Friday, May 30, 2008

Meet Rev. Fleger: White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue

Barack Obama continues to have preacher problems and this time he acted quickly to condemn Reverend Michael Fleger in his mocking damnation of Hillary Clinton. America only wishes it hadn't taken him 25 years to condemn Jeremiah's racist jeremiads.

I think Fleger can be forgiven because he has a language problem though. You've probably already seen Fleger demolish himself in the low, banal, and insulting speech he gave to an African-American audience in Chicago. In that one, he adopts the familiar, patronizing, avuncular tone of a whiteboy speaking what he no doubt believes is "Black English." (What would the Barackians say if Condoleeza Rice addressed a South Side Chicago group in those tones, accents, and emphatics?)

Yet, here he is speaking his regular version (and being himself) of English to a reporter. Is Fleger worried that African-Americans won't like him if he acts like himself instead of the religious phony he pretended to be with the African American audience? Be yourself, Reverend, don't pander. You can express your empathy for the plight of poor African-Americans and other communities without doing your TV Catholic Envangelist Hip-Hop version of a reverse StepandFetchit character.

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