A Healthy Dose of Good Christian Racism

When Sarah Palin first appeared on TV, my goldfish Eddie started swimming upside down. That was my first clue. Eddie has a way of predicting disasters. When the disturbing accounts of her governing style and decision-making process started to trickle in, he started doing inverted circles. When she gave her speech last week, he disappeared into his plastic underwater castle. I didn’t know how to read that. But Eddie and I are instinct-driven animals, and it appears both of us spent the past week trying to articulate something we already knew.

When I first laid eyes on Sarah, I felt like I recognized her. I couldn’t place it at first, but then I read her comment on Obama and it all came together. It was like that Bruce Willis movie where you find out he was a ghost the whole time. Suddenly it was obvious. I knew why I recognized Sarah Palin. She’s a racist.

Don’t get all up in arms, fellow GOP brothers and sisters. You know it to be true. You’ve seen this woman before. You’ve heard those “humorous” asides that reveal her true nature. This is the kind of racist who doesn’t even consider herself a racist because the gap between black and white is so obvious to her, the bell curve so steep, she’s just “telling it like it is”.

I’ve met white people like this. Not at my church, but at my friend Randall’s. “HooRandy” lives in California, somewhere near Disneyland. On a business trip to San Diego last spring, I drove up to HooRand’s on a Saturday night and we had dinner at some Brazilian joint that pretty much rapes you with food and drink. The next morning, hangover notwithstanding, HooRand took me to a church that was all glass and crystal and the size of a football stadium. The pastor wore a Hawaiian shirt and had a backup band. It was a good enough sermon, maybe a bit too focused on Jesus’ power to bring “riches and prosperity” to his followers. Afterwards we had refreshments. People were talking life, family and politics. I watched and listened. And I knew at that moment, back at my apartment halfway across the country, Eddie was swimming upside down. These people were mind-numbingly racist. Not angry racists, mind you. But happy, laughing racists. Proud, jolly racists. I heard one guy make a crack that Barack Obama would be “shining shoes in the White House” if he won the presidency. Then I watched about 8 people around him laugh (without caring that HooRand and I were standing five feet away). It was nothing short of shocking.

But then, the folks there seemed to love HooRand, his wife and his kids. It was not the kind of cartoonish hatred that you see in racists on TV. It was a very natural, relaxed racism. It was the Casual Friday of racism. Good Christian people just hanging out, loving Jesus and making fun of the uppity blacks.

On the drive home, HooRand made no excuses. He was fully aware of the blinding ignorance and sweltering racism that went down in his glass church every Sunday. But he felt a responsibility to show these people how a black family can love Jesus every bit as much as they do. I found his resignation both honorable and sad. But that’s HooRand for you.

When I read this week that Sarah Palin often calls the native peoples of her state “Alaskan Arabs” and that she referred to Barack Obama as “Sambo”, I was not shocked. I know where she’d go to church if she lived in Southern California. She reminded me of those jolly racists. Pretty, witty and poised, with a sharpness to her smile while spewing the most backwards redneck bile you can imagine, coated with spun sugar.

So where does that leave me? I feel the same way about my party as HooRand felt about his glass church. I’m here because I want my fellow Republicans to see that it’s possible for a black man to love America every bit as much as they do. And maybe if they see that, they’ll realize that their jolly racism doesn’t even represent the way they actually feel about black people. It’s a residue, leftover from their parents, and it can be cleansed if conservative leaders appeal to the better side of their nature instead of encouraging the worst.

I have made no secret of my gut feeling that Sarah Palin is not the best choice for the party. Good Christian Racism should not be mass-marketed, and she’s the best example we’ve seen in the public square for some time. But Sarah Palin’s racism makes her a prime candidate to change the way her fellow Republicans think. As her world experience grows, her views will naturally evolve. And she can inspire millions to leave that old country club nastiness-with-a-smile where it belongs: in the past.

So Sarah, take this opportunity to delete the word “Sambo” from your vocabulary and lead this party to a better place. That’s what leaders do.

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24 Comments

Filed under September 2008

24 responses to “A Healthy Dose of Good Christian Racism

  1. ebony

    hey, I’m just curious – so lets just say that Sarah Palin is not fit for this VP role (in which she really is not). Are you still going to vote for McCain?

