This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," March 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT, JR., TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: This government lied about their belief that all men were created equal. The truth is they believed all white men were created equal. The truth is they did not believe that even white women were created equal.
Between Uncle Clarence, who sexually harassed Anita Hill, and a (INAUDIBLE) Court that is a throwback to the 19th century, hand-picked by Daddy Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, (INAUDIBLE) between Clarence and that stacked Court, they are about to undo Roe versus Wade, just like they're about to undo Affirmative Action. The government lied in its founding documents, and the government is still lying today!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Everyone has been waiting to hear what Senator Obama would say about Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Meanwhile, one group is celebrating Reverend Wright.
The Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, is honoring Reverend Wright at an awards banquet later this month. The Brite school says it is recognizing Dr. Wright for his 40-year ministry linking divine justice and social justice, and it is not changing its mind in light of the controversy. The Brite Divinity School is on Texas Christian University's campus, but the schools are separate.
How does the university feel about Wright being honored? In Dallas is Andrew Chavez, editor for The Daily Skiff, the student newspaper of Texas Christian University.
Welcome, Andrew. And what is the reaction on campus that Reverend Wright is going to get an award for the divinity school on March 29?
ANDREW CHAVEZ, THE DAILY SKIFF: Well, I haven't talked to a single student since this came about that really supports the Brite decision, by any means. Obviously, the Brite School is defending it on the grounds that, you know, he's built this huge congregation in Chicago that spread to Atlanta and all across the country. And you know, they're making it clear that they don't endorse his remarks. But as far as students go at Texas Christian, I have not talked to anyone personally who supports their decision, by any means.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if the Brite Divinity School, whether they examined his sermons, his writings in determining whether or not it was appropriate whether he is someone they wanted to honor?
CHAVEZ: Well, there's no indication of that, although he was here back in 2001. He was here for Ministers Week, which is something that Brite has held for over five decades. And you know, he spoke there in, I think, February of 2001 at least twice and was very well received. In fact, they say that he's one of the best received speakers that has been at Ministers' Week since they started the endowed speakership that funded him. So I don't know how much of an indication there was ahead of time that he had this controversial baggage when it comes to those remarks.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, Texas Christian, which is a separate institution, do you know how the chancellor or the faculty — how they feel? Have they issued any sort of collective statement?
CHAVEZ: We haven't talked to a lot of faculty. The chancellor — and we haven't really spoken with an administrator at length, although the chancellor has issued a statement this morning, which basically just said that, you know, he respects the freedom of expression, you know, and — you know, he respects it on that level, but saying that if it were Texas Christian, that the award might not be given.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the criteria for the award?
CHAVEZ: Well, it's in its fourth year, but if you look at some of the people who have gotten in the past, you're looking at other people who have also built congregations in a similar fashion. There's Albert Hsu (ph) from here in Fort Worth, who had a similar sort of congregation-building career. And there's Zan Holmes (ph) from over in Dallas, who's a Methodist minister that is very, very well respected in the area. So the criteria aren't specifically laid out, but it's — the Black Church Leader Award is the name of the award, so that kind of might enlighten people a little bit as to what the criteria are.
VAN SUSTEREN: I take it that they look somewhat into not only the words in the sermons but also the things that the church has done in the community, and I assume that they look at contributions in the community.
CHAVEZ: Right. Right. You know, and in fact, the release from Brite that was sort of defending this decision — they put out a release on Monday that was sort of just defending the decision in light of all the attention that he's gotten in the media, and that's one of the things that they cited, you know, is not only the numbers that he has drawn to the church, but also what he's done with that. And you know, they point out a lot of social service projects. And actually, to quote them directly, they mentioned that they were honoring him for "linking divine justice and social justice" in his ministry. So that's the emphasis. And like I said, they've made it clear that, you know, they by no means endorse the controversial remarks.
VAN SUSTEREN: Andrew, thank you.
CHAVEZ: Thank you, Greta.
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