April 15, 2008

Per Rev. Wright: Jefferson a Pedophile AND Rapist, Washington Also Fathered a Slave Child

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:50 pm

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Another Church Bulletin Barack Obama Must Not Have Read (Uh-huh)

I noted yesterday that in a Saturday eulogy, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “retired” pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) in Chicago and acknowledged 20-year mentor of presidential candidate Barack Obama, stated that Thomas Jefferson had committed pedophilia because of his supposed relationship with 15 year-old slave Sally Hemmings. The historical veracity of that alleged relationship, and who the actual father of Hemmings’s children was, remain subjects of significant dispute.

Wright’s Saturday contention was not a one-off, as a visit to the treasure trove of roughly 100 church bulletins downloaded by yours truly from TUCC’s web site a few weeks ago has revealed.

Specifically, the Rev. Wright played the pedophilia card against Thomas Jefferson, and went further — much further — on Pages 7 and 8 of TUCC’s November 6, 2005 bulletin.

Wright didn’t just double-down, he tripled-down:

  • He asserted that George Washington fathered a baby by a slave.
  • Then, extending his already-known condemnation of Jefferson, he called the ideological father of the Democratic Party a rapist.

The object of Wright’s disaffection was an article by “an old friend, mentor, and minister,” Dr. Martin E. Marty, who had penned an article published in an issue of Christian Ethics Today (“Multiple Choices from the Founders“). Dr. Marty’s article was about three different visions of the proper role religion should have in the newly-formed United States according to different individuals among our Founding Fathers.

The piece wasn’t about slavery at all, and no variation on the word appears in it. The victimization-driven Wright apparently couldn’t handle that idea. So, as you will see, he went into a passage-by-passage rant in “response” (really non-response) to what Dr. Marty had written.

Click here or on the mini-pic below to for a larger, readable version of the two relevant bulletin pages that will open in a separate window or tab:

TUCC110605bulletinWashJeff

Wright’s key passages in “response” to Dr. Marty are these:

  • “Both Washington and Jefferson were owners of Africans and fathered babies by African women.”
  • “(Thomas Jefferson is) the man who was a pedophile and raped the 15 year-old African girl, Sally Hemmings.”
  • “In the white religion of 18th century America, some white Christians saw nothing wrong with owning slaves, sleeping with African women and killing Africans.” (I won’t even respond to this nonsense, because doing so would give the contentions more dignity than they deserve. — Ed.)

The claim that Jefferson raped Hemmings is an interesting add-on to Saturday’s already-known pedophilia charge. Is the good Rev referring to rape in the “statutory” sense, or is he claiming that Jefferson had sexual intercourse with Hemmings, perhaps multiple times, against her will? He never tells us. Nice.

As noted earlier, the possibility that Jefferson fathered Hemmings’s children was addressed in yesterday’s post. The historical and evidential record on the matter appears to be murky at worst, and exculpatory at best. Again, as noted earlier, Wright’s presentment of the claim as if there is nothing in dispute is disingenuous, and borders on slander.

Wright’s assertion that George Washington fathered a slave child as a matter of fact is especially risible.

The only claim I could find relating to the issue was covered in a July 7, 1999 New York Times article by Nicholas Wade (“Descendants of Slave’s Son Contend That His Father Was George Washington”). The contention raised is that Washington was the father of West Ford, whose mother was a slave named “Venus.” Wade’s conclusion:

But without independent evidence, Venus’s voice across the centuries is too faint for listeners to make out the first name of her son’s father.

A 2005 History News Network article reached a similar conclusion: “In all likelihood ….. West Ford was indeed a son of a Washington, but not of George Washington. ‘There is some pretty strong evidence suggesting that West Ford may have been the son of another member of the Washington family’” …..

There may be more evidence out there about the West Ford matter, or there may be another claim about a different slave mother I did not come across, but I doubt it. Apparently the Rev. Wright has no such doubts. As with Jefferson, he treats Washington’s extramarital fatherhood through a slave mother as if it is an undisputed historical fact. Even the West Ford Legacy web site doesn’t claim to know that Washington was Ford’s father.

(By the way, does anyone recognize the voice at the web site’s Flash intro page? If it is who I think it is, what he says ["Once in a lifetime, a story is revealed that changes the face of history. Welcome to the legacy of West Ford."] is very telling indeed).

Should any of this concern Barack Obama?

