Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Pink Elephant In The Room: The Issue of Black Slavery and The Church

The Only Stupid Question Is The One Not Asked
In the last article “The Curious Case of African-Americans”, I made mention of what caused me to focus on the African-American (Black Community) again that namely being the popular TV show Scandal.  When I left the Black Community-that is I was not mentally engaged in the issues, there was no such thing as social media.  Upon my return, social media was factoring in a major way in American life.  Scandal propelled me to investigate what was occurring on the web regarding Black Americans, and to say the least it was disheartening to discover a certain amount of discord and negativity especially in relation to black male and female relationships. 
I already knew of the reported high percentage of out of wedlock births in the Black Community of 70 %,  the high percentage of abortions relative to our stagnant population of 12% and read once again in Ebony magazine about the lack of Black male fathers in the home  being even more prevalent in the future than in slavery to the tune of maybe 90%.  This was absolutely astounding to me.  How is it in freedom, that Black people collectively, and I don’t mean everyone, could be disintegrating at the level it is more than any other period in American history including slavery?  When you add in Black on Black crime that leads to the death of many Black men as well as innocent women and children and now the advocacy and uptick in homosexuality the picture becomes even more  bleak for Black America. 
I felt like Moses must have felt when he came from receiving the commandments from God and found that Israel had quickly lapsed into idolatry by making a golden calf to be their god.  It is understandable why he threw the tablets and broke them.  I myself wanted to throw some tablets at least figuratively and disappear again because Black Americans have always depressed me to some extent and it would be no less true today.  But the dysfunction of the Black community must be addressed because it is the pink elephant in the room in regards to the church and slavery.
 I believe the reason many Black Americans are haunted by the ghosts of slavery and following suit Jim Crow and other discrimination real or imagined and suffer from low self-esteem is because we do not have a divine reason for our predicament past or present.  We are at war with the majority in society and with ourselves.  The sword cuts us down from within and from without, yet there hangs before us the question we seem dare not to ask as we occupy the seats of various churches week end and week out.  What is wrong with us?
I had a pastor who would say from time to time, that Sunday morning was the most segregated hour in America and yet there we were as many Black folks were inexplicably in the institution that had the most segregated hour in America.  If this institution, the church, was as discriminatory as secular society why did and do Black Americans participate in it?  Furthermore, if we serve the sovereign God of the universe it seems like Black folk would ask the sovereign God why we were enslaved in the country with the most segregated hour on Sunday? I believe the lack of addressing this issue is the reason why the Black church has been more of a religious institution for the Black Community as opposed to a powerful one. 
It has been on the Black churches’ watch that the Black Community has steadily declined; nevertheless, the Black Church has served as an ark for Black people until the issue of  slavery could be addressed in the context of where we are in the age.  Although the Black Community has tried to solve its issues with reliance on government and politicians ever looking for that ephemeral leader who will usher them to the mountaintop, our problems are spiritual and thus cannot be found in the carnal minds of men, but in the mind of God.   There is a running theme throughout the bible of God’s concern for justice.  I referenced this theme in the articles Prophetic Judgment and Prophetic Restoration.
Thus, the question must be asked, If God is a God of justice would he consign a whole people group to bondage physically and mentally without cause?  It is easy for men to look on the surface and blame other men, fate and so forth for their condition when a deeper excavation is required.  It is a paradox how the church going segment of the Black Community can sit in church Sunday in and out but blame our problems on Republicans, Democrats, white racism, favored immigrants, and what  not when we proclaim that we serve a mighty and good God.  Which is He? A mighty and good God or one who has a controversy with us as our community continues to fall apart.  
The shared history of slavery and past and present hardship without knowing the reason for it will not be enough to hold Black Americans together in the future.  But if we are destined to fall apart and disappear at the behest of our enemies naturally and spiritually at least we should know why and it is my intent with future articles to address that question which I could never do justice to on a blog.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Curious Case of African-Americans

         I remember when I was a young girl and Alex Haley’s Roots came on television.  I was riveted for several days to the talking box as I watched the horrors of slavery reenacted before my eyes.  The numerous lashes upon the back of Kunta Kinte as the slave master determined to make him forget his name was forever seared in my mind.  Tears at certain dramatic points ran hotly down my cheeks and when the series was over, my view of the world was forever changed.  I realized as a product of those slaves that the world at least the U.S. was hostile to my kind.  I grew up to be further educated on the travails of being Black because we were still Black back then.  My grandfather who fought in World War II, would tell us how Black servicemen were treated disrespectfully by white Germans and did not receive a hero’s welcome when they returned home.  I read Black magazines that always detailed the negative statistics of every facet of life that Blacks faced from education to health problems.  It seemed to me that we had a plethora of issues, but scant solutions and as the years wore on we still always seemed to be a besieged people despite the advances in Civil Rights.

            As I pondered the curious case of African-Americans, I begin to want to know why Black people were brought to this country besides the obvious reason of enslavement.  In other words I wanted to know the “why” behind the “why.”  Time moved on and I never received a satisfactory answer to that question and eventually other things some political, but mostly spiritual captured my attention.  I was gone for a long time from Black issues and when I left we were in a cultural decline.  So what caused the spotlight to be shined upon African-Americans/Blacks again for me?  It is thanks to Shonda Rimes and a show she produces called Scandal.  I had heard about this new show with their first black leading lady in 40years Kerry Washington playing a Washington D.C. crisis manager. 

I missed the first season when it aired so I thought I would catch the second season and see what the noise was about.  Mind you, when I say I was absent from Black life that included television, so for me to watch the show was a deviation from my routine.  As I watched the show, I couldn’t help but notice an obvious anti-Christian bias, the same as is manifested in many shows along with a deliberate dismissal of the main character having a relationship with a good decent Black man in favor of sexual relations with two white men one married and the president of the United States and one single.  But that isn’t what grabbed my attention as much as when the show’s two gay white males were allowed to adopt a Black baby girl.  I could not understand why a Black woman producer and writer would put a Black baby girl to be adopted by two gay males in lieu of a stable mother and father which would have been in her best interest. 
I wondered why she did not use a white baby or an Asian one since they are adopted a lot in real life.  She had an opportunity to showcase a Black baby in a loving Black home as that would have been a positive promotion for the Black community.  To say the least my spiritual senses went off a lot with that show and further interaction with the internet community was the visitation once again to the question of “why” with the Black community as we were now even more so in a cultural decline.  The next series of articles will touch on the “why” behind the “why” and will cover some history in generalities.  I will not be documenting as I normally would as if I were doing a paper or book,  but will make general references to what I read or heard.  Some statements will be common sense, others opinion, and others not revealed by flesh and blood. One day when it is all said and done, Shonda Rimes will get major credit for helping to provide the answer to the culmination of the age.