Thursday, January 21, 2021

No Sacred Cows; I Must Respond To Those Who Criticized My Words Against A Few Pastors.

September 2, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Politics, Religion, Weekly Columns

( I always knew that there were some “sacred cows” within Black America. Meaning issues or people that are never to be discussed or addressed publicly in an unfavorable light. I now have no doubt that local Pastors fit that definition perfectly. The fallout from my earlier posting convinces me that regardless of what they have done, they are never to be negatively addressed in public; even if they committed their offense in the public arena.

The response to my earlier post has been polarizing and horrific. Although the responses and communication that I have received have been evenly split among supporters and detractors, it has been revealing. What follows is a sprinkle of the comments that I have received on-line and off-line from friends and strangers.

  • “You must have lost your mind, talking about a Pastor in that way.”
  • “I’ve never read anything so disrespectful and mean. I was shocked that a black man would say such things.”
  • “I guess that you have been sent to cause dissension in Mansfield.”
  • “We don’t need that kind of talk. We are here to build each other up and not tear each other down.”
  • “I’m glad that your mother is not here to see what kind of man you have become.”

Not a single detractor disputed the offensive words and ideas spewed into the public arena by a few, certainly not all, black pastors.

From my perspective, these men of God disrespected the entire black community by offering the following commentary to a local reporter. I’ve chosen to not put the names next to the quotes because many of you are way too sensitive. However, what follows is a fair representation of their viewpoints on race and being black in America.

  • To state systemic racism is causing disparate health outcomes is not being honest.
  • I do not want any part of this resolution if it leads to defunding the police. I adamantly oppose that.
  • The root cause of racism is sin not skin.
  • Just because a negative outcome exists does not mean it is correlated to race. The resolution cites statistics and leaps to conclusions about adverse social and health outcomes. The only leap I am willing to take is a leap of faith in God’s Word. This issue is spiritual and deals with the heart, period.

Although I now realize that there is a sizable population of Black Mansfield who will automatically give a pass to local men of God despite their refusal to represent the interests of those who fill their collection plates on a weekly basis. This foolish decision guarantees that the pain and suffering of local blacks will be needlessly extended. However, God is good all the time and for every critic that contacted me, a host of others countered their negativity and urged me to continue speaking the truth.

Truthfully, I remained uncertain as to if I would engage those whose words were intended to silence me as their rebuttal rested on irrational emotion not a single fact. Not a single person even attempted to question the validity of the quotes. The deciding factor in this response flows from several great Pastors and local leaders (Washington, Johnson, Jordan, and Heckard) who I witnessed representing Black Mansfield regardless of the risks to their safety, popularity, or reputation. Of all the things that I learned from these men, Luke 12:48 —  To Whom Much Is Given, Much is Required stands out. As a person who has been raised within a true community that paved the path for me to not only secure five degrees from THE Ohio State University but also lecture on four different continents, I have certainly been given much. As a believer in Christ, I am compelled to fulfill the above scripture.

It is the memory of the aforementioned men of God, the love of Black Mansfield, and a desperate desire to see the pain and misery of my home community ended that drives every word that I am writing. So, if this communication causes me to be considered an outcast or some sort of a pariah within my beloved community, I care not. My concern regarding the immediate ending of the suffering of black women, children, babies, men, as well as poor and working-class people regardless of race trumps such petty concerns. Trust me when I say that it is this purpose that prods me to dole out support and criticism as needed; I have no sacred cows. Even if they speak from a pulpit on Sunday.

Columnist; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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