Musings of a Postmodern Negro

"During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism."- Howard Thurman

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Accosting White Privilege, Interrogating Racism, and Practicing Pentecost, Part II

Phil Sinitiere offers Part 2 of his thoughts on Accosting White Privilege, Interrogating Racism, and Practicing Pentecost. What I appreciate about Phil's thoughts is the way he is bringing this discussion with the biblical narrative and Christian grammar. So much of the language used to discuss these issues don't have enough punch. I think speaking of racial divisions in the church as being complicit with the same Powers that crucified the Son of God to be a bit more powerful than the standard language of 'rights', 'equality', and so forth. I am not casting these concepts aside but Christians need to begin to deal with these issues in a more nuanced way that is connected to God's story of redemption and kingdom.

Scot McKnight continues to plug away on this issue. Scot has put out some deep thoughts and suggestions in the direction this kind of discourse needs to go in the church.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Church, Embracing Grace, and Racism

Scot McKnight of Jesus Creed has started a string of posts dealing with racism and racial divisions in the church. This brother is practicing Pentecost. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I believe he has given a very helpful way to reflect on these issues. Part 1 and Part 2.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Accosting White Privilege, Interrogating Racism, and Practicing Pentecost

by Phil Sinitiere:

In Grand Rapids this past weekend, I had a striking encounter with white privilege.

The moment I witnessed involved questions about the nature and location of desserts and coffee on a refreshment table; in other words, the moment about which I write took place in a particular social setting, at the nexus of culture(s) and place(s). This story features "person one" and "person two."

All of a sudden, the ambiance of the moment was ruptured when person one assumed person two to be hired help for the event. Without even a kind word of greeting or hand extended in friendship, person one revealed that, to use the words of the Apostle Paul, “principalities and powers” are everywhere evident. As words were uttered unconscious racism couched in white privilege reared its ugly head. Very often, the inadvertent display of the unconscious objectifies the conscious. The simple and direct response to these unfortunate and rancid comments roundly condemned the privilege they subtly displayed. More...

Sacred Reading-1

Thoughts on the kingdom of God

Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" - Mark 1:14,15


In the Gospels, the central message of Jesus from Nazareth was the coming kingdom or reign of God. So much so that the gospel of Mark describes the coming of God's kingdom as the 'good news'.

According to Mark's gospel the 'good news' is that the kingdom of God is near. Which is to say the coming of the kingdom of God is the Gospel. Whatever could this mean? What does it mean to say that the kingdom of God is coming? If we are to take serious Mark's gospel and the rest of the synoptics that have a similar witness regarding the coming kingdom then where does that leave contemporary Christians today in their multi-faceted efforts to proclaim 'good news'? Are we really proclaiming 'good news'? If we are, then is there in our witness or embodiedment of this good news concrete display of the coming kingdom of God?

According to the synoptic gospels Jesus begins his ministry with the proclamation that the kingdom of God is near or coming. Of course Jesus does not leave us with only a proclamation he gives us an example, through his own faithfulness to God, of what it means to 'see' and 'enter' God's kingdom. Let us discuss two basic features of the kingdom:

1. The kingdom is the breaking forth of the new amid the old.

The kingdom of God in the primitive Church's witness seems to be understood as an eschatological reality. It is the in-breaking of a new order in the midst of the apparent 'naturalness' of an old order we are told is passing away. An old order that is characterized by falleness, alienation, and out-right rebellion against God. This in-breaking of the new is said to have been inaugarated by Christ. In his life, death, resurrection, and outpouring of the Spirit Christ has inaugarated a new order of things, a new way of living in God's creation, a new way of being community, a new and living way that is described in the biblical narrative as a 'new creation'. We are reminded by the apostle Paul that 'in Christ' old things have passed away and that new things have come. Christ told us that he was making all things new. The coming of the kingdom of God is in-breaking of a new creation. It is the future intent God has for creation being poured out in our present.
Any theology of the kingdom would have to take into serious consideration what it means to give demonstration of this newness in our own time. Many faithful theologians and pastors have articulated to us the many ways in which we demonstrate the coming of the kingdom. When we baptize new Christians we bear witness to this newness wrought by Christ. In baptism, we are being initiated into a holy community. A community that is not to be self-righteous, but a community that understands that its holiness or set-apartness is due to its participation in the in-breaking newness wrought by Christ. In Eucharist, we are 're-membering' Christ's death and all that his death points to and actualizes. Eucharist, like baptism, is the signifying way in which we demonstrate our participation in the kingdom of God. In Eucharist, we are reminded that our sins are forgiven, that we stand justified before God, and that we are the physical extension and continuation of Christ's body in real-time.

