Allowing the microphone to long-winded sister Agatha during testimony on Sunday morning church service, and having to gently prod it from her hands is always a risky endeavor.
In the interest of time and common sense, the pastor has to make the decision to cut sister Agatha’s microphone or physically take it from her trembling hands.
But who takes the microphone from the hands of the Pastor in the interest of time, or more importantly in the interest of common sense?
Who makes the decision to say “take his microphone“, when the Pastor clearly drunk from having the limelight decides to make a spectacle and a fool of himself?
We are told that the Late Queen of soul Aretha Franklin asked the Reverend Jasper Williams a Georgia Pastor to eulogize her. Reverend Williams took the opportunity to delve into some critical areas of black life without laying out context or adding both sides of the arguments which would have insulated him from the backlash he is receiving. By doing so he left out exculpatory facts which go to the defense of the African-American community which is constantly being maligned.
This does not mean that Reverend Williams’ comments should be ignored, nevertheless speaking without the important principle of balance does give rise to the possibility of being tuned out or a negative backlash which drowns out the intended message.
Pastor Williams spoke to a few issues to which I will attempt to add some perspective.
(1) Quote: There was a time when we as a race had a thriving economy.
There never was a time when African-Americans as a race had a thriving economy, there have been pockets of economic progress in small places like Rosewood Florida, Tulsa Oklahoma and a few other places where Black entrepreneurial spirit had produced some measure of economic success and pride, but that was never allowed to be built out or translated across the broader spectrum of black America.
(2) Quote:” We got what we fought for, we got what we marched for, but with the birth of integration there also came the loss of not only the loss of the black community’s economy we also lost our souls. Where is your soul black man?
As I look in your house there are no fathers.”
Pastor Williams’ broad sweeping generalized statements makes the assumptions that there was a thriving black economy across America which is not supported by any historical data. As I pointed out earlier there were pockets of black economic activity much of which was destroyed by white mob violence and through the implementation of other more subversive measures. However, this was in no way true of the wider African-American population.
The idea that there are no black fathers in black homes sound like a right-wing talking point rather than the statements of a cautious learned man of God.
(3) Quote: Seventy percent of our households are led by our precious, proud, fine black women, but as proud, beautiful and fine as our black women are, one thing black women cannot do,……. a black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man.
Pastor, there are several reasons why households are becoming far different from what obtained decades ago, not the least of which is the definition of what constitutes a family nowadays.
As the roles of women change in society and women are more and more represented in the workforce, so too has the perception of what constitutes a family changed over time.
The concept of single-parent households is not a phenomenon solely in the black community, it transcends all ethnic groups, single-parent households led by women are on the rise.
Is there a disproportionate representation of single mother run households in the black community? The answer is a resounding yes.
We cannot speak to the 70% of black women who are having children out of wedlock or the high incidents of women-run households in the black community without addressing the ravaging effects of the prison industrial complex, mass criminalization and incarceration of young black males, or the other societal roadblocks affecting the black community across America.
More importantly, when we speak about black women in the negative we must endeavor to acknowledge that In America despite the challenges, Black women in the 2009-2010 academic year, received a higher percentage of degrees within their race/ethnic group than did women in any other major group. So, for example, of all the MA degrees awarded to Black students, Black women got 71% of them. In comparison, White women only got 62% of all White MA degrees. (source. https://familyinequality.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/no-black-women-are-not-the-most-educated-group-in-the-us/)
I am not too far away from Pastor Williams on this issue of “cannot raise black men“, but I do not agree when he says “cannot.”
I say should not. This is a subject on which I opine regularly, there are myriad issues in this question which requires some clarification.
On the one hand, we must first come to a consensus on whether the question of what constitutes “Man” remains the traditional interpretation. Is he still the dragon-slayer, protector, provider, strong disciplinarian, a fence around the family? Or have that characterization migrated to the more docile feminist male who is more deferential to his woman, and is in many cases reduced to the caricature of a useless idiot with an ATM card?
There is no question that when two good and decent people come together and raise their children the right way those children have a better shot at life. Study after study has alluded to that, personally, I did not need a study to validate what God had already created and sanctified.
