Archive for May, 2012

By now, you have heard the story of Brian Banks…. The man who spent five years in prison for rape only to be exonerated of all charges after his accuser came forward and recanted her story. This story is really bizarre to me and certainly underscores the cultural circumstance regarding the mistrust between men and women – particularly black men and women….
Why would this woman do this to him? He’s a star football player on the campus of Long Beach Poly.. A boy with a future… he’s highly sought after – full scholarship to the University of Southern California….

According to his lawyers in court documents, “Tragically, Banks would never realize his dream of going to college and playing college football.”  Wanetta Gibson would destroy his dream in one tragic day at school when she accused Brian of rape and kidnapping after a consensual sexual tryst…..

All of a sudden, he’s locked up and locked out of all of his potential…. Another brother in the prison system… Banks says he got bad advice from the defense attorney who told him that all the jury would see is a big black teenager and his sentence could be 41 years to life as opposed to 18 months… No evidence. No dna samples… nothing.. just an accusation from a girl at school. Life ruined…

I just want to know if the sista in this case has any remorse. Apparently she friended him on facebook. What gall…. Then she agreed to meet Banks at a private investigator’s office to discuss the case. It was there, on video that she says Brian never raped her….. wow.

She also says (very nonchalantly if you ask me) that she would be willing to help him, but they would have to give back all the money they(her and her mother) collected in a $1.5 million lawsuit against the Long Beach Unified School District. oh my…..   I wonder what the girl is really thinking??

And now what will happen with the girl? Are there no charges? Her attitude and her demeanor is indicative of a LOT of young women today….  what is going on? She should pay for the damages she has done to this young man….

In an era where we try to promote protecting and respecting the black woman… how can you when you see this and so many cases like it…. Sistas trying to get over…. Taking a brotha down…. In an era where all you hear is how the brotha is no good… but then sistas are just as shady it seems….

Where do we go from here… what is the lesson learned?? I think Brian is sharing a great lesson of forgiveness… it is good… BUT… what of the female in this case…. Sexual harassment laws and policies seemingly favor the female so it is easy for a woman to say something happened when it did not and even more concerning is the fact that she could make up a lie in the face of consensual sexual activity and the male is still hung out to dry…..

Trust seems to be the issue here…. How can we get along as a people if we don’t trust one another….. and based on this story, why should we???

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By now, you know about the POTUS acknowledgement of same-sex marriage as a viable right in America. And you know that there has been a LOT of conversation about how the church, particularly the black church, reacts to the news. I wanted to share the official statement from my denomination. Here is the full text of their official statement:

COGIC Presiding Bishop and General Board Elaborate on Existing Same Sex Policy
Posted on 17 May 2012

Official Statement
of the
Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Regarding Same Sex Marriages and Civil Unions

The President’s position regarding “same-sex marriage” has set off a “firestorm,” unlike any other debate in our civil society, perhaps, since the civil rights unrest of the mid-20th century. The advocacy for same-sex marriage, while in conflict with our nation’s long-standing moral posture, has indeed, created opportunity for the Church to communicate our unequivocal position about God’s design and foundation for humanity, the biblical mandate for heterosexuality through the bonds of matrimony and, the centuries-old understanding of the only acceptable means of procreation, habitation, and the establishment of the family.

The President suggests same sex relationships and male-female relationships committed to by oath before God and/or witnesses, where formal documents are signed before a civil or ecclesiastical figure. It further implies that both are equally good and valuable. In addition to this, it suggests that both equally contribute to the good and advancement of a society. From a fundamental view of scripture, the same word should not be used to describe both same sex and heterosexual relationships.
Fundamentally, traditionally, and historically, marriage has functioned to unite a man and women together in facing the challenges of life, to sanctify sexual involvement, to authorize the conception of children, provide an environment for the protection and development of offspring and to strengthen and sustain the family unit. Historically, the sexual coming together of husband and wife produces children who are the fruit of both their bodies and are united by blood to their brothers and sisters. This coming together of husband and wife is the means by which the world has been populated, and the human race sustained.

A husband, wife and children are the bedrock of a society which also mirrors the universal Church as a microcosm, or domestic church, out of which God’s values are modeled, nurtured, and disciplined. This divinely-inspired family framework, pronounced in Old and New Testament scripture, is without compromise. To tamper with the foundation is to disrupt the order God intended. This order is the intended structure by which all humanity is expected to govern their lives.

The human body is designed by God as male and female to anatomically accommodate individuals of the opposite sex in the conception, bearing, and nurture of children; the human body is unquestionably designed to accommodate individuals of the opposite sex, not of the same sex.

The Holy Bible, which is the authoritative Word of God, clearly prohibits sexual relations between members of the same sex. Though it does not isolate intercourse between individuals of the same sex as the only sin, it designates this and a series of other activities as sinful behavior from which the Christian is to abstain
1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. NKJV (See also: Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; and 1 Timothy 1:8).
The Bible indicates that there is nothing that can excuse or eliminate the sinfulness of sexual involvement between individuals of the same sex. Neither so called “marriage vows”, civil unions, nor homosexual drives or passions are recognized by the Bible as justifications or acceptable excuses or rationale for sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Sinful desires and inclinations must be resisted and overcome by the power of God in Christ Jesus, and by power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens our minds and our wills.

Our vocabularies are made up of thousands of words because there are so many distinctive entities and concepts to be referred to. Each word designates a category of entities which are unique to that word. Specific words are most useful when they reflect identical images, and when they do not create conflicting or unclear images in the mind of the speaker and the hearer. The Bible defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6). To define marriage otherwise is to dilute and destroy its usefulness as a word which denotes what is highest and best about human society.

