Aretha Franklin Funeral: Was This The Right Platform For Pastor’s Comments?
The Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. is under fire for give a critical eulogy at Aretha Franklin’s funeral this past Friday. The critics came for his head he said black America is losing “its soul.” As of Sunday Rev. Williams Jr. told the Associated Press in a phone interview felt his sermon was appropriate at Franklin’s funeral Friday in Detroit. He also stated the timing could not be more right after other speakers spoke on the civil rights movement and President Donald Trump.
Williams, who is the pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, who was picked by the family to deliver the eulogy. He also eulogized Franklin’s father, minister and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin, 34 years ago.
Pastor Williams thinks his eulogy was misunderstood, “I was trying to show that the movement now is moving and should move in a different direction,” he said. “… What we need to do is create respect among ourselves. Aretha is the person with that song ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ that is laid out for us and what we need to be as a race within ourselves. We need to show each other that. We need to show each other respect. That was the reason why I did it.”
Many thought Rev. Williams slighted black women and took a shot Aretha Franklin when he said “black women being incapable of raising sons alone.” He said his words were taken out of context. He described as “abortion after birth” the idea of children being raised without a “provider” father and a mother as the “nurturer.”
Williams also took aim and his thoughts about the Black Lives Matter movement. “No, black lives do not matter” during his sermon.” Funeral goers took exception including Stevie Wonder, who yelled out “Black Lives Matter.” Rev. Williams blamed integration and the civil rights movement for ripping the heart out of black micro-economies that once relied on black-owned small businesses such as grocery stores, hotels and banks.
Rev. Jasper Williams has received overwhelming backlash of social media for his eulogy.
I don’t think Aretha Franklin’s funeral may have been the right platform for his comments or to expressed views in the correct context. African Americans face unfair social and economic burdens in our community and we right to protest and speak out against those burdens. We will march and boycott when unarmed black men are shot by law enforcement or wrongly profiled, and rightfully so.
Now lets take a step back and look at own backyard. Ask yourself what are we doing about crime in our community? I see young black boys killing other young black boys without regard for human life. Some parent push their children toward street life like it is a badge of honor. We as a people have to stop glorifying the killing of young black people in our music.
Many African Americans were impoverished after Reconstruction, so we had to struggle and try to catch up educationally and financially with our counterparts. There is no excuse for third and fourth generation poverty. That is learned behavior and you can blame this on the white man.
Integration helped us gain access to resources that were not afforded, so it had its advantages and disadvantage. With integration it seems like we have forgotten about own community. We have taken our dollars outside of our community, instead of supporting the local handy, restaurant, etc.
I cannot support him on the comment “Black Lives Don’t Matter.” That is simply not true. Black Lives Matter has served as a cornerstone to today’s movement and platform for us to speak.
It seems when a person of prominence speaks publicly about our dirty laundry we take issue with it. Why is that, especially when they are speaking facts? Are we ashamed? The real focus should be what can we do to improve our community.