Sean Hannity Smears An African American As Part Of Martin Luther King Commemoration
Reported by Ellen - January 22, 2008 -
For the third year in a row, which is how long I’ve been blogging about Sean Hannity, he used Martin Luther King Day as an excuse to attack an African American. Last night (1/21/08), it was New York City pastor Calvin Butts for the allegedly racist remark, “Go to hell, white man,” to Rudy Giuliani. In fact, Butts' remark was made out of anger at what he perceived as racism in the Diallo shooting incident, a fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by white police, a context that Hannity conveniently ignored. Furthermore, Butts has a reputation for being a conciliator and just announced his support for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama but Hannity tried to smear him as a black racist anyway. With video.
I’ll give Hannity and the Hannity & Colmes show some credit. At least they recognized Martin Luther King Day which is more than they did the previous two years. And Hannity made a real effort to be respectful about civil rights, even with boogeyman Al Sharpton (right below Louis Farrakhan on Hannity's black boogeyman tree) who was there to discuss King’s legacy. But it seems Hannity couldn’t help himself. Less than 30 seconds into his interview with Sharpton, Hannity began attacking Butts on the topic that is always preeminent in Hannity’s mind whenever the topic is race, even on Martin Luther Kng Day: Black racism against whites.
As the screen read, “America remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” (never mind that Hannity & Colmes forgot him the last two years), Hannity said, “Hillary Clinton goes and gets the endorsement of the Rev. Calvin Butts yesterday. I’m sure you are familiar with him, a well known pastor in Harlem, in New York. And you know, Hillary’s saying what a man, he’s brought people together. This is a guy that said about Rudy Giuliani, ‘Go to hell, white man.’”
Sharpton pointed out that Butts later embraced Giuliani and tried to reconcile.
But, predictably, that wasn't good enough for Hannity. He took a dig at Sharpton by saying, “I think if Don Imus said it, you would have called for him to be fired.” Even Alan Colmes laughed loudly.
Sharpton said that Butts had taken flak for trying to reconcile with Giuliani and that Giuliani had refused the reconciliation. (Comment: That’s true about getting flak for the reconciliation - Butts was harshly criticized by Sharpton, among others - but at some point, Giuliani appeared at Butts' church and embraced him.)
So Hannity used King’s own words as an excuse to malign Butts. “What Martin Luther King said, and I’ve heard his speech played a number of times today, you know, and his hope and his dream for children of all races to be together. Judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. You know, ‘Go to hell, white man,’ this is, this is who Hillary’s seeking the endorsement from and I’m saying in this case, I’ve got to imagine we’ve made strides, plenty of good ones, but that’s evidence that we’ve got a long way to go.”
Hannity has one hell of a nerve using Dr. King to smear Butts over what was clearly not a racist remark. As Craig Horowitz wrote about the "Go to hell" incident in New York:
White leaders call on (Butts) to intercede, to ask for calm, or to denounce the offensive remarks. And that's exactly what happened when the four cops charged in the Diallo shooting were acquitted. He received several such calls, but the one that pushed him over the edge, the one he decided to tell his congregants about, came from a man he describes as a "substantial figure" in the business and political life of the city.
"He said to me, 'Calvin, you black people ought to understand that it was a fair trial,' " Butts told his congregation. " 'And still there's all these rumblings now.' And then he starts telling me, 'Well, you know, most crime is black-on-black crime, and the police have done a lot of good. And we need you now. You're a black leader. We need you to go out there and deal with your people.'
"At that point, I told him: 'Go to hell, white man.' "
Coming from Butts, this was a shocking remark, one that seemed sharply at odds with his record as a builder and a conciliator.
In addition to reconciling with Giuliani, Butts also has supported Mayor Michael Bloomberg for re-election and Ross Perot for president. He hardly sounds like a black racist, especially given that Butts has just endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.
But one Butts-bashing segment wasn't enough for equal rights-minded Hannity. In the brief interchange between Hannity and Colmes at the end of the show, Hannity attacked Butts again. “Hillary accepting the Calvin Butts’ uh, he’s who said, ‘Go to hell, white man’…”
Colmes said, “And Al Sharpton said there was an attempt to reconcile, even with Giuliani and Giuliani didn’t want to reconcile back.”
In his peevish voice, Hannity said, “If you said it, he’d want you fired.”
By the way, as chrish posted right before me, O'Reilly chose last night to attack Obama and his minister.