And in the end, it was a white Catholic guy who drove Barack Obama to quit his radical, black Muslim separatist Church of Latter-Day Erstwhile Standup Comedians. Anyway, meet Father Michael Pfleger. He doesn't even preach at Trinity Church, he's just a regular on their "You Can't Do That On The Vatican" open mic nights, and dude. Here's the clip of Father mocking Hillary's sense of white entitlement climaxing with a showy display of a handkerchief and a plaintive wail of: "THERE'S A BLACK GUY STEALING MY SHOWWW." Now, a lot of you are going to be offended by Pfleger, and I would be too, if I hadn't watched it directly after checking out his fellow YouTube sensation and Hillary-turned-McCain supporter Harriet Christian whoa-viating about Obama being an "inadequate black male." Anyway, the Christian-Catholic showdown continues after the jump, where I Nexis Pfleger to learn about of his white-hating ways and briefly digress on Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Tatum O'Neal, Geraldine, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and more, with Megan after the jump.
MEGAN: No, the Clinton thing is totally epic, I fully support a separate post for that.
MOE: ok cool... i suppose then that we should talk about... florida and michigan, jeremiah wright, rosencrantz & gildenstern…
MEGAN: Wait, aren't they dead?
MEGAN: (Sorry, it was a pun that had to be made)
MOE: we all die is sort of the point
MEGAN: That's sort of existential for this time of the morning, I thought I was supposed to be the depressed one!
MEGAN: By the way, I meant to say, all I dreamt about last night was Bill Clinton and economic insecurity.
MOE: Dude Dodai and I saw the Sex & The City movie. All I dreamt about was…shoes.
MOE: NO NOT REALLY.
MEGAN: Aw, those would've been some awesome dreams, though.
MOE: I would say the movie made me ill, but I was ill before…it's just such A Soul Murdering Work Of Staggering Consumerism
MEGAN: Yeah, that's sort of why I went to see Indiana Jones instead. That, and the fact that my companion was a straight guy.
MEGAN: Anyway, so that that Pfleger guy is the new Wright and Obama's church is the story that shall never die even though he quit it this weekend and no one can answer the riddle of why they would continue to tape the damn sermons.
MOE: This Pfleger guy is soooooo much more fascinating than Jeremiah Wright. WHERE DID HE COME FROM? And unrelated: Did you read how there are still seven or eight Jews in Baghdad? It totally is ruling the Most Emailed List, as if it were a story about pandas or spotted owls, only that's really now how it is…anyway their synagogue closed after the war "made it too dangerous for them to worship openly." Great going, us! And everyone used to be so nice, and Muslims were nice to Jews and Sunnis were nice to Shiites, but not anymore, except that there are so few Jews that the Muslims actually are still nice to them…anyway. Back to Pfleger.
MEGAN: Right, because the only violence the Iraqi state used to countenance under Saddam Hussein was the violence that it itself committed against the Kurds and political dissidents! But, yes, Pfleger.
MOE: Dude, has someone made a mashup of this vs. Harriet Christian? Because that sort of demands to be done.
MEGAN: By the way, in point of fact, "der Pfleger" is German for "male nurse." Not that that's important.
MEGAN: Oh, God, Harriet Christian. What a wack job. "Inadequate black male," Harriet? Gosh, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones must've loved that shit.
MOE: Seriously, okay, the thing here is 1. If it didn't sufficiently speak to Pfleger's own point that what he said was probably just as offensive to most folks as anything Jeremiah Wright said but it's harder to argue with him because he is himself white, then 2. Harriet Christian pretty much does the rest of his job for him.
MOE: And the Rosencrantz reference was MoDowd's. So unlike me, I know.
MEGAN: I don't know, was Pfleger more acceptable? Was he just the straw that broke the camel's back, or was it worse?
MOE: The thing is that this lede
They say that every president gets the psychoanalyst he deserves. And every Hamlet gets his Rosencrantz.
is typically retarded, but I remember that play being my favorite thing I'd ever read back in high school, and maybe that's why McClellan appeals! Except McClellan was probably aiming more for Guildenstern. Spokespretty Dana Perino can be Rosencrantz.
MEGAN: Is openly mocking Hillary Clinton worse than "God damn America" and "the government invented AIDS" and shit?
MOE: See, I guess I didn't see Pfleger until after I'd seen Harriet Christian. How come no one has made a mashup of this shit yet?
MEGAN: Nope. Could we set it to, like, Keystone Kops music?
