Friday, May 30, 2008

Father Pfleger's minstrel show

I think this video of Father Michael Pfleger mocking Hillary Clinton and suggesting that white people (or at least those who have whatever he regards as wealth) need to give up everything they have is fascinating. I am not going to claim that Pfleger is another "problem pastor" for Obama. Although his relationship with Obama is far more significant than, say, John Hagee's (non)relationship with McCain, it's not the same as Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Wright is significant because of his long relationship with Obama and what Obama has said about him. Obama has, in effect, invited us to look at the man (and Trinity church) for a sense of Obama's own world view. Wright provides a bit of data (confirmed by many others) that this world view is well to the left of the post-partisan, hopefully-audaciously-unifying stance he wants to take for purposes of the election. It suggests something about who he is and who he may believe are desireable associates.

His relationship with Pfleger is not as close. But I still think that the video is interesting. Pfleger puts on a mock black accent and the congregation somehow manages not to laugh him out of the pulpit. I can imagine how he's come to do this. He wants to show that he is such a good white man that God has granted him some kind of racial transubstantiation. Why the folks at Trinity don't find it a bit creepy is less clear. I guess they are used to it.

The other bit of significance (and this does reflect on Obama) is the reaction of the congregation. As we saw in other videos, they just love this type of race baiting. I don't completely equate this with comparable reactions by white people. There are contextual differences arising from our history, but, at the end of the day, it's effect is just as toxic.

And this was Obama's spiritual home for twenty years. Is it even conceivable that it does not tell us something about him?

6 comments:

Terrence Berres said...

Greg Pollowitz reports that "Barack Obama has scrubbed Father Pfleger from his website..."

King Henry II must be envious.

illusory tenant said...

Bus ride's getting pretty bumpy with all them preachers underneath. Here's hoping there's still room for a few more.

jp said...

I am not sure it tells us any more than Obama needed a Church on his resume.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

These are the things the greatest nation on earth deals with when picking its CEO.

In the year 2008.

Think about that for a minute.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

I'm sure glad I don't have one of those pastor things.

jp said...

It appears Obama is going to choose a different Church for his President resume. Perhaps Rev Wright was correct when he said Obama speaks to a different venue.