Should Your Tax Dollars Pay for a Speaker Who Said Obeying the Police is ‘A Violation of God’?


In February, the U.S. Census Bureau paid civil rights figure and “comedian” Dick Gregory $1,400 to be the keynote speaker at its Black History Month event. An official announcement promised that during his February 11 speech, Gregory would “share a wealth of history as a Civil Rights Activist” (sic). Instead, Gregory used the opportunity to say that teaching young men to obey police officers was a sin.

“I’ve got three sons, and I would never tell them, ‘When you see this white racist cop coming down the street, behave yourself,'” he said. “Why are you gonna teach a black boy to behave to murderers, to filth? That’s a violation of God.”

That’s funny (probably the only time I’ll ever use that word about a Dick Gregory routine) because I thought the Bible said, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities,” and that “whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Furthermore, it warns that this duly recognized authorized “does not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13:1-4).

Jesus referred to this when He said “not to resist an evil person,” but “whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:39-41). Government officials in the Persian and Roman empires could force citizens to act as couriers or to carry items — like the passerby forced to carry Jesus’ Cross. His audience would have gotten the reference at once.

To be sure, all human authority has limits. (See Acts 5:29 and Daniel 6:7-12 for two examples.) But the fact that the cop has an attitude isn’t one of them.

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Gregory went on to take a jab at Christian ministers and the Father of our Country, implying both were gay. He said that he grew up assuming that his reverend and choir director were gay, then implied that George Washington was homosexual. (“You ever seen George Washington with them tight silk satin pants, them semi-high heeled shoes, powder makeup, wigs on?”)

Our tax dollars underwrite sin all the time, but it is startling to see how much, how often, and how many divergent forms our national endorsement of rebellion takes.

Of course, the twin pillars of any Dick Gregory speech are anger and conspiracy theories. The Census should have counted on them. And unlike the post office when it’s a little damp outside, he delivered.


He made his usual litany of assassination conspiracy theories, then spun a few new yarns.

The Daily Caller reports that Gregory “suggested that the FBI had meddled with evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown” and sabotaged the career of Tiger Woods. Gregory also “expressed his belief that Bill Cosby is being framed by the government on rape allegations; he also suggested the government had masterminded the 1997 murder of Cosby’s son in order to sabotage Cosby’s effort to purchase NBC.”

At one point, he claimed the government had a role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Doesn’t this sound like a wealth of “civil rights” experience and a laugh riot?

The publication summarized Gregory’s other conspiracy-laced claims:

  • That the real killer of Malcolm X was covered up by the government.
  • That Alex Haley never wrote the book Roots.
  • That Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was assassinated by a gunman rather than being killed in a 1996 plane crash, and that he had the photos to prove it.
  • That whites sabotage black politicians by spiking their drinks with chemicals so they “couldn’t say no” to women and get caught in affairs.
  • That King Kong is an elaborate allegory for boxer Jack Johnson and his romantic relationships with white women…
  • That “millions” of escaped black slaves settled on Indian reservations (in fact, several tribes practiced slavery until the Civil War’s end).
  • That black men do not use prostitutes, only white men.

He also promised reverse discrimination, saying that no white person would serve in his Cabinet if he were president. (I’m not too worried about that prospect.)

The speech was another example of the tone established by Barack Obama, that America is a terrible nation with a “tragic history” — even if you have to make that history up — and thus needs to be fundamentally transformed.

The Census Bureau later apologized for the embittered and embarrassing speech. “We understand [Gregory’s] comments offended some members of the audience,” Census said in a statement. “Gregory’s statement and opinions were his own and do not reflect the Census Bureau’s commitment to an inclusive workplace environment free from discrimination and harassment.”

Calling Scriptural codes of behavior a sin, despising his own country, and inventing new and bizarre reasons to convince others to hate America as much as he does — that’s your tax dollars at work. Which is more than could be said of the Census workers that day.

A transcript is available here, courtesy of Judicial Watch. You can watch the full speech below: