First things first: If you are easily offended; if you are blindly following the word of man without question; if you seek approval of someone over God’s leadership; if you are afraid to rock the boat; if you are afraid to stand on your truth because you may lose what you have—then Do. Not. Read. This is not for you. This personal essay is not for your ears nor your eyes. If, however, you have a heart open to listen and for change, and to discuss things respectfully and have a modicum of self-respect, then by all means, continue to read.
My soul is vexed. My spirit is disturbed. I will try my best to put into words what is in my heart; to verbalize succinctly the disturbance that is churning away in my heart and the thoughts circling in my mind.
On August 1, 2018, number Forty-Five had a meeting with several inner city Pastors. What should have been a time to speak up and lay it on the line; to pick up their cross and carry it, appeared to be—to me—a bow-down-kiss-the-ring-to-save-myself moment. It included lots of praise, adulation, and selling out of minority communities for a seat at the table with the enemy.
Grant it, these “leaders” were told that they could not ask any questions. Okay. That is all fine and well. However, are you going to tell me that you could not make a statement? There were plenty of statements made to praise number forty-five. For what? I’ll let you read the transcript for yourself. There was the tearing down of your own to lift up another who has done NOTHING to help any of those sitting around the table’s congregants or their communities. Yet, you sell your soul for what? What was the price that you were offered to make it look like forty-five was the best thing to ever happen to the black community in all of American history. (Read it for yourself!)
It boggled my mind how each of these “leaders” sat around a table for thirty-one minutes! Yes! 31 minutes and said NOTHING about the plight of our communities, addressed or suggested any way in which things could be changed and mandated to help make a difference in the lives of the people that he—number 45—is hoping to receive votes from. Not one person risked it all; laid it all on the line; took a chance on breaking the rules for the good of the people. Not one was willing to be arrested or to at least say what our minority communities are concerned with. Such as, unlawful imprisonment, recidivism, police brutality, racial profiling, Flint, Michigan, Puerto Rico, the displacement of families at the border (and if you think this is not a Black problem, then you clearly have not read the news, seen the pictures, or understand that this is a global issue affecting all races and ethnicity). They could have mentioned voter suppression, disrespect of Maxine Waters, lack of employment, means to create new jobs within the communities, college and entrepreneurial incentives and scholarships, educational reform, and a plethora of other concerns. Instead, they sat there praising a man for doing absolutely nothing to aid but instead to tear down, destroy, and incite the racial powder keg that has some Caucasian-Americans thinking that 911 is their customer service to object to, harass, bully, and threaten people of color because they can.
These were not leaders at the table. These were not representatives of the community. These were silent betrayers who drank the Koo-Aid, smiled, praised, and cajoled a person who believes he is untouchable and above the law. What? Did you think you were so important because you got called to the table? Did you think you were so special because you were invited to sit around a table and sing the praises of someone who has no positive affect on the communities that you supposedly serve, and say you represent God?
No! I call foul! I call flag on the field! You, like Judas, accepted 30 pieces of silver for a photo-op; to make certain that when things get worse, that maybe, just maybe number 45 will not see you as a threat but as an ally that sat at a table. You praised him, and accepted the pat on the head as good little slaves and house Negroes that no longer have to toil in the hot sun, but can pick up the scraps from the master’s table.
Perhaps you were chosen because he knew you would do what was expected of you. That, you were not the kind of leaders, or community representatives that would step out on the limb and risk it all for your communities, but will only stick your neck out and risk enough for yourself and your immediate family; everyone else be damned!
Maybe he saw in you a reflection of himself. Perhaps he saw a like mind, a similar spirit, and an opportunist that was willing to sell out the people and what is for the good of the whole for the good and advancement of self. Either way, you cannot deny anything (Got the Transcripts!) You had an opportunity to come back with a good report. To go to the enemy’s camp and come back victorious. You may not have won the entire game, but you could have made a strategic impact and move that would have put accountability and responsibility on the table. Instead, for whatever reasons, you sold out! You sold out your calling. You sold out your community. You sold your soul to dance with the devil and to the music of the Pied Piper who convinced you not to open your mouths. You made him your god in that moment.
What is even worse, you want to backpedal when faced with your communities, congregations, and contemporaries. You want to give excuses. Yet, there is none when you are a sellout. When you have sold your soul for thirty pieces of silver, and betray those who have placed trust in you, your leadership, and to do the right thing by standing up, speaking up, and making the voice of your people heard within those 31 minutes. Thirty-one minutes! SMH!