We were in full “All Hail the Queen:The Blackety Blackness” realness.
Fantasia kicked off her shoes before she even started, in her best funeral fashion. Mother Board Brooch and all!
Bill Clinton professed his love for ReRe and was happy with himself when he played “Think” on his iPhone from the Apple Music Aretha Essentials playlist.
The Clark Sisters, Isaiah Thomas, and city council members paid homage to Detroit’s homegrown treasure, and her love of the city and its culture! And The Clark Sisters SANG… of course!
Run Jesse Run, Rev Al, TD Jakes, and Rev Barber preached about her goodness, civil rights roots, and gospel roots. While Tyler Perry brought Madea, to the chagrin of most Black folks in America, and Michael Eric Dyson gave us a vocabulary lesson in exalting a Queen and damning the” orange apparition, the lugubrious leach, the doppelgänger of deceipt and deviance, the dim witted dictator, the foolish fascist” who would dare sully her name as his employee! I won’t lie, I stood up and gave applause. That brother can string SAT words like my mama can string curse words together!
Rev Shirley Ceasar, Yolanda Adams, JHud, and … oh and uh I already told y’all about Cousin Tasia… they sang with the organs and tambourines for God’s blessing upon us in the form of a woman with her pocketbook and floor length mink singing her own and everybody else’s song better than anyone else could. And Chaka… we love you doll, but you had one of the easiest songs lyrically to sing, and you still needed the words taped to your fan?!? We could see them… that’s all.
Then Mother Cicely did a monologue in her vainglorious hat and even more impressive 91 year old regalness. She is black pride and black history and black girl magic in one little melanated soul! We are not worthy! 🙌🏽🙌🏽
It was a celebration…
then Jasper got his ass up and spazzed out. Rev. Jasper Williams of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta Georgia was hand picked by Aretha to eulogize her… or so we were told. His father was a longtime friend of her father Reverend C.L. Franklin. I personally think he was sent to infiltrate by the KKK. Cuz that display of misogyny, disrespect, and falsity about the impact and importance of race in our culture sounded like it belonged at Trump Rally. Up until that point we all wanted to hand Rick Snyder a glass of Flint water and secretly hoped the pulpit would open and swallow him whole, but this dude…he was baptized in the Flint River and swallowed, ya heard.
Jasper Sir, let’s take a look at your foolishness:
1. “as proud, beautiful and fine as our black women are, one thing a black woman cannot do, a black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man.”
Aretha Franklin was the single mother of four. She had her first child at 12 and second at 14. Her male children, grown men with beautiful and successful families, were sitting in the front pews. I believe they, and all the stellar Black men who were raised by single mothers, would disagree with you. True, the ideal situation is a two parent home. But this is the real world and idealism has no place. If you want to preach about the Black home, solutions are what is needed. We have heard enough empty criticism.
When young Black girls become pregnant, often their parents or grandparents step in to assist. Grown women who have children in or outside of married with grown men should never be parenting singularly, but they often do, well and with love. To disrespect that reality is not of God. Some of our most revered Black men were products of single parent homes run by women. Jackie Robison, August Wilson, Sean Combs, Shawn Carter, LeBron James, Louis Armstrong, Barack Obama, and the man who singlehandedly brought love back to Queen ReRe’s funeral after your mess, Stevie Wonder… all men raised by single women. Your premise is a fallacy! Single parenting mothers seek multiple resources for both their boys and girls to have positive male presence. But they are not incapable of parenting either girls or boys.
Who raised you? There was clearly a deficit…
2. “No, black lives do not matter. Black lives will not matter, black lives ought not matter, black lives should not matter, black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves.”
This “black on black crime” diatribe is tired, old, and not at all rooted in fact. Black life matters independently of its senseless taking, whether at the hands of those who look like us or otherwise. Both are rooted, frankly, in the same Jim Crow, segregation, slavery, and racist roots you want us to push aside. That’s our foundation in this country… it’s reality and our comeuppance is the thread that holds together our quilt of many colors.
So, to lessen the impact of “blacklivesmatter” the movement and more importantly it’s message, is the very self hate that causes another Black person to stare into the eyes of another and shoot. Your self hate is just as murderous and disastrous as a bullet. Your shot kills the spirit, or as you say, the soul, that place in man where God resides… For we are Godless if we believe that our very life is empty and without value, for it is God’s greatest gift to us. Miss me with that bullshit Preacher Man.
3. “I’m not saying that DR C.L. Franklin exercised the best parenting skills…because he certainly did not… no way in the world he could adequately raise four children. Something in the home was missing… there was a deficit… we can tell there was a deficit by the way the Queen sang.”
You were there to eulogize Aretha Louise Franklin, not her father. A eulogy, according to the dictionary is “a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died.” There was no praise in your preach. Instead there was condemnation and judgement. To speak negatively about the deceased father of the deceased, a fixture of the Detroit church community, was unnecessary. Sounded like you were preaching to prove a personal point.
Any man who steps up to raise his children when the mother leaves the home, regardless of the time he spends working, the failure of his marriage, his reported wild manner, whatever, is still a father. The very single mothers you speak of are typically made into single mothers by the absence of the father. One who supported his children, even though they sang secular music despite their gospel routes, and in turn raised a woman who was loyal, dedicated, respectful of her gifts and talents, and giving to her people, is a present and accounted for father. A perfect man, he was not, but it wasn’t your place to discuss that at his daughter’s funeral. To use this woman’s funeral to sell your fire and brimstone gospel to the national community is a travesty.
4. “Anytime we stray from God’s design of the home, havoc results”
Anytime we stray from leading with love havoc results… this eulogy was a case study! You used this idea to spit misogyny from your lips… cuz sexism is void of love. Women are fine and beautiful but incapable of existing with purpose without a man? FOH Guy!
5. “Sometimes I think we require and want too much”
Says the dude with a congregation of over 10,000 in a church that looks like the campus of WCCC. I’m sure he has an airplane, a tour bus, a custom S Class, and a mansion in Lithonia. That’s all cool, but don’t question the needs of the needy.
6. “Struggling Single Black Mother’s need a man in the house, …and we can turn the Black community around.”
What in the toxic masculinity is this shit, Jasper sir? First, let me inform you, a single woman parenting is not the same as a single parenting woman. Be clear. I am single, as I am not yet remarried, but I am not parenting alone. The address of the parents is not as important, by far, as the involvement of the parents. Many of us had two parent households, but married mothers or fathers single parenting because of the emotional unavailability of the other, folks having whole other families on the other side of town, trading working hours for living hours, etc. Many of us had mothers or fathers parenting singularly who raised stellar children.
But to imply that a woman is struggling because there is no man in her life is that bullshit. It leads to women feeling incomplete without a man. It leads to married women believing their status as married somehow puts them on a higher plane. It leads to women in abusive and toxic relationships staying out of fear of being alone and “struggling”… struggling financially, spiritually, and just as “a poor old manless woman.” Sounds like you need some Flint water to wash down that toxicity.
7. “Master Sir…”
In one breath you used this moniker for God, in the next, for the slave owner. That is the most blasphemous garbage I’ve ever heard. The only Master, Sir, is God. Slave owners were pawns of the devil.
And you , Jasper Sir, are a clown.
But because I have a soul, “I’ll say a little prayer for you!”