by Dion Rabouin
(RTNS)–I got the opportunity to go off on a lengthy diatribe to a friend this week about the harm of White Jesus when I found out that History Channel’s “The Bible” will soon be made into a feature film. The network, Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey will be bringing White Jesus, White Moses and the devil that kind of looks like President Obama to the multiplex to inundate a new generation of children with the notions of White privilege and White supremacy.
(If you want a better understanding of White privilege, the ability to recolor the Messiah and make him in your own image, despite prevailing and obvious factual impediments is a good place to start.)
At this point, most people agree Jesus was not the blue-eyed surfer dude that is consistently depicted upon cathedral walls and in pop culture. But whenever I start talking about the generally accepted notion that Jesus was not White, the typical response is, “Why does it matter?”
The answer to this question was perfectly answered last year when a movie based on a popular book series chose to stay true to its depiction of Black characters, at least the auxiliary ones.
When “The Hunger Games” debuted in theaters – to an insane $155 million opening weekend – in March 2012 with a Black Rue, Thresh, and Cinna, folks took to Twitter and Facebook to collectively lose their minds.
“EWW rue is black?? I’m not watching,” said @Joe_Longley.
“why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie,” said @maggie_mcd11.
“Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad #ihatemyself” said @jasphperparas.
“The posts go on and on and on. It’s not just a coupe [sic] of tweets, it’s not just a coincidence,” wrote Jezebel’s Dodai Stewart, who cataloged the tweets. “There’s an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism. Sternberg is called a ‘black b*tch,’ a ‘n*gger’ and one person writes that though he pictured Rue with ‘darker skin,’ he ‘didn’t really take it all the way to black.’ It’s as if that is the worst possible thing a person could be.”
Feel free to look at the tweets yourself, there are literally hundreds of them.
You could call this racism or you could call it the shock of living a life full of White privilege and then going into the multiplex to see heroes that suspiciously don’t look like you. You’re angry, you’re disappointed and you’re just so full of apathy for these Black characters, because, you know, “EWW.”
This is the harm of a White Jesus. It’s part of a theme in American culture that internalizes the superiority of whiteness. That message is imbued to White kids and Black kids and everyone else through the etiolation of all things good and pure. The most well-worn agent of this message is the archetype of an inexplicably White Jesus.
There’s a fantastic examination of the history of White Jesus in the book “The Color of Christ” that looks at how the image worked in concert with slavery and ensuing notions of race in the U.S.
“The birth, growth, and evolution of White Jesus imagery dating from the antebellum era and exploding in the twentieth century coincided with the birth of an American empire founded, in part, in notions of race,” said Paul Harvey who wrote the book along with Edward J. Blum. “The assault on that sacralization of whiteness through the civil rights years has not, and could not, defeat it entirely, and the depth of religiously-fueled sentiment directed against Obama suggests that as well.”
Essentially, it’s a lot more difficult to justify overtly heinous bigotry, like enslaving an entire race of people, or even seemingly innocuous racism when the son of the God you pray to before every meal is a Black man and His virgin mother is a Black woman. Conversely, it’s much easier to justify when they’re not.
Ask yourself the question, why would Jesus be White? The only possible explanation is that a historically accurate Jesus isn’t palatable to greater (White) society. That should invite the follow-up question, why is that?
Portraits of White Jesus by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were created to “honor” the kings of their time who were White, but why have they endured?
“This logic is perfectly cogent,” writes Chauncey DeVega in a piece for Alternet, “a racial project of exploitation and enslavement of non-whites by Europeans, one legitimized by a belief in the natural inferiority of people of color, the pseudo-science of the Great Chain of Being, a belief in the Curse of Ham as well as other myths, must, for reasons of practical necessity, be predicated on the existence of a ‘White’ God.”
While I disagree that the paleness of Jesus can be held responsible for the historical misdeeds of centuries of Europeans, it can be reasonably asserted that a White Jesus allows for a spirit of antipathy and degradation of people of color. That spirit can be seen in ritualistic slaughter and inhumane enslavement of historical masses in centuries past or on Twitter today.
