As various media outlets continue to dissect Sen. Barack Obama‘s speech on race in America and the remarks from his former pastor that spawned the speech, Common is speaking in defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. Excerpts from a sermon given the Sunday after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and another speech in 2003 have resulted in negative publicity for both the church and Sen. Obama, but Common feels that Wright is being misrepresented. reports that the rapper and actor was also raised in Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, and came to Rev. Wright‘s defense during a recent press junket.

“He never really was against white people or another race,” says Common. “It was more against an establishment that was oppressing people. I think we all can see that this country has problems and a lot of it starts in the political system.”

The 36-year-old Chicago native has been an ardent support of Sen. Obama, both making public appearances on behalf of his bid for the Democratic Presidential Nomination and mentioning him in his music. Common spoke in defense of Wright, in hopes that the attention his previous comments are drawing will not permanently damage Wright or Obama‘s legacy.

“What I picked up from the pews…was messages of love,” adds Common. “Anything that was going on against that love he would acknowledge and expose. He’s been a preacher that’s helped raise one of the greatest political figures in the world, and hopefully, the next President. He’s also raised one of the greatest rappers in the world.”