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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Its Called Politics As Usual



By Rev. Lainie Dowell


In response to Rev. Harry R. Jackson's commentary (no relation to Rev. Jesse Jackson), CR Daily, July 14, 2008, "Jesse Jackson: Denied, Dethroned and Dishonored."

It is called politics and church politics is the cruelest cut of them all, because we don't expect it to come from there. I understand that preachers can talk about colleagues, but at least what we say about each other or anybody else ought to be true. I don't cite the black church and the white church, I cite the Christian church and we're all in this together (red, white, black, and yellow -- there are no purple and green people).

Rev. Harry Jackson, I believe, "Thou doth protest too much," with such descriptors you have attributed to Rev. Jesse Jackson such as, "opportunistic, jealous, petty, black policy advocate." And, I am absolutely certain that sometime during your days as a preacher you have heard much worse terms which have "been an amazement (to you)" than the word, "castrate," which Rev. Jesse did not even use. And, it is certainly true in this case that, as you have observed, "Politics make strange bedfellows."

The truth is that, if man can put anybody up (much less a preacher), then they think they can take them down (male or female). But any preacher called by God Almighty Himself will not be so lightly taken by any man, woman, or child, much less by a generation that has no idea about how our Father works -- nobody, not even Christians, including newcomers to the household of faith. And, whatever we may think about Rev. Jackson (Jesse), he has yet to denounce his faith.

As he is a preacher of God, it is important for Christians to understand that Rev. Jesse did in no way set himself up to be, as Rev. Harry Jackson said, the "official leader of the black civil rights movement." The same can be said about Rev. Al Sharpton, who has also been raked over the coals by the news media a time or two with one day up and the next day down in the eyes of Americans and the world. Yet, they have remained faithful to a fault, which is not theirs, but those who installed them by virtue of media power.

Let us not overlook the good they have done and have tried to do. I personally met Rev. Jesse years ago at an integrated neighborhood high school, when he appeared to encourage the young men to stay in school and, also, to be men who took full responsibility for their actions long before Sen. Barack Obama came along and used Rev. Jesse's original theme, as did also, famed comedian and author, Dr. Bill Cosby. But they became the media darlings.

I have not always agreed with either Rev. Jesse or Rev. Sharpton and I have said so, nationally (contact me for copies). It was Rev. Jesse and Mrs. Coretta Scott King who held a press conference to announce that black people would from thenceforth be called, "African Americans." And, as I watched them on my tv that day, that puzzled me at the time, because nobody called me to the meeting where that decision was made. Oh well!

Nevertheless, do not miss the point. Whether it is Rev. Jesse, Rev. Sharpton, President George W. Bush, or me (Rev. Lainie Dowell), if we "can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'"), then Hallelujah and glory and praise to God, because nobody is shutting down, folding their tents and walking away in the heat of this battle -- much less over a few untoward words from colleagues, no less, who ought to know that is true better than anybody else.

Where were you, Rev. Harry Jackson, in the scheme of things, when this battle was really raging? This here is nothing but a little skirmish. Opportunistic? Yes. But, regretably, we must ask, for whom?

Had it not been for the high visibility of the NAACP and the black leaders who understood the urgency of the times then, neither Rev. Harry Jackson nor Sen. Barack Obama, nor anybody else who remained hidden and out of sight for years during the thick of the civil rights battles would have a leg to stand on today in this relatively cooling off period in which we live and in which today's newcomers are trying their best to re-ignite to advocate burning instead of learning. Contact me, if anybody is confused about it.

There is no "new voice" in this land. In fact "There is nothing new under the sun." And, if you really must know, Rev. Harry Jackson, you and all the others who believe you are rushing in to bring in some new thing, are a day late and a dollar short. The reality is that we have been waiting for all of you to catch up! So, here you come along and there you go. But, in the meanwhile, you need to just catch up before coming in with condemnation and damnation on your hearts and in your mouths.

What's more, if every one of you "new voices" had awakened decades ago, then America would not be in this mess she is in today. Sen. Barack Obama, presumptive Democratic Nominee for the Office of President right now has left a paper trail that flows around the globe and back which is enough to have counted him out before he got started, except the news media has refused to investigate and to let this nation know how much he is not Presidential and that his race, black, has nothing to do with it.

For anybody who does not understand, Barack is a black man, and that does not negate the fact that he also had a beloved white mother and beloved white relatives. And, if they and Barack could accept that, then it really doesn't matter what the people say about it. That's just the way it is, has been, and will be. Move on (no pun intended).

Somebody tell all of the "new voices," for me to release their personal email addys and phone numbers. Can't nobody get ahold of any of them to update them -- always gonna be somebody asleep at the meetin'. No preacher should be in cognito who is about a mighty work to help make this a better world for everybody and not just a few.

Rev. Harry Jackson, who knows? After this election is over and, hopefully before then, you'll become a living example, also, that "Politics make strange bedfellows." Let bygones be gone and stop trying to resurrect the old days of politics as usual.

Let us all be about our Father's business and do it well together as Americans beyond race, creed, color, gender, or national origin (and who couldn't fit into those constitutionally protected categories?)

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