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Black Culture

26/06/14 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Prosperity Gospel Is Getting in the Way of Economic Development

Prosperity Gospel Is Getting in the Way of Economic Development
"Bishop" Eddie Long

“Bishop” Eddie Long

by Yvette Carnell

I’d bet that only a few African-American prosperity gospel Christians have even considered reading Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” and fewer than that have read Das Kapital which, regardless of your view of market economies, is one of the most thorough critiques of capitalism ever written. However, most black Christians can tell you that they blessed and highly favored and point to the signs which signal the end times. This is why we can’t have nice things.

As Eddie S. Glaude writes in a New York Times article entitled “Too Many Follow the Gospel of Greed”,  prosperity gospel is becoming an increasing theme within churches, especially black churches. The problem, however, is that given what blacks are facing with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action by the Supreme Court, blacks can least afford to entertain this vaudevillian variety of mysticism.

As Glaude notes, not only is it getting worse, it’s disempowering blacks politically:

In black America, this theology overtakes calls for economic empowerment. Freedom dreams are supplanted by the aspiration to wealth, a theology that suits a vision of capitalism that is devastating our communities and country.

 

This gospel of wealth blunts criticism of durable inequality, precisely because wealth and the aspiration for upward mobility are tied to individual spiritual considerations. Wealth and poverty constitute evidence of God’s blessings or punishment.

Not only do these prosperity pimps preach heaven in heaven. Now they’re preaching heaven on Earth….so long as you pay your tithes. It’s a marketing scheme and it’s working. And if you’re not getting your Mercedes Benz then, according to prosperity preachers,  it’s not because of systemic impediments which disenfranchise you, but because you’re not following the Bible’s teachings closely enough. In this sense, prosperity believers adhere to a troubling  alternate  reality in which they only need to know the word of God, and book learnin’ is for secularists. This should scare anyone who desires to see a meaningful change in Black America since nothing comes to anyone, or any group, without knowledge.

 

 

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19/06/14 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Gentrification’s Legacy: In Harlem, Minority Politicians Compete for White Votes

Gentrification’s Legacy: In Harlem, Minority Politicians Compete for White Votes

Moment of Silence

Longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel has been elected to 22 terms in the House due mostly to his sway in the black community. Now, with gentrification, the political landscape has changed and Rangel, along with his competitors, are doing all they can to reach out to white Harlem residents.

“The highest percentage of undecided voters in the district is among whites,” political consultant Bruce N. Gyory told the New York Times. “If there’s a late shift among white voters, that could be all the difference between winning and losing for whoever carries it.”

That means Mr. Rangel and his main challenger, State Senator Adriano D. Espaillat, will be employing strategies to win over white voters.

Part of the reason Espaillat even decided to run at all is because he believes he has an advantage with white voters that Rangel, whose approval fell after an ethics scandal, does not have. From the NYT:

Each candidate remains focused on maximizing turnout among his base. For Mr. Rangel, that means black voters who have helped propel him to 22 terms in the House; for Mr. Espaillat, it is the Hispanic population that now makes up 55 percent of the district, up from 46 percent before a realignment to reflect the 2010 census.

But Mr. Espaillat, who came close to defeating Mr. Rangel two years ago, sensed an opening. Last month, when political pollsters at Siena College drew up a likely voter pool for the district, they included nearly as many white voters (24 percent) as black voters (28 percent). And whites, more than Hispanics and blacks, said they would prefer that Mr. Rangel lose his re-election bid.

The data paints the picture:

In 1990, blacks made up more than half of the area’s population; by 2012, that portion had fallen to 38 percent, and the white population had nearly doubled, as luxury condos and revamped retail strips began attracting wealthier residents, many of them white.

As one of the original founders of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rangel has been a fixture on the political scene for decades. Now, however, it seems that a perfect storm may be coming his way and forcing his retirement. We’ll know for sure come election day.

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17/06/14 Black Culture , Black News , featured , ybw #

Scathing Documentary Calls Out Greedy Megachurch Pastors and Their Sheepish Followers

Scathing Documentary Calls Out Greedy Megachurch Pastors and Their Sheepish Followers

black church documentary.jpg

by Yvette Carnell

In a bombshell trailer for the documentary “Black Church”, produced by Moguldom Studios, a methodical case is made against black megachurches, detailing how they’ve acted as predatory leaches on the Christian black community.

