I Samuel 17:40, 49-50a
1Sa 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.
I do believe I may use that as a sermon title, so if I see it anywhere else, please make sure you quote me!
But, I believe that this is quite the case of race relations here in the dark and early morning of 2008. We’ve yet to see what the year will bring; it’s still dark outside. But in the stillness of the night, the hope and anticipation of the year hangs heavy like the early morning fog of a summer morning; palpable and tangible eagerness is in the air. This year so far stands to be a banner year for politics already–if Sen. Obama wins the nomination, we may yet have another Red Summer, one of race relations coming to a head in this era of post-modern Civil Rights.
The reason I entitled this post as such was because a friend, who emails me on occasion, usually with the fluffy “Pray this prayer…” at the top, and “If you love Jesus and all his friends, send this to 10 people…” and these emails usually suffer the swift death of my DELETE button. But this time I decided to look. Now this friend is an original New Orleanian, who now resides elsewhere in the country and is doing quite fine with her new life, but she sent me a Youtube clip of 30-year-old white men, who clearly were enjoying the Bowl Championship festivities in New Orleans–beer in hand. From the prodding of a white liberal woman, behind the camera, we hear the real sentiments of whites, not just in New Orleans, but in the country no doubt, about how they really feel about certain segments of the black community. So, for anyone to say that we don’t have a problem with race in this country, they are truly living under a rock.
Hell, I live under a rock sometimes. Because my interaction with white people is so limited, not because of my dislike or hatred for them, but rather I chose to attend three HBCUs, Dillard, Fisk and now ITC, I sometimes can be out of touch with, shall we say, other points of view. For instance, I went with a friend up to Wisconsin for New Year’s Eve, me and her were the only black people in a group of seven. Well, I knew that even before I agreed to go on the trip up to a summer house and club hop to celebrate. However, one of the guys in the group had went to Tulane. My friend mentioned that I had went to school in New Orleans as well pre-Katrina. Naturally he asked “Where’d you go?” and I responded, “Dillard University” proudly remembering my days on the Avenue of the Oaks and joyfully singing the alma mater “Fair Dillard” at various chapel services. To which his response was “Oh, where’s that?”
I actually ignored him.
Now this was in a car packed with five people, and I do believe I ignored him. Even, if I quickly said “Gentilly” and moved on with my other conversations, I forced myself to not deal with his own ignorance. How could one attend Tulane University for three years, 2002-2005 and NOT hear mention of Dillard University? Even the mayor had spoken at Dillard on numerous occasions, and I consciously remember seeing news trucks at school for various events–was he really that isolated from the reality of 67% of the people who lived in New Orleans pre-Katrina?
So in the wake of the rude awakening of this Tulane graduate, and after viewing this Youtube clip with these drun-ken white boooooys, which is at the bottom of my post, I realised that I’ve come too far not to throw my rock! Moreover, we as a black people have come too far to not throw our collective rocks at the establishment. By establisment, that means those that act as if we are non-peoples and non-entities. If the same aged person as I, 23, was so oblivious to what was going on in Gentilly, while he was Uptown on his Tulane campus, then we really have a problem. If these ya-hoooooooo boys in this Youtube clip felt comfortable enough, drunk or not, to say “nigger” so freely into a camera in this day and age of Youtube and the like; and felt comfortable enough to speak of things of which they DO NOT know or understand (that being the culture of growing up in public housing and being the victim of institutionalized racism in an antebellum and post-bellum country and city that had been marred by race relations) then we in fact have a serious problem.
Well, what I say to the Barack Obama’s of the WORLD, don’t be deterred from throwing your rock! Just like David, we’ve come through a selection process where we were the most unlikely candidate for the job of king; David had to deal with Saul’s craziness and even then tried to defeat the enemy, by using the enemy’s armor and defenses. But thanks be to God, that there was a brook, or rather a stream of water running nearby with which David was able to pick his five smooth stones.
But it seems to me that Barack, is merely the relief pitcher in a long tiring game. The game has been tied up and its merely the 6th inning, we at least have three more to go. As the starter pitchers of the game, Martin Luther King, Jeremiah Wright, Asa Hilliard, Shirley Chisolm, Dorothy Height, Harrold Washington, Gardner C. Taylor, Wyatt Tee Walker et. al., walk off of the field to a standing ovation from the crowd, there’s always a Barack Obama or an Otis Moss III who’s been in the bullpen warming up as the relief pitcher.
Barack is merely walking up to the mound getting ready to throw his rock at the opposing team–I really could take this all the way to church and somehow find a hoop in all of this, but I wont–and for those who read this, I encourage to find the same resolve to say that “I too, have come too far, not to throw my rock!”
Keep it uppity, JLL