If anyone can explain President Obama’s choice of preachers to me, please do so, because I am very confused. You would think Mr. Obama would have learned his lesson after the Reverend Wright debacle, where his pastor of twenty years was exposed as an America-hating zealot. Then, after being outed, Wright turned on Obama, denouncing him.
But on Easter Sunday, the president and First Lady took their kids to the Shiloh Baptist Church, where Pastor Wallace Charles Smith holds court. The pastor is a race-activist who last year said this at a private Christian College: “Now Jim Crow wears blue pinstripes, goes to law school and carries fancy briefs and cases… he doesn’t have to wear white robes anymore because now he can wear the protective cover of talk radio, or a regular news program on Fox.”
Now, I have worked at Fox News for nearly 15 years, and don’t know any racists on or off the air. At the very least, Pastor Smith is irresponsible in making that statement. And the whole tone of that diatribe is unfair and undisciplined. No fair-minded person indicts lawyers as racists. Barack Obama went to law school.
This whole deal is troubling. After the Wright fiasco, shouldn’t the president’s staff be more protective of their guy and not put him in front of another bomb-throwing preacher? Or did the president insist on going to that service? If so, why?
As the First Family sat in their pew, Smith did not hold back during his sermon, talking about his baby grandson who was trying, the Pastor posited, to say his first words: “I am here… they tried to write me off as three-fifths of a person in the Constitution, but I am here right now… I am not going to let anybody stop me from being what God wants me to be.”
The three-fifths reference is to the Constitutional mandate of counting slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation in the U.S. House. That, of course, was overturned by the 13th Amendment in 1865, but apparently Pastor Smith holds a grudge.
And he is entitled to do so, under the First Amendment.
But, again, why does President Obama want to hear the pastor’s bitter prattle from the pulpit? Mr. Obama, himself, is perhaps the finest example of a man being allowed to reach his full potential, is he not? In what other country could a mixed race child from a broken home grow up to lead his nation? Does that not speak well of America?
I bear no ill will towards Pastor Smith or Reverend Wright. They are both products of their life experience that was most likely very difficult. But President Obama has a deep responsibility to promote this country as a place of freedom and opportunity.
Do you think sitting before a guy like Wallace Charles Smith on Easter Sunday accomplished that?