This sounds really cool. The in-breaking of God's newness in our present. The future of God and God's creation being tasted in our present time. The bursting forth of the new amid the old. All of this is great, however, what is needed is discernment. How do we distinguish the 'new' from the 'old'? In the biblical narrative the old is characterized as 'sinfulness' and the new is characterized as 'righteousness'. Indeed to be a righteous person is to practice and embody the newness that is God's coming kingdom. Any theology of the kingdom would require one to discern what constitutes sinfulness or un-righteousness. It would require that Christians be able to discern the various ways in which we are complicit with evil both on a personal and societal level.

2. The kingdom is an affront against sin, death, and satan.

What is unmistakeable about Jesus' ministry is his constant confrontation with sin, death, and satan. The gospel narratives show us Jesus healing, delivering, saving, and rescuing people from the jaws of evil in many of its manifestations. Whether it is straight up death, hopelessness, demonic oppression, etc. the kingdom of God is both an affront and the reversal of the brokeness and captivity of people. The kingdom is an affront towards false realities that have been constructed by the 'prinicipalities and powers' in their rebellion against God.
The kingdom orients us, in both our personal and communal existence, towards habits, practices and beliefs that are an affront towards what the biblical narrative describes as the world. The world is that part of creation that has yet to bow its knee to Christ. It is the fallen order that we described in the first feature of God's kingdom as the old order of things. Christ's kingdom is an affront to this false-reality that is presented in our times as 'reality'. Many times on this journey called the kingdom of God the world will appear more real than the 'new' that has seized us in Christ. In fact, when we sin before God and against our neighbors, we believe for that one moment, that the world put forward to us by the powers is a truer account of living than that offered by Christ.

The kingdom is not so much about being against the world as it is being for the newness brought about by Christ's death and resurrection.

Of course there is much more that can be said about the kingdom of God. These are just the two features that immediately come to mind when I reflect on the biblical narrative and their account of the kingdom of God.

O God, we thank you for the sending of your Son. Grant us grace and mercy. Fill us afresh with your Spirit so that we might be faithful co-laborers in Your kingdom. Forgive us of our complicity with the old way of living and bless us with the grace to live faithfully in Your new creation. Amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Civitas, Friendship, and Practicing Pentecost

Had a great time at the conference. It was a blessing to be able to put faces to names and meeting friends for the first time. Here's the paper I presented.

Thoughts on the conference:

1. One of the themes I kept hearing in this conference is the need for Evangelicalism to become more of an embodied tradition rather than a trans-historical faith, at least in its self-understanding. Which I think is part of the reason many younger evangelicals (to borrow from Robert Webber) are looking to ancient Christian practices and traditions that have been around longer than a couple of centuries. There seems to be a growing understanding that Christianity didn't start with the Reformers or that the Reformation was some kind of re-pristination of primitive Christianity. There is the growing recognition that there is much in Christianity to draw from in its 2,000 year history. While I think this to be a good thing I just hope that aspects of ancient Christianity doesn't become essentialized and uncritically embraced.

2. Another theme that was brought to the table was the conspicuous absence of historically marginalized voices. This was brought out by Arlene Sanchez Walsh. She is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University. She is the author of Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical Faith, Self, and Society. It was quite refreshing to hear her thoughts on Latino Evangelical identity. I see many parallels between latino and black pentecostal traditions that I found interesting. Especially the growing influence of the 'prosperity gospel'.

3. Postmodernity didn't seem to be the bug-a-boo you often hear about in many Evangelical circles. There seem to be a critical embracing of postmodernism or at least a recognition that it is something that we should not be afraid of (looking forward to James Smith's forthcoming book, Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, And Foucault to Church).

4. Apparently Scot McKnight set the record straight about the Emerging church. Unfortunately I wasn't there to hear him. We got a chance to briefly talk. He's taller in person. He's good people. I sat in on Phil Sinitere's presentation on the emerging church and its potential relationship with world Christianity. Phil talked about the need for emerging leaders to become (if not already) more conversant with voices like Lamin Sanneh, author of Whose Religion Is Christianity?: The Gospel beyond the West. Dr. Sanneh's translatability of the gospel thesis is something I have been chewing on. Great stuff! I also got a chance to sit in on Steve Bush's presentation. Brother Bush proposed a political theology for Evangelicalism and gave a critical and nuanced appraisal of the work of Hauerwas and Radical Orthodoxy.