Admittedly, no one knows what Jesus really looked like. Despite the depiction of a man with hair of wool and skin of copper from the Book of Revelation, which is actually an ethereal remembrance of Christ after death, not a depiction of his living self, we don’t have any descriptions to use. But we do have common sense, which tells us that a boy who was born in the Middle East, raised in Northern Africa and was a member of a group of people that were predominately dark-skinned is probably not going to look like Diogo Morgado, Jim Caviezel or any of the other benevolent Caucasians who have played Jesus over the years.
So, does it matter what color Jesus is? Yeah, it matters a lot.
- The C.O.W.S. WARRIORS DON’T CRY Study Session Part VIII (innerstandingisness.com)
- The C.O.W.S. WARRIORS DON’T CRY Study Session Part IX (innerstandingisness.com)
- The C.O.W.S. WARRIORS DON’T CRY Study Session Part VII (innerstandingisness.com)
white sexual deviance: Controversial bestiality billboard will be removed, Foxtel says | News.com.au
A BILLBOARD featuring a man about to have sex with a pig will be removed, Foxtel says.
Pedestrians were today confronted with the image that was part of an ad campaign for Foxtel’s arts TV channel Studio, which is produced by SBS.
A Foxtel spokesperson said: “It was intended to provoke, but is clearly in appalling taste and demonstrates a lapse of judgment by Studio and a failure in the approvals process at Foxtel.
“Once senior management at Foxtel became aware of the nature of the image we instructed Studio to remove and replace the billboard.”
The spokesperson said this will happen as soon as possible and Foxtel regrets any offence that has been caused.
The bestiality image was taken from the controversial UK TV show Black Mirror which will air in June as part of the channel’s “Festival of WTF!”.
It relates to an episode of the program in which a princess is kidnapped and the British PM must commit bestiality on live television in order to save her from being executed.
STUDIO general manager Chris Keely said earlier today that the best art is divisive and provocative.
“You may love it, you may hate it, but you’ll definitely be talking about it,” Mr Keely said.
The billboard in Sydney’s Kings Cross is the only outdoor place in which the bestiality image ran, but it was also going to appear in print and online.
Mr Keely said the image reflected the new programs on STUDIO and the station’s “bold new attitude”.
“We want to bring you stories and ideas you’d never think of googling, and challenge what you think is acceptable or unacceptable,” he said.
A woman accusing her former employer of racial discrimination says a lynching comment was “the last straw.”
Garnetta Cromwell testified Tuesday before the province’s Human Rights Commission. Her complaint is filed against Leon’s Furniture Store, her employer from October 2004 to May 2008.
Cromwell, an African-Canadian, alleged the word “lynching” was used before she went to a performance review meeting at the beginning of May 2008. She said four supervisors were in the office inside its Burnside location when one of them made a discriminatory comment.
“As I was coming to the office he said, ‘Everyone out, it’s time for a lynching,’” she testified Tuesday. “I was speechless.”
Cromwell resigned from Leon’s three weeks later, and filed her complaint with the commission at the end of the month.
Cromwell also alleged she was called racial names during her tenure at Leon’s, including Condoleezza Rice, Contessa and “sunshine,” a derogatory word her mother told her meant “you’re so black that it shines,” she said.
In another instance, Cromwell testified a supervisor touched her hair and said, “it felt like wool.”
During her testimony, Cromwell welled up with tears as she described the anxiety disorder she developed from the discriminations she faced.
“Everything was falling, crashing down on me,” she said.
An independent adjudicator for the commission will determine whether or not discrimination occurred.
Lisa Teryl, counsel for the commission, told reporters discrimination doesn’t need to be the main factor in determining an employment disadvantage under the Human Rights Act.
“If any part of that disadvantage is connected to race, it contaminates everything, and so we find that’s discrimination,” said Teryl.
Cromwell is seeking loss of income and general damages from Leon’s Furniture.
The hearing will resume Thursday morning.
Claiming racial discrimination in auto lending, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking aim at one of the sacred cows of auto retailing, where dealerships in effect mark up the customer’s interest rate on an auto loan and share the profits with the lender, potentially to the tune of hundreds of dollars per loan.
