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Father Michael Pfleger: "O'Reilly Doesn't Want to Hear the Truth We Speak . . . I'll Hang Around Wright and Farrakhan Any Day Rather Than O'Reilly."

Reported by Julie - March 6, 2010 -

Last night (3/5/10), I was granted a media pass to attend the Living Legends Educating 365 benefit in Chicago. Despite Bill O'Reilly's mission against black activists and numerous segments to the contrary (see my posts here, here and here) that Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Minister Louis Farrakhan and Father Michael Pfleger would be on stage together and Wright was presenting himself with an award, the three men were not on stage together, they were not speakers, and no awards were given. It was a night of music and short speeches, a benefit planned and presented by Grace of God, NFP, in celebration of Black History Month.

It was held at a Chicago landmark, Regal Theater, located at 79th & Stony Island -- incidentally, the heart of Chicago's south side that O'Reilly likened to Haiti.


WVON Chicago radio personality, Cliff Kelley, co-hosted the event along with Grace of God's Jeri Wright. The key performers were Grammy-nominated musician, Kirk Whalum and Shannon Stevenson. There were some short speeches given in honor of the three men, and the words spoken most often were "diversity," "humanity," and "education." The crowd was polite and engaged, security tight (an indication that, even on the south side of Chicago, nobody underestimates a determined wingnut) and, though largely an African American audience, white faces (one of which was mine) were interspersed -- and welcomed warmly.

After the event, I was fortunate enough to exchange a few words with Father Pfleger in the lobby. I noted O'Reilly's recent, nightly crusade against Pfleger, Wright and Farrakhan -- which he indicated he knew about, and seemed amused by -- and I asked him why he felt O'Reilly targeted them.

"O'Reilly doesn't want to hear the truth we speak," Father Pfleger said, " . . . I'll hang around Wright and Farrakhan any day rather than O'Reilly."