Blacks’ real religion

Diane M. writes:

Your recent post about Martin Luther King reminded me of a disconcerting experience I had at church two weeks ago which I’d like to relate to you:

I sometimes attend Mass at a Catholic church in my old childhood neighborhood for sentimental reasons, although the area is mostly black nowadays. After the lovely service was over, we rose to receive the usual farewell blessing from the priest, but instead he announced that in honor of Black History Week, we would be treated to a performance of King’s famous “I have a Dream” speech by one of our local state representatives. And sure enough, the fellow performed the entire speech without notes, right there at the pulpit! I had never really heard the entire speech, and felt it was inappropriate to hear a political speech after Mass, but I resigned myself to listen politely.

Towards the end of the speech, he started on about “the poverty of the negro,” and I had to repress a laugh, because there I was sitting sandwiched all around by well-dressed, obviously prosperous, educated blacks, and surely they must find this talk of poverty as ridiculous as I did. But suddenly I became aware of an intense bristling emotion among the whole congregation, with even a few cries of “amen!” Far from being amused, they were deeply moved by the old King speech. I realized that even though just a short time before we had all been holding hands singing the Lord’s Prayer together, they were still seething with resentment at whites, and with very little further encouragement from a talented speaker, this situation could become a very unpleasant for me, a white person.

Needless to say, I am not attending any further Masses there during Black History Month, or perhaps any other time in the future.

Although I now live in another parish, I’ve always considered this “my” church—I had my First Communion there, started school there and attended Mass with my family every week. But after the first black families started to move into the neighborhood, my parents put our house up for sale. There were whisperings about “lowering of property values,” and “they’re not like us,” and I remember being quite ashamed of my parents for their racist ideas for most of my life. It’s such a hard thing for a former Liberal like me to accept that race really does make a difference; it really does divide us.

- end of initial entry -

Mike Berman writes:

The definition of integration is the time period from when the first black family moves in until the last white family moves out.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 16, 2010 12:51 PM | Send

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