While we are committed to proclaim and support the tenants of the Bible, and also to persuade others to do so, we recognize that in a free and democratic society morality cannot be legislated. We oppose violence and discrimination against individuals or groups because of sexual orientation. We do not feel that it is necessary to legalize same sex marriage to provide the civil benefits and civil rights to all regardless of sexual orientation. We proclaim the value and worth of every human being regardless of sexual orientation.
But, we passionately and unapologetically, defend the right of faith communities to maintain the integrity of their message, mission and identity. We welcome to the church all people who seek to serve and know God and His Word.

And so this weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day. My mom has joined the legions of the angels in heaven. And yet, I love her. I miss her…

I was blessed. My mom was always there. Loving, nurturing, supportive…. I was definitely blessed. And at the core of all my life’s goals, was a burning desire to make her proud of me….

I realize that there are those who were not as fortunate as me. There are those who would tell us that mom died when they were very young. Others would say moms died during childbirth and they never knew her. Some would tell us that mom was an addict, sick and unable to care for them properly. Others would tell us of losing mom to illness or accidents…..

Some moms have demonstrated a level of neglect that leaves the children psychologically damaged. Some teach their children a moral standard that would appall the status quo…. I have heard stories of moms teaching their children to smoke weed, drink and smoke cigarettes…. I have seen the neglect of children through their hygiene and dirty clothes…

How does a mom willfully and intelligently give up their children. Isn’t a mom emotionally and physically connected to their child? How does this happen???

Over the last year and a half, since I have had custody of my grandsons, I have encountered and witnessed so many moms. I have attended PTA and school meetings where I was the only dad/granddad in the room…. I have witnessed moms on the football team and track team, struggling to make sure that their children are active, responsible and responsive young people…. I have interacted with moms as we worked together on projects. I see moms struggling… I see moms sacrificing…… I see moms nurturing…

yes. I have a whole new appreciation for the role a mother plays….. We have to love and appreciate what mom is doing to take care of us…… In our house, we have a song… We gather around Babi (that’s what the grandsons call their grandmother and sing “I worship you oh mighty babi!!! there is none like you!!! I worship you oh mighty babi.. that is what I long to do… I give you praise… cuz you take good care of us…. I worship you oh mighy babi… there is none like you!!!!”  yup, some will recognize this lyrical interpolation from church….

As a grown man, I often wonder about the issues I took my mom through. I wonder about the sleepless nights… the stress, the worry, the anger that I may have brought her. Have I ever embarrassed her? Was I so out of line that she had a problem with me?

No matter what my issues were, mom loved me….  I appreciate all those days inside the Borden School writing, doing math…. for it made me more focused… I appreciate the piano lessons for they molded my current appreciation for music…. I appreciate her insistence that I go to church… I appreciated our paper route.. I say our because mom was down to load up our station wagon with the papers and roll about the neighborhood throwing papers right there with me…..

I love mom… I appreciate mom…. I miss mom…..

As I sit here at the end of the week, I am a little surprised… perplexed… even vexed….. for you see I am caught up in the labyrinth of the child welfare system. I had no clue what I was doing when I stepped up to take my grandsons into my custody. I had no idea how deep this situation could get. And although I could see the possibility of an emotional powder keg, I had no idea of the magnitude of it’s explosive nature. And yet… I stand in the gap. Being a grandfather.. no – a dad to these boys.

It’s important. Especially in these days and time, that  a  real man stand up and be a father to these young boys. A man to teach them about their God. A man to teach them about their self worth. A man to teach them about what it is to be a black man in America. A man in their lives….. Nonetheless, I remain vexed…..

In this journey I find the system to be flawed on so many levels. Yes, the county system has its issues no doubt,  but the flaws that I speak of are of a much more more personal perspective. The very circumstance in which I got the boys exposes me to certain administrative hassles. That indeed in and of itself is worth a whole blog. But that is not the perspective that I am sharing here. It is the sociological experience as I move through the community that has got me vexed.

As a man, I am stepping up to do the right thing. My grandsons were in trouble and with that trouble comes a plethora of issues. But as a man, I step up to help. To exert a strong black male image into the boys consciousness. But yet, everywhere I turn there is a woman who has say in my circumstance. I am not trying to be misogynistic at all here. I am just stating fact from my perspective. Women have a lot to say in how and what I am teaching these boys.

From the start, I have encountered women who show that neck twisting, eye rolling, smart ass attitude when dealing with me and these boys. But to what end??? I am in need of assistance and all that attitude is not helping me.

What is all the extra questioning about when I come to the office? What is all this attitude when I seek assistance? What the heck is wrong with you?

I got female strangers stopping me on the street and in church telling me how to dress the boys. Women administrators telling me what to say and how to say it to the boys. Ladies everywhere telling me what to do and how to do it with these young men. And in a LOT of cases, they are so out of line, so disrespectful, it is mind boggling.

Now, let me be perfectly clear… There are some women in this scenario that are the complete and utter BOMB!!!! These women I hold close to my heart as I move about dealing with this situation. They are so close, that I don’t think they realize how close and how high I esteem them…. They are AWESOME!!!!

But, in contrast, there are a LOT of females in this that need to take a flying leap….. What the heck is up with all that attitude y’all be givin when I need your assistance???? And who are you to tell me how to raise these boys???? In my opinion, perhaps that’s why there are so many effeminate men in our community. I am not trying to be homophobic, but I am just sayin’….

And so, as I travel the kinship road… I see many angry women in positions of administrative authority who wield undue and unprofessional attitudes in cases where they need compassion…. Whatever your issue is, my sista… I didn’t do it to you…..

Kinship. Not just a job, it’s an adventure….