Category Archives: Current Events

Was the Civil Rights Movement for Me?

I know this sounds like a strange question, but I have to ask because I wasn’t there, I’m not Black, and I don’t know if it applies to me or people like me.

I ask because I’ve heard White people (love y’all, I really do) ask too. And here’s the thing, was the American Revolution for me? Was the Second World War for me? Was the Protestant Reformation for me? I know it sounds funny, because well, first of all, it sounds sooooo egocentric. It’s like asking my parents, so when you two got married, it was for me?

Not really, would be the answer. Right? My parents didn’t get married for me. They might have wanted children in the abstract sense, but I’m sure they got a whole lot more than they bargained for when they got me (and yes, that is dripping with sarcasm (and guilt! – love you, Mom!) Interesting. I’ve never used nested parentheses in any other form of writing. I wonder if I’ll have to like do like weird grammatical tricks for this sentence to make sense, remember FOIL method?)

In any case, if it’s true in the microcosm of my parents, then it must be true that while some of the intention was that I would have a ‘better’ life because of those things that were fought for–those events, wars, and movements were for principles and ideals greater than any one person, including me. But at the same time, there is probably more to the movement than it bargained for. And again, as anecdotal evidence, I would like to offer that at times I feel absent or displaced from the effects of the movement. Who is the “we” in “We shall overcome”? Am I a part of that “we”?

When we talk about the United States of America, is that a “we”? Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m part of that country. I was always reminded growing up that I wasn’t American. When I learn about the Korean War, who am I in that discussion? What shall I say?

I think some of the racial tensions in the country today are around these gaps in “we.” It’s really about “me.” Even if “you” and “me” would be able to relate to one another, I’m not sure how we get to “we” any more.

Korean and African American communities in Dallas, Texas look like they’re on the war path. Some recent headlines: “Black-Korean Tensions Flare in Dallas”; “African Americans in Dallas Target Korean Businesses”;  But here’s an interesting excerpt from this article: “Dallas mayor tries to calm South Dallas dispute between blacks, Korean-Americans”:

Ted Kim, vice president of the Korean Society of Dallas, stressed that Korean-Americans weren’t so unlike African-Americans. “We have a very similar narrative,” he said. Kim told stories of foreigners occupying Korea, taking over its culture and cities, and forcing Koreans to learn another language. Like black slaves in America, Koreans have also seen the worst in humankind, he said. “We don’t know how similar we are,” Kim said. “If we were able to start sharing our stories with one another, we would find there is so much we can build on and find respect.”

In a passionate speech, Muhammad directly addressed the South Dallas incident and said the protests weren’t based on hate. He also spoke about black history and the ongoing struggles in black communities.“As a Korean people, you will never understand what we desire as black people as long as you don’t understand what happened to us,” he said. “We have been systemically destroyed.”

Muhammad criticized the way media stories have portrayed the South Dallas protests. He said people have incorrectly asked why the protesters dislike Asian-American businesses. “The better question is whether the Asian community targeted the black community to exploit it,” he said. “It is clear our community is under siege.”

Muhammad said American history shows that Italians, Indians, Arabs and other ethnicities have moved businesses into black communities to steal opportunities from them.“I believe everyone has benefited to the downfall of black people,” he said. “You are now just the next person in a line of people who have come to the black community and taken advantage of people who have been destroyed in this country.”

Kyrie eleison~ Lord, have mercy. Your cross was for me and for all of us. Make us a “we”.

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The Elephant in the Room

Thank you Pastor Bryan Loritts of Fellowship Memphis for calling a spade a spade.   In this video clip he comments on the ridiculous blogosphere response of some African American ministers who protested the appearance of TD Jakes in The Elephant Room.  Granted that Rev. Jakes has some controversial theological views (one of which he reaffirmed his reversal while making his appearance), but the amount of vitriol thrown Jakes way by some was ridiculous and quite frankly bordered on sin.  Newsflash to the haters – we all have some theological heresy in our belief system because theology (the study of God) is a human endeavor.   I applaud both James MacDonald to not bowing to the pressure and Bryan for calling people out who needed to be called out.


On Probation

If you haven’t heard Lowe’s along with some others has decided to remove its sponsorship of TLC’s All American Muslim. One of their justifications is they felt by sponsoring a program showing the daily lives of Muslims in Cosby Show mode was too controversial.  Huh?

To arrive at such a conclusion one has to of course have already formed an opinion about what being a Muslim is.  If showing them being smart and rather pedestrian is “controversial,” I hate to think what the decision makers at Lowe’s starting point of viewing them are to begin with.

Apparently the group spearheading the efforts to get companies to pull out is the Florida Family Association.  They have been a one man band in sounding the alarm about the show.  Essentially their position is a good American Muslim is an oxymoron.

Wow is all I have to say to that.   Not really sure who made them the American police.  However I can’t say that I’m surprised.  Immigrants have often operated under the cloud of probationary citizenship.   Different racial groups are “in” and “out” based on public mood.

After 9-11 one of my friends from India said her world changed overnight. She has stopped wearing clothing from her homeland in public spaces because of the insults she receives, and people look at her much differently now than when she first immigrated into this country in the 1980s.

She told me one story of how her husband was pumping gas at a local gas station and a guy yelled at him to “go back home.”  He said he was headed home, that’s why he was getting gas.  The yeller mumbled something and drove off.  Her husband wasn’t even aware that he was being racially harassed and being told to leave the country until it was pointed out to him by his wife!

Regardless of ethnic background or religious belief, we as Christians have an obligation to not make people probationary based on public sentiment.   We should follow the example of Paul in Acts 17:16-34.   He kept at the forefront the importance of being able to dialogue with all segments of society.

We must realize as Christians we must display attitudes that allow us to reach a wide spectrum of people.  No one is ever probationary.  I encourage you to watch the show, as it might give you some insight into the Muslim mindset.  You never know when the Spirit might call on you to witness to one.


Devils Serving Up Angel Food

This story makes me furious.

I don’t even know where to begin. Have they no fear– this “Pastor Joe” and “Pastor Linda”? They are an absolute disgrace to Christians everywhere just because they share the same label.

Did they ever have good intentions? A simple idea: “Buy food in bulk and sell it at a discount to families through a network of churches.” They sold almost 600,000 boxes a food per month in 45 states and obtained millions in grants and loans. But it seems all the while they were spending hundreds of thousands on themselves, siphoning off millions from the nonprofit food ministry, fabricating invoices, giving themselves kickbacks, buying planes and using nonprofit money as down payments on real estate. And now their greed has ruined the good.

“It was a great service to the community,” said Alisha Griffin, host site director at Evangelistic New Life Apostolic Church in Forest Park. “We had a lot of disabled and elderly people, and now that service is not available to them anymore.”

But get this, they feel like that they will be vindicated in the end.

Are you kidding me? Didn’t they already enjoy their reward? What do they mean, “in the end?” Have they no sense of eschatology? Do they not fear God?

How can the church respond? What happens to those families and those hundreds of thousands of meals?

Lord, have mercy. On the families and communities who hunger without Angel Food ministries. Have mercy on the Wingos, even now you can save them. And have mercy on me for my self-righteousness. May you provide justice so that we might all be reconciled one day. We pray, soon.