Dim bulb called U.S. mayors 'slave masters,' blacks who protect white men 'house n-ggers'
Sen. Barack Obama has been linked to another controversial pastor, this time a declared spiritual adviser who has called white American mayors "slave masters," and referred to black preachers and politicians who "protect" the "white man" as "house n-ggers." "We don't have slave masters, we got mayors," exclaimed James Meeks, an Illinois state senator and pastor of one of the largest churches in the state, in an August, 2006 sermon broadcast on a Chicago community television channel. The speech was broadcast last week by Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes."
Continued Meeks in the sermon: "But they are still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able to be educated. You got some preachers that are house n-ggers. You got some elected officials that are house n-ggers. Rather than them try and break this up, they're gonna fight you to protect that white man."
Meeks at the time was lashing out at Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley over public-school funding issues. When confronted about his divisive rhetoric in 2006 by Mike Flannery, a political editor for a local CBS affiliate, Meeks defended his sermon. "Is it fair to compare Mayor Daley, him and the governor, to slave masters?" Flannery asked. "They do the same thing. They preside over systems where they have the control of the lives of African-American and Hispanic people," Meeks replied.
With regard to his use of foul language, Meeks stated: "The N-word is not in the African-American community a bad word. It's a term of endearment. And I don't see it as derogatory or defensive, offensive." But Flannery retorted: "That is an insult. You weren't using that term as a term of endearment." According to reports, shortly after his 2006 tirade, Meeks endorsed a Rainbow/PUSH call for blacks to stop using the N-word.
Aside from his senatorial duties, Meeks is an Illinois superdelegate pledged to Obama, and also presides over Salem Baptist Church, described as the largest church in Illinois with some 20,000 members. He has served as an executive vice president for Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH organization. Meeks has reportedly campaigned for Obama and allowed Obama to campaign at his church during the presidential candidate's 2004 senatorial run. A recent Meeks endorsement of Obama is touted on the presidential candidate's campaign website.
In a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama described Meeks as an adviser who he seeks out for spiritual counsel. Obama told the Sun-Times that the day after he won a 2004 senatorial primary, he stopped by Meeks' Salem Baptist Church for Wednesday-night Bible study. "I know that he's a person of prayer," said Meeks of Obama. "The night after the election, he was the hottest thing going from Galesburg to Rockford. He did all the TV shows, and all the morning news, but his last stop at night was for church. He came by to say thank you, and he came by for prayer."
Meeks has made other controversial race remarks. In 2006, Meeks informed his church during a sermon he may run for Illinois governor. He was recorded telling the mostly black congregation any "white Christian" who doesn't vote for him is a "racist."
A race conversation? What are you talking about?
Judging by the reaction to Obama's speech, you'd think Americans had never uttered a word about race. And see here for a response to Obama's invitation which is probably not what Obama had in mind.
Thank God for Barack Obama. For until his "More Perfect Union" speech last Tuesday, it seems it never occurred to anyone that America needed to talk about race. "Maybe this'll be the beginning of a conversation," Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan proclaimed on "Meet the Press." According to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, just the fact of Obama's address proves that a "national dialogue on race" is "essential." The Chicago Tribune reported that "many voters, black and white, say they were moved by Obama's speech ... which they see as a long-awaited invitation to begin an honest, calm national dialogue about race." Newspaper editorial boards agree. In the words of the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Prodding Americans to confront their racial differences is, by itself, an accomplishment of historical proportions."
Because so many people agree on this brilliant new strategy to heal our national wounds, I can only assume that I'm the one missing something. Because when one luminary after another smacks his forehead like someone who forgot to have a V8 in epiphanic awe over the genius of Obama's call for a national conversation on race, all I can do is wonder: "What on Earth are you people talking about?"
"Universities were moving to incorporate the issues Mr. Obama raised into classroom discussions and course work," the New York Times reported within 48 hours of the speech.
