Michael Pfleger Removed From Diversity Day Speaking Event

Father Michael Pfleger attends a ceremony honoring the late comedian Bernie Mac with a street sign, Feb. 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images.)

Father Michael Pfleger has been removed as a speaker at a so-called “diversity day” event sponsored by the feds, Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports.

“A spokesperson for the Broadcasting Board of Governors told Fox News that Pfleger’s office has been notified that his invitation to address the group has been rescinded,” Starnes writes.

The decision to nix Fr. Pfleger isn’t entirely surprising given that he has a history of controversy, including defending noted anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and President Obama’s former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

“This is an event that is meant to celebrate inclusiveness and diversity,” spokesperson Lynne Weil told Fox News. “It was deemed by our senior management that it was not appropriate to have him as a speaker.”

Pfleger, as mentioned in the above, is notable for his past defense of Rev. Wright.

“He’s a good man, he is a loyal American, and he’s a prophet of the Gospel,” Pfleger said of Wright. “And I’m not allowing people to call him a racist, anti-American or bigot. Him nor Louis Farrakhan because neither of them are.”

He’s also infamous for making racial remarks in 2008 while commenting on former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s New Hampshire primary loss to President Obama.

Here’s a video of him making a spectacle of himself during an address at Wright’s Trinity Church:

“When Hillary was crying, and people said that was put on – I really don’t believe it was put on,” Pfleger said, referring the New Hampshire primary. “I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white. And this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.’”

“And then, out of nowhere came ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama.’ And she said, ‘Oh, damn. Where did you come from? I’m white. I’m entitled. There’s a black man stealing my show,” he added.

So “black man stealing my show” and defending Farrakhan – who thought it was a good idea to invite Pfleger to a “diversity day” event?

Starnes provides the details:

Weil said the BBG’s Office of Civil Rights was responsible for inviting Pfleger to speak – first reported by The Weekly Standard.

“They didn’t check on the appropriateness of the speaker for this particular program with anybody else in the agency,” she said. “The agency learned about it several days ago.

Weil said concerns had been raised by their own employees as well as others.

“Just a check of his background shows there’s a history of divisiveness in some of his public remarks,” she said.

The Catholic League, for its part, couldn’t care less about the BBG rescinding Pfleger’s invitation.

“What lamebrain would invite a man like him who’s done more to divide the races than bring them together,” Bill Donohue, the group’s president, told Fox News. “Maybe they thought it was Divisive Day.”

“They made a bone-headed decision in the first place to invite him,” he added. “He has done more to separate the races rather than bring them together.”

The Catholic League has long regarded Pfleger as a “renegade priest.”

“His record is rather checkered and in some cases totally marred by racially inflammatory rhetoric and the fact he has never found it within himself to condemn the racism of the Reverend Jeremiah ‘Goddamn America’ Wright I think is indicative that this man has some problems,” he added.

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