By Rev. Samuel Williams Jr.,
Special to the AFRO
Rev. Al Sharpton recently delivered a sermon at Howard University’s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel. Sharpton used the platform to challenge America to “recapture its shame” regarding upcoming civil rights cases, the attitude regarding Black women in power and the Black community’s loss of self-pride.
Sharpton asked, “where is your shame?”
He implored congregants to realize that America is in an era of “dumbing down the country” and blamed most of the decline on former President Donald Trump’s appointment of conversative judges to the Supreme Court and federal courts.
“President Trump stacked the Supreme Court and over 200 federal bench positions by appointing conservative judges and they in effect are re-ordering the country,” Sharpton said. “There are two major affirmative action cases being reviewed this week and if the justices rule against them, it could destroy what is left of the Voting Rights Act and everything Black people fought for over the years. Where is white America’s shame?”
Sharpton said there is a voting district in Alabama where 27 percent of the population is African American– large enough for two congressional seats, but reduced to one due to gerrymandering.
Rev. Sharpton admonished the Black community for its attitude and treatment of Black women as well.
“I was in Alabama, and I was talking with a Black man who doesn’t support the fact that Black women hold positions like the vice presidency and in the Supreme Court,” Sharpton shared. “I told him Black women have been behind the backs of Black men since we arrived on these shores and been pushing us forward. Black women gave us our strength when we had none. Where is our shame in having such attitudes?”
He voiced deep concern for the declining sense of morality in our country as well.
“As a nation, we’ve lost our ability to measure right from wrong and it is leading to our destruction,” Sharpton continued. “We have no ethics, we have no values.”
“We must recapture our shame– our will to fight for the rights we have now and recapture our pride within ourselves. You hear it in this generations’ music where they degrade our women…what happened to musicians like Aretha Franklin who sang about “respect” or Marvin Gaye who asked the question “what’s going on” in light of injustices in America?”
Sharpton said we are not responsible for where we come from, but we are responsible for the directions in where we are going.
“God has blessed us as a Black community, but we have misused the blessings He has given us,” Rev. Sharpton said.
Sharpton is the founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN) which currently operates over 125 chapters across the country including a Washington D.C. bureau and headquarters in Harlem, New York.
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