I continue to enjoy receiving The Bay State Banner. My Boston-based niece subscribed to the paper for me. I urge other residents of Boston to do the same for former residents of Boston who live in other places. Each time I receive the paper it conjures up within me the sights, sounds and smells of my favorite city, Boston.
I am writing to respond to the interaction between Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church and OneUnited Bank. I was living in Boston when the bank had its beginning and I remember well the outstanding ministry of Rev. Walter Davis when he was Pastor of Charles Street.
I have written an open letter to the nation’s black leaders using an African Proverb as my text: “When elephants fight, only the grass suffers.”
There can be no debate over the elephant reality of Charles Street AME Church and OneUnited Bank. They both are large and strong and influential. But, just as the grass under fighting elephants suffers, so does the black community as these two venerable institutions engage in verbal fisticuffs in court.
We do not yet have the luxury of engaging in public fights that ought to be settled around conference tables. There are times when churches and banks ought to be bold and honest enough to say, “My bad,” and begin again what was well-intentioned but now gone awry. Is this the time for that in this controversy?
Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell
Asbury Park, N.J.
On May 31, 1921, white citizens of Tulsa, Okla., and the surrounding areas took to the streets in a murderous rage. Their justification for those barbaric acts came in the form of a lie about an attack on a white woman by a black man.
Nothing more was needed for them to indiscriminately murder more than 100 black men, women and children with impunity. The real reason for their terror had a lot more to do with their own inadequacies. You see, black Tulsa was a thriving and vibrant society that could only be described as successful. This was more than the underachieving white community could stomach so they burned the town down.
Within the last few weeks, two desperate, underachieving white men took to the streets of Tulsa and perpetrated an all out assault on black men. When the smoke cleared, five were shot and three were dead.
What could have possibly prompted their insidious acts? Were they upset about Obama? Do they – like their counterparts in 1921 – see his ascension to the presidency as black progress run amuck? Or does our nation’s refusal to deal in earnest with the cancer of racism have us witnessing déjà vu all over again?