Oh, thank goodness Obama fired the starter's pistol in the race to discuss race. Here I'd been under the impression that every major university (and minor one for that matter) in the country already had boatloads of courses -- often entire majors -- dedicated to race in America. I'd even read somewhere that professors had incorporated racial themes and issues into classes on everything from Shakespeare to the mating habits of snail darters. And scratching faintly in the back of my mind, I felt some vague memory that these same universities recruited black students and other racial minorities, on the grounds that interracial conversations on campus are as important as talking about math, science and literature. A ghost of an image in my mind's eye seemed to reveal African American studies centers, banners for Black History Month and copies of books like "Race Matters" and "The Future of the Race" lined up on shelves at college bookstores.
Were all of the corporate diversity consultants and racial sensitivity seminars mere apparitions in a dream? Also disappearing in the memory hole, apparently, were the debates that followed Hurricane Katrina, Trent Lott's remarks about Strom Thurmond, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, the publication of "The Bell Curve" and O.J. Simpson's murder trial. Not to mention the ongoing national chatter about affirmative action, racial disparities in prison sentences and racial profiling by law enforcement.
And the thousands of hours of newscasts, television dramas and movies -- remember Oscar-winning films such as 2004's "Crash?" -- dedicated to racial issues? It's as if they never existed, vanishing like the image on a TV screen after the plug's been pulled. The New York Times' six-week Pulitzer Prize-winning series, "How Race Is Lived in America": just an inkblot?
It all seems so otherworldly. I feel like one of the last humans in an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" movie in which all of the pod people are compelled by some alien DNA to pine continually for yet another "conversation" about a topic we've never, ever stopped talking about. And if I just fall asleep, I too can live in the pod-people's dream palace, where every conversation about race is our first conversation about race. Snatching me from any such reverie was this masterful understatement from Thursday's New York Times: "Religious groups and academic bodies, already receptive to Mr. Obama's plea for such a dialogue, seemed especially enthusiastic."
No kidding. Janet Murguia is one such especially enthusiastic person. She hoped, according to the Times, that Obama's speech would help "create a safe space to talk about [race]."
Who is Janet Murguia? Oh, she's just the president of a group called the National Council of La Raza, which -- despite what they'll tell you -- means "the race." In fact, doesn't it seem like the majority of people begging for a "new conversation" on race are the same folks who shout "racist!" at anyone who disagrees with them?
This sort of disconnect between rhetoric and reality is the kind of thing one finds in novels by Alexander Solzhenitsyn or Milan Kundera. To my un-rehabilitated ear, Murguia sounds like an old Soviet apparatchik saying that what the U.S.S.R. really needs is an open and frank conversation about the importance of communism.
Why do voluptuaries of racial argy-bargy want another such dialogue? For some, it's to avoid actually dealing with unpleasant facts. But for others -- like La Raza or the college professors scrambling to follow Obama's lead -- when they say we need more conversation, they really mean their version of reality should win the day. Substitute "conversation" with "instruction" and you'll have a better sense of where these people are coming from and where they want their "dialogue" to take us.
Obama inflates his record
Post below lifted from American Thinker. See the original for links
This isn't very surprising given all politicians like to make it appear that they play a bigger role in events than they actually do. But this is just outrageous and goes way too far:
After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the "President's Room," just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.
As the half-dozen senators - including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) - headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: "Hey, guys, can I come along?"
And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate - a list that included himself.
"I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who've actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out," he said. (Via The Campaign Spot)
Staffers who had been coming in early for 7:00 AM meetings where only 3 or 4 Senators showed up were flabbergasted because Obama was never at those early morningsessions nor was he present most of the time anyway.
Obama ended up voting against the immigration bill anyway.
Given the candidate's claim that he can "reach across the aisle" and change politics in America, it is a perfectly legitimate question to ask if he is so excited about bi-partisan agreements, why didn't he participate in in those meetings involving the few pieces of legislation where Democrats and Republicans tried to get a bi-partisan bill passed?
I guess we're supposed to trust him to change his tune once we elect him president.