As such, it follows therefore that when the father is missing from the home the task of the mother becomes exponentially more difficult because she cannot teach what she has never known. She was not a father.
This is true in the reverse, a mother is the better parent to teach her daughter how to be a woman, regardless of how great a dad may be.
I need to reiterate that in every case one good parent is far better than two bad ones, so to the skeptics who are quick to gravitate to “well what about two bad parents or one bad parent of a two-parent household”? To you, I say in every situation, I am talking about situations in which people act as God intended us to.
There is also the question of a mother’s love and tenderness, (which I cannot speak to, (I was not raised by my mother). It is true that far too many women are unable to figure out that showering kids with goodies and allowing them to do as they please is not love, but is better viewed as an abdication of responsibility, a form of child neglect.
I raised my boys to understand that sometimes no is the right answer(RIP) [Kodi Beckles], you understood that concept very well.
I raised my children to understand that when I told them “no,” it was out of love, not out of a desire to be mean or punitive.
I demonstrated to them that I have never seen a sign anywhere which says please do as you please.
Saying “no,” where appropriate, is exactly the right thing to do, something many black women are yet to learn or understand.
Society is littered with rules, no parking, no speeding, no entry, no standing, no backing up, no overtaking, no loitering, no vending, no this, no that. Saying no to your children where it is needed is preparing them for society.
Failing to prepare them for society is doing them a grave disservice, the consequences of which we see play out in far too many circumstances where had they followed simple instructions the result would have been different.
No, ma’am, he is not your baby, he is grown.
No, my man, your mother’s house is not yours and it certainly isn’t a crib. Grow up!
Quote: “If you chose to ask me today, do black lives matter?
Let me answer like this no, black lives do not matter, black lives will not matter black lives ought not to matter, black lives should not matter, black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves“.
Lets first acknowledge that we do not know whether the great Queen of Soul, our dearly beloved sister Aretha Franklyn had seen this sermon and okayed it before her passing.
Let us also acknowledge that she may have know exactly the kind of sermon that the Reverend Jasper Williams would preach and that may have informed her decision to choose him to deliver her eulogy.
The late Great Senator John McCain had enough time and conviction to speak to us in death, his choices of former Presidents, Obama and Bush spoke volumes.
Two men of opposing parties, two men who defeated him in his quest for the Presidency to eulogize him sent a powerful message of bi-partisanship.
John McCain decried what he called the lack of regular order. Regular order means doing things the right way, observing the rules of the game with due care and deference. Choosing Bush and Obama to speak at his funeral service embodies that ideal.
In as much as the loss of every life is regrettable, and in as much as the incidents of black and black crime is evident, particularly in inner-city communities, it is short-sighted to ignore the socio-economic conditions which create these maladies.
Each ethnic group in America experiences same race violence than violence perpetrated on them by other races.
This is not an excuse for violent behavior but again to simply pull out black on black violence and trumpet it while ignoring the causes is self-serving.
Saying Black live matter and dealing with black on black crime are not mutually exclusive issues. Generally when blacks kill they are arrested and made to pay the price. That is what the Police is there for.
When the police kill black people without just cause and people protest those killings, they are justified in arguing that black lives do matter. Anyone who finds that offensive is part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Again, Pastor Jasper Williams seems to have either borrowed his talking points from FOX, or he has simply co-opted them without doing the necessary research before incorporating them into his sermon.
There are right and wrong ways to go about speaking to our community. Do not talk down to our people because you get a megaphone. Let us remember the way Bill Cosby talked down to the community, he was not the first, he certainly will not be the last.
In the case of the goodly Pastor Jasper Williams, whose job was it to take his microphone? Make your words soft and sweet Pastor Williams, you may have to eat them. You knew you were on the biggest stage of your life and you chose to say what you did. You made a conscious decision to be divisive and disparaging at a time when healing and coming together was required and for that, you were a total failure, sir. It was not about you but you made it so!
Fame and power do not change a man, they simply illuminate who he really is, said a really wise man.