MSNBC's Michael Eric Dyson: 'I Ain't Saying That Obama Is Jesus, But...'

MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson is no stranger to effusive, over-the-top lobbying for Barack Obama. But on Saturday, he went so far that even fellow liberal host Melissa Harris Perry couldn't believe it. Dyson called on the President to speak out more about the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, comparing, "I'm a Christian preacher and God finally said, 'look, I can't send nobody else. I got to go myself.'" 

Dyson continued, "And I ain't saying that Obama is Jesus, but for many of his followers he is." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This comment was too much for Perry. She started laughing and marveled, "I think we've got to go, Reverend Dyson, because you just made the sentence, "'I'm not saying Obama is Jesus' and I don't want to get written up for that." 

On July 9, Dyson lashed out at Sarah Palin, insisting that she committed "treason" by calling for the President's impeachment.

Regarding Attorney General Eric Holder, the MSNBC contributor/guest host enthused, "Now Eric Holder is great. Let me tell you what: Eric Holder, one of the five most powerful black figures ever." 

[H/T to The Right Scoop.]

A transcript of the August 23 segment is below: 


11:19

MELISSA HARRIS PERRY: Let me ask you is Eric Holder going, you know, as a member of the Obama administration, himself invoking the Obama administration? Is it sufficient? And I'm also wondering – because, so, I'm trying to think like a Secret Service person here. Maybe they're thinking, okay, "We don't send the President in this moment because physically the chaos that it would cause."  But I wonder, because one of the things you pointed out in the piece that, I think, a lovely contrast, is the ways in which the President was present after the Zimmerman verdict. 

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Right.

PERRY: He represented a set of personal experiences discursively even though he didn't go and stand in Florida. He didn't go to Sanford but he felt as though he were standing with people. Is it about physically being there or is it about a discursive presence and then Eric Holder being his, his, his feet on the ground?

DYSON: Yeah, but, as usual, you're so brilliant. Had we had one, the other might not have looked so bad. Had we had a discursive, intellectual, ontological, that is, bone deep feeling, that the president is with us, had he stood up – look at what happened after the grisly, brutal, terroristic execution of Mr. Foley. President Obama was calm but you could tell he was upset. "And this is wrong and this can't happen." Now, we're looking at black men in the streets of our American city being executed. That is not right. We want to see that same kind of brio. We want to feel that same kind of passion. Calm, but still upset with the fact that this is occurring. Now, Eric Holder is great. Let me tell you what: Eric Holder, one of, what, five most powerful black figures ever. Obama, Holder, Clyburn, William Gray. These figures have been extraordinarily important in politics with. But, but, but, you know I'm a Christian preacher and God finally said, "look, I can't send nobody else. I got to go myself." And I ain't saying that Obama is Jesus, but for many of his followers he is [Perry starts laughing]. But I'm saying show up, dog, and show us you are seriously committed to the interests of your people because your presence says something even louder than your words. 

PERRY: I think we've got to go, Reverend Dyson, because you just made the sentence, "I'm not saying Obama is Jesus" and I don't want to get written up for that. Thank you to Michael Eric Dyson in Miami, Florida this morning. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org