Why is it that most African-Americans would not be surprised to learn about an African-American couple that was denied their right to be married in a predominantly White Mississippi church? No we are not talking about 1964. We are talking about 2012.
Why is it that this kind of story would not surprise most Whites either? In fact, behind closed doors a hefty number of Whites would probably agree with it, especially if this was an interracial marriage between a White woman and an African-American man, because nothing crumbles the bricks of a White male-dominated society like the image of a Trayvon Martin kissing a Taylor Swift.
Unlike the dreaded, extremely frowned upon interracial marriage, this recent, denied marriage at the Crystal Springs First Baptist Church in Mississippi was a traditional, safe marriage between two African-Americans—one African-American man and one African-American woman.
So what is the problem with that? How is this controversial? How is this problematic to the church? How is this problematic to Christianity? Isn’t this the precise banner that so-called Christians have been waving around in the faces of everyone—the supposedly sacred bond between a man and a woman?
Isn’t this exactly what politicians like President Bush 43, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and presidential nominee Mitt Romney have all raised the possibility of a constitutional amendment to preserve the sanctity of?
Apparently, the congregation at this church decided that no Blacks could be married there even if it was a marriage between a man and a woman. According to Te’Andrea Wilson, who would have been the bride, and her now husband George Wilson; their pastor Dr. Stan Weatherford had informed them that a small minority in the church wanted no part of a Black wedding, and they threatened to vote him out as pastor if he went ahead and performed the ceremony.
So this weasel impersonating a pastor bolted from his responsibility as a pastor and followed his Jim Crow era marching orders like the coward that he is. Instead of telling this alleged small minority that being a Christian means a lot more than embracing one’s Whiteness at the expense of shunning everyone who is not White, he took the safe route and married Te’Andrea and George at a nearby church.
Point number one; the pastor should have taken a stand on something as important as this. Instead of worrying about being removed as the pastor, he should have performed the ceremony anyway. If the opposition was truly a small minority, then they shouldn’t be able to vote him out. And what about the people outside of that small minority? Where were they in all of this—sitting on their hands, zipping their lips, and smothering their character?
Point number two; just because President Obama was elected as the President of the United States, it’s not a muzzle on African-Americans to keep them from seeing and addressing racism in this country—regardless of how many times conservatives, bigots, and White bias appreciators try to convince all of us that it is. If this is a post racial-society, somebody left the gate open, because the bigots have found their way in here too.
And point number three, those of us who look into the mirror in the White, conservative, male-dominated society and see the exact opposite, should be very careful about how we trample on the idea of gay rights and marriage equality, because the injustices of oppression are always looking for a new victim. The oppression shark is never too hungry to gobble up somebody’s rights—especially the rights of the disenfranchised.
So congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. George and Te’Andrea Wilson, and hopefully they can find a better church to attend where they will be treated as equals—maybe a place like Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.
And to the Crystal Springs First Baptist Church in Mississippi, I’ll leave you with these words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”