Thursday, August 2, 2012

The African-American Monolith Is Cracking

We all know that the African-American vote is going to go almost entirely to Barack Obama in the upcoming election. There has been discussion that the percentages will remain about the same, but the hard numbers may drop simply because Obama hasn't carried out many of his pledges. Enthusiasm has diminished, and now another crack is developing. The latest catalyst seems to stem from a Demoratic confrontation with a fast food chicken restaurant.

Yes, indeed. Chick-fil-A just got some strong backing from an important African-American group--The Coalition of African-American Pastors. They represent 3,742 black congregations. In a rousing speech with shades of the rhetoric used by the gay lobby and their leftist secularist supporters, President Rev. William Owens thundered: "It's a disgrace. It's the same thing that happened when I was marching for civil rights, when they didn't want a black to come into their restaurant, they didn't want us staying in their hotels. Now they're saying, because we take a Christian position, they don't want us in their cities."

Rev. Owens was speaking at the National Press Club when he tossed the grenade. Christian blacks oppose gay marriage at a much higher rate than whites, but until recently the issue had been kept local and low-key. He was reacting largely to the big city mayors declaring their dismay over the opposition of the CEO of Chick-fil-A to gay marriage. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's statement that opposition to gay marriage did not reflect "Chicago values" was the straw that broke the camel's back. Rahmbo must have made that statement without checking with the ward captains on the South Side.

Unlike the infamous "pastors" we are treated to almost daily (Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for starters), these pastors actually spend their Sundays in the pulpit, preaching that old time religion. Owens was not exactly demure about being told what his values should be. "Well, we won't take it. We will stand up and they will learn, they will learn that they can't do that to any people, by destroying religion, by destroying the family. We will stand up."

This goes beyond the anger and negative comments made by many black pastors after The One announced that he had "evolved" and now supports gay marriage. Until now, most of their comments were rhetorical, or a plea with the president to change his mind. There was a strong note of defiance, but not much in the way of action. But on Tuesday, Rev. Owens announced the group's Mandate for Marriage campaign. It is aimed directly at black voters. "We will urge black voters to refrain from supporting President Barack Obama unless he retracts his support for gay marriage."

Speaking on camera directly to the president, Rev. Owens said: "Mr. President, I'm not going to stand with you, and there are thousands of others across this country that are not going to stand with you with this foolishness." Rev. Owens also says that his group will be contacting other black pastors who have announced their support for Obama to try to encourage them to withdraw their endorsements. He added: "If out-of wedlock births, hopelessness for black youth, and an ever-increasing murder rate are Chicago values, we reject them. Maybe these mayors and aldermen should spend more time attending to the real problems of their cities, and spend less time worrying about a values-supporting restaurant chain."

Bishop Janice Hollis, Prelate of the Covenant of International Fellowship of Churches echoed Rev. Owens, saying: "Obama's support of gay marriage is a travesty, and it reflects the disorder in the highest office in the land." They both said that they had written to the president and Eric Holder, requesting a meeting on the subject, and "he has not given us the courtesy of a reply." Both stated, speaking of the black voters nationwide, "Obama is ignoring the black community because he feels that he has us in his pocket. Well, we are not in his pocket."

I recognize that the economy is the big issue in this campaign. But I also recognize that there is a substantial voting bloc of conservative, religious citizens who simply cannot in good conscience vote for Obama under any circumstances. Add the Coalition of African American Pastors to that bloc. In certain key swing states with large black populations, even something of this minor magnitude could be the deciding factor.

Naturally, you won't see much about this or the Chick-fil-A appreciation day. There is some buzz that CBS intentionally spiked coverage of the crowds at Chick-fil-A across the nation after they found out that the demonstrations weren't against the company. On the other hand, one blog suggested "Take a Boy Scout to Chick-fil-A Day." Perfect!

Note: Because of a last-minute change of appointments, I was unable to attend Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in Bakersfield. But from what I've seen, it was a resounding success nationwide. Long lines of cars and patrons around the restaurants, and many signs of enthusiastic support. Somehow I don't think the opposition "kiss in" coming up will be nearly as successful. There were even a few bomb threats, indicating just how angry and desperate the opponents of free speech and religious liberty really are.