It’s a sensitive topic for auto dealers and lenders, who vehemently deny discriminating against legally protected classes of borrowers, like minorities or women.
From the CFPB’s perspective, lenders open the door to discrimination when lenders allow dealers to set retail rates. Part of the thinking is that dealerships have a built-in incentive to push rates as high as possible because the higher the rate, the more they get paid for their share of the final interest rate.
The CFPB warned auto lenders in March that it is using the so-called “disparate impact” theory to look for racial discrimination in auto loans. A disparate impact means lending practices have the effect of charging protected classes higher interest rates. The discrimination doesn’t even have to be intentional, said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
The two sides of the argument could scarcely disagree more. For starters, dealers object to the term “dealer markup.” Industry insiders call it “dealer reserve.” From the dealer point of view, the term “markup” implies the dealer is simply tacking on an additional cost to the consumer without doing any work.
In fact, dealerships typically distribute a customer’s credit application to several lenders, who compete for the business. That’s a major convenience for the customer, and the competition among lenders keeps interest rates low. Even with a dealership as a middleman, rates on so-called “indirect” loans negotiated at dealerships routinely beat rates on direct-to-consumer loans from a bank, according to dealer advocates. The National Automobile Dealers Association claims that changing the existing system could stifle competition and end up costing consumers more.
The CFPB says it accepts that dealerships add value, and the bureau agrees dealerships should be compensated for negotiating loans. What the CFPB objects to is the discretion dealerships have – within ceilings imposed by the lenders — to charge what the market will bear.
That can result in two customers being quoted two different rates, even though they have similar credit histories and the same likelihood to pay, the bureau says. Instead of dealer discretion in setting rates, one suggestion from the CFPB is to substitute a flat fee for dealers for negotiating loans. The big question for all parties is whether flat fees on average would be equivalent to dealer reserve.
This isn’t the first time auto lenders and dealers have been accused of having a disparate impact. Most auto lenders joined a series of legal settlements in class-action lawsuits in the mid-2000s, which imposed voluntary ceilings on dealer reserve. Depending on loan terms, the maximum dealerships can add to the rate is around 2.5 percentage points. In practice, due to competition dealer reserve rarely reaches the ceiling and often averages less than 1 percentage point, according to the dealer association.
The ongoing CFPB actions could result in an even lower ceiling, or else flat fees.
[Editor's note: This week The Final Call features a special guest editorial written by Student National Spokesperson Ava Muhammad. In addition to her role as Nation of Islam spokesperson, Ava Muhammad is also a student minister and an attorney.]
I recently purchased a book titled “African Americans in Chicago.”
It was a photographic history and included beautiful images of attractive, well -dressed Black families, such as that of Emmett McBain, who became a major figure in the advertising industry.
Another featured Hiram Revels, the first Black member of the United States Senate, with his daughter and grand-daughters. On the last page was a lovely portrait of President Obama, the First Lady and their children. The author noted his effort to include the “visage of the entire family” which is usually ignored in the mainstream media’s stereotypes.
Wealth, power and the building of human potential cannot happen without families. Family is not a project, it is a process. It takes generations to achieve the level of stability essential to the development of a nation. The institution of slavery could never have existed without the destruction of the Black family unit—again, we are looking at a process—which took generations (1555-1619) to complete. From the beginning, the agenda of White America has been the destruction of the Black family unit. The special relationships between husband and wife, father and son, sisters and brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, are essential and irreplaceable. Destroy the family, you destroy the community and with it any hope of a nation.
The survival of this world in its present structure, depends entirely on Black people and all people of the Earth accepting fundamental philosophy of White supremacy. The Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, through his National Representative, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, pose a formidable threat to this world. He is preaching a system rooted in belief in and the worship of One God; the sanctity of marriage and family; freedom, justice, equality and economic independence.
Minister Farrakhan is in the midst of a 52-week lecture series, “The Time and What Must Be Done,” airing weekly over the internet, accessible to virtually every living person on the Earth. He is making bold declarations in an environment that provides the viewer with a calm, relaxed, person-to-person experience that can be had in private.