  2. Really?

    Great! Now you’re interpreting the random movements of your icthy-amigo, construing Palin’s actions as cloaked racism, and gleaning comments from who-knows-what blog. Eddie’s activity isn’t the only thing fishy here.

    Then, you post your musings, along with your flimsy evidence, and expect us simply to accept your assertion that Palin is racist.

    Futhermore, you source the goldfish, but fail to mention where you read about Palin’s comments. (By the way … do you ever question anything you read? Ever?).

    Next, to justify the feeling you got from Eddie’s bad vibe, Palin’s “smile,” and the un-sourced attribution, you cram some random experience you had with … whom?

    Were I a psychologist, I’d say Wellbutrin is in order, but I’m not sure it can be legally prescribed in dosages that large.

    So, let’s try this instead: http://explorations.chasrmartin.com/2008/09/06/palin-rumors/. This link is to a blog on which someone is making a valiant attempt to balance some of the tripe and offal Daily Krass and the rest of the nutroots feed to the media (and which the media seem to be sucking down as quickly as Eddie would his goldfish flakes).

    And, the aforementioned site does a respectable job sourcing its content. Hint. Hint.

  3. yarrrr

    Dude, you’re an idiot if you believe the “Sambo” smear…

  4. wendelljackson

    Say what you will. I’ve been alive for 41 years and I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Sarah Palin is exactly what I say she is. I trust my instincts above any source. In fact, I invite any black man or woman who reads this blog to challenge my judgment on this issue. I am not suggesting that Palin is a bad person for having no experience with black people and for growing up in a faction of society that cultivates racism. And I honestly do believe that Sarah Palin will change as she is exposed to the world outside of Alaska and Idaho. But racism is like pornography: I know it when I see it.

  5. Really?

    You’ve known about her all of two weeks, read the nutroots, and somehow you “know” her (by instinct)?

    Pretty flimsy. But, go with it if it makes you feel better. The Left has won the battle (if not the war) with you.

    I’ve been on this blog all of two weeks and have seen you called several things (e.g., not black, not Republican, confused, vacillating, etc.).

    Without more evidence, I don’t give much credence to what others say about you, instinct or no.

    If she didn’t say what was claimed (and it’s all hearsay right now), you’re judging her based on a lie.

    If that’s so, what’s that say about your instinct?

  6. wendelljackson

    Stick around, friend. We’ll see about my instincts.

  7. Red

    Palin’s manner of speaking is crass and low class. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear racist remarks coming out of her mouth. During her acceptance speech, the defining moment of Palin’s speech was her joke about hockey moms. I felt she was the most natural, comfortable at that moment.

  8. dcguy1

    @Red

    To be fair, I know plenty of college-educated Black people who laugh at Chris Rock’s raunchy, racial, and “lowbrow” humor. So, Black people can’t really turn up their noses at Palin’s tame “hockey mom” joke.

  9. dcguy1

    @wendelljackson

    I don’t know enough about Palin to say if she’s racist. The waters are further muddied by hardcore liberals, who will say ANYTHING to destroy Palin and the energy she’s brought to the Republicans.

    On the other hand, I’m surprised you haven’t taken White liberals to task for PROVEN racist acts. Here are some examples:

    *Senator Joe Biden was surprised that a Black man like Obama (a.k.a., Biden’s new boss) could be “articulate.”

    *White gay activists and their allies hurled Klan-worthy racist slurs at Obama and Black America when the Senator attended a gospel concert:

    http://www.whataboutourdaughters.blogspot.com/2007/10/white-progressive-blogosphere-takes-aim.html

    So, much for “tolerance.”

    *Then, there was the obvious race-baiting by the Clinton campaign in a futile attempt to derail Obama during the Democratic primary.

    *On Dailykos, a White poster thought it would be “funny” to display a picture of Michelle Obama being lynched.

    http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com/2008/05/creator-of-michelle-obama-torture-depiction-unrepentant-appropriate-historically-accurate-and-politically-relevant/

    *On a related note, where are the White liberal feminists when Michelle Obama is attacked? I guess Black women aren’t worth NOW’s time.

    *Indy candidate Ralph Nader grumbles that Obama is only popular among White voters because he “talks white”:

    I can’t add anymore to that one.

