Rev. Sharpton Admonishes and Prays for Kanye "Slavery Was a Choice" West -- Trump's "Black Man"

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Kanye West -- Nat Turner he is not. Photo-- Commons. Wiki media

Speaking of the “spiritual journey African people are experiencing,” Reverend Al Sharpton referenced Biblical NUMBERS 20 in which GOD admonished Moses to “Speak to the Rock,” as he stood amongst the people in the desert thirsting for water. In his infinite wisdom and unbounded beneficence, GOD instructed Moses to “Speak to the Rock” over there from which refreshing thirst quenching waters would pour forth. Thus, in following exactly as admonished, would be demonstrated the power of what God could do in looking out for his people. However, and whether for his own agenda or showmanship, Moses chose not to speak to but tap the rock twice with his staff. This again, was not the nature of his instruction.

Now, amongst the mounting challenges confronting the Rev’s constituency; whether economic – in the form of joblessness, low wages for the working poor, rising rents, goods and services; need for Criminal Justice Reform – long sentences for minor offenses, wrongful prosecution and imprisonment; Police Misconduct – inordinate numbers of deaths at the hands of police officers; – Attorney Benjamin Crump mentioned at the recently concluded National Action Network Convention, since 2015 to today there have been some 83 killings by the police officers in the USA, of which 80 have been people of color; on-going methods of disfranchisement of Black and Brown voters across the nation; the current administration using vile terms to describe African nations; Mr. Trump and subsequently his administration has fostered and his actions in many respects have enabled an inordinate rise in hate related crimes; when seen in sound-bite clips on Television, African-American are generally seen as guards or waiters; women are often sexually harassed or berated; racism and Ku Klux Klan white supremacy groups’ activities are on the rise evidenced at Charleston and Charlottesville and elsewhere; gun violence is escalating across a wide spectrum and there’s a whole lot more.

Thus, the tremendous need for the spiritual and refreshing potency God promises and can deliver to aid his people. Given all of that and speaking with a mountain of confidence in divine capability, that come from earnest efforts and in good faith while “Speaking to the Rock,” Reverend Sharpton confessed, “We are the people God uses to speak to the world.”

In this latter experience, we must remember, the Civil Rights Movement struggles and subsequent activism bred creative and inspirational chants as “We Shall Overcome;” “Whose Streets, Our Streets;” “We’re Fed Up and Won’t Take it No More;” “No Justice, No Peace,” etc., which have all become shibboleths across the world. Gaining strength and inspiration from Black struggles and creative strategies in this country, various peoples have thus sought liberation and redemption from their own trials and tribulations. Most important in this respect, as such, “We are the people God uses to speak to the world!”

Next, the Reverend turned his attention to Kanye West who has been in the news lately in expressing his “Love for Donald Trump;” insisting Martin Luther King and Malcolm are essentially “obsolete” in today’s world; and that “slavery was a choice.” Well, first of all, with Rev. Herbert Daughtery, attorney Michael Hardy and Kirsten Foy, among others on the podium, Rev. Sharpton insisted we “Pray for Kanye.” No less significant, “Kanye has a right to express his love for Donald Trump” but saying the struggles and martyrdom of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and the ramifications of such a statement by one with a national and global platform is like going in the wrong direction on a super highway. Even more detrimental that Kanye could think or “not think” that slavery was a “choice” is on par with Ben Carson’s Heritage Foundation blabber that “Obamacare was worse than slavery.” At least, many believe, Carson got his “30 pieces of silver.” Kanye, on the other hand, got a lot of people mad as he allowed himself to be “played like a fiddle” by Donald Trump.

