Anti-semitism Barack Obama can fight!

posted at 8:40 am on April 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, Barack Obama made the laughable assertion that ” nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti- Semitism than I have.” He gave that as an answer to a Levittown audience when questioned about his church’s ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite honored by Trinity United Church and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. No one has produced any record of Obama criticism of that award before being challenged on it during his presidential run, making his claim of Fierce Denouncer somewhat suspect.

Fortunately, Barack Obama has another chance, and it comes from someone within his own circle. James Meeks, former state senator, pastor of another South Side church, and both a political ally and “spiritual adviser” of Obama, blamed “Hollywood Jews” for bringing the world Brokeback Mountain. And Meeks also has a lot of antipathy towards a key Democratic voting group — gays and lesbians:

A spring 2007 newsletter from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Meeks one of the “10 leading black religious voices in the anti-gay movement”. The newsletter cites him as both “a key member of Chicago’s ‘Gatekeepers’ network, an interracial group of evangelical ministers who strive to erase the division between church and state” and “a stalwart anti-gay activist… [who]… has used his House of Hope mega-church to launch petition drives for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a major state-level ‘family values’ pressure group that lauded him last year for leading African Americans in ‘clearly understanding the threat of gay marriage.’”

The SPLC newsletter also noted that, “Meeks and the IFI are partnered with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund, major anti-gay organizations of the Christian Right. They also are tightly allied with Americans for Truth, an Illinois group that said in a press release last year that ‘fighting AIDS without talking against homosexuality is like fighting lung cancer without talking against smoking.’”

On a more personal level, Meeks has reportedly blamed “Hollywood Jews for bringing us Brokeback Mountain” and actively campaigned to defeat SB3186, an Illinois LGBT non-discrimination bill, while serving in the Illinois state legislature alongside Obama. According to a 2006 Chicago Sun Times article, his church sponsored a “Halloween fright night” which “consigned to the flames of hell two mincing young men wearing body glitter who were supposed to be homosexuals.”

That sounds pretty similar to Reverend Eric Lee, who blamed “Hollywood Jews” for negative stereotypes in popular culture at an event commemorating Martin Luther King earlier this month. Both Lee and Meeks believe in conspiracies of Jews to undermine culture. That, in turn, sounds similar to Jeremiah Wright’s conspiracy theories about government plots to commit genocide by creating the HIV virus. All of it suggests a lack of rational thought, creating a vacuum filled by paranoia.

The anti-Semitism in this case gets married to a strong hostility towards gays and lesbians. That’s a bit unusual in Democratic politics, but not unknown. While Obama reaches out to the GLBT community, he has already refused to support gay marriage, which is their main policy goal, because he doesn’t want to use his “political capital” on such a divisive issue. His association with Meeks might suggest that Obama has other reasons that for a national political campaign, he’d prefer to keep quiet.

The anti-gay actions of Meeks won’t make very good fodder for Republicans, who engage in that kind of nonsense far too often themselves. The Halloween Fright Night events are de rigeur among a subset of ultraconservative evangelical churches, scaring teens with images of gays, drug users, atheists, and others going to perdition’s flames. The GOP won’t have much credibility in criticizing Meeks for this, although the Hillary Clinton campaign might make more of this when it comes time to make their final push with superdelegates at the convention.

But on anti-Semitism, Obama himself left all of his opponents that opening. Of course, Obama could say that, as with Jeremiah Wright, he doesn’t agree with everything that his spiritual adviser believes. However, as the most fierce opponent of anti-Semitism, shouldn’t Obama publicly speak out against this claim of Jewish conspiracies to foist homosexual content onto moviegoers — especially when it comes from one of his own political allies and spiritual mentors? He certainly didn’t mind tying himself to Meeks when he needed votes in the South Side.

Addendum: A local television station showed footage of Meeks in action at the pulpit, calling Chicago politicians in Mayor Richard Daley’s administration “house n*****s”. Listen to Meeks’ ridiculous assertion, when challenged by the reporter, that the word isn’t an insult. Maybe Obama needs to explain this, too.


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Maybe Barry needs to just come clean and admit the obvious. “He certainly didn’t mind tying himself to Meeks when he needed votes in the South Side.” It’s politics as usual, but then again, he’s for change, so gee-whillickers, he’s stuck!

As far as the gay issue goes, it’s the far left homosexual activists (The Pink Hand) that are pushing movies like Humpback Mtn. and bills that are designed to ‘end discrimination’ against same sex parents and gay students in the public schools. On the other side, blaming Jews is just another ignorant, yet effective, (divide and conquer) ploy of the groups who are lumping all homosexuals in with the creeps that participate in gay pride parades.

