By Betty Pleasant
APOLOGIES ANYONE? — Two men of immeasurable importance to black people — one in Los Angeles and the other in Florida’s huge 20th Congressional District — have chosen to apologize for something he didn’t say, while the other has rejected demands that he apologize for something he did say. And the Soulvine’s position is that neither of them said anything for which they should apologize. In fact, if this was the glorious 1960’s era, we would all stand, raise our fists and shout “Right On!” to the men’s comments.
It seems that someone misinterpreted a portion of a recent sermon delivered by Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, the senior minister of First AME Church, which compared the plight of African Americans in the hands of law enforcement officers and the justice system’s district attorneys and judges 50 years ago and found no difference today. The violence and injustices meted out to blacks 50 years ago led to the creation of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and all the other civil rights groups that affirmed this nation’s founding principles of “liberty and justice for all.”
Pastor Boyd asked the question: “How can we sit idly by while our children are slaughtered in the streets without provocation?” His answer: “We can not. We must speak out about it.” Pastor Boyd is actively engaged in meetings with the police in an attempt to save black and brown lives from law enforcement’s carnage, and he called upon leaders on the national and local levels to join citizens of goodwill to reject practices, legal and adjure, which mar the American dream of liberty and justice for all. Somehow, this message was misinterpreted to mean that Pastor Boyd is “anti-police” and it was disseminated to the general public and police as such through the Internet.
I knew nothing about this until I heard Pastor Boyd apologizing on TV for what they say he said. He had no reason at all to apologize. In fact, everybody with a voice should be saying what he said.
On the other hand, Florida congressman, Rep. Alcee Hastings is being lambasted for calling the state of Texas “crazy” for which the state’s congressmembers are demanding an apology. During a heated congressional debate on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act last month, tempers flared among the Democrats and Republicans to the point where Hastings called the entire red state of Texas “crazy” because, not only was its congressmen trying to destroy Obamacare, but its state legislators tried to pass a “dildo law” that specified the number of dildos Texas women could legally own—as well as their sizes and shapes! The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the “dildo law” in 2008 on grounds that it violated the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. (Well, at least the three judges on the circuit court panel have some sense!)
After Hastings’ outburst, 24 Texas GOP House members demanded that he apologize for insulting Texas and their demand included the warning: “Don’t mess with Texas!” Well, the 72-year-old Hastings told the Texans, in effect, “kiss my wrist and don’t mess with Obamacare!” Hastings responded appropriately and he has nothing for which to apologize. White people — especially white people in Congress — say anything and everything that pops into their heads about black people, in general, and President Obama, in particular, and they never apologize (and we’d never accept one!). Take that fool Rudy Giulianifor example. He’s maligning President Obama to an extent here-to-fore unknown in America. His current bad-mouthing of Obama is so offensively off-the-wall that even the usual right wing bigots are demanding that Giuliani apologize. If Giuliani is forced to make an apology, I certainly hope Obama tells him where to put it.
OSCAR AWARDS RACIST? — And what’s with all the complaints about the annual Motion Picture Academy Awards Oscar nomination and selection process not including African Americans? You could have seen with your own eyes a couple of Sunday nights ago that the academy uses black people as entertainers for the show and as presenters of the awards — only. It’s hard to believe the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences is headed by a black woman! We have to do something about this. We ought to boycott the Oscar thing. We ought to make the academy’s white people entertain themselves and hand each other those ugly gold statues.