By Alan Bean
Richard Land, the voice of the Southern Baptist Convention, is in hot water over a recent rant against the Black pastors in connection with the Trayvon Martin story. Land’s comments have angered Baptists like Arlington’s William Dwight McKissic as much for what they implied as for what was clearly stated.
The following quote from Gerald Schumacher appears in the comments section of Pastor McKissic’s website. I have corrected the spelling, but otherwise this verbatim:
I am not a great fan of Richard Land, but If Mr. McKissic thinks what Richard Land said was racist then this is going to knock his socks off.
Richard Land spoke the truth originally although he has back peddled because of pressure. For that I do fault him. The truth is that if the black community would start training their children to live a productive moral godly lives instead of what a large percentage become and stop living in the past using the race cards this nation could heal a lot faster. Blacks make up about 13.6 percent of the population but about 40.2 percent of those in prison are black. The problem is with the black community not racism and it is way past time for the black pastors to start dealing with it in their congregation as well as communities instead of pointing fingers.
How many Black parents would have to quit their lowdown ways before Black pastors get the right to address racial injustice? If, say, the teen birth rate dropped by 15 percentage points, would that do it? Or are Black pastors relegated to the social sidelines until Black and White incarceration rates are the same?
This argument is of ancient origin. Slaves shouldn’t be freed because most of them can’t read and write and lack experience handling money. Jim Crow laws should remain in force because crime rates in the Ghetto are higher than the national average.
Now the mass incarceration of young Black males precludes Black Southern Baptists from questioning their White betters.
This was the kind of logic that put Tulia, Texas on the map. It didn’t really matter whether undercover agent Tom Coleman was telling the truth, if his targets had kids outside of marriage they forfeited their civil rights.
Tragically, this Alice in Wonderland logic drives the criminal justice system. It is also one of the big reasons why the Black incarceration numbers are so skewed and why so many of the men and women exonerated by DNA evidence are African-American.
This morning I had coffee with Anthony Graves, a Texan who spent 18 years in prison, twelve on death row, for a crime he didn’t commit. The indignities didn’t end when Graves stepped back into the free world. The following is from a Houston Chronicle article published a year ago:
After he was freed in October, the Texas comptroller’s office refused the compensation provided by law for those who are unjustly convicted.
Then the Texas Attorney General’s Office began garnisheeing his wages for child support that a judge decided Graves owed even though he was on death row at the time. But when they blocked payment of the $250 fee he earned for a presentation to students at Prairie View A&M University, it was too much.
Graves’ attorney accused Texas AG Greg Abbott of being a vindictive monster. Maybe so. But Abbott had little reason to fear a public backlash. Most influential Texans think a lot like Gerald Schumacher, the guy who thinks Dwight McKissic should go mute on racial justice until every Black parent has his or her act together.
Fortunately, the Schumacher doctrine doesn’t always win out. Anthony Graves finally received restitution money for his near-death experience, the Tulia drug bust was overturned, and, massive White support notwithstanding, Richard Land still has some ‘splainin’ to do.