Friday, July 17, 2009

Preaching to the choir

I listened to Barack Obama's speech at the NAACP, and I'll be honest, it wasn't one of those come to Jesus moments for me. Unlike the people in attendance the Holy Ghost didn't run through me, nor did I start speaking in tongues. I suppose it's due in part to the fact that I felt like he broke no new ground with his speech; seriously, how many times have we heard the whole dreaded "PR" words - personal responsibility - dished out at us. Of course this "self-accountability" theme or line he delivered is being played out by the media for obvious reasons. Yeah, I know it's the NAACP so it's probably to be expected, but tell me something I don't know. I mean, tell me about how the green jobs are going to create employment in the Black community. Tell me about how those "shovel ready" projects are coming along and it's impact on the crisis of minority unemployment. Tell me if us minorities will ever have to worry about predatory lending ever again.

I don't know, but is it too audacious to think that a person like myself filled with hope and longing for change to ask this of our president? Can we hear some talk about how implemented policy will directly, and specifically impact the Black community? How much longer will we as Black people be the choir that is lectured? When will we be just members of the church who tithe every week and question the progress on the building fund? Look, personal responsibility, and the importance of education is one thing - an important thing. However, haven't we stressed these ideals a time or two? The thing that bothers me, is that if this were George W. Bush giving the very same speech - obviously with less eloquence and passion - a part of me thinks that us Black folks would be offended. Yes, we would and I dare you to tell me I'm wrong; I'll let you marinate on that as I move on.

Speaking of hope, change and social justice:

A good friend of mine, Tracie Powell, who is a weekly contributor to CQpolitics wrote a piece recently that I found interesting and thought provoking. Her piece centers around president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Eric P. Lee. He has come under fire for expressing an opposing view which supports the LGBT movement and their fight for equality and marriage. As a result of his stance or support the organization wants him fired. Her piece is titled: Gay Marriage: What Would King Do?, and after reading it one can only wonder - as I did - what, how or where would Martin Luther King Jr. stand on this issue today were he alive. I'd really like you to take the time to click the aforementioned link to her post and give it a read.

It is my hope that you would be brave enough to leave your honest opinion on her post as you would here. Personally I would hope that if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, he would lend his support to the LGBT movement. After all, he he did champion for equality economically and socially, did he not? However, even in knowing that as well all do. A part of me wants to think that he too would have back pedaled and become hypocritical and lend no support to this cause. Him being a Black preacher, I think he would have folded under the pressure of the Black church, and organizations like the SCLC, and I think that would have been tragic. Tragic because for most of us, it's probably hard to see Martin Luther King Jr. as a hypocrite. Even more tragic, is that there are some of us who believe that organizations like the SCLC and the NAACP are no longer relevant. Well, if they aren't where would Barack Obama go to preach to the choir?


What did you think of Barack Obama's speech in front of the NAACP gathering?

Do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would be supportive of the LGBT w/ gay marriage?

Do you think as an organization, that the NAACP or the SCLC are still relevent today?


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