MOE: Someone should do that, and then splash in some Michael Richards
MEGAN: Ooh, right.
MEGAN: Anyway, so Howard Dean (who is apparently the new devil to Hillary supporters) called Geraldine Ferraro's comments on race "outside the mainstream and unhelpful." That's a start, really.
MOE: Here's a little passage from a Chicago Tribune story about how Rev. Pfleger got into this line of work:
Clements has remained an activist ever since, leading anti-drug campaigns, encouraging black adoptions, convincing parishioners to open their hearts to ex-offenders. He often joins forces with a white activist priest, Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church on the South Side. As it turns out, Pfleger was also in Marquette Park the day King was hit with the rock.
PFLEGER WAS 16, a kid from nearby Thomas Moore parish. Everywhere he went for several days leading up to the march, people in his Southwest Side neighborhood were talking about the pending march. Why couldn't they stay in their own place? They took away our old house. They took away our old neighborhood. They took away our old church. They drove us out. Now is the time to draw the line.
Pfleger and two friends hopped on their bikes and rode to the park to see if they could get a look at King, the man who was causing all the trouble. When they got to the park, it was scary. "I saw this hate," he says. "I had never seen them, my neighbors, like that. I'd never seen that side of white people."
His neighbors were cursing and throwing rocks. There were police in riot gear and there he was, King, looking calm, trying to say something to the mob. But Pfleger couldn't hear over the screams of "Niggers, go home!"
"King was in control," Pfleger recalls. "And the more in control he was, the angrier the crowd became. I thought to myself, 'Either this man is crazy, or this man has some sort of power I want to know about.' It was the greatest, most powerful class in non-violence I'll ever get in my life."
The next day, Pfleger started reading whatever he could find about the march and about King. He cut out photos of King and taped them to the back of his bedroom closet door as a sort of shrine. Today, in his office at St. Sabina, he has half a dozen photographs of him: King addressing thousands of people at the rally at Soldier Field, King speaking at a temple on the North Shore, King and a young Jesse Jackson the night before King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.
"People ask me all the time why I became a priest," Pfleger says. "I tell them it was really a black Baptist minister who called me into ministry. My activism today was unquestionably birthed that day in Marquette Park. I think of him as a mentor."
MOE: That's from 2006
MOE: In 2002 he was involved in some controversy when a black team joined his mostly white suburban Catholic school league and parents were like "we don't want to go play there it's unsafe."
MEGAN: "I'd never seen that side of white people," kind of helpfully sums up what I think every right-thinking person's view of racism is. Like, the horror that you could be associated with something that is so very, very obviously deeply wrong.
MEGAN: The first time you see it or experience it, it should make you sick to your stomach that there are people like that in the world.
MOE: So here's the question: Geraldine Ferraro: obviously unhelpful. Michael Pfleger: more helpful than unhelpful, over the long haul, I believe. And yeah, racism is completely stomach churning the first time you experience it from your community. I mean, my initial experiences were all in Asia, which was slightly different, because it was like, my little kid friends grumbling about how Chinese spit and/or smelled and/or always insisted on touching our hair. It was beyond my comprehension at the time how they could even think those things, to be honest. It used to bother me so much. I would stand there dutifully while someone touched my hair and yearn to apologize for the Opium Wars and having an air conditioner and such. Oh… phew! Geraldine Ferraro is now back on Fox. Someone needed to put the crap back in this Crappy Hour!
MEGAN: OMG, she looks so freaking happy to be on Fox. Goddammit, Geraldine, try to look a little less self-satisfied.
MEGAN: Dude, they just completely laughed at her when she quoted Jackie Mason. I'm beginning to be uncomfortable.
MEGAN: Oh, are you kidding? She's like, "If people said that crap about Obama, we would be horrified." Oh, really, Geraldine? You mean, like, when Andrew Cuomo said that Obama cannot "shuck and jive" at a press conference and his press people successfully convinced everyone to ignore it and not a single Democratic party leader in NY or beyond called him out on it?
MOE: I'm clarifying the Pfleger thing; it was his school in the "dangerous" neighborhood, and his school was rejected from the Southside Catholic Conference or something on account of that, and then he went public with racism charges, and then a lot of Catholics were like "why couldn't he have been a little quieter about this shit."
MEGAN: Ah, lovely. Well, Chicago is such a lovely, well-planned city. Ahem.
MOE: Jesus I didn't even know what "shuck n jive" meant.
