Flashback: Jeremiah Wright's Shout-Out to Soledad O'Brien

Flashback: Jeremiah Wright's Shout-Out to Soledad O'Brien

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who has been pushing the racial angle in the Trayvon Martin case, and who infamously failed to smother President Barack Obama’s association with radical Critical Race Theory professor Derrick Bell, has a long history of support for radicalism.

To take one little-known, but sensational, example:

In April 27, 2008, long after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was already toxic, and a household name, O’Brien gave a positive review of a radical speech Wright had delivered to the NAACP.

O’Brien may have been returning a favor, as Wright had given her and fellow CNN contributor Roland Martin a shout-out from the podium: “An additional special thank you is offered to Soledad O’Brien for CNN’s outstanding Black in America [series], and my long term friend, Roland Martin,” Wright said (video below).

Without mentioning the shout-out, O’Brien reviewed the speech the next morning. “It was an illuminating speech. It was a really funny, not angry, interesting, dynamic speech. So, certainly a home run for him from that perspective,” she told CNN’s (since canceled) American Morning the next day, leaving out the more controversial aspects of Wright’s speech.

During that Detroit speech, Wright praised the work of several radicals, including Janice Hale, whose book, Learning While Black (2001), posits that black and whites think differently for biological reasons, and that the white educational system harms black children; to Geneva Smitherman, who encouraged the teaching of “Ebonics” in schools as a legitimate form of study; and to Tim Jacob Wise, self-appointed expert on racial sensitivity and author of a slew of books on “white privilege.”

The NAACP address was not the first time Wright had mentioned these racialist thinkers. Indeed, Wright has mentioned all of them in his published sermons repeatedly. O’Brien–who was covering the presidential race–did not point out these facts about Wright’s “interesting, dynamic speech.”

What stands out for O’Brien, more than journalism, is the pursuit of grievances, real and perceived. Indeed, were America ever to get “beyond Trayvon”–the title of her recent CNN special–she might be unemployed.