Joel Farnham said...


I heard some of it from the Rush Limbaugh show.

" The president is in the White House because of the civil rights movement, and I was a leader in that movement, and I didn't march one inch, one foot, one yard, for a man to marry a man and a woman to marry a woman.".... Rev. Owens.


Anthony said...

Lawhawk said:

Yes, indeed. Chick-fil-A just got some strong backing from an important African-American group--The Coalition of African-American Pastors. They represent 3,742 black congregations.
They've made that claim, but they haven't offered a membership list.

I remember when they announced that they would protest at the NAACP convention. The announcement got a lot more coverage than the protest itself (even from conservative sites) so I can only assume that there wasn't much to the rally.

These guys might very well be the New Black Panthers of the right, adept at getting media coverage because they say what powerful people want to hear, but not having much actual support in the black community.

That being said, black antipathy towards gay marriage is real. I swung by Chick Fil A yesterday (just to see what the line was like)at 9PM and in a overwhelmingly black area, the drive-thru line had eight more cars than its usual (which is usually long).

Tennessee Jed said...

It was supported heavily here in the Knoxville area. One local franchisee gave out 52 free lunch coupons to each supporter. That was strictly from his own funds, nothing from national. My only disappointment is that this person reiterated his beliefs in support of the biblical interpretation of marriage.

Don't get me wrong, he is well within his rights to do so, but this has become a highly politicized issue. In other words, whether I agree with the comments or not is less important to me than protecting the notion of free speech. I don't even care that the little dork Jim Henson pulled support for Chic-fil-A. It is his choice just like it is mine to avoid movies featuring mouthy liberal actors who give big bucks to Democrat politicians.

I noticed that some idiot at Wendy's really stepped in it on Twitter when he wrongly tried to take advantage of the situation by insinuating (incorrectly) that Chick-fil-A discriminates. Dana Loesch covered that one at Breitbart.

I also was impressed with Krauthammer's comments on Brett Baer's panel last night. What really was over the line was the use of government power by big city mayors to threaten and intimidate people with whom they disagree. Charles correctly pointed out that until a couple of months ago, the position espoused by the president of Chick-fil-A was essentially the same as that of the president of the United States (B.O.) and his then chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel. Now that is what I call an A+ "bitch slap."

Anthony said...


Jim Henson died in 1990. Judging by Sesame Street and the Muppets, he was probably a liberal, but his work elevated the quality of kid's tv.

Anthony said...

Reportedly many Chick fil As ran out of food yesterday.

BevfromNYC said...

TennJ- Just for the sake of accuracy, Jim Henson died many years ago. But his progeny have politicized the Henson message and diminished his legacy.

Now that that is out of the way, CFA set global retail records for single day sales. And what is really interesting, they were prepared for it. Now if the government could meet challenges thd way CFA did, we would all be better off.

Tennessee Jed said...

yes, yes, of course, I should have stated the Jim Henson Company. It really doesn't effect my point.

StanH said...

I ate at CFA on the same day that you did Lawhawk. I attempted again yesterday, around 12:15 PM but couldn’t get in. When you get off of the expressway cars were lined up, it’s about 150 yards into the Wal-Mart shopping center, around 50 yards to the perimeter around the shopping center, and right about 50 yards to the entrance to CFA, and cars were wrapped completely around the building, with patrons bulging out of the door. It was an incredible counter protest, showing who the real majority is. This happened across the country.

Fast forward to the coming gay protest, where probably 50 people will get together and two people will kiss and ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NYT’s, WaPo, etc. will lead with the story, calling it a groundswell of support.

On the subject of black preachers going against Barry. My wife and I saw a movie Monday night called “Runaway Slave” with the Rev. C. L. Bryant (black minister former NAACP local chapter president) who dared go against the NAACP on abortion. He lost his standing with the NAACP and his church. Long story short, there are real people in the black community pushing back against the monolithic support for democrats, and how they’ve traded one master for another. How since the signing by LBJ of his “Great Society” legislation, the black community has been eviscerated. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it. The movie dovetails nicely with the thrust of your article.