5. A big deal for me was being able to hang out with my blog (and non-virtual) friends Phil, Steve, and Bryan. Check out their thoughts on the conference at their respective blogs.

6. While I got to practice Pentecost with these brothers I got to see a church striving to do this. After the conference I was truly bless to hang out with Andre. He is senior pastor of Mosaic Life Church in Grand Rapids. I also got a chance to worship with this beautiful church...truly a mosaic of God. Andre is a very thoughtful and engaging brother.

7. One more thing and I wasn't going to say this but it sucks being mistaken for the help (wink! wink!).

Saturday, September 10, 2005

On Hiatus

....until after the conference. I am focusing most, if not all, of my energies on tidying up this paper. I'll be back after the conference.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Jazz as resistance to the Principalities


I am bringing some of this together now. I have a quote from Rodney Clapp, a respected voice in the evangelical world, that really captured the connection between the jazz images I posted earlier and my recent post. I thought this was insightful:

Jazz can make us-especially the 'us' of white, middle- and upper-class, relatively comfortable American believers-better Christians. Put more pointedly and specifically, jazz can correct what James Cone, I am afraid with all too much justification, has called the "the heresy of white Christianity." (p.185)


This is from Clapp's book Border Crossings. This particular quote is from chapter 18 titled "That Glorious Mongrel: How Jazz Can Correct the Heresy of White Christianity"

Responses to Postmodern Black Church Part 3

Kevin Rector offered what he believed to be a critical response to my post. I feel such issues need to be addressed and I feel Eric's comments will help some of us find a place where we can discuss these issues as people on the Way.

His comments are in italics.

The comment I quoted used exclusionary language that separates one racial group from all others and castigates it for a particular behavior.

Actually the practice of normative gaze practiced by some forms of European American Christianity 'separates' racial groups or subtly suggests to them to forgo their culture and become 'white'. The separation is already here. I am calling these things into question asking why. And part of it has to do with the construction of a particular form of whiteness that excludes and 'defines as normative' for everyone else. I am not speaking of all 'whiteness'. I am talking of that 'whiteness' that speaks loud and clear to me when I enter into many churches 'led' by European American Christians that say to me, "forget you are a negro and worship like us as we supposedly are seeking diversity in our crowd."

I believe that racism is this very act of separating one race group out for generalization.

I believe that is a very thin definition of racism given its concrete history. Race-ism is when a group dominates the discourse, defines definitions, sets up the hierarchy, controls the way we interpret reality, presents its view of the world as normative and also perpetuates it by creating its own social orders to protect its privileged position of being the 'universal culture'. For instance, I'd be interested in knowing where you learned your definition of racism. Have you read other voices on racism besides European American Christian voices? or do you find their voices more 'authoritative' on the matter. Just curious.

It’s no more appropriate to say that “European-American Christians consider their expressions of faith normative” than it is to say that “African-Americans like watermelon and fried chicken” or “Mexican-Americans are lazy”. It’s simply not acceptable and it has little to nothing to do with reality.

According to your definition of racism...this would be true. But the problem resides in the concreteness of how some forms of European American Christianity in how it assumes its particular and contextualized understanding and practice of Christianity as normative for everyone else. That you would use cultural stereotypes as analogous to this reveals your ignorance of the history of racism in the North American church. Which is understandable seeing how many white churches don't even deal with the subject. When you go to a black church they will tell you, "this is how we do it here." In my experience, going to a white church, it is assumed that this is 'worship'...the 'worship'. You won't hear this is how we do it. In such situations I am told to forget about your cultural/ethnic identity...and worship Jesus (read like us white folks). Such calls to worship are the assumption of the normativity of whitness. Have you ever been to a black church before? What was it like?

But it has everything to do with reconciliation. As long as we are willing to revert to these generalizations we build barriers to people being reconciled to each other through the person and work of Jesus Christ. These barriers are the heart and soul of racism.

But if you don't want to deal with the barriers as they are understood by the cultural other...if you don't want to take into account the interpretation of the barriers by the cultural other in the church then you won't see 'reconciliaton'. Sin has to be named before there is true reconciliation. Reconciliation requires the truth...and that can be hard sometimes.

