It would be really easy to simply dismiss Pat Robertson as a senile, old racist—a typical redneck “good ol’ boy” with a decrepit mind that hates gays and wants political leaders assassinated. Y’know, an albino Clayton Bigsby.
But that would be a mischaracterization—Pat’s not blind. He’s not albino either—he’s just really, really, really pale.
It would likewise be very convenient to simply blame Pat’s infirmed and failing thought process for saying that Haiti’s current turmoil and pain and suffering was because Haiti, collectively, “got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. The devil said, okay it’s a deal.” It would be very comforting to think that Pat wouldn’t honestly believe that this devastating earthquake that killed at least 50,000 people was a “blessing in disguise” if he were in his right mind.
But that would be inaccurate; Pat’s said stuff like this before. More importantly, however, is that this sort of disgusting religious thought–essentially, “the Hatians had it coming”–has existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Don’t get it twisted: lots of people believe what Pat said is dead right–he’s just the only one idiotic/courageous enough to say it on television. Granted, my personal interest is that this same racist and self-righteous viewpoint was used to justify horrific acts against Natives for hundreds of years. Still, I’d be remiss NOT to point out this same racist thought process that is responsible for slavery, stealing millions of acres of Native land, dismissing suffering by Haitians and many other people’s subjugation as well.
But I’ll get back to that later on; at that point we’ll discuss why Christians performing the Great Commission always seems to end in people of color being broke or enslaved or killed. In the meantime–since we’re talking about deals with the devil–I’d like to tell you a bit about Pat Robertson’s great barter.
In fact, something happened a long time ago in Lexington, Virginia and most people do not want to talk about it. See, around 1930 a United States Congressman named Absalom Willis and his wife Gladys had a baby; the baby was allegedly born with two odd horn-shaped protrusions on his head. The reportedly horned baby would later become the noted gay-basher/Haiti-hater Pat Robertson. In an ironic twist of fate, his parents gave the aspiring homophobe the slightly effeminate moniker “Marion.” Apparently that wasn’t “manly” enough for young Marion, so he decided to go by “Pat.” For purposes of this story, we’ll refer to him as Marion/Pat.
When young Marion/Pat was about 8 years old, as the story goes, he went out to the woods during the autumn with about 8 of his fellow Junior Woodchucks for a berry-picking/circle jerk session. When they were done with their messy group activity, young Marion/Pat got separated from the rest of the group as the rest of the group passed out immediately afterwards. Therefore, Marion/Pat wandered off. While walking, he thought that he heard a wild boar in the distance, and since there were only two directives in the Bible that Marion/Pat did NOT obey [those commandments are 1) do not eat pigs and 2) to love his neighbor as himself] he did his renowned “pig-call” with intentions of shooting the boar. Now evidently (according to some fellow Junior Woodchucks), young Marion/Pat’s pig call was the best in the whole state of Virginia, not counting the colored people. In fact, his pig call was so effective that people wondered if he might’ve
had inappropriate relations with a pig in exchange for the knowledge of how to so effectively seduce them been mentored by a generous pig at some point in his early childhood.
But those people who questioned the propriety of his pig call might’ve just been what we today call “haters.”
According to sources, when Marion/Pat walked jelly-legged over to track the boar, he smelled something burning in a little clearing in the woods. He walked a bit closer to the burning smell–a young pudgy kid, he thought someone might be bar-b-qing some racoon or possum or whatever it is that rednecks in Lexington, Virginia eat. Simply put, Marion/Pat did not want to miss a free meal. When he got over to the clearing, however, he saw a little guy that looked like the future Vice Prez Dick Cheney riverdancing and playing a flute. Marion/Pat walked closer.
“Hey kid. You want some candy?” the Dick Cheney look-a-like asked.
Young Marion/Pat checked out Dick Cheney look-a-like’s butt and noticed that he had a tail. He looked at his head and he had horns. Since Marion/Pat could relate to the “horns” thing, he trusted Dick Cheney-clone and said, “Sure. Do you have any fudge?”
Dick Cheney-dude made some fudge miraculously appear out of the air, “Voila!”
Even at this age, from all indications, Marion/Pat was not that smart. So he asked in between bites of fudge, “Are you a leprechaun? I heard about you guys–you Irish dips. If this fudge wasn’t so darn tasty, I wouldn’t even be talkin’ to ya.”
The Dick Cheney fella said to Marion/Pat, “No, I am not a leprechaun. I don’t like the Irish either. My name is Satan. But you can call me “Stan.”
Marion/Pat spit out the fudge that he was working on, “Pfffffffftttt!!! You ain’t Satan, Stan!! Satan’s RED!! Like an Injun!”
Dick Cheney/Satan looked back indignantly, “I am too! I’m only red during the summertime. Popular misconception.”