    *The liberal magazine The New Yorker publishes an issue with the Obamas dressed a scary Black radical terrorists. The New Yorker claims it was satire, but people weren’t buying this:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/07/23/ST2008072302210.html?sid=ST2008072302210&s_pos=list

    In short, with so much blatant racism around, I’m not so concerned about Palin’s “racism” which hasn’t be proven.

  10. I read somewhere that someone that worked at a bar one time heard a customer say that he sat on a bus once next to a guy that heard Obama call John McCain a “cracker”.

    Mr. Obama should take this opportunity to take the word “cracker” from his vocabulary.

    — In case it’s not obvious, this was an attempt at parody. Perhaps it’s in poor taste (I’ll let the reader decide), but I think it goes to show how flimsy your accusation of racism on the part of Palin is. Based on nothing more than an uncorroborated slander, you judge the character of of Palin to be racist. By the same standard, then, everyone in the world is then subject to being judged a racist.

  11. wow. you call palin a racist based on heresay? nothing in this post has demonstrated the basis for such a strong accusation. what this post does reveal, however, is a lot about you.

  12. Oregon

    Why are we all so quick to shoot the messenger? I had the same gut feeling when I first saw Palin. She’s a fish out of water, and it will take some time to dig her roots out of the dirt that is the Alaska GOP. Gotta love mixed metaphors. They might just sequester her forever if they can play the pity or righteous indignation cards until the election.
    It’s not slander, it’s libel if untrue-more likely defamation. The article has been out for how long now? What have we heard from the McCain camp about this ‘outragous and false’ claim? They’re not bringing it to the nation’s attention because they don’t want that light to shine on them.

  13. Really?

    You shoot “the messenger” when he makes a comment that’s ludicrous.

    It’s the same kind of nonsensical rhetoric that was/has been used against African-Americans (e.g., “He’s black, therefore (my gut tells me) he’s lazy, or a dope peddler, or whatever.”). It’s Bravo Sierra masquerading as thoughtful commentary.

    And, let me remind “the messenger” what he posted in another thread on this blog regarding gut reactions to Mr. Obama:

    “If we go out making unsubstantiated, vitriolic arguments like that, we will be seen as churlish ideologues, not intelligent conservatives.”

    It seems our illustrious host extends to the opposition a courtesy he wouldn’t deign to give to his own party.

    Makes one wonder if Wendell isn’t being duplicitous on other matters as well.

  14. Jacki

    Please do a little research into where Sarah Palin worships. These aren’t just ‘casual Friday rascists’.

    Sarah Palin’s churches are actively involved in a resurgent movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949. This is the same ‘Spiritual Warfare’ movement that was featured in the award winning movie, “Jesus Camp,” which showed young children being trained to do battle for the Lord. At least three of four of Palin’s churches are involved with major organizations and leaders of this movement, which is referred to as The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is training a young “Joel’s Army” to take dominion over the United States and the world.

    Where do you think African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, or Catholics fit into this equation? Answer is we don’t.

    Everyone in this country is blessed with the freedom to practice the faith or their choosing (or no faith at all).

    Beware of a candidate whose religion’s goal is the installation of a far-right wing theocracy.

    For any of you doubters, google Joel’s Army.

    Sorry, your friend HooRand’s hopeful idealism that his presence among Christian racists (oh the hypocrisy!) will somehow change their minds by his own example is at best naive. He’s their token black. His presence makes them feel better about themselves, as if they are somehow inclusive. He’s being used. He ought to realize it and get himself into a church that is truly inclusive and truly embraces the teachings of Jesus. Open your eyes folks, stop letting yourself be used by racists.

  15. Jacki

    ps. Sarah Palin quoted Westbrook Pegler in her acceptance speech. For any of you not aware of him, he was a racist, anti-semite and self-described fascist. He called openly for the assassination of Bobby Kennedy back in 1965, writing he hoped that “some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.”

    Do you think it’s some sort of accident that Gov. Palin quoted this monster in her acceptance speech? You know someone by the company they keep.

    Google Westbrook Pegler for more information.

