This is another example of the failure of Black Religious Leadership to properly guide and represent Black people, and their interest, instead of looking out for themselves. Maybe they need to spend time reading and understanding these two verses in their Bibles, Jere 23:1-2, Matt 7:15. I think the religious need to always forgive people that don’t ask for forgiveness, or show repentance, is sick and misguided.
Read the article below and leave your comments.
WASHINGTON — A group of black pastors Monday criticized African-American opponents of attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions for demonizing the Alabama Republican, instead characterizing him as someone who shows “respect and care for people of all races.”
The ministers are holdout Sessions supporters in a much larger crowd of opponents among Southern black clergy and African-American and civil rights groups, including the North Carolina Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Alabama NAACP and the activist group PICO, which uses congregations and churches to help in community organizing.
“There is an attempt by some to demonize people and call them racist when there is actually no proof for it,” Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Let me say clearly, Sen. Sessions is not a racist.”
Jackson, the pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., said Sessions “worked to bankrupt the KKK in Alabama with a $7 million judgment,” and helped to desegregate the state’s public school system.
But clergy who are leaders of the African-American organizing group PICO, sent a different message Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee that will consider whether to recommend confirmation of Sessions by the full Senate. The committee will hear from Sessions on Tuesday.
Desmond Meade, president of the civil rights group Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, said Sessions has not shown a strong commitment to racial equality or social justice.
“When you talk about the position of attorney general of the United States, that is an extremely powerful position, and I think it is prudent to scrutinize any individual being considered,” Meade said. “I don’t think that is a form of racism, and I’m weary of anyone that doesn’t have a sustained history of campaigning for civil rights. [Sessions] has not demonstrated a strong commitment to the restoration of civil rights.”
In 1986, Sessions was denied a federal judgeship after allegations of racism in his decisions as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. At least one former colleague testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions supported the Ku Klux Klan until he realized its members used marijuana. “One of the most important factors [in confirming a nominee] in my opinion, is to have an open and honest process,” says Dr. William Merritt, North Carolina Southern Christian Leadership Conference state field director. “That gives any individual the right to present themselves in the manner that qualifies them for their job.”
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By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
In 2014 Oregon State University received the African American Railroad Porter Oral History Collection. The audio recordings made between 1983 and 1992 tell the stories of Black railroad porters in Oregon in the early and mid-twentieth century.
The collection includes 29 reel-to-reel tapes of interviews conducted by filmmaker Michael Grice that were used as background for his documentary Black Families and the Railroad in Oregon and the Northwest.
Now the university has received a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust to digitize the collection and create a website to feature the digitized recordings and their transcripts.Post Views: 432
By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
DENMARK VESEY 1767 – July 2, 1822
The date of Denmark Vesey’s birth remains uncertain (it was probably around 1767), as does his past before 1781. He was either born in Africa or as a slave on St. Thomas, an island in the West Indies. The island became a center for the slave trade and for the growing of sugar and cotton. Over 4,000 black people and under 400 whites lived there in the late 1700s.
In 1781, when he was about fourteen, Denmark was bought by a slaver called Captain Joseph Vesey, who was struck by his good looks and intelligence. Denmark, as he was called, was one of 390 slaves whom Captain Vesey brought from St. Thomas to Haiti, then a French colony called Saint-Domingue. There the boy was sold and put to work in a sugar plantation.
Cutting and pulping sugar cane is hard and exhausting work even for a grown man, but Denmark did not remain at it for long. One day, he surprised his fellow slaves and annoyed his new master by falling to the ground in an epileptic fit. A slave who suffered from epilepsy was of little use on a plantation, so Denmark’s master returned him to Captain Vesey when the captain next called at Saint-Domingue. The boy was unsound goods, he said.
Since Denmark was not suited to heavy labor, the captain made him his personal servant, and during the next two years Denmark saw many of the horrors of the slave trade as he sailed with the captain on his voyages between Africa and the West Indies. When in 1783 the captain decided to give up his slaving voyages and settle in Charleston, South Carolina, Denmark went with him. He remained the captain’s slave for the next seventeen years.