The Prophetic Stream, Conspiracy Theory and Paranoia: What's Wrong with African-American Preaching
There's a brouhaha about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. which deserves close consideration. I have written a good deal about self-criticism, and its origins in the prophetic tradition of the Hebrew Bible. Recently I have been hearing a consistent invocation of this "prophetic tradition" among those explaining (if not justifying and admiring) Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr.'s preaching style. Reverend Joseph Lowery explained on CNN that Wright's sermons were only "divisive" in the sense that they distinguished between people who were in this prophtetic tradition and those who weren't "in the community of faith" defined by that tradition.
Well, they certainly separate us from the people who are not from the community of faith and who do not subscribe to prophetic preaching. There are hundreds and hundreds of preachers in black churches across this country who may not use identical language, but they have a common theology with Jeremiah Wright. They're in the prophetic stream.
The prophets of old, the Jeremiahs, the Amos, and they spoke angrily and sometimes with cruel phrases and words, to the rulers and kings of their day. That's who they were talking to on behalf of the poor and oppressed of their day.
The black church has been a place where black people take their sorrow, their travail and their longing for hope and for deliverance. They expect the preacher and thank the preacher and say, "Amen, hallelujah," to the preacher, who takes their burden to the Lord. And then they join in a movement to help bring new order and a new day into being. That's prophetic preaching, and it's traditionally the black church.
Similar remarks from Randall Bailey:
I often wonder if those who criticize these homiletical strategies of calling the nation to judgment do not read the 8th to 7th C. BCE prophets, such as Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. They delivered judgment speeches against the nations of Israel and Judah and their rulers because of the ways in which they oppressed the poor, perverted justice, and ignored the moral and ethical imperatives of the religion.
As someone who has read the prophetic texts, and thought a good deal about them in the context of the tradition of self-criticism, I think these characterizations of the "prophetic stream" represent a profound misunderstanding. The prophets are ferocious in their criticism of their own people; they have relatively little to say about the real oppressive forces in the world of their day in the 8-7th centuries BCE. When the people of Israel get smashed by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, the prophets don't go into a rant about how evil these vicious imperialists are; they invoke them as God's agents in punishing Israel for their sins. When, under more normative conditions, when they chastize rulers and aristocracy for their treatment of the poor, they do so again with vigorous, even violent rhetoric, but they do so in the hopes of changing their people. The prophets, however rough they may be, love the people they chastize, and rebuke them for the sake of their transformation.
Historically, this "prophetic turn" represents something exceptional among ancient peoples, and one of the reasons that the Jews have survived these defeats, while the other nations, once conquered, decimated, sent into exile, tended to disappear. For these rebukes of the prophets aimed at reminding the elites that they had obligations to the poor; that the people of Israel constituted the unit, and that rulers ruled "for the people." As a result, Jewish communities in the ancient and medieval world had an exceptionally high degree of internal cohesion that permitted them to survive under the most adverse conditions. Among elites in various civilizations - rulers, aristocrats, wealthy - Israelite and Jewish elites have the most highly developed sense of obligation to their commoners. Most nations, once conquered, saw their elites abandon them and join the lower echelons of the imperial administration that now held power. As Abraham Heschel pointed out, the prophets were among the few who denounced "the idolatry of power" with such fervor.
But the core reason for their success comes from the profound attachment that the prophets felt for their people. There is no trace of hatred in their clean anger, no desire to see failure and punishment, no joy in the downfall of the sinners. Indeed, their commitment to the very people they rebuked, in some cases, so savagely, meant that, often enough, those rebuked took them seriously. The very fact that these prophetic denunciations became canonized as sacred scripture - that we hear the shepherd Amos' version of the tale, not that of the royal priest Amatzia - tells us that not only the prophets, but the leaders of the people shared these values and accepted the prophetic rebukes.
All this is very far from what is here invoked as "Black Liberation Theology" or the "prophetic stream" of African-American churches. There, although Reverend Wright repeatedly speaks about "we," he really means the white ruling class who, in his mind, deliberately conspire to destroy, even wipe out the blacks, the innocent victims of that malevolence.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)