What Wright said on Saturday sounded to me like it has been said many times before. Yet we’re supposed to believe that Obama was never present when Wright pointed pedophilia and/or rape charges at Thomas Jefferson, and never heard them spoken of by any other congregation members.

As to the Wright’s bulletin “responses” to Dr. Marty on November 6, 2005, they again seem like old hat — things the preacher would have said or written frequently. Yet, as was the case with bulletin containing the republished article by the Hamas terrorist, and the one with a column hysterically claiming that Israel and South Africa once worked on creating an ethnic bomb, we’re supposed to believe that Obama never read anything relating to Jefferson or Washington’s extramarital adventures in any of the 1,000-plus church bulletins published in his 20-plus years of TUCC membership (remember, what I have retrieved represents only about 10% of TUCC’s 20-year bulletin output).

The idea that Barack Obama can plausibly deny awareness of the seamy substance of Wright’s rants has long since lost all credibility.

It’s way too late for Obama to walk away from any of these things, because:

  • He has not distanced himself from the Rev. Wright in any meaningful way, instead fighting individual fires set by Wright as they come up, and, as with the “Cling Along with Hicks” controversy, otherwise trying to ride out the storms (which, by the way, appears to be so not working).
  • He has not renounced the hateful Black Liberation Supremacist theology that underpins TUCC, and that extends to the pastor who either will succeed or has succeeded the Rev. Wright (it’s still hard to tell).
  • He has stated that he and his family will continue to attend TUCC.

Therefore, as I said at the end of the March 26 post about the “ethnic bomb” church bulletin:

Obama owns this stuff, whether he likes it or not.

The costs of ownership appear to have significantly increased.

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UPDATE, 10 p.m.: What I’ve just learned about Washington, his outlook on slavery, and the financial sacrifices he endured to keep slave families together, should make the Rev. Wright ashamed over his unsubstantiated assertion — but it won’t (bolds are mine):

After the war, Washington often privately expressed a dislike of the institution of slavery. In 1786, he wrote to a friend that “I never mean … to possess another slave by purchase; it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this Country may be abolished by slow, sure and imperceptible degrees.” To another friend he wrote that “there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see some plan adopted for the abolition” of slavery. He expressed moral support for plans by his friend the Marquis de Lafayette to emancipate slaves and resettle them elsewhere, but he did not assist him in the effort.

During the years when Washington was alive, the laws of Virginia did not permit any slave owner to emancipate a slave without imposing a great financial burden to himself. Thus, the only remaining means to dispose of one’s slaves was to sell them, and had Washington not been opposed to this practice, he gladly would have used that means to end his ownership of all slaves. As he explained “Were it not that I am principled against selling Negroes… I would not in twelve months from this date be possessed of one as a slave.”

The personal circumstances faced by Washington prove that his convictions were indeed genuine and not merely rhetorical. The excess number of slaves which he held was economically unprofitable for Mount Vernon and caused a great financial burden on him. Washington wrote “It is demonstratively clear that on this Estate (Mount Vernon) I have more working Negroes by a full [half] than can be employed to any advantage in the farming system.” Washington could have sold his “surplus” slaves and immediately have realized a substantial income. As prize-winning historian James Truslow Adams correctly observed, “One good field hand was worth as much as a small city lot. By selling a single slave, Washington could have paid for two years all the taxes he so complained about.” Washington himself acknowledged the profit he could make by reducing the number of his slaves, declaring “[H]alf the workers I keep on this estate would render me greater net profit than I now derive from the whole.”

Despite the financial benefits he could have reaped, Washington adamantly refused to sell any slaves, saying “To sell the overplus I cannot, because I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species. To hire them out is almost as bad because they could not be disposed of in families to any advantage, and to disperse [break up] the families I have an aversion.”

This stand by Washington was remarkable for his day. …..

Not only did George Washington commit himself to caring for his slaves and to seeking a legal remedy by which they might be freed in his State, but he also took the leadership in doing so on the national level. The first federal racial civil rights law in America was passed on August 7, 1789 with the endorsing signature of President George Washington. That law, entitled “An Ordinance of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio,” prohibited slavery in any new State interested in seeking to enter the Union. Consequently, slavery was thus prohibited in all the American territories held at the time; and it was because of this law, signed by President George Washington, that Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all prohibited slavery.

Despite the slow but steady progress made in many parts of the nation, especially in the North, the laws in Virginia were designed to discourage and prevent the emancipation of slaves. The loophole which finally allowed Washington to circumvent Virginia law was by emancipating his slaves on his death, which he did.

