JERUSALEM – Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. demonstrated he is a “man of principle” by sticking to his teachings of “black liberation theology” during today’s highly publicized session with the news media, Malik Zulu Shabazz, national chairman of the New Black Panther Party, told WND in an interview.
Shabazz, who was at the National Press Club event in Washington for Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor of 20 years , said he was particularly proud of Wright’s defense of Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan.
He also labeled as “strong” Wright’s accusation U.S. policy was to blame for the 9/11 attacks.
“I respect [Wright] for [defending Farrakhan,]” said Shabazz. “When I look for leadership I look for people of integrity who will stand up for what they believe in and not denounce somebody just because the heat is on… [Wright] stood up and continues to stand up on why he supports Farrakhan and he stands by him.”
Shabazz’s NBPP is a controversial black extremist party whose leaders are notorious for their racist statements and for leading anti-white activism.
The deceased chairman of the NBPP, Khallid Abdul Muhammad, is a former Nation of Islam leader who was once considered Farrakhan’s most trusted adviser. Muhammad gave speeches referring to the “white man” as the “devil” and claiming that “there is a little bit of Hitler in all white people.”
During a question and answer session at today’s event, Wright, who recently retired as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, praised Farrakhan as “one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century … that’s what I think about him.”
“Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn’t make me this color,” said Wright.
Wright quoted Farrakhan stating “Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion. He was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter’s being vilified for and Bishop Tutu’s being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I’m anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago.”
Wright accused the U.S. of carrying out terrorism and used Scripture to defend his claim 9/11 signified that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
“Jesus said: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic divisive principles,” he said.
Shabazz told WND he thought Wright’s remarks about 9/11 were “strong.”
He didn’t cut off his principles,” Shabazz said. “He backed it up with Scripture.”
Shabazz chalked up Obama’s recent statement distancing himself from some of Wright’s positions as “pure politics,” noting the pastor has become Obama’s biggest liability in his bid for the White House.
“I believe the Wright you have seen the last few days is the Wright Obama met,” he said.
Wright himself today indicated Obama was not sincere in distancing himself from his self-described spiritual adviser and mentor of nearly 20 years.
“[Obama] had to distance himself, because he’s a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was anti-American,” Wright said.
Shabazz said pro-black groups should not change their tactics to ensure the election of Obama.
“Everybody in the black community can’t all the sudden change the way and tactics of what they are doing just to please Obama. … We love him and respect him and want him to win … but he is not some Messiah-like figure where every way he moves we have to move and we have to always carefully consider what we do and how it may impact him when it comes to the critical matters of the advancement and liberation of black figures.”
Shabazz has given scores of speeches condemning “white men” and Jews.
His NBPP’s official platform states “white man has kept us deaf, dumb and blind,” refers to the “white racist government of America,” demands black people be exempt from military service and uses the word Jew repeatedly in quotation marks.
Shabazz has led racially divisive protests and conferences, such as the 1998 Million Youth March in which a few thousand Harlem youths reportedly were called upon to scuffle with police officers, and speakers demanded the extermination of whites in South Africa.
The NBPP chairman was quoted at a May 2007 protest against the 400-year celebration of the settlement of Jamestown, Va., stating, “When the white man came here, you should have left him to die.”
He claimed Jews engaged in an “African holocaust,” and he has promoted the anti-Semitic urban legend that 4,000 Israelis fled the World Trade Center just prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
When Shabazz was denied entry to Canada last May while trying to speak at a black action event, he blamed Jewish groups and claimed Canada “is run from Israel.”
Canadian officials justified the action, stating he has an “anti-Semitic” and “anti-police” record, but some reports blamed what was termed a minor criminal history for the decision to deny him entry.
He similarly blamed Jews for then-New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani’s initial decision, later rescinded, against granting a permit for the Million Youth March.
In a 1993 speech condemned by the U.S. Congress and Senate, late NBPP chairman Muhammad, lionized on the NBPP site, referred to Jews as “bloodsuckers,” labeled the pope a “no-good cracker” and advocated the murder of white South Africans who would not leave the nation subsequent to a 24-hour warning.
All NBPP members must memorize the group’s rules, such as that no party member “can have a weapon in his possession while drunk or loaded off narcotics or weed,” and no member “will commit any crimes against other party members or black people at all.”
WND previously broke the story when the NBPP endorsed Obama on its own page of the presidential candidate’s official site, which allows registered users to post their own blogs.
The group labels itself on Obama’s site as representing “Freedom, Justice, and Peace for all of Mankind.” It links to the official NBPP website, which contains what can be arguably regarded as hate material.
To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.