Not only has Mr. West demonstrated an ignorance of the history and struggles of African people here in America, but his thoughts diminish the horrific nature of the oppression and the gallant resistance demonstrated in the hundreds of rebellious activities throughout the Americas. He certainly seems unaware of the more famous rebellions of Denmark Vesey, Gabriel Prosser and certainly that of Nat Turner. Clearly he is misguided about the work of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and even John Brown, but much more important and detrimental, the view from his ivory tower obscures the meaning and reach of the KKK, Knights of the White Camelia and Red Shirts’ terrorism of the 19th Century, ‘Jim Crow’ activism in the insidious work of disfranchisement particularly after the 13th 14th, and 15th Amendments; the significance of the Dred Scott Decision, the “Grandfather Clause” trickery, and Plessy V. Ferguson ruling, and significantly the “White Primary;” Mr. West could now has a “white wife” and this tremendous turnaround in the nation’s recognition and acceptance is partly why Malcolm X and Martin Luther fought and died. This is especially and particularly noteworthy after Emmett Till and so many others were lynched and railroaded into prison for simply “looking” at or “whistling” at a white woman!

Sadly, perhaps Mr. West does not read, for on Thursday April 26, 2018, a Memorial and Museum, as The New York Times has indicated, “That gives voice to the targets of American white supremacy;” opened in Montgomery, Alabama to commemorate the nearly 4000 African-Americans lynched in the southern states, many of which were in rebellion against the union; today they continually fly the hated Confederate Flag. Even more important, and in his down-playing their significance it is clearly evident, Mr. West would be hard-pressed to peacefully stroll hand-in-hand with his “white wife” publicly in such places despite the sacrifices of Martin Luther King, Rev. Shuttlesworth, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, and most certainly the “Four Little Girls” killed in the “Bombingham” church. Naturally we cannot forget Dylan Roof and the Mother Emanuel massacre; Charleston and Charlottesville; and Trump’s pronouncement that “There were good people on both sides” as the KKK and White Supremacist or Alt-Right members marched in Virginia and continue their evil and insidious efforts.

It is still in the memory, when Kanye foolishly boasted that he and his wife were more culturally popular than Barack and Michelle Obama and today again, that he and his wife are globally the most popular spouses in contemporary times. In addition, and fudging on being African, Mr. West sought to portray himself as a universal icon, who is not Black. Well, whatever floats his boat. Nevertheless, and tremendously significant, like so many, or perhaps so few, Negroes who “Kiss Trump’s Ring,” despite his praise for the man, Mr. Trump did not see Kanye as a monumental global figure but simply, “There’s my African-American.” That is, Mr. Trump did not confirm Mr. West improved his “numbers” among the global or American constituency Mr. West seeks to entertain and inadvertently messages a false narrative. The President simply stated, “Kanye improved my numbers among Blacks from 11 to 22 percent.” This in itself is not correct though more correctly Mr. Trump sees this fiddler as “his Black to the Blacks!”

Thus, as the slave owners had their plantation overseers or foremen who harassed, harangued and even raped enslaved and free African Men and women; unknowing to him, Mr. West was simply reduced to being one of Donald Trump’s Negroes. Now, Kanye West can consider himself a member of the club of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani - called “Brutaliani” while Mayor of New York City, an avowed racist with whom both Al Sharpton and Sonny Carson clashed repeatedly.

As Rev. Sharpton further pointed out, Kanye must understand Donald Trump will one day leave the White House and there will be another President. However, history and people of good faith and certainly activists will remind him of his words and action as so many continue to speak correctly to power.

However, and having gotten off the train of his “spiritual journey” to throw some light on the West saga, the erudite and iconic Civil Rights leader returned the conversation back to “Speaking to the Rock” and how God uses Blacks in his message to the world. Underscoring this phenomenal experience, Rev. Sharpton pointed to the numerous negative portrayals of African-Americans nationally and internationally; but when Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful daughters Malia and Sasha stepped off the plane, their demeanor as a loving and respectful family, contradicted the false narrative.

Therefore, and affirming it is his destiny and magnifying the power that God can do anything, Rev. Sharpton closed his rally by affirming as unending commitment to bring forth the “waters of salvation” that will empower and protect those who have to live with the consequences of the new mood of the country in the “Age of Trump.”

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