Yeah, caught my eye too. The article in the Washington Post by Jonathan Capehart was, “I met a black Mormon birther Ron Paul delegate”.
I was watching the Colbert Report and saw the poll result below:
The Republican National Convention delegate who is the subject of this article was not, however, the “margin of error” in the poll above, but a Ron Paul delegate. In 2008 John McCain received only 4% of the black vote. The sea of white faces at the Republican Convention was underscored by a truly shocking incident, reported by the Washington Post, and others:
On Tuesday, convention organizers ejected two attendees after they reportedly threw peanuts at a black CNN camerawoman and told her, “This is how we feed animals.” Organizers called the conduct “inexcusable and unacceptable.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the Post:
The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.
Being a black Mormon carries its own bit of strangeness. From 1849 to 19783, blacks were excluded from the Mormon priesthood (all worthy Mormon males become members of the priesthood) because the Book of Mormon said that the black color was a mark of a curse from God. (The red color of American Indians was also a punishment according to early Mormons.) The early Mormon leader Brigham Young expressed his views in this graphic language:
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind …. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the ‘servant of servants’; and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.4
Later inerrant divine revelation corrected prior policy (see also: Polygamy), allowing full participation by blacks in the Mormon church. Nowadays, the Latter-day Saints are growing fastest outside its traditional white Anglo-Saxon origins.
So back to Allen Johnson, Republican delegate from Texas. Johnson thinks the Republicans are getting more and more liberal1 and if that weren’t enough, that Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate is a fake.
“Mommy, tell me more about the birther.”
“…Obama was raised a communist. His parents were communists. His grandparents were communists. What do you expect from him?2” I challenged him on that last assertion, which garnered this reply. “Yes, they were CIA.”
Then, without my asking, Johnson volunteered, “Was he born in Kenya? He said he was born in Kenya.” And the long-form birth certificate that President Obama released last year? What did Johnson make of that? “It does not appear to be real. No. I could go on and on. That’s radical enough,” he said with a chuckle as our mind-blowing conversation ended.
Read Mr. Capehart’s article for a much more nuanced and contextual version of the story. Also, check out the Comedy Central link for Colbert’s revealing interview with former presidential candidate and fellow-Mormon Jon Huntsman.
Also, check out this MSNBC interview including Capehart. Apparently Capehart was unable to find any black delegate at the RNC supporting Romney.
1Based on deficit spending.
2Johnson said he voted for Obama in 2008.
3It is interesting to note that the First Presidency of the Latter-day Saints who confirmed the revelation of priesthood for all worthy males to President Kimball in 1978 included one Marion George Romney, born in Mexico, as was Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney.
4This quotation comes from the Journal of Discourses, an early Mormon publication of 26 volumes of the writings and sermons of early Mormon leaders, in which can be found the stranger bits of Mormonism. When dealing with Mormonism it is important to distinguish between “doctrine,” and “speculation.” Mormon apologists will say, and perhaps reasonably so, that the JD is not doctrine.