Monday , May 27 2024

Rev. Wright Lecture Stirs Up Controversy

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<p>A lecture by a controversial pastor was held Monday at Fresno State. The university invited Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. to speak as part of a series on Black Popular Culture.</p><p>Reverend Wright was President Obama’s pastor, who became infamous 2008 after making some controversial comments.</p><p>&quot;Its not so much about what happened a few years ago, although that will be discussed. To me, the greater conversation is about his entire life’s work,&quot; Fresno State Associate Professor of Africana Studies Dr. T. Hasan Johnson said. </p><p>Wright made national headlines due to his fiery sermons and commentary, including suggesting that the U.S. brought 9/11 terror attacks on itself. President Obama attended Wright’s church before his election, and Wright even baptized the President’s daughters, but Obama later cut all ties with Wright.</p><p>Dr. Francine Oputa is part of a group co-sponsoring Monday’s event. She said there’s more to Wright than just fiery rhetoric.</p><p>&quot;He is an internationally known speaker, writer, all of those things, and that controversy was just a blip on the screen in his life,&quot; Dr. Oputa, President of the Black Faculty and Staff Association said. </p><p>She said Wright brings a unique perspective to America’s social ills.</p><p>&quot;He works holistically with the community, not only spiritually, but socially, economically, educationally, all of those things,&quot; Dr. Oputa said. </p><p>But some people we spoke with at Fresno State said Wright’s commentary fans the flames of anti-Americanism. </p><p>&quot;I think Rev. Wright gives credibility to the extremists that hate us and vs. the American dream and why people come to America. He teaches the exact opposite,&quot; Shawn Crabb said. </p><p>Crabb said Wright’s ideology makes him the wrong choice for a speaker in a college forum.</p><p>&quot;I think it’s anti-American. I really do. I don’t think he deserves any type of podium to stand behind,&quot; Crabb said. </p><p>But Dr. Oputa said whether or not you support Rev. Wright, there is something you can learn from the lecture. </p><p>&quot;It’s all about learning and learning diverse perspectives on issues, on life, on those kinds of things,&quot; Dr. Oputa said.</p><p>The event is costing Fresno State around $7,500, most of that coming from a grant. </p></div>

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