  16. Courage, friend. I have read a lot of your blog today and feel strongly that you are heading in a positive direction. I truly feel real conservatism is better served by the Democratic candidate, and applaud your shift. Stay conservative, which is something the Bush-Cheney crew has never done aside from superficial gestures and flimsy positions. Robber barons and all – they’d love to impoverish the American middle class. And they are well on their way.

    Holding a good thought for your father, who sounds like the kind of man I would look high up to.

  17. wendelljackson

    Thank you, Steven, I appreciate that.

    A lot of people have accused me of betraying the conservative cause on this blog. It’s nice to see someone recognize that I’m trying to preserve it.

    I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my life, so I’m not quite “shifted”, but I will be watching next week’s debate with an open mind. After the week I’ve had, it’s safe to say that all bets are off.

  18. “Suddenly it was obvious. I knew why I recognized Sarah Palin. She’s a racist.”

    “She reminded me of those jolly racists. Pretty, witty and poised, with a sharpness to her smile”

    Holy shit, that would be somewhat akin to my mom, who was attacked in her home by a young man she let in because he was my nephew’s friend, saying she recognized someone as a elderly-white-woman-hating thug because of his smirk. That kind of crap was unacceptable to me when she was alive and your crap is equally unacceptable to me now. I may get where each of you are coming from in your “gut” but sometimes our guts are very wrong, which is why we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, not our stinking smelly self absorbed guts. And we better not be caught calling our stinking smelly self absorbed gut the Holy Spirit.

    Sorry your friend doesn’t have the where with all in Christ and trust his brothers and sisters in Christ to a least give them a “ahem” and speak to them. Maybe, maybe just try and understand what it was they were saying. Not to dissimmilar to my misunderstanding you when you infer that a white person living in the country is a racist. You sound like a city versus country bigot.

    But then again I am sure you are right, everyone who lives 20 miles from the inner city can’t possible love people honestly, and all the people from states without an “inner city” or two sure as shit can’t.

    You sir, your words have pissed me off. But I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I’m not going to keep coming to your page so that hopefully you eventually see that an old white woman living in the country can appreciate the races. I’ll just come and see the good thoughts you have and let the shit slide on by. But trust me, I will try my best not to smile at you as I read it, now that I know you hate it when us white folk smile. But I will continue to smile at everyone else as they appear to genuinely believe it is the genuine smile it is. Oh wait, thats right you implied most of us don’t even know we are racist. Crap. Fine, no more smile for anyone. Unless of course you might be suffering from “residue” on you too?

    Steve Strauss “I truly feel real conservatism is better served by the Democratic candidate, and applaud your shift.” – that is a whole lot like saying that the protein needs in your nutrition intake are better served by cake. After all it does have an egg in it.

  19. ghedixon

    After reading your article it reminded me of being the only black kid at an all-white Assembly of God Church in Perrysburg Ohio. There I was subject to same kind of “Who me a racist?” kind’ve racism.

    I have one question knowing this about Sarah Palin, about John McCain, about the republican party(Where at the convention the only blacks were behind the camera or cleaning the the facility with the Hispanics) what the ‘eff are you thinking identifying with them. You’re argument within this article makes me question your love of self…Brother… Brutha…Brotha… Bro… Bruh… or whatever you understand… since you understand racism and choose by your affiliation to embrace it.

  20. Kay Richards

    Mr. W. Jackson,

    While I appreciate what you were trying to illustrate by sharing your experience at your friend Randall’s church and the rumoured racist comments that Sarah Palin has reportedly uttered. I came to an entirely different conclusion after reading your blog entry.

    Frankly, I found that the inaction on your part and your friend Randall as you both stood by and let a racist comment go unchallenged; in a house of worship no less. Tells me that neither of you are any better than the individual who told the joke and the individuals who laughed at it.

    In challenging ignorance or stupidity, one doesn’t have resort to violence, profanity or raised voices. Either of you could have walked over to that group and calmly pointed the sad and pitiful irony of them making and laughing at a racist comment after attending a religious service honoring GOD and Jesus Christ.

    But silently standing there and allowing that level of ignorance to be said in your company without a word of reproach or objection – makes you and your friend Randall just as guilty and contemptuous as the person who made the racist comment and those who laughed along with him.