“And now we have reached, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, ‘The end of this world and its system of things… the world in which we are presently living is a world that was ‘doomed’ from its very beginning. And this world, now, is in peril; it is perishing, it is going down…God has come, and has chosen for Himself the despised, the rejected, the unloved, the unwanted Black Man and Woman of America to be the Cornerstone of His New Kingdom of Righteousness.”
The corporate-owned United States government has a violent history of assassinating, incarcerating, deporting or ruining the reputation of every Black leader who dares speak truth. What can it do about one man who will not bow to the forces that have crushed our people for centuries? This is a man not restricted by fear, who challenges them in front of the world, “Don’t let up on me, because I surely am not going to let up in the preaching of this word. So come against me, then, with all you have, because it won’t be enough to stop what God has in store for you.”
The media has a policy of keeping the Nation of Islam out of the news, because press coverage, positive or negative, tends to increase our ranks. But desperate times call for desperate measures. So the Chicago Sun Times, in the April 22nd edition, ran a front page story with the Nation of Islam’s Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan as the subject. Mustapha Farrakhan is the third son of Minister Farrakhan and has been the head of his security detail for decades. He has been at his father’s side at venues all over the globe. The significance of his work cannot be overstated, since there has never been a time when his father was not a target for assassination. The Sun Times is a vehicle for rolling out a fresh propaganda campaign against Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. The ultimate target, however, is the poor, oppressed Black man and woman of America, whose only path to salvation is to repent of the evil we practice that we have learned from our open enemy. If the enemy can get between us and the one guiding us to our salvation, we will perish with the enemy.
The story is textbook propaganda, a powerful form of psychological warfare. In the midst of a growing wave of love and acceptance of the man and the message, this story was written and published to produce a negative emotional response from the Black community in general and the believing community specifically. The desired outcome is to create a negative view of Minister Farrakhan and reinforce it with an assault on the second and even third generation of his family.
A separate report being published in the Final Call will inform the public of facts which the Sun Times deliberately omitted or presented in a selective and misleading way. Both the front page and inside story banners are cloudy, loaded messages—designed to arouse negative thoughts in the reader, but falling short of assertions that would bring about a lawsuit. The enemy is initiating a deliberate and systematic effort to shape not only the perception, but the behavior of Black people. Why?
The white power structure recognizes a danger to itself that you and I don’t necessarily see. They know that Black people have the capacity to return to their natural state at any moment. They are keenly aware that with the Minister talking to us in the way that he is, the probability that we will transform in an instant increases every day. This is but one move in a desperate attempt to save White supremacy. It exposes the enemy’s hatred of the son’s love and respect for the father; it exposes their bitter desire to insure the work of the father does not continue through that son or any of the sons, or the daughters, or the followers. Having found no way to even calculate how to defeat Farrakhan, they are committed to making sure his power and influence is limited to his lifetime.
Referring to Minister Farrakhan as “the country’s leading radical Black Muslim”, the reporter writes he was unable to get answers to “detailed questions” about the relationship between the police department of a predominantly Black suburb of Chicago and the Nation of Islam’s head of security. The Sun Times wants readers to know that the mayor of Harvey, Illinois is a friend of the Farrakhan family—a matter of grave concern. Do you think that a positive relationship between Black officials over a city—even a small, struggling one— and the Nation of Islam, is not a serious problem for White people? Think again.
Throughout the story, the reporter complains bitterly that the son uses a police squad car with a Harvey sticker on the plate to lead “Minister Farrakhan’s imposing, presidential-style motorcade of matching, black Hummer SUV’s to several impromptu ‘walkabout’ appearances on the South and West sides.”
How dare a Black man have a motorcade? A Chicago police spokesman said they have no record of a request for a motorcade. A White Republican police chief from Elmhurst, Illinois is interviewed. He wants to know, who is Louis Farrakhan to have a motorcade? Remember, this world operates on a philosophy of white supremacy.
