The NAACP Fighting for Freedom Dinner in Detroit was the coming out party for the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and come out he did. Detractors of Sen. Barack Obama have already started trying to marginalize the Reverend's powerful speech but you know they can't.
Live and in living color, Rev. Wright did himself a tremendous solid by destroying the racist, divisive caricature of him many had come to know. Comments about Wright's speech also showed just how much some folks don't know about blacks and the Black church.
Let me start with the introduction by Detroit NAACP branch president Rev. Wendell Anthony. His passion and conviction set the tone for Wright's fiery and humorous speech. Folks who didn't get the left-brain right-brain theory Rev. Wright shared didn't get Rev. Anthony's introduction and that's OK.
Some folks think Wright should have remained silent and his speech only keeps the controversy alive. The fact is that Rev. Wright will remain a political target for the Obama campaign anyway.
Rev. Wright's uncensored speech was delivered to a worldwide audience and you can't buy that kind of publicity. Wright spoke the truth about the differences between blacks and whites and reiterated that different is not deficient. Some who didn't listen to the speech will not get the unity in his speech. They won't get the call for respect for each other, our differences and change that's going to come.
Notably, Rev. Wright mentioned a book he has coming out. Whether that was a joke or not remains to be seen. In commenting on his speech, Republican strategist Sherri Jacobus criticized Wright for speaking out. She said his speech was self-serving and that he would get rich from his book.
Is she for real? Does she accurately represent the position of the GOP? Folks like Jacobus have themselves to blame for making Wright rich and more influential than he could have ever imagined. They are responsible for dragging Rev. Wright's character through the mud so many times that an otherwise un-newsworthy speech at an NAACP dinner received worldwide live broadcast privilege and was rebroadcast several times.
Rev. Wright is not going away and he will not be silenced. Staunch Clinton and McCain supporters are not going to vote for Barack Obama but reasonable folks and undecided voters saw a different Jeremiah Wright and he may have convinced undecided voters to support Obama.
Wright is scheduled to speak at the National Press Club in Washington, DC tomorrow. How his comments will be received before a less friendly crowd will be interesting. Stay tuned.