By GEORGE CURRY
If you thought nothing could be more frivolous than conservatives questioning whether the president was born in the United States, think again. The recent criticism of Obama’s decisions to worship Easter Sunday at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and invite poet/rapper Common to participate in a White House celebration of poetry illustrates how far his critics will stoop to manufacture a controversy.
Fox News was hysterical over the Obamas’ decision to worship at the predominantly Black church founded in the 1800s by former slaves. Sean Hannity, co-host of Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes,” aired a clip from the speech Rev. Wallace Smith, the pastor of Shiloh, had given at Eastern University, in Davids, Pa.
“It may not be Jim Crow anymore,” said Rev. Smith. “Now, Jim Crow wears blue pinstripes, goes to law school and carries fancy briefs in cases. And now, Jim Crow has become James Crow, esquire. And, he doesn’t have to wear white robes anymore because now he can wear the protective cover of talk radio or can get a regular news program on Fox.”
After the clip aired as part of Hannity’s criticism of the president, Rev. Smith said his church received more than 100 threats via telephone and e-mail.
“We received a fax that had the image of a monkey with a target across its face,” he told the Washington Post. “My secretary has received telephone calls that have been so vulgar until she had to hang up.”
On his show, Fox host Bill O’Reilly tried to dismiss Rev. Smith as a “racial activist” and kept objecting to Smith’s observation