Friday, August 04, 2006

The Enduring and Loose Use of N***a ...

The loose, off-the-cuff use of the infamous "N" word by Illinois State Senator James Meeks can be easily seen as a case where politics can truly corrupt the pulpit. It wasn't so much the word itself as it was the vindictive purpose for using it in the first place: to instigate a massive mega church congregation into en masse retaliation against perceived "house n****s" and the "slave masters" they support.

That sort of community discourse gets a bit outdated and tired, particularly coming from prominent Black preachers presiding over stadium size mega-churches in blighted urban communities like Chicago. In this case, the blind leads the blind: Parishioners are wildly entertained every Sunday morning, but return home to mounting debt, rising gas prices, paycheck woes and poor schools. There is little in the form of assistance, financial literacy counseling, access to quality education, primary or preventive health care or legal representation from many wealthy Black churches in a position to do such.

The church is not the forum for internal racial invective or color-coded conflicts. Last we checked, church is supposed to encourage compassion and compunction, even in the face of political challenges and differences in policy. There must have been a better way to express dissatisfaction with the city's public school system or ineffective African American elected officials.

To now have a White mayor chastise an important figure in the Black community for using the
"N" word raises this issue to the ridiculous.