Christian Impact
The following is an excerpt from a blog by Tom Joyner:
We’ve all expressed our opinions, vented, aired it out, and in my heart of
hearts, no matter how we got to this point, I believe most of us share a
common goal – to re-elect President Obama. That can only happen if we take
all the time and energy we’ve been using to debate, defend – and yes,
digress (Tavis didn’t patent that word, did he?) and move forward. Like the
mamas on my staff tell their little boys when they’re distracted by
whatever is on the PSP, DS or Wii screen, “Let’s focus.”
If we can learn anything from Republicans, it is that they have the ability
to not just rally together, but to grab onto a single candidate, issue,
piece of propaganda, whatever, and clamp down like a pit bull. Once they
make a decision, they will not be swayed. How many times have you listened
to one of them recite the party line,  and you t hink to yourself, I KNOW
they don’t really believe that? Maybe not, but by being consistent and
steady until the end, they come out victorious – or, at the least, united.
That’s what we need to do more.
Of course, we are not all “like minded” across the board, and no one is
expected to believe that every single thing that President Obama says or
does is perfect and beyond reproach.  But, let’s look at the big picture
and remember that if he’s going to win, he needs all of our votes – every
last one of them.
At one time, I didn’t see the harm in the public criticisms from black
leaders, but a conversation I had with a friend and colleague who voted for
Obama last time around made me think differently. This guy is black, high
school-educated and gets most of his news from our show, CNN, MSNBC and
C-SPAN. A few weeks ago, when Tavis Smiley and Cornel West began to make
the rounds on the cable  networks, he started to h ave second thoughts about
Obama. He actually began to let the negativity seep into his brain and
said, “What IS Obama doing for Black people?
Look at how many of us are unemployed; he’s not doing nothing about that.”
That’s when I knew that more harm was being done than some people realize.
Keep in mind, that was just one person who happened to express his opinion
to me. How many more black people will stay home from the polls this
November because they think the prez is turning his back on black people?
Forget that that’s a lie – that he has done plenty for African-Americans
and will do more if he gets the chance to serve another term.  Forget that
bin Laden was captured and killed under his watch. Let’s not even deal with
the facts right now. Let’s deal with just our blackness and pride – and
loyalty.  We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American
president, and  that’s what we ought to be doing. And I’m not afraid or
ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he’s a black
man. There are a great number of people who are against him because he’s a
black man. That should be enough motivation for us to band together and get
it done.
I’ll be making an announcement soon about voter registration and what we’ll
do on the TJMS to make sure that everybody is ready come November. In the
meantime, we need to start showing the same kind of enthusiasm as we did
when we were electing the president ………. the first time. Please don’t think it’s
going to be any easier because we made it happen before. In fact, this time it will be harder.
For years, I’ve heard people who weren’t around during the civil rights
movement say that they wished they had been there. They have a deep need to
be a part of some great historic moment that will make a difference,  not
just to us but to future generations as well. Well, t his is our moment. And
before I hear the haters say President Obama is no Dr. Martin Luther King,
of course he isn’t. There will never be another Dr, King, Malcolm X, JFK
… and there doesn’t need to be.
We’re not dwelling on the past – not 50 years ago, not even 50 days ago.
Whether you’re in a race to the finish line, the goal post or to making
history, you’ve got to keep your eye on the prize if you’re going to win.
The naysayers have a vested interest in chunking rocks. We can’t stop that.
What’s our interest?  What are we willing to stand up for, fight for, make
a sacrifice for?
When is the last time we did more than talk about how much we support the
president? When is the last time you mailed a check to his campaign? When
you hear people who claim to represent you and black America saying things
you don’t believe or support, you ought to light  up the phones, send
emails, tweets, write blogs, fax. Every litt le bit helps. Don’t let hate,
pettiness, jealousy, whatever, overshadow truth.
We’re on a mission, and a mission isn’t always fun, sexy or comfortable.
When you step out there and believe in what you say and what you do, you’ve
got to take the heat and keep it moving.
In the words of that great philosopher Jay-Z,  on to the next.
Focus on November. We’re moving forward. Can we do it together? That’s the
only way we will be victorious.
Thanks…..Pass it on!!  ~ Tom Joyner
Let me first say that I do agree with Mr. Joyner in that we need to unite in the support of our President. I believe that we must become organized in our efforts to stand behind our President. However, I don’t necessarily agree with the reasoning of Mr. Joyner. As a believer I understand the responsibility that rest upon me and all believers to properly represent the faith. Let me say that I carry a great deal of pride in my black heritage and there are not many things I hold in higher regard than the furtherance of blacks. As a race, blacks have had to face an enormity of obstacles, beginning with hatred, in order to advance in most areas of life. It is important that as a black race we do not lose sight of our responsibility to honor those that have paved the way for us to succeed in so many areas.
When I say that I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Joyner’s reasoning I am saying that we cannot simply support the President or more importantly push for his reelection simply because he is black. Let me be very clear, Mr. Joyner points to some very important accomplishments of President Obama so I know that he sees the positive impact that the President has had. He even points to the belief that President Obama will do even more if given the opportunity afforded by a second term. The problem I have is that he follows by saying lets forget that all of these positive qualities exist; we should simply stand behind him because he is black. This creates a problem for me because in conjunction with being black I am also a Christian. Yes, blacks need to show more unity; yes blacks need to be more supportive of one another, however, as Christians, we must understand our responsibility to stand on the side of what is right. If I didn’t believe in President Obama as a President I could not support him for another term simply based on his ethnicity. That would be irresponsible and reflect poorly upon the faith.
With that being said, I do believe in President Obama’s ability to get the job done. No, I don’t agree with every idea or approach that he takes, but I believe he is truly dedicated to improving this country’s current situation. I understand why Mr. Joyner makes the point he makes. The President has met opposition simply because of his ethnicity. He has been disrespected more than any other President in US history. There are those that refuse to look at the substance of what he says and what he stands for simply because of the color of his skin. I believe we are in a position to accomplish so much in returning America to its once great status, but unfortunately we have politicians in office that are more worried about keeping President Obama out of a second term than they are about resolving any of the issues that are before them.
All we see is constant resistance, complaining and finger pointing. Let me be clear, I don’t have a party affiliation. I believe in certain principles; some of these principles are represented by the democrats and some by the republicans. I look at a candidate based on his position in reference to the principle in which I believe. With that being said, this is not a democrat bashing republicans, but I am extremely disappointed in the republican’s approach. The battle to be reelected has to be transcended by a desire to make a positive contribution.
Again, I support Mr. Joyner’s call to unite in support of our President and I will do everything I can to contribute from my end. I am extending a call to each one of you to do the same. Let’s just be sure that we are doing it for the right reason.
Side Note: Whatever your position on President Obama, I implore you not to be a part of tearing him down. Be careful of the conversations you participate in. Do not readily receive criticism without being diligent in researching the facts behind the issue. Speaking as a minister of Christ, I must stand for what is right at all cost. Speaking as a black man, I cannot be guilty of tearing another black man down, especially through false rumors and accusations. Yes, we have a accumulative responsibility as Christians, Blacks, and Americans. Let us execute our responsibility in purity of heart.
Lets get in gear and make an impact as both, Christians and blacks.
Bishop Rick Wallace