“You boast that you serve me, but in truth you serve your own ego,” says one person when asked about the role of megachurches.

Another person interviewed for the documentary points out that the gospel of prosperity is a complete fraud.

“The gospel of prosperity says once you accept God as your savior, you will become in his favor and whatever you touch will turn to gold. That’s a complete lie of the gospel,” he says.

“Churches have bills to pay and the only way to take care of this is to make sure that members are giving.. properly,” explains another man.

Another point made in the documentary is that mega-churches take in 10 percent or more from parishioners, but don’t distribute that money back into the community. “If that were the case, Atlanta would not have a poverty issue,” one man says. Atlanta is, of course, home to two of the biggest megachurch hustlers of all time–Creflo Dollar Jr. and Eddie Lee Long.

The plague of mega-churches in the black community is striking when you consider alternative uses for tithes. Instead of paying for the pastor’s Maybach, some of the money in the black community could be used for venture capital to start black businesses, or to fund charities that help those who’ve been hit hardest by the economic downturn.

Now, however, instead of using black dollars to build the black community, mega-churches use those dollars to build a brand, which, if successful, is turned into a slush fund to finance the lavish lifestyles of megachurch pastors.

Watch the clip here:

 

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03/06/14 Black Culture , Black News , ybw

Black Florida Fire Marshal Suspended For Using “N” Word

Black Florida Fire Marshal Suspended For Using “N” Word

chief kevin jones.jpg

Florida Fire Marshal Kevin Jones has been suspended for 10 days as punishment for using the “N” word during a planning call for the Welcome to Rockville concert festival.

Jacksonville.com reports that co-workers who were on the call complained about Jones’ use of the “N” word during the planning session.

Jones was quoted as saying, “if those n— try to put more than that [20,000] in the [Metro] park, they will have to deal with me.”

A disciplinary letter detailing Jones’ suspension says he used the “N” word not once, but twice.  The letter goes on to say that fire and rescue employees will not use “racial, gender  or ethnic slurs” and that the city “will not tolerate inappropriate and offensive language.”

Spokesman Tom Francis acknowledged that Jones had been suspended for 10 days for using the racial slur.

Fire Chief Martin Senterfitt said he was surprised at the allegation since Jones has had so few complaints against him.

“Any use of the word in the workplace needs to be addressed,” Senterfitt previously said. “It’s absolutely inappropriate in the workplace.”

The head of the  black firefighters association, James Edwards, told News4Jax that the suspension was appropriate.

The city and firefighters union are already facing three pending discrimination lawsuits.

 

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02/06/14 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Donald Sterling Attends Black Church and Receives Round of Applause

Donald Sterling Attends Black Church and Receives Round of Applause

Donald_Sterling2.jpg

by Yvette Carnell

As some readers will remember, awhile back I criticized the manifestation of Christianity in black political movements. There seems to be, among some black Christians, a desire to magically and instantaneously forgive even the most egregious crimes committed against black Americans.

Take banned NBA owner Donald Sterling for instance, who was not only caught on tape admonishing his girlfriend for bringing blacks to the games, but also discriminating against blacks in housing. None of that stopped a black church in Los Angeles from giving the racist billionaire a round of applause when he visited their church.

CBS Los Angeles reports that Sterling visited Praises of Zion Baptist Church on S. San Pedro Street and Senior Pastor J. Benjamin Harwick welcomed the elder racist with enthusiastic applause.

“Stand up brother Sterling, we’re going to give you a round of applause,” Hardwick said.

The pastor says he didn’t invite Sterling but was instead approached by the billionaire.

“He didn’t invite him. Sterling, we did not call Sterling. As members of Praises, Sterling came to us, asked our pastor, we took a vote on it,” Muki, a church member,  told CBS Los Angeles.

Of course, the pastor preached about forgiveness during the sermon.

“We love all of God’s children regardless of your race, creed or color and we want my friend to know we are praying for you.”

During an interview with CNN, Magic Johnson, who Sterling mentioned during his racist tirade, also told Anderson Cooper that he would pray for Sterling.

“It’s sad. It really is. I’m going to pray for this … man,” Johnson said.

Asked about the sermon, Sterling said “[It was] beautiful, I loved it.”

In 2006 the U.S. Justice Department sued Sterling over allegations of housing discrimination in Los Angeles and Sterling eventually paid $2.7 million dollars to settle the suit.

 

 

 

 

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