Tuesday, September 28, 2010


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.


CareyCarey said...

Hello Mark,

I wanted to be one of the first to comment on this issue. Well, particularly your comment on "The Black Church".

I recently wrote a post on Eddie Long, and as usual, I added my own bit of humor to lighten the normal negative comments about him and his church. Because in reality, there's nothing but allegations. But I take offense to those that use Eddie Long and his elk as a vehicle to bash "The Black Church".

Mark, my disdain for those that do that, is not totally directed at you, so don't take this personally. In fact, I said this in my post. So, instead of me running my mouth any longer, I copied my open response, and here it is...

NOW, before you leave , don't let this post and the preceding one fool you (nearly 1500 people has viewed them in the last 2 days) . Many house negros in several blogs, are being played played played. It's like someone yelled fired, locked the doors, and their dumb asses are trampling over one another. If they would stop for just a second, they'd realize they're being used like a 5 dollar whore. For every Eddie Long church, there are thousands that have no resemblance to his! Most of the comments are coming from the mouths of pitiful pawns. Just like the fools up in Eddie's church, all of them are mimicking the voice of their master. It's the old divide and conquer ploy.

Just like the puppet ass house negros that DO NOT step out in the field, the quasi negros cluster in the master's kitchen, and preceeds to talk about dem po darkies in the field. From what I've heard, most of the thick lipped negros do not even go to church, so why oh why are they vilifying the black church? Is it solely on the actions of a few pander-ous pimps? Obviously, they are just talking out of their ass, because they obviously do not know what happens in the black church, how could they?

There whimsical banter and opinions, are just as mis-directed and foolish as those that say all black folks are thugs, triffling, on drugs, and have several children. Is it because the media (massa) says so? Then, of course, the good old boy house sambo, jumps up and says "YOU RIGHT BOSS, DEM N-Words SHO IS BAD"

Look, Eddie Long and his type of church is not an anomaly, but they, by NO MEANS represent the millions of black americans in the USA. But of course, the house niggra, while washing Mr Charlies windows, will look out through his blues eye and say....


Can't they see they are being pimped and played, just like the members of Eddie Longs church? Why don't they just sing all of Mr Charlie's favorite tunes? Hell, many of them are already sitting out on the lawn playing a banjo. If you listen real good, you'll hear...

GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME: Remove the black church, remove the black man, and remove the NAACP. We don't need any of those organizations that have our best interests at heart. And while we are cleaning house, kick that black man out of that white house, they are all the same. Let's do it like massa because he knows what's best for us. Come on all of you field coons, lets move into MASSA's house. Ain't no churches up in here! Nope, just the devil.

CareyCarey said...
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CareyCarey said...
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Heather said...

As an Atlantan... who has had some dealings (even as a white girl)with the black Atlanta clergy... I have followed this case closely. I even watched his sermon on Sunday and one thing knocked me between the eyes: he never said, "I didn't do it". Now... if you're accused of something you didn't do... don't you proclaim your innocence from the highest mountain? Also... four unrelated cases? Odd. My gut feeling is that this is not going to end pretty. But... it's not a black thing. It's a "powerful man" thing. I've seen this... experienced this... first hand... from men of all colors.

That corgi :) said...

whenever scandals like this break, it obviously hurts those involved, including the victims (especially the victims) and the families of the one accused of doing these atrocious acts. I don't know if Bishop Long is guilty or not, that is between him and God and the authorities to sort through. I do know it irks me when people who say they are of God do acts like this (if he is guilty and there have been countless others in the past). Those of us trying to follow Jesus take the "bad rap" when people like this soil God's name. I haven't followed the story long enough or close enough to make much of a comment about what the men said. However, I do think it merits an investigation.


Toon said...

It's always the screeching, bible-thumping, homo-hating zealots who get their closets opened for them.
Love it!

mrs. miss alaineus said...

there is nothing worse than going through life when someone does abuse you, you finally tell about it....and then no one believes you.

i hope that whatever investigation is done that it clears the air and finds what needs to be found to put everyone involved on the path to healing/ and or criminal charges.


Mark said...

There are so many issues conflated here, and in your other post.
As a gay man who went to prison, I saw firsthand how overwhelming the homophobia was. Whether coming from black or whites, it was most often buttressed by claims that the bible made it wrong. It was clear to me that the vast majority of the black inmates had heard it condemned from childhood in church, which they'd attended to a far greater degree than the white inmates.
It's not propaganda that the black church is, on the whole, extremely homophobic and this is reflected in black society as a whole. In prison, you were either on the down low or a draq queen--there were NO out "regular" black gays.
The black church wouldn't even address AIDS until the mid-90s.
And ALL THAT has nothing to do with Pastor's Long's behavior, except to make it more hypocritical.
He abused his authority--he could have done it with young girls. The crime would have been the same if the boys were (are) actually gay or not, because of the element of psychological coercion.
But what is truly sad is that Long felt this was the only way to address his sexuality. God Forbid he could have every come out to his congregation and to himself. They would have rejected him as a self-accepting gay man. They will only accept regret and repentance, having the mistaken delusion that one can choose one's sexual orientation.
Gay Christians in conservative denominations-black or white-- are the guards and prisoners in their own concentration camp. They enforce the very culture that oppresses them. It is extremely sad.
And from a group that has suffered so much oppression, it is nonsensical to boot. By all rights, black men should be gay-friendly feminists--and they very rarely are.