Sunday, September 20, 2015
Pope Francis: "Party On, You Indolent Carefree Negroes!"
"God’s holy and faithful [black] people of [America] is a people with a taste for parties, for friendship, for beautiful things. It is a people which marches with songs of praise. It is a people which has its wounds, like every other people, yet knows how to stand up with open arms, to keep walking in hope, because it has a vocation of grandeur. Today I ask you to care for this vocation of yours, to care for these gifts which God has given you, [and party on, you indolent carefree Negroes!]." — Pope Francis, in his homily at the mass officiated at Revolution Square, Havana, on September 20, 2015
Of course, Pope Francis was not addressing African-Americans, but Afro-Cubans and all other Cubans. But imagine, just imagine, what the reaction would have been if the Argentine pope had spoken the same words before an audience of Obama's countrymen?
Another Argentinian, Ernesto "Ché" Guevara, said very much the same thing about blacks that Pope Francis has just said about Cubans (black and white):
"The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. And the two ancient races have now begun a hard life together, fraught with bickering and squabbles. Discrimination and poverty unite them in the daily fight for survival but their different ways of approaching life separate them completely: The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations." — Ernesto "Ché" Guevara, in The Motorcycle Diaries
Are all Argentinians innately racist? Well, that is the reputation that they have throughout Latin America, whether they actually deserve it or no (and we suspect that their own predominantly European background and orientation may account for some of the hostility directed at them).
Nevertheless, leftists who have had to confront and explain this "Ché" quotation attribute it to Argentine attitudes about race which Guevara was exposed to and internalized in his youth. They claim that he overcame his racism by helping to establish a police state in a more racially variegated country. We are rather inclined to think that it was in Cuba that his racism found its fullest expression.
This pope must have a face and heart of stone to suggest that Cubans have "a vocation for grandeur," which is a job description of the office which he occupies. The vocation of Cubans is another, one which this pontiff does not understand much less honor. We mean, of course, that theirs is a vocation for suffering, which in the Church is known as heroic virtue and is valued above all others.