It is extremely easy to fall into the trap of generalization. Even though I try not to, I do it on a regular basis as does probably everyone else. But generalization is lazy, imprecise, and often very offensive to people who don’t see the world through the same set of lenses that we do.

No doubt it is easy to fall into such traps. What is ironic is that I am here naming the Powers that influence the way North American Christians practice Christianity. I guess if I was to stay on topic and squabble about epistemology, consumerism, nationalism, constantinianism, and modernity without touching 'race'(which strangely enough is a product of Modernity in many of its North American forms) then I'd be telling the whole truth? The fact of the matter is that this issue is rarely talked about...and it is a reality for non-European American Christians and non-Christians everyday. Such indifference to this issue simply perpetuates the way the Powers continue the hostility.

This is why I gave you the alternative which leaves off generalizations and challenges all Christians to re-examine whether they are oppressing the minority cultures in their context. This seems to me to be the more accurate, graceful, and challenging approach:

Racism, in the North American context, is embodied when Christians assume, oftentimes unknowingly, the normativity of their expression and practice of the Christian faith to the exclusion of other cultures in their midst
.

I actually said that in the post. Did you even both reading the next sentence? I said, "This is exampled by European-American churches that think they are racially diverse but still have a white, middle-class aesthetic while having people of different cultures present in their worship. Such practices are racist and are examples of the church being handmaiden to the Principalities and Powers that continue to oppress and render hostile different cultures towards each other."

I hope I did not offend you with my comment; that was never my intention. I just felt like your post needed and deserved a more critical reading than it was receiving. Perhaps I have misunderstood you to some degree and you can correct me?

Aside from the fact that I believe your understanding of racism is not true to alot of non-European American Christians experiences (quite thin actually) I commend your courage to step up and participate in this kind of discussion. I am committed to racial harmony, reconciliation, diversity, etc. But the powers have to be exposed if we are going to get to the truth as to why we remain divided..why the subtle hostility still exists...why the normative gaze? Just as many in the emerging church conversation have narrated modernity and its political and philosophical underpinnings and consequences I want to take it further and discuss how race is very much a part of the 'modern' church. It seems Christians in this post-conservative, post-liberal, and post-modern will only take their narration of modernity so far.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Postmodern Black Church (or a church where a Negro can feel at home) Part 3: Contending with the Principality of Whiteness


For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. - apostle Paul

In Stormfront: The Good News of God, a book that's a part of the Gospel and Our Culture Series, is given an excellent description of these 'principalities and powers' put forth by the apostle Paul:

"Subtle or not so subtle, direct or indirect, overt or covered with layers of pretense, the powers of our world represent profound patters of resistance to the power of God, coming as it has in the form of a cross." (p.x)

Profound patterns of resistance to the power of God as pre-eminently displayed through the cross of Christ. What an excellent way to describe these 'heavenly' realities. Within this past century theologians and pastors have sought to unmask, name, and engage the principalities and powers within our context. In postmodern/emerging church discourse there has been much ado about consumerism, nationalism, foundationalism, constantinianism, etc. Rightfully so! Lord knows such conversations are still in the margins of North American Christianity. There have been some profound reflections on the powers. Stanley Hauerwas' theologizing about the powers that undergird liberal democracy, Jacques Ellul's reflections on technique, John Howard Yoder on the constantinian compromise of the church. All of these voices (and more I am sure) have contributed greatly to these discussions. These theologians and thinkers are gaining a growing readership. A readership that wants to talk and walk out the best of these reflections in our own time.

Yoder, echoing Hendrik Berkhof, teaches us that the principalities and powers referred to in Paul's writings are similar to "religious structures (especially the religious undergirdings of stable ancient and primitive societies), intellectual structures (-ologies and -isms), moral structures (codes and customs), political structures (the tyrant, the market, the school, the courts, race and nation.

While many Christians would affirm that these 'powers' extend beyond the individual one 'power' often gets reduced to personal prejudice, race-ism. As the authors of Stormfront remind us, these powers can be and are oftentimes subtle in a profound way in how they resist the cross of Christ. Just as many Christians would attest to the 'market' extending beyond individual consumer choices or how the 'state' extends beyond individuals voting and media soundbytes so too with race. That race is a power not unlike the market, the state, ideologies, moral codes, and customs has been given little attention in this kind of discourse. There are several reasons for this I am sure. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that most of the people that theologize about these realities are European American Christians. Which brings me to the issue of the principality of whiteness as an extension of the power of race.

