Alarmist and surprised media reports on President Obama’s remarks at yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast, where he made a quick reference to Christianity being used to justify bigotry directed at Black people in American history, demonstrates just how reluctant this country is forced to confront its ugly racial history.
During his speech, the president said that before Christians get a little too eager to blame Islam for deadly recent attacks in Paris and around the world, Christians needs to remember their own history.
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” Obama said in his speech at the Washington Hilton. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
After the speech, the president’s remarks were cited in Black media as him no longer being afraid to speak the truth and in some white media and conservative circles as evidence that basically he’s lost his mind.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin tweeted, “ISIS chops off heads, incinerates hostages, kills gays, enslaves girls. Obama: Blame the Crusades.”
Fox News curiously also skipped over his comments about slavery and Jim Crow to go right to the Crusades.
“The Crusades ended some 700 years ago,” Todd Starnes wrote on Fox News. “Perhaps the president should be a bit more concerned with the Islamic jihad being waged in this century.”
The president made reference to his recent trip to India, saying, “Michelle and I returned from India—an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity—but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs—acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhi, the person who helped to liberate that nation.”
“So this is not unique to one group or one religion,” he continued. “There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try. And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.”