The scandal regarding Bishop Eddie Long (what is the difference between, Reverend, Pastor and Bishop? I mean I honestly know, but in the Black Church, it seems that they pull an appropriate title out of their rear end... sort of like Bishop Magic Don Juan...) has been scratching around in my head since the story first broke. I haven't really followed it with any intensity because I am not sitting in front of a television and I don't surf the stories on the net as they develop. One of the reasons is that while I understand those that support Bishop Long, I don't think that this is going to cause any significant change in the relationship between African-Americans and how this topic is seen and generally understood.
Waking up this morning and firing up my laptop, then clicking on a link on AOL where Don Lemon of CNN, admits to having been a victim of a pedophile as he interviews three young supporters of Bishop Long. He goes into breaking down the language that the accusers use in describing their relationships with the Bishop and I agree with him that the language they use is too similar to be coincidental, and not merit deeper investigation.
Though I never had anything remotely close to what Don Lemon went through occur to me growing up, the concern that pops out in some of my entries about being a 'victim' is one that has been a part of my make up since I can remember. The violence that went unaddressed in childhood, was simeotanously seen not only as 'not wrong', but also a 'rite of childhood'. I mean, I can recall being pushed and shoved right regularly not to mention the 'cloak of invisibility' that made it easy for adults (who carried the power of authority no matter the relationship to a child or children) ignore and minimize whatever drama that surrounded a child.
Pete Holmes' stand-up bit summarizes those terrors that kids can still endure. As a young person you are powerless and it seems that the Pastor took advantage of young men who were marginalized by the stigma of maybe being a effeminate (because I am thinking that these young men set off the Bishop's 'gaydar') and being backed into a corner because of the Bishop's status in the community. I have heard some folks express doubt about the accusers because they are not exactly 'children', but thanks to my walk down memory lane with both MD and the SFC, having reached the legal age of consent is no real indication of having reached a level of maturity or, more importantly, and independence, that is associated with being an adult. Deep down, I have always felt justified by my concerns that strangers wanted to do me harm (leaving a flank unprotected for my crap family to screw me over... basta, basta, enough with that mess!)
When Don admits on national television that he was a victim of a pedophile, something that he did not even share with his Mother until he was 30, it was to butress his arguement about the similarity of the descriptions of the accusers relationship with the accused. Like Don, I remember hearing words that struck a discordant tone in my mind as young boy and teen, from adults who were in positions of respect and if that wasn't the case, certainly were in positions of influence. That is where my experience comes in, being able to identify and remove myself from being taken advantage of in that way. It was a subject that I discussed at length (and you could imagine what that meant, given the length of my entries, to my audience!) with him, and I stress once again, not because of a particular 'incident' occuring. It was always more that I stayed away from things that made my 'Spidey sense tingle' (small irony in THAT word choice!!).
This has been a particular issue regarding how I have been questioned about my deportment, and as I have gotten older, things that were asked and were boldly offensive... and why I would rather not be bothered again with facing those questions again. Somehow, I am supposed to understand why a woman would think because I roll and bat my eyes, that maybe I was 'undercover'. Odd, how this thought did not occur to them until after we had swapped all kinds of bodily fluids. But anyway, this is looking like a tangle in the line that I will never be able to work out.
Anywho... not that this makes any sense.