Texas pastors under fire for referring to Kamala Harris as racist trope

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‘What if something happens to [Biden], and Jezebel has to take over?’ wondered one from the pulpit. ‘Jezebel Harris? Isn’t that her name?’

Two white pastors in Texas are under fire for reportedly calling Vice President Kamala Harris a “jezebel” from their pulpits.

Pastor Steve Swofford of First Baptist Church of Rockwall, Texas referred to President Joe Biden as a “cognitively dysfunctional president.” He asked his congregation, “What if something happens to him, and Jezebel has to take over? Jezebel Harris? Isn’t that her name?”

Vice President Kamala Harris is shown Thursday during photo ops with senators Patrick Leahy and Alex Padilla in the Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
Vice President Kamala Harris is shown Thursday during photo ops with senators Patrick Leahy and Alex Padilla in the Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

Swofford made his remarks on Sunday, Jan. 3.

Two weeks later, Pastor Tom Buck, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, made his first reference to the vice president on Twitter, where, according to Baptist News, he wrote: “I can’t imagine any truly God-fearing Israelite who would’ve wanted their daughters to view Jezebel as an inspirational role model because she was a woman in power.”

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The tweet was posted two days after the inauguration.

Days later, Buck doubled down, writing: “For those torn up over my tweet, I stand by it 100%. My problem is her godless character. She not only is the most radical pro-abortion VP ever, but also most radical LGBT advocate. She performed one of the first Lesbian ‘marriages.’ Pray for her, but don’t praise her!”

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Biblically, Jezebel was a princess and a prophet. She tried to save her own life and tempted a member of the royal guard. In popular culture, her name is used to refer to a “loose woman.” Further, since the age of American slavery, Jezebel came to be understood as an overly sexual Black woman, a stereotype depicted in film and fiction. Most recently, the image of the “Black Jezebel” was popularized in 1970s Blaxploitation films.

According to Baptist News, Dwight McKissic, a Black Southern Baptist minister, condemned Buck’s remarks.

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“I find his comment regarding Madam Vice President Kamala Harris extremely un-Christ like, unjustifiable & inconsistent with how he’s treated other female public figures,” tweeted McKissic of Buck, who he said was a friend.

“To refer to the Madam Vice President in any context as ‘Jezebel’ is simply unwarranted & disrespectful & extremely harmful to the image of Southern Baptists when this label emanates from the heart & mouth of an SBC pastor,” McKissic contended. “Consequently, I choose not to engage in any further fellowship with Tom Buck.”

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