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1/25/2003 11:18:00 AM by JIM BOWMAN - www.blithe-spirit.com
My friend Jake (not his real name) found himself flustered, flapped, and in general quite irritated to read about Father Michael Pfleger's handing over the St. Sabina pulpit to rabble-rouser Harry Belafonte last Sunday, 1/20. 90 minutes, in a veritable act of prostitution by the Rev. P. Was it before or after the consecration of the Mass, or did they bother with Mass that day? Jake asks plaintively.
Fr. P. introduced him as "a voice for freedom and a voice for justice," Jake read a in Chicago Tribune (see below)
A Belafonte sample:
* Bush has proven he's "not our friend." How? His administration will try to wipe away affirmative action, eliminate a woman's right to choose abortion and pursue a war with Iraq "that makes absolutely no sense."
Jake: This plea for legal abortion from a Catholic pulpit? What's going on here?
* "While we are wondering what to do about [black youth], Bush and
others have found out what to do. We have the largest prison population on earth. We are building more prisons than schools."
* Colin Powell is not only a house slave and sellout to the white
master, but he and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in an act of "villainy" are serving those who "design our oppression."
* 9/11 was our fault: "Bin Laden . . . came from somewhere, and if you look where ... you'll see America's hand of villainy."
The church was packed. Among the cheerers was Illinois' new attorney
general, Chicago Latin School alum Lisa Madigan, probably the state's
most outspoken elected-official abortion proponent. Jake is fit to be tied.
Copyright Jim Bowman, 2003.
Blithe Spirit Publications
Oak Park IL, USA
Belafonte slams Bush
Singer exhorts crowd in salute to friend King
By Sean D. Hamill
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 20, 2003
Speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Sunday in Chicago, entertainer and social activist Harry Belafonte took the Bush administration to task for its civil rights record, saying the president has proven that he's "not our friend."
Belafonte, 75, a close friend and confidant of King, who was killed in 1968, said he expects the Bush administration to try to wipe away affirmative action, eliminate a woman's right to choose abortion and pursue a war with Iraq "that makes absolutely no sense."
Terming the war plans a distraction, he called upon African-Americans to continue to heed King's call to do their part in their communities, particularly helping a younger generation that seems lost.
"While we are wondering what to do about [black youth], Bush and others have found out what to do," he said during his 90-minute speech from the pulpit at St. Sabina, a predominantly black Catholic church. "We have the largest prison population on earth. We are building more prisons than schools."
Belafonte not only stood by controversial remarks he made in October when he likened Secretary of State Colin Powell to a slave who had sold out his principles for the privilege of living in his master's house, but he also took the criticism a step further.
Belafonte said Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who are both black, are hurting the cause of black America.
"In fact and practice ... you are serving those who continue to design our oppression," he said of Powell and Rice. "That is villainy, and I insist you look at it."
Belafonte said the American government has become arrogant.
"We are so overwhelmed with our imperial sense of power that we run around the world calling for wars when we want, overthrowing governments when we want," he said.
"But there's a price to pay for this," he said.
Sept. 11 "wasn't just Bin Laden. Bin Laden didn't come from the abstract. He came from somewhere, and if you look where ... you'll see America's hand of villainy."
Speaking to a packed audience of more than 1,000, Belafonte drew the congregation and dozens of dignitaries, including Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan and Illinois Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), to their feet for raucous ovations several times during his 90-minute speech.
St. Sabina's activist pastor, Rev. Michael Pfleger, introduced Belafonte as "a voice for freedom and a voice for justice."
Belafonte, who grew up in Harlem and his parent's homeland of Jamaica, told the story of his impoverished upbringing and his entry into the civil rights movement in the 1940s after returning from Navy service in World War II.
He credited his involvement in the civil rights movement to a meeting with Martin Luther King Jr. in the early 1950s.
By then Belafonte was a rising star as a singer and an actor, and King sought him out to talk about the movement that was just beginning.
After their four-hour conversation, Belafonte said he recalled: "My mission was clear. I told Martin Luther King: `You can count on me.'"
He said during the 1960s, King persuaded his followers to woo Robert Kennedy, who was President John Kennedy's attorney general, and change his mind about civil rights.
"Your task is to find his soul ... and you must win him to our cause," King told them. "It is not enough to defeat your enemy; he must believe in your truth."
"By the time [Robert Kennedy] was murdered," Belafonte said, "our enemies knew he was with us."
At a news conference after the service, Belafonte said he holds the same hope for Powell.
"I'd rather win him and have him stay in office, like we did with Bobby Kennedy," Belafonte said.
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