While Jeremiah Wright is hammered from all sides for his left-wing rhetoric, Washington Post writer EJ Dionne Jr. wonders why the same degree of backlash fails to surface over extreme statements from right-wing white preachers. Among many examples: Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell famously linked feminists and gays to the 9/11 attacks, but prominent Republicans such as John McCain still vied for their backing.
"The left black preacher is challenging the social structures that everyone lives in," said one theology professor trying to explain the difference in reactions. "The white preachers on the right don't challenge these structures. Instead, they talk about issues of personal morality and individual behavior." Dionne has little sympathy for the egocentric Wright but wonders whether America will give his white counterparts the same scrutiny now.