But while Wright is a theologian, a teacher and a pastor, he is ultimately a performer. In front of a cheering crowd of supporters that included a whistling Cornel
West, he gave into temptation and lustily went after his critics. As soon as the questions began, Wright transformed into a defiant, derisive figure, snapping one-liners at the unfortunate moderator tasked with reading the questions and stepping back with a grin on his face after each one, clearly enjoying himself.
The combative pose that Wright chose to strike is perhaps most damaging not to Obama's candidacy — although the candidate will surely endure yet another round of scrutiny regarding his relationship to the minister and his positions on Wright's views — but to Wright's own message. Because he is right when he says that most Americans don't understand the black church and that their resulting confusion and fear contributes to a racial divide.