Whiteness, as I will propose in this brief series, is a 'principality' often goes unacknowledged by well-intentioned European American Christians.

What I am not saying here? I am not saying that Jesus needs to get rid of European American Christian...not save us from European American Christians (Although that would have been great for Native Americans, African Slaves, etc.). Neither am I saying that there has been no good brought forth by European American Christians.

What I am saying is that the lack of unmasking, naming, and engaging (to borrow from Walter Wink) the principality of whiteness has had dire consequences for the church in our North American context. The less we engage this principality the less faithful the church will be in making known the manifold wisdom of God to the powers and principalities. The less we are equipped to be a sign, foretaste, and instrument of God's kingdom. Ultimately, the goal is to be witnesses to the inner life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...participants in the missio Dei.

In his book Journey to Jesus, Robert Webber prophetically declares to us that "the church is to actively witness to the victory of God's redeeming power in a fallen world." The principality of whiteness is a part of that falleness. BTW...what is the nature of this principality named whiteness? That's next. But before you jumped the gun and call me a racist...let us not forget that we are not contending against flesh and blood...I am not contending with European American Christians...I am contending with a power that has used European American Christianity in a way that has made it quite difficult for people to live out their baptism into a new creation and be faithful participants at Eucharist.

What is racism?

Recently I was asked in the comments section of this post to define racism. My definition of racism might be slightly different than the normal ones you hear. I try to think Christianly on these matters. Racism is primarily a matter of soteriology and eschatology. So here's my working definition of racism.

Racism is the denial of Christ's cross and resurrection. It is a denial of the pouring out of the Spirit whereby Christ has and is creating a new restored humanity that is learning how to wrestle against the Powers and not be determined by the Powers. Racism is the belief and practice that biology is more determinative than a Christian's baptism and place at Eucharist where Christ's body celebrates the entrance into creation Christ's kingdom. Racism, within the North American context, is the making normative of white European culture with its attendant hegemony of power. Racism is the denial of God's new creation whereby one's cultural presence dominates the existence of other cultures. Racism is the denying, through political and ecclesial institutions, the imago Dei of other human beings that are not descendants of Europeans. That is the more contextual version of racism as it relates to North America.

Racism, in the North American context, is embodied when European-American Christians assume, oftentimes unknowingly, the normativity of their expression and practice of the Christian faith. This is exampled by European-American churches that think they are racially diverse but still have a white, middle-class aesthetic while having people of different cultures present in their worship. Such practices are racist and are examples of the church being handmaiden to the Principalities and Powers that continue to oppress and render hostile different cultures towards each other. Racism is capitulation to Powers in their perpetuation of hostility and oppression between different cultures.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kanye's Complex


With a faithful weaving of prophetic witness, social critique, and political dissent Rod Garvin has put together an excellent piece on Hurricane Katrina, Race/Class, and Kanye West.

"It's about imperfection. Everybody can relate to that."
- Kanye West to Che Smith, friend and co-writer of "Jesus Walks"

At a time when hip-hop was plagued with oversexed M.C.'s and superficial rhymes you could say that Kanye West flew onto the scene like an angel out of heaven. His smash first single "Slow Jam" would pre-empt any chances of being mislabeled as a Gospel artist, but the inspirational, yet non-preachy "Jesus Walks" earned him a place next to other Patron Saints of Imperfection such as John Coltrane ("Love Supreme"), Marvin Gaye "What's Going On?" and Tupac Shakur (Too many songs with spiritual force and social relevance to name just one). Hua Hsu of the Village Voice had it right when he wrote in his review of West's first album The College Dropout entitled "The Benz or the Backpack?" that self-conflict was in. With his second album, Late Registration, West proves that he is the king of cognitive and spiritual dissonance, which helps him capture the complex nature of the human condition better than any of his peers in hip-hop and perhaps better than anyone in music - period.
More.

Friday, September 02, 2005

White folks find...Black folks loot

Warning: My comments here may offend some folks.