As a personal slave, Denmark Vesey lived a comparatively comfortable life — far better than slaves working on plantations — and he had a certain amount of freedom to come and go as he pleased. Nevertheless, he was still a slave, subject to the whims of his master, and his first thought when he won $1,500 in a lottery in 1800 was to buy his freedom. He paid his master $600, and with the rest of his winnings he set up a carpentry shop.
Vesey proved to be a highly skilled carpenter, and his business did so well that he grew quite wealthy. In 1816, he and other free blacks established a separate black Methodist church in Charleston. By 1820, the church had about 3,000 members. Vesey was a minister of the church and, with his growing family of children and his comfortable house on Bull Street, he was viewed as a respectable member of the community. And so he was. But he had other things on his mind, too.
Since living in Saint-Domingue in his youth, Vesey had followed the events there with interest, and he was thrilled when he heard about the great uprising of slaves in 1791. He was even more thrilled when the slaveowners fled and the black people of the former colony took control. In 1804, Saint-Domingue became the independent nation of Haiti.
Here was a success story to fire the imagination. If the slaves of Saint-Domingue could triumph over their masters, why not the slaves of South Carolina? Why not those throughout the South? Vesey was aware that previous attempts at rebellion had been put down mercilessly, but the events in Haiti gave him new hope. As he thundered from the pulpit each Sunday, he began to sow the seeds of rebellion. He urged his congregation to break free from slavery, and he quoted verses from the Bible to give them encouragement. He spoke to workers in the plantations and on street corners, reading aloud from antislavery pamphlets written by whites. He even argued with whites who supported slavery — an activity that always drew an admiring and awestruck black audience
Four years after it was opened, the black Methodist Church in Charleston was closed down by the whites. Vesey and many others responded with anger and an intensified desire to fight slavery. As Vesey traveled from place to place spreading his message, the black people of the Charleston area began to look upon him as a savior, and he had no difficulty gathering recruits when he started to organize his war of liberation. By 1822, he had a carefully arranged plan of battle and had chosen four dependable lieutenants: Ned and Rolla Bennett, who were slaves of the governor: Peter Poyas, a ship’s carpenter; and Gullah Jack, who was widely believed to be bulletproof. Vesey had also gathered a supply of weapons, which he obtained from supporters in Haiti.
Vesey chose Sunday, July 14, as the day of the uprising, because the plantation hands could come to town on a Sunday without arousing suspicion. By the end of May, he and his four lieutenants had recruited a secret army of slaves and free blacks that was said to have numbered about nine thousand. They planned to strike at midnight, when they would seize the guardhouse and other key points, and block all the bridges. Meanwhile, a group of horsemen would gallop through the town killing whites to prevent them giving the alarm. Every detail was carefully worked out, and Vesey felt they stood a good chance of taking over Charleston.
Knowing how loyal household slaves could be to their masters, Vesey had ordered that none should be included in the plot. But the planned attack involved so many people that some house slaves did hear about it. One of them told his master. The authorities immediately were on the alert. Vesey responded by pushing the date of the rising forward to mid-June, but no sooner had he informed his followers than this date was betrayed too. Suddenly, Charleston was bristling with soldiers, with patrols roaming the streets and guards at every bridge.
When Vesey realized that nothing could be done, he burned all lists of names and sent his followers home, but too many people knew who the leaders were. During the next few weeks, hundreds were rounded up, including Vesey, who was captured after a two-day search.
During lengthy trials after the insurrection had been thwarted, the intricate plans of a massive uprising emerged in the testimony. Vesey and the other leaders, according to the testimony, had instructed their forces to kill all white people instantly, as had been done in Saint-Domingue. One fact stunned the white citizens of South Carolina and did not surprise the blacks at all: every black person, slave or not, who was approached about the uprising gave it their blessing and cooperation, even though it generally meant killing the families they had been working for. The number of people included in the plan was said to number anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 by witnesses. The court, however, proclaimed that all who had been involved had been brought to trial, limiting the conspiracy to a couple hundred people and significantly changing the nature of what actually happened for public record.
When questioned about why he, as a free man, would take such risks for a slave uprising, Vesey answered both that it was because of the general outrage to blacks imposed by slavery, and also that he hoped to free his own children from the bonds of slavery.