"To shuck and jive" originally referred to the intentionally misleading words and actions that African-Americans would employ in order to deceive racist Euro-Americans in power, both during the period of slavery and afterwards. The expression was documented as being in wide usage in the 1920s, but may have originated much earlier. "Shucking and jiving" was a tactic of both survival and resistance. A slave, for instance, could say eagerly, "Oh, yes, Master," and have no real intention to obey. Or an African-American man could pretend to be working hard at a task he was ordered to do, but might put up this pretense only when under observation. Both would be instances of "doin' the old shuck 'n jive."
MEGAN: Yes. It's a racist term.
MOE: Um yeah.
MEGAN: But his press people called everyone in the universe (I ought to know) and were like "he meant bobbing and waving!!! you're taking it out of context" and I was like, there's no context for that
MOE: What I wonder is if there would have been way more of those types of slips had Barack Obama been more stereotypical. Had he not been reared with such colossal reserves of cultural capital, the "something for everyone" biography, the arugula plus the brotherhood plus the atheist mom plus the Indonesian stepdad etc. etc.…had he simply been more stereotypical, had he had an "I could have been baking cookies all those years" moment. Do you think there would be more overt racism involved in his campaign? Because I did, but quotes like Cuomos
MOE: Quotes like Cuomo's just make me think it doesn't even matter. They're digging through the history books, finding the anachronistic phrases that will send messages to the right constitutents…so I guess it is less overt.
MEGAN: I mean, he's had his cookie-baking moments, in my opinion, his "stereotypical white person" about his grandmother and stuff. But, yeah, I mean, it horrifies me that either these very bright politicians are using these fucking "code" words like "shucking and jiving" and "kid" and whatever else so that people under a certain age who don't know them won't know that they're being racist and people over a certain age will get the reference. It's like Bush and his fucking evangelical code word bullshit in all his States of the Union and shit.
MOE: But like, it's just racism. You get to the point where, as we've discussed before, he's inoculated himself to this shit, to the point David Duke himself can't get it up to really hate on Obama, and yet we've got Harriet Christian of Manhattan… it makes no sense.
MEGAN: Because, I'm sorry, you don't grow up in the South when they grew up, you don't get to talk about how inspiring the civil rights movement was to you as a politician and then claim not to know.
MOE: And…re racism, institutional: did you read the Post Magazine cover story on Tatum O'Neal's drug of choice? Because I didn't have time but I should have.
MEGAN: I didn't, either, I was still all obsessing about politics, but the sentence disparities for crack v. powder cocaine are completely fucked
MOE: Here's his spiel before Congress:
My name is Michael Short. I am here because in 1992 I was sentenced for selling crack cocaine. Before that, I had never spent a day in prison. I came from a good family. I had no criminal history. I was not a violent offender. But I was sentenced to serve nearly 20 years. I was 21 years old.
They'll be chatting about the story at noon for anyone who still thinks racism exists in this country!
MEGAN: But, no, see, it's not racism it's racial resentment, didn't you learn anything?
MOE: Newsbreak Terror Roundup: an attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, a growing sphere of influence for the Taliban, has killed six, Syria has agreed to allow IAEA weapons inspectors to check out its North Korean JV, and something about the Iraqi jail system being less terrible than before. And should we talk about Puerto Rico?
MEGAN: Oh, sure, Puerto Rico. Hillary won! Ricky Martin danced!
MOE: Oh dude, I didn't see the National Review had run six separate stories on Friday trashing McClellan. Good grief.
MEGAN: Well, you know, it's like proving that someone's not a witch by piling stones on them. When they've crushed his chest, he'll be redeemed.
MOE: Ugh, I hate the "well-worn tell-all path" line. I just don't subscribe to the "All ousted tools of the idiocracy are unhappy in the same way" line of reasoning, but if anyone tracks down his partisan ghostwriter the Prince Of Darkness…is probably too lazy but he'll get a lot of hits with misleading headlines suggesting he has!
MEGAN: I really think PoD is giving Bobby too much credit. Let's return to caling him the Earl of Minor Despair. Or the Count of Emotionally-Instigated Intestinal Distress
MOE: Wait, he has emotions?
MOE: Ya think?
Obama's Latest Pastor Disaster [Newsweek/WaPo]
Hillary Clinton Attacked At Barack Obama Church [YouTube]
Clinton Supporter Thrown Out Of Rules Committee Meeting [YouTube]