Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, pastor of the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington D.C., recently made national headlines after President Barack Obama and the first lady chose to attend Easter Service at his church. Then a video surfaced showing Rev. Smith (like Jeremiah Wright Jr.) making some inflammatory and derogatory comments about whites during a speech in January 2010.
[youtube 4U5YvP8DYv8 Rev. Wallace Smith Interview (Pt. 1)]
In the speech, Smith said that even with a black president, America is not over its race problems. He said that since “Jim Crow” can now “get a regular news program on Fox” and Rush Limbaugh can make the same “statements that were once the purview of Robert Shelton and members of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizen’s Council.”
Now a new tape of Obama’s Easter Sunday Pastor has surfaced. Smith was interviewed on my show (The Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show) on January 17, 2011, where he made more controversial remarks about race and defended his friend Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.
During the interview, I questioned Rev. Smith about race relations and Obama’s choice to worship in Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.’s church for 20 years. I also got Smith to go on record about his views regarding Attorney General Eric Holder’s handling of the Philadelphia New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
When I pressed Rev. Smith about racism and what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would say about the state of race relations today, Obama’s Easter pastor said, “Racism is still America’s dirty little secret.”…. He added, “The majority of Americans, unfortunately, are just about as leery of race and as fearful of race as ever. And I think there’s a hostility, it may be underground, but it’s still there.”
Rev. Smith was also asked whether he believed most of the racism was black on white or white on black.
Smith replied: “Racism is a one way street…blacks really can’t be racist…racism implies you’ve got the power to enforce your prejudice and black people don’t have the power to enforce their prejudice.”
I asked Rev. Smith about Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and why President Obama, a man who campaigned in part on bringing the races together, could attend and be close friends with a racist and anti-Semitic individual such as Wright.
Smith chuckled and replied, “I’ve known Jeremiah Wright Jr. for 40 years and the idea that he’s a racist black preacher is ridiculous. He [Rev. Wright] makes incendiary statements, he’s always done that, but the notion that somehow he was a kin to the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan–that’s just ridiculous.”
Keep in mind that Rev. Smith had no problem comparing Rush Limbaugh and the folks at Fox News to KKK members and to supporters of racist Jim Crow laws.
[youtube L2X19qyhkr0 Rev. Wallace Smith Interview (Pt. 2)]
At another point in the interview, I asked Rev. Smith if white Americans are racist how did Brack Obama get so many white votes? Smith said that even though whites voted for Obama, “I don’t think that there were huge numbers of heartland blue collar white people who voted for him….”
The Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show is nationally syndicated on GCN (Genesis Communications Network). The program airs M-F, 6-9 a.m. PT / 9-12 Noon ET. For more information about the show visit www.bondaction.org E-mail: email@example.com