T-Rav said...

Any chance you could provide a link to this story? I really want to blast some my liberal friends on it.

Unknown said...

Joel: Funny, that's the same thing I remember from my days in the civil rights movement.

AndrewPrice said...

I hope the black community starts to break up ideologically. It would be good for them and good for the rest of the country.

Anthony said...

Runaway Slave saddens me. Too many Republicans (black and white) seem intent on trying to sell a message of personal irresponsibility to the black community. Which perhaps not coincidentally is the same message many Democrats seem intent on selling. I don't think either message is convincing.

Slavery ended well over a century a go and its little brother, Jim Crow died five decades ago. Anyone talking about slavery in modern America is either a drama queen or woefully ignorant of history.

Sadly, the public figure I most find myself in agreement with is Bill Cosby, who rather than whine about non-existent conspiracies and enemies holding us down, calls for black people to take responsibility for their own lives and communities.

Of course, the message that individuals are primarily responsible for their own lives (if you make stupid choices in your day to day life, you are screwed no matter who you vote for) doesn't really benefit either party, so the fact that the salesmen of parties don't push it doesn't surprise me.

Tennessee Jed said...

I agree with Anthony that Henson was clearly a great puppeteer. I have no idea about his own specific political views, but he most certainly elevated the quality of children's programming. Sesame Street and the Electric Company (with Cosby, Morgan Freeman, and Rita Moreno) was good stuff when my oldest was a toddler. My guess is, scripting and liberal ideology came slowly and gradually, and probably was impacted less by Henson himself than liberal producers of the show.

As far as the break-up of the black community ideologically, I agree with you comment, Andrew, it would be a great thing for everybody. The day when there are no organizations titled "African Americans for (candidate Y) is the day we probably have come close to a post racial nation.

Tennessee Jed said...

Anthony - Cosby's message has been and remains a great message. I hate the fact he has been attacked by members of the "keep racial tension alive for political gain" industry saddens me

Unknown said...

Anthony: Therefore it's not true? So far, I've seen considerable support for them, including this morning's interview with Herman Cain. Many organizations do not publish membership lists, for many reasons. Sometimes it's for the purpose of deception, but usually for reasons of privacy and/or safety. The coalition of religious organizations which organized Prop 8 in the first place kept its list secret to avoid their individual members being targeted by left wing groups. After the federal judge ordered limited release of the names of major sponsors, the harassment and threats began in earnest.

The comparison to the New Black Panther Party is a bit radical. I understand that you are working from a healthy sense of caution and skepticism, but that's a bit much. This group of pastors is working peacefully, attempting to peacefully persuade fellow fundamentalists, evangelicals and blacks that gay marriage is deleterious. The same cannot be said of the NBPs.

I don't subscribe to many of the theological positions of the CAAP, but until I see something that proves otherwise, I have no reason to doubt their sincerity or truthfulness. I suspect that the group doesn't have a lot of influence in the black community, yet. But mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Like Tea Parties. As I mentioned in the article, the vast majority of blacks will still vote for Obama. But I also mentioned that blacks overall are more opposed to gay marriage than whites. This could be a cynical move by the CAAP to get some public notice, but I just don't see it that way.

Unknown said...

Anthony: I'm assuming Tennessee meant the Muppet/Sesame Street/Henson organization rather than Henson himself (who is indeed, dead).

Unknown said...

Anthony: That's what I've heard. The response to Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was even bigger than expected.

Unknown said...

Bev: Even though I missed yesterday's big show of support because of a change in my schedule, I think I'll stop at the Chick-fil-A in Bakersfield today to pick up a sandwich and see what's happening on "the day after."

Unknown said...

Side Note from a former San Franciscan (me): The mayor of San Francisco said that the closest Chick-fil-A is fifty miles away, and they had "better not get any closer." That would be the one in San Jose, which was swamped with business yesterday.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: Oops, you got there ahead of me, but at least I was right about what you meant.