Denmark Vesey was condemned to death. Although some of his followers were released, forty-three were deported and thirty-five were hanged. Five slaves were hanged along with Vesey in Charleston early in the morning on July 2. Federal troops were called out that day because of a large demonstration by black supporters. Despite beatings and arrests, the black crowds openly mourned for the leaders of the conspiracy.
The immediate effect of Vesey’s insurrection was that life became far worse for the black population of South Carolina. In a panic, the state assembly passed strict new laws limiting the movements of slaves and preventing free blacks from entering the ports.
The hysteria and fear fomented amongst the minority white population fanned the flames of the fear of future slave insurrection. In response to the Vesey conspiracy, the South Carolina Association was formed to provide more effective control of the black population. The African Church building was ordered destroyed by city authorities.
Sandy Vesey, one of Denmark’s sons, was transported, probably to Cuba. Vesey’s last wife Susan later emigrated to Liberia. Another son, Robert Vesey, survived to rebuild Charleston’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865.Post Views: 522
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
By Zack Linly
As reports of police overreach and brutality in the black community become more and more commonplace in mainstream news, many black people are feeling a strange combination of frustration and relief — relief because the shootings of unarmed citizens have become part of a national discussion, but frustration because, time and time again, we hear the same dismissive and deflective responses from white America:
“There must be more to the story.”
“If you people would just do what you’re told.”
“Cops have a hard job.”
“White people get shot too.”
“He was just another thug. Good riddance!”
“Why do you people make everything about race?”
“What about black on black crime?”
“All lives matter.”
I’ve grown too disillusioned to be relieved and too numb to be frustrated. I’m just tired.
I’m tired from sacrificing millions of once healthy brain cells reading through the comment sections of race-based web articles — thread after thread, chock-full of black folks trying to navigate oblivious whiteness. At some point, we really need to ask ourselves: Why even bother?
Why are we losing solid hours out of our day, wearing our fingertips numb on keyboards and touch screens in an attempt to explain to some dense dude-bro why “All lives matter” is a messed up and functionally redundant response to “Black lives matter”?
We’ve spelled it out for white America a hundred different ways that their beloved police forces are full of officers who are simply more volatile, fearful and prone to harassment and abuse of power when dealing with us — and it’s costing us our lives. We’ve laid out all the statistics and all of our millions of personal testimonies. We’ve made it clear that even though the subject of police brutality, as a sensationalized national discussion covered by mainstream media, is a relatively new phenomenon, it is an issue as old as our involuntary occupation of this country. With all of this information readily available and reiterated constantly, it’s beyond ridiculous that the simple words “black lives matter” require any added explanation at all. And yet, here we are coming up with a dozen analogies trying to, even further, simplify it.
“Hey man, you wouldn’t go to a cancer rally shouting ‘All diseases matter,’ would ya?”
“Hey Scottie, ‘Save the rain forest’ doesn’t mean ‘Kill all the other forests.’ ”
“Hey Kip, when a house is burning, you don’t turn the fire hose on some non-burning house because #AllHousesMatter.”
Can we please stop?
We need to stop acting like white people don’t take the same reading comprehension portions of standardized tests all through middle and high school that we do. They know how analogies work. They got it the first time — they just didn’t care.
If they really considered the affirmation of one life mattering to be a denial of the same for all others, then they would consider “Blue Lives Matter” to be just as offensive as “Black Lives Matter.” But they don’t.
Not only are they unoffended by #BlueLivesMatter, but they consider any concession or policy change aimed at countering black vulnerability to be unearned special treatment — while they actively advocate giving police officers protected class status, oblivious to the fact that they already have it.
Only, I’m not sure they’re legitimately oblivious. They know damn well there isn’t a state, city or county in this country where the penalties for crimes committed against cops aren’t a hell of a lot steeper than they are for civilians. They know they don’t need a protest, riot or hash tag to ensure that thorough investigations will be done to bring cop killers to justice. They’re not worried about dead cops being put on trial for their own murders. They’re not worried about a not guilty verdict for the murderers of police officers or even a reluctance to bring charges. No one’s looking into a dead cop’s record, fishing for reasons to justify his or her demise. They know that cops have the delusional admiration of the vast majority of (white) America in their corner.
