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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
‘Back when we were Negroes’ - Charles E. Richardson - Macon.com
There was a time until the early 1960s when the terms to describe those of African decent, like me -- African-American or Black or Afro-American -- were almost unheard of.
I remember a distinct conversation with a friend discussing descriptive terms for ourselves in 1963 or ’64. The term “black” was just coming into vogue and he didn’t like it one bit. “Call me a Negro,” he said, “but don’t call me black.”
Now, the word “Negro” (publications used a lower case “n”) has almost become a pejorative, so I was a little surprised when my pastor, the Rev. Willie Reid, used it during Thursday’s revival. “Back when we were Negroes,” he said, and listed several things that were different about black life in America back then.
That got me to thinking. Back when we were Negroes in the 1950s, “only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent,” according to “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies” by Kay Hymowitz. “Black children had a 52 percent chance of living with both their biological parents until age 17. In 1959, “only 2 percent of black children were reared in households in which the mother never married.” But now that we’re African-Americans, according to Hymowitz, those odds of living with both parents had “dwindled to a mere 6 percent” by the mid-1980s. And check this, in Bibb County, more than 70 percent of the births in the African-American community are to single mothers.
Back when we were Negroes and still fighting in many parts of the country for the right to vote, we couldn’t wait for the polls to open. We knew our friends, family and acquaintances had died getting us the ballot. Dogs and fire hoses were used to keep us away and still we came. But now that we’re African-Americans, in a city of 47,000 registered -- predominately black voters -- more than 30,000 didn’t show up at the polls July 19.
Back when we were Negroes, we had names like Joshua, Aaron, Paul, Esther, Melba, Cynthia and Ida. Now that we are African Americans, our names are bastardized versions of alcohol from Chivas to Tequila to C(S)hardonney. And chances the names have an unusual spelling.
Back when we were Negroes, according to the Trust For America’s Health’s “F as in Fat,” report, “only four states had diabetes rates above 6 percent. ... The hypertension rates in 37 states about 20 years ago were more than 20 percent.”
Now that we’re African-Americans, that report shows, “every state has a hypertension rate of more than 20 percent, with nine more than 30 percent. Forty-three states have diabetes rates of more than 7 percent, and 32 have rates above 8 percent. Adult obesity rates for blacks topped 40 percent in 15 states, 35 percent in 35 states and 30 percent in 42 states and Washington, D.C.
Back when we were Negroes, the one-room church was the community center that everyone used. Now that we’re African-Americans, our churches have lavish -- compared to back-in-the-day churches -- community centers that usually sit empty because the last thing the new church wants to do is invite the community in.
Back when we were Negroes, we didn’t have to be convinced that education was the key that opened the lock of success, but now that we’re African-Americans, more than 50 percent of our children fail to graduate high school. In Bibb County last year, the system had a dropout rate of 53,4 percent.
Back when we were Negroes, the last thing a young woman wanted to look like was a harlot and a young man a thug, but now that we’re African-Americans, many of our young girls dress like hootchie mamas and our young boys imitate penitentiary custom and wear their pants below the butt line.
If I could reverse all of the above by trading the term “African-American” for “Negro,” what do you think I’d do?
Charles E. Richardson is The Telegraph’s editorial page editor.
Monday, August 22, 2011
What Would Jesus Say (WWJS)?
Abortion & the Bible
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court rendered a (7 to 2) ruling based upon the 9th and 14th amendments, that the Constitution guarantees a woman's "right to privacy," a right that extends even to abortion. At the very heart of that ruling stood the question, “When does life begin?” In his majority opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, and I quote:
"If this suggestion of personhood (for the fetus) is established, the appellant's case (the argument for abortion), of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on re-argument.”
WWJS to Judge Blackmum and abortion proponents?: Let’s consider four answers Jesus gave, and conversely, we, must give today.
1st God creates life.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Gen. 1:1. Other key texts: John 1:1-4; Psalm 127:3; Job 33:4; 34:14-15
Life comes from God. However, to say that life originates from God does not answer the question, “Does human life begin at the point of conception?”
2nd God creates life in the womb.
Key Texts: Jer. 1:5; Psa. 139:13-14
Contrary to those who assume life begins with breath, the whole teaching of the Bible confirms it begins at conception. Since the Bible states that life comes from God, and it does, and since the Bible states that God gives us life in the womb, then does the baby in the womb have God-given protective legal rights?
3rd God grants babies legal protective rights in the womb.
The battleground verse over abortion rights of a mother is Exodus 21:22-25
The words gives birth prematurely or miscarriages are literally the words go forth from or come out of. So the text says as a result of the woman being hurt in this fight her baby comes out. With that reading, it is clear that the progression of the passage describes what happens to the child. It gives two scenarios: one where the child lives, in which case it was simply a premature birth; and two, where the child dies, in which case the man who caused the injury has to pay for the loss of the child’s life with his own.
While this passage is clearly not talking about abortion, it clearly shows that the Bible considers the unborn child a living being, and therefore the law requires the ultimate penalty of capital punishment for taking the life of the child in a mother’s womb.
4th God commands that we protect the life of children.
The reading of Roe v. Wade defined the health of the mother not only in physical terms but in terms of emotional well being. This means that if a woman believes having the child will make life harder then she can choose to take the child’s life so that she can have an easier life. What does Bible say?
Key Texts: Psa. 94:6-10; 106:38
Israel wanted to trust the gods of the land. They were agricultural gods. Israel then began to sacrifice their children for prosperity. God condemns that practice as a gross evil.
In the Bible the highest virtue isn’t saving your own life, but sacrificing it for others. Consider the following examples: Paul, Acts 20:24; Jesus, 1 John 3:16; tribulation saints, Rev 12:11.
Are Christians judgmental when we say in love that abortion is wrong that it is actually murder? No, Christians are saying What Jesus Would Say (John 12:48). But we also must gladly say that there is forgiveness with God. There’s good news for sinners. For the same God who considers abortion murder sent His Son, Jesus, to die in place of guilty sinners. Having fully satisfied the just payment for all sin, including murder, Jesus rose from the grave with authority to pardon any and all sinners who repent and turn to Him for forgiveness (John 5:22).
Armed with the above truths about WWJS, Christians must pray and use their Bibles to talk like Jesus in order to bring the conscience-searing evil of abortion to an end. Just as brave women like Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe stood together and risked all to bring legal slavery to an end, all Christians must raise their voices in love and say the time for change has come.
But whatever happens, let’s stop being silent and with conviction answer Justice Harry Blackmun’s question, “When does life begin?” by saying what Jesus would say!
· God grants physical life (Gen 1:1).
· He grants life at conception (Jer 1:5).
· He grants every unborn child legal protective rights (Exod 21:22-25).
And He wants abortion to end now!
For other helpful resources to fight against abortion check out abort73.