Individualist said...

You it is funny but we seem to have the wrong notion about what Slavery really is. slavery is thought in the common parlance as being forced to work for someone else. Yet this is not really a good definition. Most of the individuals on the planet will be forced to work at something if they wish to eat.

Slavery to my mind is not about where you are forced to work but where you are allowed to spend your free time. Where you are forced to live. The problem with Slavery prior to the civil war was not being forced to work the contton fields. Many ex slaves did that same work as sharecroppers voluntarily during the reconstruction. It was being forced to live in slave quarters and not having the compensation given to them in a manner that allowed them to spend it as they were want to budget or save it if possible.

I remember seeing a picture of slave quarters in my high school history book. They were long two story utilitarian buildings. Later when I audited a HUD housing project it struck me how eerily similar to that picture those buidings were even to the 12 foot chain link fence to keep the resdents in and supposedly the drug dealrers out.

I remember working on the Mark Little campaign as a poll watcher and seeing Corrine Brown's watcher drum through the rolls and write down the name of everyone that did not vote. give the list periodically throughout the day to a land lord to go round them up for free rides to the polls. I remember the first time he got the list at 9 am and his statement "I will make sure my n-words get out to vote. This precinct was one drawn around hud housing projects.

Many liberals refuse to accept the comparison I make to the the Great society programs, affirmative action and Hud housing and welfare subsistance to Slavery. They refuse to see that one can control someone through "largesse" or maybe their collectivist belief system forces them to accept someone will dictate everyone'sm lives to everyone I don't know.

But I will say this. Those people I saw in the Hud Housing projects were little better than slaves in my opinion. They are forced to live where the goverrnment tells them too and eat what the government gives them. They rely on the government for everything and if they try to save any money the government accuses them of a crime and punishes them. Sure it is not as visually displeasing as the Master's whip but it is in its own way deleterious to the spirit and it is not FREEDOM. If that makes me a pollyana well so be it...... I know what I have seen

Unknown said...

Stan: Good to hear about your local Chick-fil-A response.

You're so right about how the MSM will handle the "kiss-ins." My office in San Francisco was located near "ground zero" of every crazy protest that occurred in The City. The local coverage was purposely set up to make all the demonstrations look huge. I almost got myself in trouble going after a CBS news crew which was using tight shots on a group of about fifteen pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Had they pulled back to a reasonable distance, it would have been apparent that the tiny group was being completely ignored by the passers-by and wasn't impressing anyone except the news crew. That was a very common occurrence. I'm sure we'll see the same with the "kiss-ins."

Unknown said...

Andrew: I couldn't agree with you more. It would be odd if a side issue like gay marriage ends up as the catalyst that begins that process.

Unknown said...

Anthony: The liberal establishment has a vested interest in dredging-up long dead wrongs. You can't be a victim if you're not being victimized, so past becomes present in their ideology in order to herd minorities into "victim groups" being shepherded by the Democratic party.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I loved The Muppets but even as long ago as when my kids were little, I could see the agenda in Sesame Street, and banned it in our household. I just couldn't buy into the concept that living in a ghetto or barrio was just dandy with no need to teach the lesson of rising above your circumstances. Philosophy from a garbage can just didn't appeal to me.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, That's just wrong on all levels.

1. There is a HUGE difference between being forced to perform work someone else wants you to do and needing to work to support yourself.

2. Slavery was much more brutal than you seem to realize. They didn't just hand the slave a bag lunch and point them to the fields. They worked under threat of physical punishment and they had no rights.

3. The government doesn't tell ANYONE where they need to live or what they need to eat. Those people have voluntary made the decision to accept the things the government hands out.

The comparison between slavery and the dependence offered by the government today is ludicrous and completely misunderstands the nature of slavery. It's like equating someone wrongful imprisoned in a work camp against a child who lives with their parents and then concluding that the child has it worse.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: There wasn't any single source. I first picked it up from a one-paragraph post from the Atlanta Journal which didn't have much detail. The only article I saw with any detail at all came from CNS online. There has been much more on the protest since I wrote the article, including even CNN (though even their piece was suspiciously lacking in much detail). Here's that link: Black Pastors.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: The best part is that Cosby doesn't sound like a mouthpiece for conservative causes, so it's harder to label him as a puppet of white reactionaries. He is as plain-spoken about wrongs he sees being committed against the black community as he is about individual responsibility and "quit blaming white people."

