It seems that Reverend Wright was not enough. The Right is trying to generate another Obama "racist" Pastor scandal as a lead into the 2012 election.
Race really is a set of cognitive maps and a perceptual screen for understanding and interpreting the world. Some on the Right see bigotry and anti-white animus in this video. By contrast, I hear and see a learned, reflective and measured man. I am no church goer for I have no use for religion. But the learned and nuanced reading of American culture and life offered by Pastor Wallace Charles is enough to even tempt me to have a sit down in this brother's pew.
Conservative talk radio website WRNO's essay, "Obama's Church Choice for Easter Based on Race" is telling not because of how it plays to white Conservatives' fears of America's first Black President. Likewise, it is not shocking that the New Right hate President Obama because they demonstrate that ugliness at every opportunity. Rather, what is insightful here is that the paranoid imagination of the Tea Party GOP holds no pretenses of internal consistency in their criticism of the President. The end goal of destroying the President much be reached at any and all costs--style, wit, and intelligence in presentation be damned.
[An introductory question: Riddle me this. So Barack Obama is a closet Muslim not born in this country, but he goes to racist Black Christian Churches? Please help me understand.]
Let's play the annotation game and expose the Tea Party GOP's nuttery as channeled by Conservative talk radio website WRNO. My comments follow in bracketed italics.
Obama's Church Choice for Easter Based on Race
It may sound a little callous and abrasive to even be suspicious of Obama's choice of churches for Easter Sunday 2011, but given the climate of the media bias so overwhelmingly in favor of casting Obama in the best light possible, the regular media professionals can't be trusted to actually do some basic reporting.
[Note the early wink to the myth of the liberal media that is embraced by Conservatives. This is a great deflection because it immediately establishes an observation that can be easily disproved as an indisputable fact, i.e. there is no liberal media: A corporate media dominates the 4th estate. By starting with this lie, Conservatives are free to transmute Right-wing opinion based news, i.e. Fox, into fact based journalism.]
Shiloh Baptist Church was that it was founded by freed slaves during the Civil War. There was no mention that this was the first Presidential visit to Shiloh, nor any mention that this inaugural visit could be more than a coincidence.
[A good dog whistle is deployed here. God forbid that a Black man would dare to go to a church founded by Americans seeking their freedom in an era of overt and violent white supremacy. I thought that Conservatives would run to this history as they channel a childish version of the GOP as "the Party of Lincoln." Instead, and especially when it relates to the first Black president, Conservative pundits abandon their own principles (to the degree they possess any) to take a specious political shot. Because Obama dared to attend a church founded by Americans who took their freedom and demanded that this country live up to its democratic potential, he is slurred as somehow being too "pro-black" and thus is by definition "anti-white."]
Was there no mention that this is a predominately black church because the media didn't want the American people to know that our President chooses his church based on race? I'm reticent to openly guess at the media's intentions, but when flattering facts are reported and unflattering facts are omitted, we have no choice but to fill in the blanks.
[Sunday is the most segregated day of the week in this country. White folks go to one set of churches. Black and brown folks go to others. That having been said, the idea that President Barack Obama chooses a church based on its racial composition is a glaring example of the normativity of whiteness and the blinding glare that is White privilege. So White Presidents can go to any church, however uniform in their composition, and that choice goes uncommented upon. Why? Because whiteness allows white folks to make choices free of the calculus or stigma that is race making in practice. This is the ultimate privilege of whiteness in America, and one that Obama as a black man can never access.]
It's understandable that the President hasn't been too eager to jump back into church life given that the one and only church our President has ever joined in his life is one of the biggest political sandbags he carried through the 2008 campaign.
[Naked signaling to Reverend Wright, a human noose that the Right literally tried to hang around then candidate Obama's neck. Also, this passage hints at the erroneous belief, and once more to whiteness as normality, that White folks' churches are imagined by many as being spaces free of politics. Insert fingers into mouth and induce vomiting.]