Christine on April 13, 2008 at 2:41 PM

“the groups who are lumping all homosexuals in with the creeps that participate in gay pride parades”…AND are pushing our gov’t to make idiotic laws that are designed to make the majority pay for our inability to give them validation, which BTW, is impossible. Validation ultimately comes from within and cannot be legislated.

Christine on April 13, 2008 at 2:47 PM

exlibris on April 13, 2008 at 1:34 PM

You know what, it was childish, churlish and wrong of me to write that. And I apologize.

exlibris on April 13, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Re. the comments about ex-gays, your anecdotes don’t negate the fact that there are many ex-gays who have really gone straight. They’re not perfect, but neither are you, nor am I.

jgapinoy on April 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM

Agrippa2K:

“The gay community is “represented” by militants. This is the same problem the black community faces.”

You touch on an almost universal political truth. Activists who seize the microphone at every turn pose a Catch 22 for those who would rather not play that kind of high profile, confrontational, game, because silence is ultimately and inevitably read as consent. Obama is paying the price for that kind of silence right now. At the same time, militants double down on such natural reluctance by aggressively intimidating anyone who might dispute them from within the ranks of those they claim to represent. If internal opponents can’t be cowed, they are tagged as race traitors or self-loathing gays or some other euphemism for designated ex-communicant. At its most extreme, you get jihadis making moderate muslims fear for their very lives, but the basic principle is the same: control the narrative, win the game.

Captain Ed:

“Meeks has reportedly blamed ‘Hollywood Jews for bringing us Brokeback Mountain’”

Meeks may, indeed, be an anti-semite, but this is the thinnest of thin gruel, evidence wise. Unless you’ve got more to work with, it reads like an attempt to seed an ancillary controversy by inuendo. As you yourself note, Republicans are in no position to go after Obama over GLBT issues themselves. Trying to make him look bad to potential Dem constituents by associating him with Meeks’ flagrantly anti-gay agenda will not just come across as hypocritical, it’s also the kind of identity politics I’d like to see Republicans avoid.

JM Hanes on April 13, 2008 at 4:21 PM

jgapinoy on April 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM

You and I will have to disagree on that.

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 4:23 PM

JM Hanes on April 13, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I would venture that anyone who uses the Jews in Hollywood” argument is some degree on anti-Semite. That is just an annoyed Jew talking.

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 4:25 PM

If aids had been introduced into the promiscuous hetero culture in NY or LA in the late 80’s instead of the gay bathouses of SF, we would be talking a whole new ballgame, so how about you lay off that AIDS is the gays fault crap.

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Actually, in one respect the gays were at fault here because we were forced to treat AIDS as a privacy/gay rights issue for far too long instead of the sexually transmitted disease (primarily) that it is. For those of us in medical community, it was maddening. HIV/AIDS was prevented from being a reportable disease for over a decade by gay pressure groups which would have provided us the tool of partner notification that we use for all serious STDs and allowed us to manage the spread much more efficiently. I was prevented, under legal threat, from telling a women’s boyfriend (who was married to someone else) that she tested positive when their baby was born. The pediatric RNs pretended to give the baby “vitamins” when it was really AZT (ZDV), which is only used for HIV. So he was free to contract the disease and bring it on home to unsuspecting wifey so that we could protect gay privacy rights. (The man was no model of responsible sexual behavior but he certainly deserved to know about his exposure.) The AIDS Clinical Trial Group trial conferences and meetings were harrassed by gay agitators who demanded immediate access to any drug in clinical trails that showed any hint of success, claiming that any delay for safety or efficacy concerns was anti-gay discrimination. It was ridiculous and I am glad common sense and medical judgment won out in the end.

Oh, and there are gay pedophiles just as there are hetero pedophiles, though they are in the minority. Pederasty is the term specific to older boy/men exploitation.

inmypajamas on April 13, 2008 at 4:42 PM

“Rouge Nig**r, is a term of endearment in the Black Community…….” – Rev. Meeks

I guess I am going to have to remember that when I want to be endeared by the Black Community……..

Seven Percent Solution on April 13, 2008 at 4:45 PM

inmypajamas on April 13, 2008 at 4:42 PM

This is a goos point, and I Imagine that this would have been diminished somewhat if AIDS patients had to only admit to being a club rat, or an IVDU instead of a homosexual.

Your experience is much appreciated.

My 5 year tenure in the medical community mostly dealt with prison AIDS Patients, less stigma it turns out since they could just say they were forced.

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Black gays treated worse in the over-macho inner-city culture than gays in backwoods communities are treated.

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Black gays get their a** kicked more frequently in the ghetto culture than white gays get in the backwoods.

Squid Shark

That is not true. Perhaps in high schools. But in the “inner-city” some of the black gays are a product of the prison system. They are very dangerous.