Unknown said...

Indi: The key word is "voluntary." To a certain extent we are all subservient to our circumstances, but that doesn't mean we are anything approaching slaves.

The bucolic pictures of pre-Civil War black "dormitories" do indeed look a lot like public housing in urban centers, but the residents of those urban centers are free to rise above that and leave. The slaves were not. Today, families can choose to stay together in traditional family units. The slaves had no such choice, and families were routinely broken up. If a slave dared to object, there was always the slave master's bullwhip.

Today's self-imposed "slavery" isn't even close to being real slavery. The politicians may manipulate the residents of those urban ghettoes, but the residents hold their destiny in their own hands. Slaves had no such choice.

I'm not big on quoting rock stars as philosophers, but there's a line from the Eagles' hit Already Gone that applies here. "So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and never even know we have the key." We, and the black community, have those keys. The slaves did not.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Agreed.

Individualist said...


It is not as Brutal as Slavery in the South Agreed. However it is more controlling than some slaves in Rome that had more rights including the ability to buy their way out. So in that sense you are talking the level of suffering. There have been people who have been tortured under regimes that were not technically slaves as well.

Fact of the matter is once you sign up for government subsitance you are stuck period. The government pays 90% of the rent and electric, gives food stamps wtc. If you or your children save money beyond a few thousand dollars then the government will declare you to be no longer available for subsisitance. They will go back two years and make you pay back all the money youi recdeived plus fines. you will then no longer be able to apply to HUD hosuing for a period long enough to put you on the streets.

This is not a joke, I know this first hand because part of my job as an auditor was to make wsure the landlord got waivers from the tenants allowing him to do background checks including having the banks send a statement indicating how much money they had. This by the way is why you will hear people in teh projects refuse to open a bank account.

Is someone getting beat no... does someone have the right to get out of this situation... not really.... Sorry as to Slavery, being controlled by someone else I did not see what real "rights" these people had. They could not even get convicted drug dealers evicted from the projects......

So no sorry I respectfully reject your premise since some Roman slaves had more rights to their own destiny than a person caught on welfare in the 1970' and 80's... Maybe the reforms Newt made in 94 helped but somehow I doubt they did that much.

StanH said...

To clarify “Runaway Slave” was the name given to the movie. Rev. C.L. Bryant is a regular spokesman at Tea Party events, in fact Freedom Works is one of the producers. My wife and I were also taken a back by the name as well, this doesn’t diminish one bit about it’s message. Herman Cain is one of the frequent speakers in the movie, who coined the phraseology that government servitude is the new plantation. The movie reviews the effect of government subservience of the black community post “Jim Crow.” Very, very disturbing, some of the statistics are horrifying. However it is also uplifting that there are black people of substance fighting against the tragedy, that is black America.

Patriot said...

LawHawk............You and Indie are talking two different realities. Pre-Emancipation slaves had NO rights......their children could be ripped away from them and sold outright if the "owner" decided. They could be beaten for a number of infractions. Indie's "Slaves" are slaving under a soul stultifying system, yes, but their children are not sold and the government cannot physically beat them. Yet yes, they are slaves to the system.

Reminds me of the time I visited Oak Allee down in Lousiana...where they filmed Brad Pitt's place in "Interview," the docent was taking us on the tour of the main quarters and we stopped on one of the upstairs balconies to look out over the 600 or so acres where they grew sugar cane. I remarked, they must have needed a lot of slaves to work those fields, that must have been pretty brutal during the Southern summers...and the docent replied,..."Oh it was hard, but they was happy slaves!"

I don't think anyone alive today would even think that those slaves were "happy." Hard at work on a task, yes. "Full employment" at the plantation, yes...just without the pay and the ability to leave and be free to choose another line of work.