So how could anyone possibly believe that we, as a society and as a system, don’t already do everything in our collective powers to ensure that value be placed on police lives?
Could it be that white people actually aren’t as concerned with supporting the police as they are in maintaining a counter-narrative to black complaints about racist police misconduct? Could it be that their counter-narratives to race issues in general are largely disingenuous and, often, just plain spiteful?
Could it be, and I’m just spit-balling here, but could it be that white folks are … completely full of it?
This is why I submit that black people should simply disengage with white America in discussions about race altogether. Let them have their little Klan-esque chats in the Yahoo and USA Today comment sections. We need to stop arguing with them because, in the end, they aren’t invested like we are. They aren’t paying attention to these stories out of fear for their lives and the lives of their children and spouses; they are only tuned in out of black and brown contempt. This is trivial to them, a contest to see who can be the most smug, condescending and dismissive. When black people debate these issues, we do so passionately — not always articulately, and often without a whole lot of depth to our arguments — but we always come from a place of genuine frustration, outrage and fear. When most white people debate the very same issues from an opposing stance, they do so from a place of perpetual obtuseness and indifference. Their arguments always seem to boil down to “If it isn’t my experience, it couldn’t possibly be yours.” Even “well meaning” white folks tend to center themselves in the discussion
(#NotAllWhitePeople #IDontSeeColor). Yes, there are plenty of white people who aren’t racist, who think shouting “Blue Lives Matter” is wrong, who truly do wish things would change. But the fact is, they figuratively and literally have no skin in the game.
I understand that white people are mad. They’ve gone their whole lives being the default for social and cultural normalcy and never really had to think critically about race at all. Now a black first lady addresses the nation, and she talks about slavery. Now social media identifies and challenges their micro-aggressions. They’re getting the tint snatched off of their rose-colored glasses; that “Shining City on the Hill” they know as America is starting to lose some of its gloss. And they ain’t here for that — but we are.
When Beyoncé released the video for “Formation,” featuring a black kid in a hoodie, a “hands up, don’t shoot” banner and a sinking police car — then performed the song while paying homage to the Black Panther Party smack in the face of white America during the Super Bowl halftime show — she provided us with a bottomless open bar of white tears. But instead of getting good and drunk like we should’ve, too many of us were arguing with white folks about why nothing she did was racist, “reverse racist” or anti-cop. We should’ve just taken the win and left the field.
During the Republican National Convention, Melania Trump plagiarized a chunk of a Michelle Obama speech. And a lot of you were out here arguing with Trump supporters and other assorted delusional white folks who had the audacity to claim there was never any plagiarism at all. What you should’ve been doing was joining me, Jesse Williams and our beloved Black Twitter in intentionally misattributing black quotes to Mrs. Trump because it was fun.
I had a field day:
“Until you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna crumble” – Melania Trump
“When he f— me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cuz I slay” – Melania Trump
If Colin Kaepernik’s decision to stand against social injustice by sitting during the National Anthem has shown us anything else, it’s that much of white America is more bothered by our methods of protest than they ever will be about the injustices we’re protesting. Let’s dispel the notion that if we only protested better, white people will miraculously become more receptive of our message and less scornful of our audacity in speaking out.
The fact is, we can fight systemic racism without white validation. We can continue shutting down bridges and highways every time there’s a new Alton Sterling, Philando Castile or Korryn Gaines in the news and let white folks complain about the intrusion on their lives. We can continue moving our black dollars into black banks and keeping our money in our businesses and communities. We don’t need them to “get it” for us to keep fighting.
And likewise, white people who truly want to be allies can find their path to ally-ship without black validation and without us having to take time out of our days to educate them. They can find their own curriculum and figure out for themselves how they can do their part in fighting the good fight. And they can do it without the promise of black praise. And, I’m not about to keep checking to see if they’re doing that much. Because it’s not my job – and it’s not yours, either.
Black people, it is long past time for us to start practicing self-care. And if that means completely disengaging with white America altogether, then so be it.Post Views: 392