The Washington Post is reporting that Shiloh Baptist Church, where the Obamas attended Easter services, and which was founded in the 1860s by former slaves, has received over 100 threats after Sean Hannity played a clip of its pastor, the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, discussing racism in America:
“We received a fax that had the image of a monkey with a target across is face,” Smith said. “My secretary has received telephone calls that have been so vulgar until she has had to hang up.”
On Monday, Hannity played a clip of Smith speaking at Palmer Theological Seminary, where he had served as president, about the prevalence of racism. According to the Post:
“It may not be Jim Crow anymore,” Smith says in the videotape. “Now, Jim Crow wears blue pinstripes, goes to law school and carries fancy briefs in cases. And now, Jim Crow has become James Crow, esquire. And he doesn’t have to wear white robes anymore because now he can wear the protective cover of talk radio or can get a regular news program on Fox.”
Hannity is stoking this one just like he stoked the Jeremiah Wright clips in 2008, without a shred of self-awareness, apparently, of what Smith might have been referring to.
The racism and the vitriol has taken on a politeness, and even such venerable saints as Rush Limbaugh know the lines that they are not to cross. But any of their constituency can hear clear the same vile filth spewing forth in their statements that was once the purview of Robert Shelton and members of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Council. The problem is not solved yet.
And on his blog, Rev. Alan Rudnick, a fellow pastor in the American Baptist Churches denomination, says Hannity’s segment could incite violence, and calls on him to apologize for it.
Here’s the video of Smith: