didn't say "1 million blacks in prison") -- that figure was reported earlier this year in the major media. I'm not sure when Wright made this speech -- perhaps before the prison population quite hit a million, making this either a slight exaggeration or a matter of rounding off. Sure, Wright is a black minister and is concerned about how black people are faring in society, but how can this recitation of apparently accurate facts be called "hate against whites"?
So far Greta is looking very silly.
The government gives them the drugs, build bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing "God Bless America" -- No, no, no, not God bless America -- God damn America. That's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating its citizens as less than human. God damn America as long as she is trying to act like she is God and she is supreme. -- Rev Wright
Wow -- harsh language, even for a preacher. But the basic message, that God will punish the nation for its evil ways, has been repeated in tens of thousands of pulpits across the country. And for a very simple reason: if the Bible is really God's word, then Americans are in trouble. We may "believe" in the Bible as God's word but we certainly don't follow most of its dictates.
Still, back to the charge of "hate speech against whites" -- it can't be found here either. Yes, Wright wants God to (or believes God already does) damn America for "killing innocent people", for "treating its citizens as less than human", for acting like it's God. But as Al Sharpton pointed out, Wright is denigrating the government, not denigrating white people on account of their skin color.
Oh, and that bit about the government giving them the drugs -- that is a reference, I take it, to the well-documented involvement of the CIA with drug smugglers. Former DEA agents have made the same claim. Obviously, most drugs smuggled into the U.S. are not brought in by foreign nationals funded by the CIA -- but enough has been to make the claim "the government gives them the drugs" feasible. Whether God will damn America or Americans because we've killed innocent people (think Iraq) or treated people inhumanly (think Jim Crow) is something those who believe in God can debate if they like. But the question at hand is something else: is this "hate speech against whites".
Sorry, Greta's score is still zilch.
I am sick of negros who just do not get it. Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home, Barack was. Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain't never been called a [bleeped out - presumably "nigger"]. Hillary has never had her people defined as non-persons. Hillary ain't had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by the rich white folk who run everything or to get a passing grade when you know you are smarter than that 'C' student sitting in the White House. Oh I am so glad that I've got a God that knows what it is to be a poor black man and in a country and a culture that is controlled by and run by rich white people. - Rev Wright
Hate speech? Again no.
"Rich white people" run everything? Well that's his interpretation of it. Do rich people run everything? I doubt it, though I'm sure they have a lot more power on a per capita basis than poor or even middle class folk. Nor are all rich people in the United States white -- although virtually all of them are. Perhaps Wright is exaggerating a bit. Over-simplifying things. But is this "hate speech against whites"?
I can't see it. White people aren't being called any names except "rich" -- a term not exactly considered a racial slur in most quarters. And in fact he is not claiming that all or even most white people are rich -- he's not even stereotyping, as far as I can see. What he seems to be claiming is that that rich people run everything, and those rich people are overwhelmingly white.
Wright is also claiming that Hillary is not as qualified as Barack to represent the political aspirations of black people in America. I don't know, perhaps Greta disagrees with him on this. But she can hardly claim that Wright's position is implausible. More to the point: how can she claim this is "hate against whites". I'm white, and so far I haven't seen anything that attacks me or criticizes me or in any way offends me. Now, if I was rich I might see it differently. Then I might see myself as one of the people Wright is unhappy with. Even so, rich white people used to own black people as slaves (believe it or not, Greta, this is true), rich white people used to run around in white hooded costumes at night lynching black people (check your local history book for details), rich white people used to pass laws (sometimes they still do this today) making it more difficult for blacks to vote, rich white people used to stipulate that black people couldn't go to their restaurants or send black children to their schools or even go to the same bathrooms. Is it possible that they are unaware of this history at Fox News?
My point is this -- and Barack Obama makes the same point in his speech about this (see A More Perfect Union) -- Wright's anger against the government and "rich white people" has to be seen in the context of actual American history, and the economic and social consequences of that history. At the same time, Barack also makes the point that black people need to learn how to put that past behind themselves -- need to understand that most white people today (especially the younger generations) weren't around back then and aren't personally responsible. More importantly, society is not static but changing, improving. "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected," Barack says in the speech.
I strongly recommend reading (or at least listening to) A More Perfect Union. I read it and when I came to the end I found myself crying. Things don't make me cry, especially political speeches. This is one of the few great speeches in American history.
But back to Rev. Wright.
There is a legitimate question that ought to be asked: has Wright in effect endorsed a political candidate in this sermon? If so, he has put the tax exempt status of his church in danger? The privilege of tax-exemption rests upon a church not being used to endorse candidates for public office.
Still, this is not the complaint Greta has made. She claims he is spewing anti-white hate. Her score: still stuck at zero.
Hillary is married to Bill and Bill has been good to us -- no he ain't. Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinski. He was riding dirty, but he fixed it so that some of y'all are now riding pretty. Money talks and BS walks. - Rev. Wright
Rev. Wright accompanies this with undulating motions suggestive of sexual intercourse. (I suspect this is not typical preacher etiquette for a Sunday sermon in most churches.) Wright gets his facts wrong: Bill Clinton never had intercourse with Monica -- based on Ken Starr's report, their interactions were limited to oral sex -- so there was no "riding" going on. And this is rather crude (albeit it entertaining) behavior for Sunday church -- I guess that's what it takes to pack them in the pews in Chicago.
Again, as Al Sharpton pointed out, Wright does indeed attack the Clintons (so have a few conservatives, according to rumors I've heard), but this doesn't look anything like "hate speech against whites". I think its very bad taste for anyone to belittle Bill and Hillary in this way. But wait -- Republicans do it all the time. Still, I maintain that its a bad idea for Democrats to imitate Republican in this (and Wright does appear to be a Democrat of some sort), even Democrats who prefer Barack over Hillary. Especially Democrats who prefer Barack. It's not appropriate for his campaign.
But the bottom line is this: there is simply no hate speech against whites in the video clips Greta van Susteren presents here. It seems irrational to maintain otherwise. I can understand conservatives having an emotional response to some of Wright's statement. In their usual world it is conservative preachers who say God will damn America for x, y or z, not liberal ones. But on the question of whether this is racial hate speech, their emotions strike out.
And we must ask, is van Susteren incapable of distinguishing hate speech from liberal complaints about how rich people have too much power or how blacks have been historically treated under a majority-white government? Apparently so, having breathed in too much Fox News miasma. Or something.
Final verdict: Greta van Susteren strikes out on all counts. Embarrassing.