Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preaching the Politics of Privilege

Preaching the Politics of Privilege
By Gary L. Flowers
Executive Director & CEO
Black Leadership Forum, Inc.
October 24-31, 2010

“…the detection of national White-majority interests can be achieved by understanding the sources of White racial alienation that led to the development of an intellectual rationale of polices of ‘failure.’…this rationale was used as a pretext for attacks upon policies oriented toward Black group interests and on the federal government which supported them…the federal government must be weakened…Whites who control that system have always utilized their power to create a subclass of Blacks who are especially attentive to their political needs.”

Dr. Ronald Walters
White Nationalism, Black Interests

Politics is widely defined as who gets what, when, and how much.

The mid-term elections for United States Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and Governorships scheduled for Tuesday, November 2, 2010—whichever American political party prevails—will determine the who gets what, when, and how much.

My interpretation of the connection between politics and religion is simple: Religion determines politics rather than politics determining religion.

Such an interpretation was tested last Sunday for me while visiting my parents and sister in Richmond, Virginia. While sitting with my family I surfed television channels and found the Sunday Broadcast of Grove Avenue Baptist Church. What caught my eye was the introduction of Bishop Earl Jackson as the morning speaker. Bishop Earl Jackson, who is African American trained lawyer who took classes in Divinity School, and founder of Exodus Faith Ministries, presented quite an interesting case for religion as a predicate for politics to which I distinctly disagreed. Having been raised in a Christian household I found his inferences un-Godly.

Bishop Jackson asserted that the “Founding Fathers” (Smith, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin et al.) were “ordained” by God to establish a Democratic Republic in America. If so, their God ordained ethnic annihilation, economic exploitation, rape, and the false notion of White supremacy. Captain John Smith was sent to America by the Virginia Company of London to make a profit on the land, albeit the presence of Native Americans. Nearly all of the delegates to the first Constitutional Convention legally enslaved Africans. Thomas Jefferson himself wrote of the racial inferiority of dark-skinned people. Moreover, the religion of racial superiority led the founders to use violence to achieve their greedy ends. I do not believe anyone’s interpretation of God condones rape, pillage, and plunder in the name of religion.

To further support his point, Bishop Jackson cited the Biblical Book of Ephesians, which calls for believers to put on the “full armor of God.” The last time I checked giving tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of Americans; voting against extending unemployment benefits; and repealing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not in accordance with Christian belief of “…do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before God”, found in the Book of Micah, Chapter 6, verse 8.

Bishop Jackson finally revealed his political hand more directly by encouraging Christians to go to the polls on Tuesday and vote for “Godly” candidates and implied that Tea Party candidates were worthy of elective office because of their religious beliefs. Yet, such Tea Party candidates have admitted experimenting with witchcraft, donned German Third Reich uniforms, and supported taking up arms to enforce their political views. Wow, what a God they serve!

I agreed with Bishop Jackson’s point that Americans, by way of the upcoming elections, are fighting a pitch battle for the soul of our nation. One side believes in suppression and one team believes in liberation. On the paradox of the “Founding Father’s” support of slavery, Bishop Jackson said, “If slavery is what it took to get me here, I am glad to be here.” Seriously?

The “Founding Fathers” and their Tea Party descendants have let their belief of politics of privilege, exploitation, and race superiority determine their religion. Both their politics and religion bend toward the false notion of White supremacy, from their portrayal of a blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus to their “Anglo-first” political views on immigration and other issues.

Tea Party and their White nationalists cohorts often exclaim, “God bless America.” I believe America must bless God by electing righteous candidates who believe in the policy of people over profits; inclusion over exclusion; and helping the “least of these” within our nation. Who gets what, when, and how much should not be predicated on privilege, but on the Godly principles of justice and equity.

Vote conscientiously. God is watching.

In linking leadership,

Gary L. Flowers
Executive Director & CEO
Black Leadership Forum, Inc

1 comment:

  1. Gary - Very interesting perspective....which I happen to agree with. The notion of using the veil of religion to hide one's prejudice is one contradiction that Tea Partier's, etc. have to deal with. The bottom line - Aside from walking around with a loaded gun and having a lawless society, Voting is the one instrument that perhaps can balance the scale.

    BTW - Heard you on Dr. Wilmer Leon's program 10/28 and your perspective needs to become a critical talking point for ALL politicians as we attempt to deal with making our society more democratic.