Rev. Jeremiah Wright Calls on Obama to Promote Peace

A controversial figure from President Obama’s past is calling on him to act on the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and make America the world’s “No. 1 purveyor of peace.” The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who once served as Obama’s pastor, is the leader of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and is considered one of the nation’s most influential black pastors.

Wright has been criticized for his inflammatory remarks in the past, forcing the president to distance himself as he ran for office. On Monday, Wright referenced an anti-Vietnam speech King delivered at New York’s Riverside Church in which the civil rights leader called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Wright has not seen Obama in person since 2008, something he expected prior to the president’s first presidential campaign. The pastor was not present at Monday’s inauguration ceremony, instead choosing to teach a course at Virginia Union University in  Richmond, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Rapper Lupe Fiasco voiced his criticism of President Obama during inauguration weekend, which ended with the artist being forced offstage. Fiasco was the headliner of Sunday’s StartUp RockOn concert, an event meant to celebrate the president’s re-election.

Instead, Fiasco chose to perform an anti-war song while telling the audience that he did not vote for Obama. Reports say that the song went on for more than half an hour, with Lupe refusing to move on. Eventually, the rapper was escorted off stage by a team of security guards.

In the past, Fiasco has been critical of Obama and the American government in both interviews and his music, making his Sunday assertion less surprising. An official statement from StartUp RockOn organizers said that Fiasco wasn’t removed for his views on Obama, but rather for his refusal to perform.

Lupe Fiasco was not  “kicked off stage”  for an “anti-Obama rant,” the statement reads. “We are staunch supporters of free speech and free political speech. This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act. Lupe Fiasco repeated the one song for more than 40 minutes.”

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