The Malcolm X side of me is bursting at the seams to come out. I watched, of all things, the O'Reilly Factor last night. That dude got me real upset with the way he was talking about the 'poor' leadership of the mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, in comparison to the 'strong' leadership of former mayor of New York, Rudolf Guliani. Of course he never puts these things in context. Mayor Guliani didn't have to deal with complete breakdown of an entire city. New York City wasn't deemed 'uninhabitable' on 9/11. But what has really gotten my goat is the way valid criticism of racism and classicism has been deemed 'the blame game'. Such rhetoric simply excuses racism and classism. Such rhetoric of indifference just re-inforces to many people how racist and classist this society is. Presuppostions and practices that undergird American society.

So...I found a quote from Malcolm X that addresses the 'blame game' rhetoric. Rhetoric that is indifferent to those that are asking and crying out "Why?"...why was the Federal gov't almost five days late in sending in the National Guard? Malcolm X has a few words to the detractors that would attempt to re-define valid outcrys as playing the 'blame game':

"When a man is hanging on a tree and he cries out, should he cry out unemotionally? When a man is sitting on a hot stove and he tells you how it feels to be there, is he supposed to speak without emotion? This is what you tell black people in this country when they begin to cry out against the injustices they're suffering. As long as they describe these injustices in a way that makes you believe you have another 100 years to rectify the situation, then you don't call that emotion. But when a man is on a hot stove, he say, 'I'm coming up. I'm getting up. Violently or non-violently doesn't even enter the picture - I'm coming up you understand'."

I don't normally post current events. One reason being that fofillions of blogs normally keep people up to date on current events. But I feel compelled to generate some discussion around issues of race and class in our society. The wake of hurricane Katrina has left many people in a very desperate situation.

**That last sentence woefully falls short of describing the tragedy that is taking place right now before our very eyes.**

9/11 happened and the President was there the same day (or maybe the next). Katrina happened...and after alot of criticism and complete community breakdown the President shows up days later.

Does this speak to how our society processes class and race? When poor blacks 'loot' and white folks 'find'? I read an article this morning discussing the comments made by conscious rapper Kanye West about the president. I know NBC has to save face by dis-associating itself from what it described as 'one man's opinion'. Such rhetoric rings hollow in the ears of many black folks. The irony is that this was not one man's opinion. It was millions of people's opinion about the President. That's why almost the entire black population didn't vote for him (80-85%). THEY don't think he cares for them. I know...I know what about Powell and Rice? That's another whole discussion. I am not saying I know for sure the President 'likes' or 'dislikes' poor black folks...honestly I don't care if he does or does not...but as the President I'd think he would have handled this whole situation a little better. I have to give the President credit...he does admit that relief efforts were 'inadequate'. I would probably would have described this in a more emotive and scathing way than 'inadequate' but I understand why he used that word. You have to think about the utility of your words when you are a politician.

But on the flip side. I understand some of the motivation (not all of it because of the history of this country I am suspicious...rightfully so, I think) of those that would say...let's side step the "blame" issue for the moment and save lives. I agree that we should save lives. But let those who are crying out for justice and for heads make that decision for themselves. If some black folks want to play the blame game...then let them. No...I said that wrong. Black folks shouldn't have to have the media, gov't, and folks embodying indifference 'let' them do anything. They should be 'allowed' to cry out for justice and ask the President 'why' he was late.

But at the end of the day lives need to be saved. If anything New Orleans reveals how this country has yet to deal with its indifference to the poor and people of color.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

September issue of Next-Wave

Wholy holy


by Marvin Gaye

Ah, wholy holy
Come together
Wholy holy
People got to come together
And I know with the strength, power and all the feeling Wholy holy
Wholy holy
Oh Lord, come on get together, one another
Oh Lord
Wholy holy
Wholy holy
Wholy holy we believe in one another
Wholy holy we believe in Jesus
Jesus left a long time ago, said he would return
He left us a book to believe in
In it we've got an awful lot to learn
Oh, wholy holy
Oh Lord
We can conquer hate forever, yes we can
Ah, wholy holy, Oh Lord
We can rock the world's foundation
Yes we can
Better believe it
Wholy holy together and wholy
Holler love across the nation
Oh, oh
Wholy holy
We proclaim love, our salvation
Oooh, ooh...


I pulled out some Marvin Gaye the other day after reading a post by Will Samson over at willzhead. I have been listening to this song just about everyday this week. Man...they don't make music like this anymore. One of the greatest r&b sacred soul albums ever made. A church that played this in their worship selection would be a church where a negro could feel at home. This whole album has a sacredness to it...it also has a prophetic voice to it. Marvin was a postmodern negro Christian with no place to call home.