Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Frightening
Singer and actress Della Reese is an ordained minister of some kind, but isn't preaching Christianity! This sounds like New Age and John Lennon's 'Imagine' (an evil song really) dressed up in the 'amen-saying, hand-clapping' and other trappings of American black evangelicalism. Like the Nation of Islam, she has a point or two - black ethnic pride and the notion that pursuing success can cancel out the earthly effects of racism and 'self-defeating' thinking - but those points aren't worth the soul-killing effects of this 'solution'.

An observation about the Nation of Islam (not real Muslims, by the way) - while the racism in their teachings is of course wrong, what strikes me is their method, including their externals, in their effort to better the lives of many blacks. With the old-fashioned suits, bow ties and 'Malcolm X' glasses, and the self-denial not unlike that of strict Protestant churchgoers decades ago, it seems - perhaps consciously, perhaps not - they are trying to recreate the lifestyle of the emerging black middle class as it was in the early 1960s before everything was ruined.

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