Jim Quinn's ignorance

Blog ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

On Friday, Media Matters posted audio of Pittsburgh radio host Jim Quinn calling President Obama a "schmuck" for making the rather uncontroversial observation that the United States has a "dark past" of slavery.

It's worth taking a moment to look at just how ignorant Quinn's rant was. Here's the snippet of Obama's NAACP speech that Quinn played:

QUINN: Why don't you listen very carefully to this?

OBAMA [audio clip]: Let it be said that this generation did its part; that we, too, ran the race; that full of faith that our dark past has taught us, full of the hope that the present has brought us, we faced, in our lives and all across this nation, the rising sun of a new day begun.

Obama is very clearly referencing the lyrics of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" -- an 1899 song by James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson that is often referred to as "The Black National Anthem" and is the NAACP's "official song." From the end of the song's first verse:

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on 'til victory is won.

But here's Quinn's immediate response to the Obama clip he played:

OBAMA [audio clip]: Let it be said that this generation did its part; that we, too, ran the race; that full of faith that our dark past has taught us, full of the hope that the present has brought us, we faced, in our lives and all across this nation, the rising sun of a new day begun.

QUINN: Ah, ha. There is a house in New Orleans, the house of the rising sun.

Just for the record, Obama referenced "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," the official song of the NAACP. Quinn referenced "The House of the Rising Sun," an entirely different song. Is Quinn joking? It isn't clear. But what is clear is that he has no idea what Obama is referring to. Here's the next thing Quinn says:

QUINN: Well, look, you heard him say that that this generation will put behind us our dark past. Now, I don't know what he's -- are you referring to slavery? That was over 150 years ago, and this was the civilization that had the tenacity to end it. We're the civilization that acted against our own economic interests to adopt a morality -- and, by the way, at the cost -- a great cost of blood and treasure to end slavery. We do not have a dark past, you schmuck.

We are the light of the world. Now do you see how he views this country? We're going to put behind us our dark past, and we're going to make America a place where we have social justice and the government redistributes wealth, and the government and Cass Sunstein decides what's truth and what isn't truth.

So, just to recap: Obama gives a speech at the NAACP and invokes the NAACP's official song in referring to the "faith that our dark past has taught us." Jim Quinn makes clear that he has no idea what Obama is talking about and proceeds to call the president a "schmuck" for suggesting that slavery constitutes a "dark past."

Pittsburgh must be very proud.

Here's the transcript, from July 17:

QUINN: Buenos días, amigos y [inaudible], de radio Nueva Venezuela. Yes, right here in New Venezuela. Last night, chairman Hussein spoke to the NAACP. I'm sure members of his red guard were there in their ACORN red shirts. Chairman Hussein spoke last night to the crowd at the NAACP convention. Why don't you listen very carefully to this.

OBAMA [audio clip]: Let it be said that this generation did its part; that we, too, ran the race; that full of faith that our dark past has taught us, full of the hope that the present has brought us, we faced, in our lives and all across this nation --

QUINN: Did you hear?

OBAMA [audio clip]: -- the rising sun of a new day begun.

QUINN: Ah, ha. There is a house in New Orleans, the house of the rising sun. Well, look, you heard him say that that this generation will put behind us our dark past. Now, I don't know what he's -- are you referring to slavery? That was over 150 years ago, and this was the civilization that had the tenacity to end it. We're the civilization that acted against our own economic interests to adopt a morality -- and, by the way, at the cost -- a great cost of blood and treasure to end slavery. We do not have a dark past, you schmuck.

We are the light of the world. Now do you see how he views this country? We're going to put behind us our dark past, and we're going to make America a place where we have social justice and the government redistributes wealth, and the government and Cass Sunstein decides what's truth and what isn't truth. And what's his name -- the guy I talked about yesterday -- Holden[sic], who is the, what, the science czar? Yeah, will decide which groups of people there are too many of and which ones need to be sterilized.

This is his vision of the -- look, I'm telling you, folks, the other day Sean Hannity had Quanell X on. Now he's the guy -- he's a Black Panther guy or New Black Panther Party -- whatever,you know, big follower of Farrakhan and all of that. Now you can sit there and you can throw your shoe at the radio, or you can sit there and laugh at this clown and his trick-or-treat military costume, but I would advise you to do something else.

I would advise you to hang on every word that Quanell X says, because do you know what Quanell X is? Quanell X is Barack Obama without the muffler. Quanell X is the guy who says the truth. He says exactly what Barack Obama believes but won't say. Quanell X's system of beliefs -- as are Obama's -- is a convoluted tangle of distortions, half-truths, rewritten history,and conspiracy theory ringing with racial anger, anti-Semitism, and offering Marxism as the solution. He is Obama without the muffler.

You are watching, basically, a Stalinist or Maoist take over in this country. And it's sad that after 40 or 50 years of union education, we have legions of American youth who have no idea what's happening to them. Not a clue.

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Jim Quinn
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