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Selected Previous Related Posts:
- April 14 — Wright’s Probable Slander Against Thomas Jefferson: Only ‘Fix News’ Covers It (See Updates)
- April 11 — Passage of the Day: Among Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ‘Ten Essential Facts about the United States’
- April 8 — The Objectively Unfit Barack Obama
- April 5 — AP Covers for Obama by Avoiding Church’s, and Pastor’s, Essence
- March 28 — Greetings to Jake Tapper of ABC News
- March 28 — Water, Wal-Mart, and Reverend Wright
- March 27 — Obama Attempts To Distance Himself from Wright. Sorry, Pal; No Sale
- March 26 — Another Bulletin Bomb from Obama’s Pastor, Plus Helpful Campaign Assistance from BizzyBlog
- March 24 — JPost Picks up Obama Condemnation of TUCC Bulletin’s Hamas Column
- March 21 — Obama (Shhh) Blasts Hamas Op-Ed in Church Bulletin, Silent on Other Bulletin Items (See Contradictory Updates)
- March 21 — Did The New Republic Out Obama As a TUCC Bulletin Reader in March 2007?
- March 21 — Hamas-Obama-Wright Resonates
- March 20 — Church Bulletin Bonus: Omid Safi and the Progressive Muslim Union (PMU)
- March 20 — Another ‘Close Religious Adviser’ to Obama Old Media Has Ignored
- March 19 — Obama: The Pummeling by Perceptive Pundits Proceeds (with the Candidate Inadvertently Pitching in)
- March 18 — Analyses of the Day: Allah and Shelby Steele Nail Obama’s ‘Checkers’ Speech
- March 18 — Ahead of Obama’s ‘Checkers’ Speech ….
- March 17 — TUCC’s Church Bulletins from July 2007 Probably Make Whether Obama Was Present on July 22 Irrelevant
- March 17 — Blogger Patterico Calls Out LA Times Coverage of Obama-Wright
- March 16 — Obama Gives a Nod to Wright
- March 15 — Obama Has Not Set Things Right about Wright
- March 13 — The People Who Have Given Me Grief Over the Use of Barack Obama’s Middle Name …..

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14 Comments

  1. [...] miss BizzyBlog today.  Who knew that the Democratic presidential candidate would be standing up for a pastor that [...]

    Pingback by NixGuy.com » More Wright Stuff — April 15, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  2. Really…does the old, racist scumbag Jeremiah Wrong have anything to say about the “profit” Mohammed marrying the child-bride “Ayesha” when she was 6 yrs. old and and cosummating the marriage when she was 9?

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/ayesha.htm

    Comment by Rose — April 15, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  3. Sad to say, Mr. Wright has his information correct. Thomas Jefferson’s slave “Sally” was a gift from his father in law. According to sources from the “John Adams” book, she was Jefferson’s wife’s half sister. Abigail Adams mentioned in her correspondence that she met “Sally” in London and she was but a young girl. “Sally” had five children with Jefferson, having a couple or so, die. So, now days, it would be considered being a pedophile and rape.
    Washington, could have as in the time period slave owners felt that they had every right to do with their property as they see fit. I have not seen any proof.

    Comment by Di — April 15, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  4. Disgusting. While the Founding Fathers (like the rest of us) fell short of perfect, Wright misses the point. It helped our young country become great by emphasizing their positive attributes as traits we should emulate rather than dwelling on their faults in order to excuse our own failures. Speaking ill of historical figures serves what purpose for his congregation? Does giving his parishioners someone else to blame for their lot in life help them? He would serve people better by encouraging them to live better lives regardless of what went before. To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., “If you are to be a street sweeper then be the best street sweeper you can be.”

    Bottom line: He is misleading his flock.

    Comment by largebill — April 15, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  5. #4, He certainly distracts his flock from “The Audacity of Hope.”

    #2, the Rev. Wright was apparently unavailable for comment.

    #3, Happy to say, you’re full of baloney.

    Go to the previous post. The weight of the evidence is on TJ NOT being the father of Sally Hemming’s kids. Pedophilia is defined as sex with children. Hemming, at 15, was not a child. Wright’s silence as to whether the supposed “rape” (not proven, in fact likely disproven, but nevertheless assumed as fact) was forcible or not is disgusting.

