While I don't know if Fox News is paying any attention to how the killing of Trayvon Martin is part of the greater issue of being black in a still racially polarized America, African-American journalists and pundits are discussing it on networks that don't claim to represent America, as does Fox News. But while you'd expect race baiters like Sean Hannity to whitewash the issue, you'd also expect a Catholic priest to handle it a little more sensitively such as the Jesuit priest, on the Melissa Harris-Perry show, who talked about the importance of community. Not so for official Fox priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris who, yesterday, used this tragedy to, no, not talk about the glaring social issues that are reflected by the case, but to attack folks like Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders without whose non-violent activism there might not have even been an arrest. As usual, his words were couched in sweet platitudes about "forgiveness." But his underlying message was, as usual, more toxic, right wing and arguably race baiting agitprop. Render to Ailes!
After making some generally benign statements about Martin's parents, Morris, in typical fashion, qualified it with the right wing talking points that are making the rounds of right wing hate media i.e. Sharpton and "race hustlers" exploited the case:
"We need to make sure we don't have any statements that hurt them more and somehow use this case for our own purposes I think if we have to look at the down side unfortunately and I think a lot of other people have said it and I totally agree some people had their own agenda got involved very early both the media because it was a good story, right, to pit a young black man against a white man in this way and somehow bring out the racial card but then secondly there's some civil rights icons who have come out very strongly and got people riled up before the facts were clear. That's wrong in this world that we live in with social media it makes a big difference more than before the statements that we make. I think that was shameless and I think we can learn from that, the downside we can learn from."
After injecting the requisite Fox propaganda message for the piece, he spoke about how the respective families should now "let go of a just cause and that's called forgiveness." He advised them of not "letting their hearts get cold and bitter." Gay basher Tucker Carlson cited how forgiveness is the heart of "The Lord's Prayer." Morris advised those who are protesting the verdict to control themselves which, contrary to his right wing paymasters' expectations, they have. He repeated how everybody should "forgive." He praised Martin's parents for "toning down the rhetoric." He predicted that they will have the strength to "forgive in their heart, to let go of that just cause."
So instead of focusing on what causes certain members of our society to be viewed as suspect, even when they are doing nothing to cause suspicion, Morris bashes those who do bring up the issue of racial injustice. I think it's probably safe to say that when Fr. Jonathan Morris was growing up, his parents, unlike African-American parents didn't have to instruct him about how to act in the presence of police. But rather than address these inconvenient truths, Morris says that we should forgive and forget. While Catholic priests were part of the Civil Rights protests of the 60's, Morris is part of a new breed who say don't worry be happy lest ye bother those who represent the status quo, like Morris' paymasters Roger Ailes and the GOP.
If anybody is "shameless" it's the sweet-faced Father Morris who is just another Fox News propaganda pushing hatemonger in priest's clothing. And his propaganda is effective. Just check out some stuff from his Facebook which is, like Fox Nation, a sewer for hatred against those deemed anathema by the right wing. And like those proud Christians on Fox Nation, Morris' followers don't seem to be very Christian. But then the gospel according to Fr. Morris and Roger Ailes doesn't seem to be all that Christian either....Go figure!
And the genius award goes to
Thou shalt not kill. Except if you are white neighborhood vigilante who catches an unarmed black teenager walking down your street.