Skip navigation

Context: I saw an article in the St. Louis Dispatch Newspaper on Sunday, May 4 by Leonard Pitts.  In the wake of 3 New York City police officers being acquitted after firing 50 rounds of bullets at Sean Bell and his two friends, he writes how can he have faith in an unfair system?  Below is my response.
Mr. Pitts,
I enjoyed your article, “Can anyone tell me why I should trust this unfair system?” which appeared in the St. Post Dispatch Newspaper, Sunday, May 4.
Several weeks ago in response to the words preached by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I said (or wrote) this, “until white America is upset over such things (racism, unfair judicial system, etc.), it will be business as usual.”  I also alluded to a book by Drs. Michael Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Faith.  Here’s the scoop of their research: they found that our faith traditions actually perpetuate the racial divide.  They also discovered this: they found that white Christians said, “build friendships with blacks to eradicate racism, etc.”  The black Christians said, “build friendships but also reform institutions that have historically oppressed us.”  I find this very telling; whites have benefited from the same institutions that have historically been unfair to blacks; so this result is not surprising to me.
On a similar note, I remember talking to a friend who is on staff at Xavier University in Louisiana about raising our sons.  I told my friend, that I refuse to let my son wear his pants on his butt.  My friend told me that he refuses to let his son were those sleeveless tank top looking T-shirts.  Why?  We both agreed that blacks are suspects; it’s a given.  It does not matter that my friend and I are educators with several degrees between us; the harsh reality is that to the world, I am a black man first.  I am still looking forward to the day when I will be judged by the content of my character rather than my skin color.  Arthur Ashe was right when he said in his book, Days of Grace, “our black skin is like a curse.”
Thanks for putting it out there!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: