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Policy: Labor

Ex-Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright slams president in speech

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Education,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Barack Obama,Labor,Chicago

Jeremiah Wright, the former spiritual mentor to President Obama who shouted "God damn America," was a keynote speaker at a Wednesday breakfast held by the Chicago Teachers Union to honor Martin Luther King Jr. He used the occasion to slam the president's military and foreign policy.

In his speech, Wright said that although King declared "I have a dream, Barack says, I have a drone." He called for a rejection of the "three-headed demon" of "racism, militarism and capitalism," according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Every Tuesday morning, there’s a kill list that the president decides who they’re going to kill this week," Wright said.

CTU President Karen Lewis told Politico she was unconcerned about any negative publicity for having him. "He's a theologian and scholar."

Wright, who baptized Obama's children and gave Obama the inspiration for the phrase "the audacity of hope," was subsequently repudiated by the president in 2008 after videos of sermons surfaced showing him saying the U.S. got its just desserts in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and that AIDS was created specifically to destroy African-Americans, among other viewpoints.

Lewis, who has been engaged in an epic running battle with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over city school closures, is herself no stranger to fiery rhetoric or extremist views. Click here for a video of her speaking at a March 2013 meeting of the New York Collective of Radical Educators. In it, she relates how a meeting between her and Emanuel quickly deteriorated into the two shouting the f-word at each other.

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