It is inconceivable that Black people dare to befriend one another, pool their resources, protect their leadership from harm, and never seek permission from white authority. It is alarming that last summer, without seeking their permission, Minister Farrakhan led the Fruit of Islam among our people in the so-called ghettoes of Chicago where the murder rates are among the highest in the country. The people poured out in droves to look at him, listen to him, be near him. And unless something is done about it, they will follow him.
No, the Minister did not seek approval for a motorcade. He did not ask permission to call the Million Man March, either. The writer gratuitously offers that while his “national influence has greatly diminished”, Minister Farrakhan“remains a charismatic figure to many African-Americans in the Chicago area”. Actually, anyone who possesses influence in Chicago tends to be influential elsewhere. President Obama. Oprah. Reverend Jesse Jackson. If you know history, you know that Chicago is Black America.
The Sun Times is the number one newspaper in Chicago and ninth in the country. On any given day of the week, it has a circulation of more than 250,000 (450,000 when you add the suburbs). You cannot achieve those numbers with “has-beens” and “wannabees” on the front page. Indeed, when a man is of such interest that his children receive front page coverage on the ninth largest newspaper in America—I would venture to say his influence is growing, rather than diminishing. And you can rest assured that with P. Diddy calling for his millions of Twitter followers to watch The Time and What Must Be Done, and Erykah Badu calling him a
“Superhero” and a “brave and beautiful being,” we are witnessing a meteoric rise in the numbers of young people, who are being influenced by Minister Farrakhan.
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah calls upon us to use our reasoning powers. Let us obey Him when the enemy strikes in madness.
I close this writing with an excerpt from Closing the Gap, by Brother Jabril Muhammad.
Brother Jabril poses a question:
“…Whenever God intends to do something through His servants or have His servants accomplish something, Satan runs ahead and puts out something that looks right but it’s not. How can the new Believer in God’s Truths distinguish between Satan’s move and the Divine Move?”
Minister Farrakhan: “The Divine Move is perfect. Satan’s move is so far from perfection, that running ahead of God to try to produce something always leaves holes that create dissatisfaction, which then leads to perfection…I am watching the enemy trying to make one world, one political reality, one currency; one this, one that. That is God’s Idea. So the move that Satan makes, God is directing it. God says, ‘Oh you forgot something. Checkmate.’”
Darziel Hall assists at the scene of an accident on the Southfield Freeway last week. He is suing the State Police for $1 million in damages over claims of discrimination for being removed from a firearms examiner program. State Police denies the allegations of discrimination. / Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press
On Dec. 17, 2010, Michigan State Police Troopers Darziel Hall and Lamarr Johnson were presented certificates at a public ceremony for “successfully completing” the department’s firearms examiner training.
Two months later, both were removed from the program for poor performance in the course.
Hall and Johnson are black.
Both scored better than white applicants who, rather than being removed from the program, were promoted to sergeant as firearms examiners, records show.
The two troopers are now suing the department for racial discrimination in Wayne County Circuit Court, each seeking more than $1 million in damages.
“This case is an all-too-familiar reminder that bias is alive and well in the personnel decision making … of our law enforcement agencies,” said Leonard Mungo, the Detroit attorney representing the troopers.
State Police denies the allegations.
The department said in a court filing that the documents presented to Hall and Johnson certified successful completion of only part of the required training.
The troopers were removed from the program because they received negative evaluations after performing poorly in a mock courtroom session, Assistant Attorney General Jeanmarie Miller said in a Feb. 5 motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
“Race was not a factor in the decision to remove plaintiffs from the training program,” Miller said in the court filing, which noted that one black trooper who completed the program was promoted to firearm examiner.
On April 17, Wayne County Circuit Judge Annette Berry denied the state’s motion to dismiss, and the case could be headed to trial.
John Collins, who was head of forensic sciences for the State Police when the course was conducted, testified in a deposition that receiving the certificates “suggest(s) very strongly” that Hall and Johnson successfully completed the training.
But completion of the training, conducted by an outside contractor, was separate from any employment decisions such as promotions and appointment of firearms examiners, which was solely up to the State Police, Miller reported in a court filing.