Agrippa2k on April 13, 2008 at 11:24 AM

We will have to disagree on this since neither of us has anything but anecdotal evidence.

Squid Shark

My mistake. I did not explain. I was schooling you. I am black. I live in New York.

Agrippa2k on April 13, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Let me throw my 2 cents worth of anecdotal evidence in here. As a police officer for 21 years who has worked all over Chicago, but mostly on the south side, gays are far more likely to get a beat down by another gay than anyone else. The same for lesbians.

Those would be pedophiles, not gays.

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 2:09 PM

To be more specific those would be pederasts.

macblanegirl on April 13, 2008 at 4:45 PM

macblanegirl on April 13, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Thus proving my point that anecdotal evidence doth not mean anything :)

Yeah sorry about the pedophile thing, didnt mean to be too general.

But I guess me constantly correcting people on the correct spelling of GTMO is the same thing :)

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 4:50 PM

So Meeks wants to be the one to preside over the system that controls “house niggers.” He’d make a great mayor, think of all the “terms of endearment” he can sling at typical white folks and his black enemies. Why, after a short time he can expropriate all those nice white farms in Illinois with the help of Obama and Wright because they charge too much for groceries for the black people. when the farms go belly up they can build some 1.5 million dollar homes and call them the Wright-Obama projects!

We’ve home grown a bunch of Robert Mugabes right in our own back yard. Thanks Democrats, your legacy will live on likely longer than America because of your greedy short-sightedness.

wepeople on April 13, 2008 at 5:37 PM

Thus proving my point that anecdotal evidence doth not mean anything :)

Squid Shark on April 13, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Yeah, it doesn’t mean anything now, LOL

macblanegirl on April 13, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Danny Glover is his spiritual adviser?

labrat on April 13, 2008 at 9:00 PM

What about Sammy Davis Jr., a black Hollywood Jew?

Barry can’t tapdance or sing half as well as Sammy.

But he can turn The Candyman into The BitterBro.

Obumbling his way deeper into oblivion, daily.

(With spiritual advisors like these clowns, Obama’s soul must look pretty damned strange.)

profitsbeard on April 13, 2008 at 10:40 PM

“the groups who are lumping all homosexuals in with the creeps that participate in gay pride parades”…AND are pushing our gov’t to make idiotic laws that are designed to make the majority pay for our inability to give them validation, which BTW, is impossible. Validation ultimately comes from within and cannot be legislated.
Christine on April 13, 2008 at 2:47 PM

That’s what I keep telling my gay friends, Christine. You wouldn’t believe how many of them validate themselves by segregating themselves into their bitter little enclave of gaydom…the gay car lot, the gay realtor, the gay bowling league, etc., etc., etc. All the while they stew as to why the majority of people don’t see them as anything but “GAY”. It’s lunancy it’s highest form, and the same can be said for the lunancy of Obama’s church. They purposely segregate themselves, too! Then they are bitter when “the typical White person” doesn’t respond to their liking. BIZARRO!

SouthernGent on April 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Ed, I’ve got to challenge you on this:
“The anti-gay actions of Meeks won’t make very good fodder for Republicans, who engage in that kind of nonsense far too often themselves. The Halloween Fright Night events are de rigeur among a subset of ultraconservative evangelical churches, scaring teens with images of gays, drug users, atheists, and others going to perdition’s flames.”
I don’t think so. Name a few names, Ed. Name some of these ‘ultraconservative evangelical churches’, and also list the films they have used to scare teens. I doubt either exist.

Doug on April 14, 2008 at 10:02 AM

So Meeks wants to be the one to preside over the system that controls “house niggers.” He’d make a great mayor, think of all the “terms of endearment” he can sling at typical white folks and his black enemies. Why, after a short time he can expropriate all those nice white farms in Illinois with the help of Obama and Wright because they charge too much for groceries for the black people. when the farms go belly up they can build some 1.5 million dollar homes and call them the Wright-Obama projects!

We’ve home grown a bunch of Robert Mugabes right in our own back yard. Thanks Democrats, your legacy will live on likely longer than America because of your greedy short-sightedness.

wepeople on April 13, 2008

Google “Forsyth County Georgia Racial Jaspin” to see ground zero of this kind of thinking right here in the USA. And call any friends or family who bought property there (beautiful suburbs of Atlanta, top rated public schools, etc) and tell them to sell now, while the selling’s good.

And Obama SCOTUS would almost certainly rule that a lot of property in Forsyth County and other places should be returned to “dispossessed” former owners for reparations.

funky chicken on April 14, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Rev Eric Lee is the same character that just recently presented an award to a Jewish lady for her humanitarian work in the inner city-then drove her off the stage in tears with an anti-semitic diatribe.

gary fouse
fousesquawk

gary fouse on April 15, 2008 at 1:02 AM

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