So Indie, yes, while the ghetto HUD denizens are "slaves" in one sense, they will never be "slaves" as most people look at the institution. They may be trapped, but they are free to choose....and that's the tragedy of it all.

Individualist said...


I will refer to my comments to Andrew in responsse to what you ahve to say as well. I feel that the fact that someone on welfare has the right to rise above is in dispute.

I will say this, in my professional career I have seen fraud and a lot of shading acdcounting and have been placed in the middle to trying to diplomatically fight them most to little success.

There is no more disturbing thing that I feel I was ever required to do as a part of my job function than viewing the bank statements of someone on welfare to make sure they did not inadvertantly save money.

the reason the landlord saying "I'll go knock on some doors and get my n-words to vote" was so chilling to me is I know exactly how stuck those people are. They can't save money and therefore can't afford to get in trouble with the landlord for fear of not being evicted but being thrown out of the system.

I understand people have a problem with the term slavery but I don't care. What I saw was little better than that and it disgusted me. The idea that someone would know I had not voted and have my landlord knock on my door to harass me about voting for his candidate. It is evil.

Unknown said...

Indi: The contention that Roman slaves had more rights than our underclass isn't entirely apt. Slavery is slavery, and thirty or forty years of getting enough money to buy freedom doesn't alter that. Most Roman slaves never even got close. Many who did achieved their wealth from the gladiatorial arena. Of those, more died than attained freedom.

No matter how oppressive slavery was in America, there were those with the guts and brains to escape. A lot harder than just getting off the welfare rolls. Though anti-slavery whites were clearly involved, the Underground Railroad was largely a creation of escaped black slaves.

It wouldn't require a bloody Civil War to fix the government dependence in the urban ghettos. Just a lot of hard work, willingness to work for economic freedom, and refusal to cooperate with the something-for-nothing government. That is very difficult, but not as hard as Frederick Douglas's escape from slavery in Maryland. It's going to take people with his fortitude to accomplish the goal of getting free of government dependence.

Remember, Douglas educated himself, then taught and preached to his fellow slaves while still under the thumb of the very real oppressor and before he finally escaped to a free state. That's the kind of "working within" that will break the back of government dependence. A few more Frederick Douglases and a few less Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons, and the black underclass could break its economic chains.

All of your facts ring true, but I just can't come to the same conclusion about what those facts ultimately mean.

Unknown said...

Stan: Clarification and expansion duly noted.

Anthony said...

Lawhawk said:

Anthony: Therefore it's not true? So far, I've seen considerable support for them, including this morning's interview with Herman Cain. Many organizations do not publish membership lists, for many reasons. Sometimes it's for the purpose of deception, but usually for reasons of privacy and/or safety. The coalition of religious organizations which organized Prop 8 in the first place kept its list secret to avoid their individual members being targeted by left wing groups. After the federal judge ordered limited release of the names of major sponsors, the harassment and threats began in earnest.
Good points. Time will tell if they are the Tea Party or the Coffee Party.

Unknown said...

Patriot: That pretty much sums up my view.

Unknown said...

Indi: Again, everything you say is true. But I stand by my comment (directly above). Those on welfare have the absolute right to be free of welfare. The question is, do they have the will to fight government dependence and corruption? Currently, the answer appears to be "no." But nothing is more permanent than change.

Unknown said...

Perhaps the thing to concentrate on is the difference between metaphorical slavery and genuine slavery. "Wage-slavery" is a commonly used expression, but it doesn't mean that the marginal "wage slave" is in fact a real slave. Yet in today's horrible employment market, what thinking "wage slave" is going to quit his job to make a point? His freedom is restricted by circumstances, not by chains and whips as it would be if he were a real slave. It's not much different for government dependency.

Unknown said...

Anthony: Well said. The AACP may be just a straw in the wind, or the start of something big. Only time will tell.

Unknown said...

I'm leaving now for my appointments in Bakersfield. I'll be back in the early evening. Please feel free to keep the colloquy going, and I'll respond when I get home. THANKS

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