Ron Radosh

A Black Pastor Speaks Out on President Obama's Past

President Barack Obama’s past continues to haunt him. A friend  e-mailed me this revealing post by Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., pastor of The Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, Virginia.  Bishop Jackson wrote it last June, but I have not seen it circulated or mentioned before now. Now, someone found it and put it on their own blog.

Like so many of us, Bishop Jackson describes himself as once a leftist Democrat; an African-American who grew up in a black urban community in Pennsylvania, and a man who is disturbed about what he calls “a strain of anti-Semitism in the black community.”

Bishop Jackson is also a Harvard Law School graduate, and evidently, was aware of Barack Obama during the year of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s “Million Man March.” He asks the following question:  “The question is whether Obama, given his Muslim roots and experience in Farrakhan’s Chicago, shares this antipathy for Israel and Jewish people. Is there any evidence that he does?”  This is the Bishop’s considered answer:

First, the President was taught for twenty years by a virulent anti-Semite, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. In the black community it is called “sitting under”. You don’t merely attend a church, you “sit under” a Pastor to be taught and mentored by him. Obama “sat under” Wright for a very long time. He was comfortable enough with Farrakhan and Wright’s friend to attend and help organize his “Million Man March”. I was on C-Span the morning of the march arguing that we must never legitimize a racist and anti-Semite, no matter what “good” he claims to be doing. Yet a future President was in the crowd giving Farrakhan his enthusiastic support.

The Pastor continues to argue that he thinks today President Obama holds the “classic left-wing view” that “Israel is the oppressive occupier, and the Palestinians are Israel’s victims.”  He continues:

In speaking to the “Muslim World,” he did not address the widespread Islamic hatred of Jews. Instead he attacked Israel over the growth of West Bank settlements. Surely he knows that settlements are not the crux of the problem. The absolute refusal of the Palestinians to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is the insurmountable obstacle. That’s where the pressure needs to be placed, but this President sees it differently. He also made the preposterous comparison of the Holocaust to Palestinian “dislocation”.

He also thinks that “Obama clearly has Muslim sensibilities”  and that this explains “the dramatic policy reversal of joining the unrelentingly ant-Semitic, anti-Israel and pro-Islamic UN Human Rights Council is in keeping with the President’s truest albeit undeclared sensibilities.”

I do not agree that Obama’s indecisiveness and wrong-headed policy on the Middle East stems from that factor; I suspect it has more to do with the influence on him of former friends like Rashid Khalidi and the milieu of both left-wing Chicago and radical black nationalism that he was part of for many years. But this is a minor disagreement about motives.

All of Bishop Pastor’s concerns, however, are valid, and it is important that a black Pastor of a congregation is willing to speak out publicly and make his concerns known.  Now that others have begun to raise the issue of the State dinner gate-crashers’ ties with Khalidi and Chicago, and have posted photos of Obama with the same couple in 2005, it appears that one possibility surrounding the White House announcement that the Social Secretary will invoke Executive Privilege if asked to testify before Congress, is that the administration hopes to keep under wraps the President’s ties with the couple, whose opposition to Israel is evidently well known.

Is the above too much of a conspiracy theory? Perhaps. It stands as a question until we begin to get answers.