    Your characterization of Washington is especially offensive (in modern times, it would be known as a “smear”), as, per Wiki:

    Washington was the only prominent, slaveholding Founding Father who succeeded at emancipating his slaves. He did not free his slaves in his lifetime, however, but instead included a provision in his will to free his slaves upon the death of his wife. Not all the slaves at his estate at Mt. Vernon were owned by him, his wife Martha owned a large number of slaves and Washington did not feel that he could unilaterally free slaves that came to Mt. Vernon from his wife’s estate. His actions were influenced by his close relationship with the Marquis de La Fayette. Martha Washington would free slaves to which she had title late in her own life. He did not speak out publicly against slavery, argues historian Dorothy Twohig, because he did not wish to risk splitting apart the young republic over what was already a sensitive and divisive issue.

    A mindset as described and actions such as those taken would be totally at odds with GW fathering a slave child. That, and the fact that there is no solid evidence.

    As to your comment, “as in the time period slave owners felt that they had every right to do with their property as they see fit,” that most definitely did not, in the vast majority of cases, include using them as a sexual outlet. So not sorry — you’re wrong.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 15, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  6. He’s obsessed with white supremacy yet going to live among them in a mansion.
    http://www.tucc.org/pdf/rey_5-2006.pdf

    Comment by Petra — April 16, 2008 @ 12:23 am

  7. Might be time to let this post roll off, Tom. Not even Malkin was foolish enough to bite (sorry, nixguy). A spirited defense of the slave-owning founding “fathers” just doesn’t create the excitement it used to. In fact nowadays, I think most folks agree with Condoleezza Rice’s characterization of slavery as our national “birth defect.”

    Some additional thoughts:
    1) Property, regardless of age, can’t consent to sexual relations. Your suggestion to the contrary is sad.

    2) Much like “recession” has a precise economic definition, “slander” has a legal meaning, and dead people can’t be slandered.

    3) When you to quote and parenthetically respond as follows, you trumpet your historical ignorance, or worse:

    “In the white religion of 18th century America, some white Christians saw nothing wrong with owning slaves, sleeping with African women and killing Africans.” (I won’t even respond to this nonsense, because doing so would give the contentions more dignity than they deserve. — Ed.)

    4) Obama isn’t Wright. Your continued attempts to conflate the two are insulting to your readers.

    5) This was once a top business blog, but you’ve had no honest to goodness business posts for ten days. Seems you could be risking your franchise to promote your fringe political/historical/societal/racial views.

    Comment by Tony B. — April 16, 2008 @ 1:14 am

  8. #7, you, so, totally, don’t, get, so, many, things.

    “Obama owns this stuff, whether he likes it or not.” — and whether you like it or not, for reasons so obvious that even you, as you helplessly thrash about, intuitively understand and cannot honestly deny. The only insult I see is the one you’re perpetrating on my and comment readers’ intelligence.

    Slander has non-legal definitions that don’t appear to require that a person be alive for it to have occurred. But if you prefer defamation, sliming, lying, or casting unproven aspersions like a craven coward, feel free to substitute as you re-read.

    And you can’t even count to 10.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 16, 2008 @ 2:46 am

  9. Now you sound bitter. How small is Mason?

    Comment by Tony B. — April 16, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  10. #9, there’s not a bitter word in #8. Just astute observations, and constructive suggestions (i.e., learn to count to 10 :–>).

    You have Wikipedia access, and it would appear your fingers aren’t broken, so you can find about Mason yourself.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 16, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  11. It was a wasted attempt at a joke.

    I checked out Mason as you suggested. Interesting demographics. Sounds perfect for you. Does nixguy also call Mason home?

    Comment by Tony B. — April 16, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  12. #11, like John Kerry, you need to stay away from “jokes.”

    Nix has said in his blog that he is elsewhere in Warren County. Don’t know where.

    You seem a bit on the nosy side. To what end? Or should I ask where you live too?

    Comment by TBlumer — April 16, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  13. He won’t tell you Tom…that would be leveling the “intimidation” playing field.

    Tony B., you are a so devoid of a logical argument that you resort to “where do you live?”

    Coward.

    Comment by Rose — April 16, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

  14. Sorry, I guess I was pretty nosy. Just curious, really, as you and nix appear to have some things in common. I witnessed the PD experiment.

    I’m in the city, and not terribly familiar with the adjacent counties. Your public school system up there looks to be outstanding.

    Comment by Tony B. — April 16, 2008 @ 6:32 pm

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