Marion/Pat obviously still did not believe Dick Cheney/Satan and dared him, “Ok, ok >chuckle<…if you're Satan, Stan, you're supposed to have some powers. If you're Satan, I'll make a deal with you. If you give me some power to rule weak people's minds, we can work something out. It has to be this though: you let me be a complete douche and talk horribly about any race of people and let me make predictions that NEVER come true, but people will still believe me; if you let me tell people that they can deflect hurricanes by prayer…if you let me do ALL that, and STILL keep my power over those senseless people, you can have my soul."
Dick Cheney/Satan said, "Look…I hate to tell you this Marion/Pat, but you don't have a soul. Don't you remember? You already traded it for some friends!! Remember?? Nobody liked you, and you said that you'd give "anything" for some friends…?? Well, I didn't show myself back then, but you DO have your Junior Woodchucks now, right?"
Marion/Pat's face lit up, as if he remembered exactly when Dick Cheney/Satan was talking about. He looked despondent. Then, he conjured up an idea. "Look," Marion/Pat said, "I'll teach you how to do a pig call as good as I do if you give me that power."
Apparently, Dick Cheney/Satan LOVES pulled pork.
To this day, from all accounts, Dick Cheney/Satan is STILL the best boar hunter in the world (the friend that he shot, apparently, is morbidly obese and closely resembles a pig), and Marion/Pat Robertson got his influence over the masses.
Now, back to Pat Robertson’s racist/senile thought process and Haiti:
Look, I admittedly know very little (and, indeed, cared very little) about Haiti pre-seven days ago. Heck, outside of my dude Carl Chery, my dude Big Pat from Harlem, Wyclef’s “The Carnival” and that little part of David Blaine’s show where he was working with the cards, I never bothered to even think about Haiti. Still, even I know not to kick someone when they’re down. Further, outside of Haiti specifically, I recognize what that Pat Robertson’s doing when he says that Haiti had to make a deal with the devil to defeat a white Navy. He’s doing the exact same thing that many white conservatives do when they cannot explain or understand or are not invited to some fly and beautiful people of color stuff. That’s why they develop these stupid theories of aliens helping Egyptians and Central American Natives make pyramids or of black Haitians needing deals with devils and voodoo to defeat a white Navy.
This stuff isn’t new.
And what happens is that, because Marion/Pat Robertson is corny and cannot understand that people of color are perfectly capable of amazing things without the assistance of white people, Marion/Pat Robertson and people like him demonize what they do not understand. It’s not just him, by the way–there are a lot of people, Christians and otherwise, who do that. But a WHOLE bunch of them are the “ol’ time” Christians who haven’t figured out that the world is not flat anymore.
I’ve met many.
As an example, when I was a teenager, I was involved in a shooting (as a victim). That is, I was with my friend when he got shot. Since my mom thought that I was a goner and was gonna get my cap pealed any day, she thought taking me out of public school was the safest idea. I went to this little tiny very conservative Christian school. I actually enjoyed it, but I remembered the day that I checked out of “ol’ time” religion mentally and spiritually–the pastor/principal and I had a discussion, and I said that I thought it was a good idea to separate the message and the messenger. He asked me why would I do that? I told him that the messengers of Christianity have been horrible and hypocritical toward Natives–killing, raping, and plundering. He told me, in response, that Natives should be thankful for any and everything that happened. He said, “before Christianity Induns were worshiping the devil and different spirits, and in my opinion, anything that happened was worth it because y’all got to hear the Gospel of Jesus. Induns were cursed, and the Gospel lifted that curse!” Like Marion/Pat, this redneck thought that the killing, raping and plundering was a “blessing in disguise.”
But his viewpoint is not original. My mom tells me of when she began to be interested in going to church, when I was a teenager. She tells me about how she quickly stopped being interested in those churches because she found the same ignorance and judgment in nearly all of them. “Pow-wows are evil.” “Native ceremonies are witchcraft.”
It seemed, to those rednecks like Pat Robertson, that all things Native are cursed. According to folks like him–rednecks and other folks who don’t want to understand anything other than ol’ time religion and Dog the Bounty Hunter–when devastating things happen to us, like this earthquake in Haiti, it’s a “blessing in disguise.”
So evidently, this earthquake is Haiti’s penance, just like the past 500 years of murder/thievery and hypocrisy have been Natives’ penance. Still one has to wonder: exactly how does one get out of a deal with the devil? I have no clue, and I’m a lawyer.
See, my naivete always led me to the conclusion that God loves Natives, Haitians and yes, even rednecks, equally. I’m Native and I don’t plan on changing my cursed and/or heathen ways anytime soon. Still, I guess that If the “deal with the devil” thing is true, Natives, the people of Haiti AND Marion/Pat Robertson are all truly cursed. But in the meantime and until he goes scuba diving in that lake of fire, Marion/Pat Robertson and ALL the many rednecks who think like him can kiss my cursed ass.