By Scotty Reid
I have personally been annoyed by Black people taking the misguided words of the Charleston, South Carolina terrorist victim’s families, whose words of forgiveness have been played over and over by white people’s press. I knew that other Black people were going to use that to attack Black Christians and try to portray them all as having similar beliefs or scriptural interpretation. I listened and read with building anger as members of the Black family were attacked with blanket statements about Christianity making Black people passive and the root of the problems that black people face in the USA. As a student of abolitionist history and black resistance to white terrorism, as a former participant in organized Christianity, I knew these were slanderous attacks against all Black people who classify as Christians.
When I was called by an associate who wanted to further discuss with me his position on Christianity after doing a radio program with many callers bashing Black people because they are Christians, I told him over and over I do not want to discuss it with you because you are only going to make me even more angry and cause division between us. My pleas went unheard as this person kept trying to convince me that Christianity was the problem using a few examples of a few people who have publicly forgiven the killers of their family members. He wanted to tell me about what this or that black historian had to say that supported his position but I am myself an avid reader of history and do not need to listen to anyone else to refute my own research. I do not care how many PHDs a Black person obtains with the blessing of white people who run the so-called education system or how many book credits they have, that does not make me dismiss what I have studied for myself.
I asked this person who was being highly critical of Black Christians to explain to me how is it possible that the Black church which has been at the center of enslaved African rebellions passive. I asked how were well known Black abolitionists and leaders of enslaved African rebellions that were Christians were passive. I asked how is it that Black people classifying themselves as Christians organized for the self defense of the community during Jim Crow in the USA if they were passive. I asked how is it that Black preachers all over the South were often armed with their own personal weapons for protection if they were passive.
The reply I got was confusing to say the least. I was told that Christianity was the problem and not Black Christians. Wait, what?
When I asked what religion was being preached by the Black church in Monroe, North Carolina that held raffles to raise money for Robert F. Williams and the North Carolina Black guard to buy rifles, I was told that Robert F. Williams was not a pastor. Wait, what?
When I started talking about what I had observed in the Black churches in North Carolina when I was a participant in organized religion for over thirty years and that I had never ccame into contact with teachers teaching forgiveness for white racist terrorists nor did I see a single portrait of white Jesus in these churches, then I was insulted about needing to leave my little North Carolina town as if I am some country hick who has never been outside of this small town. End of a conversation that should have never occurred because it amounted to petty squabbling which is very uncodified to say the least.
I do not claim to know what every black church in North Carolina teaches or what every Black Christian practices but I do know what I have observed and heard from those I have come into contact with over that 30 year period I participated in organized religion. Just as I can not credibly claim to know their minds, neither can anyone else make credible claims about what over 33 million Black Christians practice when it comes to forgiveness and self defense.
The white terrorist Dylan Roof did a lot of damage to the black community outside of the nine people he killed because he and white people’s media have Black people squabbling over what Black Christians believe instead of working on a unified response with Black people who believe in armed self defense against white terrorism irregardless of their religion or spiritual beliefs.
NAACP leader Rev. Curtis Gatewood exemplifies what I have personally seen and heard from Black Christians during my life in a state that was once known for having the most KKK members in the USA. He reminds me of my uncles and grandfather who were all Christians but had used guns to protect their homes, lives and property against white terrorist.
Are some pastors and teaches misleading their congregations, of course they are, they are the same ones getting rich off the prosperity gospel. I would also suspect them of being part of the US government’s pacification program called the Clergy Response Team.