    Lastly, I am no fan of Sarah Palin (or John McCain for that matter), but for you to spread along an unfounded ugly rumour which at best is heresay in the 3rd or 4th person – again gives me an idea as to what sort of personal judgement bar you obviously operate by. I put this so-called “sambo” rumour in the same gutter trash can, as the unfounded and ugly “whitey” rumour that has been attributed to Michelle Obama.

    Shame on you Mr. Jackson for not taking the opportunity, twice no less, to nip in the bud the vile and repugnant flowers of racism and baseless rumours.

  21. trish

    I don’t care if she’s racist or not. The fact is she’s not qualified for the position. That’s what so apparent to the most casual of observers. By the way, I think Christian Fundamentalism has been overtaken by Corporate Fundamentalism.

  22. trish

    “I’m here because I want my fellow Republicans to see that it’s possible for a black man to love America every bit as much as they do” I take issue with this statement. American whites have loved America because it’s been good to them. Blacks have loved America inspite of it’s treatment of them. In fact if a person of Native American history loved this country I would consider that a true example of love. Jesus himself said that evildoers love does that do right by them but the true test of love is to love does that do evil to you.

  23. thisis

    Great post. I grew up in apartheid South Africa. I know the type. They have a psychological need to feel superior. Its a self-esteem thing for them. Many of them feel lower than the liberal, educated, “elite” whites, so they need to impose a caste system in their own heads putting them somewhere in the middle.

  24. Sysuser

    Once upon a time, I used to support the Republican Party and dislike the Democrats, because i was ignorant about politics, the lies within it and the real purpose for it, (despite that I am Black and not even an american by the way) because i felt they (republican party) supported my anti-abortion and anti-gay views.
    However getting to know more about their history, motives and current goals only made me realise that the Republican party is nothing more than a “National White Supremacist” organisation that has sprinkles of black men and women here and there in its ranks, just to give the illusion of openness.

    Please note that: I am anti-abortion, I am anti-racism in any form, I am anti-gay, I am anti-lesbianism, I am anti-hypocrisy, I am anti-pork, I am anti-obama, I am anti-black racism …

    I can’t help but remember the racist codes words used during the election campaign in the bid of the Republican party trying to attract white voters of all ages and works. Such code words include:

    …He’s not like us (i.e. Obama is not white like us in this case).
    …The real america (i.e. real white american areas not New Orleans by the way).
    …Our country (i.e. white american country i.e. the ones stolen from the Native Americans).

    Yet why does a black man feel the need to apologise to a Rush Limbaugh (a man who has not even bothered to hide his racist views against blacks)…wonders shall surely never end.

    Its really sad that it did not even take long before the House Nergo (Micheal Steele) had to apologise to His White masters (Rush Limbaugh and co…) merely for telling the truth as it is.

    On a lighter side…I still don’t understand how republicans live with themselves knowing that the “Christian White America” is actually a walking and talking Oxymoron of the ages because exactly how someone can be a closet or open “Racist” and a “Christian” at the same time is something i simply do not understand. At least its good that people of colour get to see that the leopard (Republican Party) can’t hide its spots even if it tries to.

    Sometimes I wonder how many of the so called Christian “White Supremacist” within the republican party would remain and continue to be Christians, once they discover the truth that the Saviour and the Messiah of the Bible (who they pretend to believe in) was actually a Black Man (by today’s standards).

    Its really sad that despite the evils perpetrated by the white founders of America (Against Africans, Black Indians, Light Skinned Indians, Tainios, Aborigines), yet still their current white descendants seem to be hell bent on fostering and benefiting from such blood tainted money and priviledges without any show of remorse or intent to try to live according to the dictates of the Bible.

    Its really going to be a sad day for most white supremacist when they realise during the Second Coming of the Messiah that He was Black (by today’s standards) and that the Heavenly Father is telling the truth when He said he would punish a Man (White in this context) and the man’s future generations (provided those future generations do not repent and change their ways).

    Finally I am still anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-hypocrisy and anti-Obama. The only difference in this case however is that, I do not support either the Republicans (due to their open and secret racism) and the Democrats (due to their open and secret endorsement of sodomy and abortion).

    I sincerely hope that Rush Limbaugh continues to do and say what he wants, cause at least that would cause a lot of minorities to wake up from their slumber.

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