One has to dig into the blog notes from various reporters to piece together the content from the sermon. Aside from the First Couple being honored guests, Pastor Wallace Charles Smith also announces that his 4 week old grandson is attending church for the first time, and a pool reporter noted an interesting perspective on the infant...
Pastor Smith talked about how his baby grandson's gurgling is actually "talking" because he is saying 'I am here ... they tried to write me off as 3/5 a person in the Constitution, but I am here right now ... and is saying I am not going to let anybody from stopping me from being what God wants me to be.'"
The pastor hears American institutional racism in a baby's gurgle? Do most people with infants hear Constitutional bigotry in their baby's gibberish? Did any mention of the 3/5 clause or racism in general make it into the Easter service you attended? Is this pastor's amazing leap from a baby bark to white oppression another coincidence to add to the list, or has he established a pattern of race baiting and white bashing in the past?
[These folks don't have a sense of humor or irony. Once more to the power of the colorline to limit the White Conservative soul's ability to empathize across divides of race and to accept that their life experiences and perspectives may not be that of others. This is typical of the Conservative political personality type. Nevertheless, it is still jarring to see it so nakedly displayed. Black folks are a Blues People. We can't run away from our history, because blackness is politicized in the womb. And yes, there is something prophetic and triumphant about the thought of a black child in the year 2011 as heir to a triumphant lineage of survival and success. Perhaps some possessed of Whiteness don't get that fact.
Just as when Conservatives threw a collective fit when Michelle Obama dared to suggest that America has done people of color wrong for centuries, and thus the election of her husband allowed for a new feeling of pride, the WRNO hit piece mines the fool's gold of symbolic racism to inspire their mouthbreathing racially resentful audience (see the attached comments on the website if you want to see the political scatology the contemporary Right wallows in). Blacks folks (and other people of color to varying degrees) are perpetual outsiders in Conservatism's conception(s) of what it means to be American. As enshrined for centuries in law or more recently in Palin's gutteral and shrill war cries of "Real America," to be White is to be a full and equal member of the polity.]
No great research team was needed to uncover what comes next. The fact that a YouTube search immediately grants the answer only underscores how astronomically inept/lazy/biased the media can be.
This is in fact another pastor who sees racism around every corner, preaches white hatred, and equates talk radio with the Klan, specifically mentioning Rush.
[Ah the joys of white victimology and white oppression. It is a new/old day in American again.
So, is this the same Rush Limbaugh who describes Barack Obama's supporters as savages and walking human debris? Or says that Liberals and those others who voted for Barack Obama actually did so because they wanted to create an America in which white people shine the shoes of black people? Is this the same Right-wing talk radio that routinely offers Eliminationist rhetoric where liberals and those not sufficiently Conservative are to be killed, possessed of a mental illness, and ought to be expunged from the body politic by any means necessary? No connection to the spirit and ethic of white bigotry and violence is present here. Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along.]
While this pastor is a little less flamboyant than Jeremiah Wright in both tone and wardrobe, the evidence is in: Obama prefers and actively seeks out these churches, race is our President's primary motivation on a variety of decisions, and the media will actively provide cover for minority racists as long as it fits their narrative.
[Damn minority racists they are everywhere, hurting good white folks and limiting their life chances!
Never forget, black churches are sites of conspiracy making and strange religious practices where white folks are burned in effigy and America is routinely besmirched by ingrates who should be happy the slave ship dropped them off in the United States. Thus, we need a secret video to reveal these hidden truths of black political malfeasance and treason. Why? Because President Obama is a race obsessed, "Traitor in Chief" who hates white people, wants to oppress them, and is pathologically attracted to these cult like hives of anti-white scum and villainy. Once more, the Right signals to a basic premise: the White Racial Frame cannot accept that a black man is President.
This is doubly ironic given that Obama is both remarkably race neutral and hyper-vigilant in being a President who happens to be black and not America's first black President. Sadly, he cannot win for losing. If Obama does not talk about race the Left and the Black pundit classes skewer him. When he wakes up in the morning the White Tea Party GOP Fox News echo chamber condemns him for being black and having the nerve to breath air. Dude can't win for losing.]