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Barack Obama’s Latest Pastor Problem: Chicago’s Rev. James T. Meeks

GLENN: Okay.  Breathe deep.  Go ahead, Dan.  Turn the Air Supply down a little bit and then let me roll the audio here of the latest pastor of Barack Obama.  This is, of course, not Reverend Jeremiah Wright because that guy — I mean, no big deal.  Barack Obama didn’t hear any of those things.  He was never there on the — he’s attended the church for 20 years but he was never there on those days.  Well, here’s a new spiritual counselor of Barack Obama, a guy he’s close to, a guy who has worked on his advisory committee, on his exploratory committee, a guy — in fact, they seem to do a lot together because they also have received an awful lot of money from James Rezco as well, the two of them, and — I’m sorry, allegedly.  And the other part is that this reverend, his choir has come out and, you know, sung at a rally for Barack Obama, et cetera, et cetera.  So here’s the latest clip from a new spiritual advisor of Barack Obama.  Listen carefully.

VOICE:  Senator James Meeks used some tough language in the pulpit attacking the mayor and others including African-Americans who are allies.  Meeks tries to generate some new issue on the funding for public schools.  He led a March through downtown Chicago to call attention to inequalities of education.  We report on his language and his rough words.

MEEKS:  We don’t have slave masters.  We’ve got mayors but they are still the same white people who have presided over systems where black people are not able or to be educated.

GLENN:  Stop here for a second.  Stop for a second.  You hear this?  We don’t have slave masters.  We have mayors.  But it’s a typical white person.  Wow, where have I heard that before?  Play that again, will you, Dan?  This guy, I have to tell you, he’s not speaking like a conservative but he’s sure speaking conservative values when it comes to they’re looking over a system that won’t allow people to get educated or anything else except his solution is replace the white person with a black person.  Conservatives believe, dismantle the system that is oppressing people because I got news for you.  I believe our government is way too big, it’s way too oppressive but I can’t relate to oppression because I’m white and I’m typically white.  So I can’t understand.  The answer is not to replace a white with a black but to dismantle the system.  Because you’re right.  It is too powerful but not for blacks.  For everybody.  I digress.

MEEKS:  We don’t have slave masters.  We got mayors.  But they’re still the same white people who have presided over systems where black people are not able or to be educated.

REPORTER:  That was only one part of the tough talk state senator James Meeks delivered on Sunday’s sermon at the south side church where he is pastor.  It was broadcast twice on WJYS, channel 62.  Today he stood by every word of it.

VOICE:  Is it fair of a mayor to compare him and the governor to slave masters?

MEEKS:  They do the same thing.  They preside —

GLENN:  Stop, stop.  They do the same thing.  See, this is the problem.  And this is the problem that America better wake up to.  This is insanity talk.  You know what, let me tell you something.  If you actually did have slavery in your past, I think your slave ancestors would come and slap you across the face for saying that the mayor or the governor of a state is the same as a slave master because they’re doing the same thing.  Really?  Have they been shipping people over on slave ships?  Have they been chaining people?  Don’t care if they live or die.  Have they been whipping people to death?  Have they been splitting up families because they can sell your family members some place else?  Are you insane?  It is an insult to those who were actual slaves.  My gosh, have you just, have you forgotten what actual slavery was like?  If a white man would say that, everyone would scream from the highest mountaintop.  How dare you compare slavery to this.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Anyway, go ahead.

MEEKS:  They do the same thing.  They preside over systems where they have the control of the lives of African-American and Hispanic people.


REPORTER:  While Meeks is a potential challenger —

GLENN:  Stop, stop.  Again, dismantle the system!  Make government stronger.  I know, nobody likes to quote the founding fathers, but read their words.  The bigger the government gets, the more powerful the government becomes, the more the government takes from one and gives to another, the more it enslaves the people.  Hello.  Dismantle the size of government.

REPORTER:  While Meeks is a potential challenger to Daley in this winter city election, he is hoping others will run against members of the African-American city council who have been close, paging them with the N word, a racial slur that CBS news chooses to cover with a —

GLENN:  Stop.  Stop just a second.  CBS news in Chicago covers it.  My question is why.  Because it’s been beat into our heads that it’s offensive.  I happen to believe it is offensive.  So CBS news chooses to not run it, but he, a reverend, a spiritual — it’s not advisor.  What is he called?  A spiritual counsel of Barack Obama, someone who’s on his exploratory committee, he decides to use the N word, and listen to this.

MEEKS:  You got some preachers at a house [BLEEP], you got some elected officials that are house [BLEEP] and rather than them trying to break this up, they are going to fight you to protect that white man.

REPORTER:  So why do you use that word?

MEEKS:  The word [BLEEP] is not in the African-American community a bad word.

GLENN:  Stop just a second.  It’s not a bad word, unless a white man uses it.  It’s not a bad word.  It’s weird.  I’ve got to go back and listen to those speeches about the two Americas and how wrong that is.

So I can’t use the N word because I’m a white man but it’s not offensive in the African-American community.  Just remember that.  It’s not offensive in the African-American community.  Go ahead.

MEEKS:  A bad word.  It’s a term of endearment and —

GLENN:  Stop, stop, it’s a term of endearment.  Stu, you keeping track?  It’s not offensive.  In fact, it’s a term of endearment in the African-American community.

MEEKS:  It’s a term of endearment and I don’t see it as derogatory or offensive.

GLENN:  Stop.  It’s not derogatory and it’s not offensive.  So then was he praising the mayor?  Was he just praising the mayor?  Because he called him a house N word.  So is that praise?  I thought he was campaigning against him.  Why would he say we’ve got some — you know, that’s like saying, hey, it’s a term of endearment.  "Hey, we’ve got some good buddies."  We’ve got some — we’ve got some good, good friends.  We’ve got some old chums in the mayor’s office.  Oh.  See, now that you know it’s not a derogatory term, it’s not an offensive term.  Well, now you know.  Oh.  He must have strangely been campaigning for the — unless you’re saying that sometimes words can mean some things and be okay and other times you can use that word and it could be really bad.  But you wouldn’t be saying something like that, would you?  That’s weird.  This is a guy who’s worked on the exploratory committee for Barack Obama this is a guy who has frequently campaigned.  While Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2003, he campaigned at this church while Meeks appeared on television ads supporting Barack Obama.  In television ads this guy has used.