When the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. went up to speak at Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday, not many expected him to say black lives do not matter.
But Rev. Williams, who preaches at the Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, said exactly that.
“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, black lives can never matter,” Williams said.
“A black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man,” he continued.
The reverend hit the nail on the head. Statistics prove what most people know instinctively: The father’s role is critical in guiding his son’s growth into a man. This is true not just for the black community, but for every race and religion on Earth.
This struck a nerve in the Black Lives Matter crowd, though, with many not willing to hear the reverend’s remarks or his explanations.
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) August 31, 2018
Williams responded to the vitriolic criticism in a news release to local Atlanta station WSB-TV 2.
The reverend defended his statements, saying “I was just telling the truth.”
“I like to think there’s no pushback about what I said. It could be that they did not understand what I was saying,” the release also read.
Williams believes that Aretha Franklin herself would be supportive of his message. Emphasizing her role in the civil rights movement, he said Franklin “would be pleased” that his words could do something to “turn black lives around.”
Reverend Williams’ message hit a community in crisis. According to the reverend’s speech, 70 percent of black households are led by mothers alone. As noted by conservative goups like Focus on the Family, research backs up Williams’ implication that children do their best when raised by their biological parents.
Traditional families are under attack in America, no matter their skin color. The exact number of marriages in America that end in divorce is fuzzy, but likely hovers just under an astronomically high 50 percent.
Society’s real priorities can be seen in what Williams’ critics chose to ignore: Former President Bill Clinton’s and Bishop Charles H. Ellis III’s treatment of singer Ariana Grande as she took the stage.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 31, 2018
“Bishop” openly gropes #ArianaGrande
Where are the so called Feministas & Women Rights activists
Bishop hai toh bolti band??
— Archie (@archu243) September 2, 2018
Both men are married. Both knew they were in the public eye. Yet both were seemingly liberal with their hands and eyes when another woman — decades younger than both men — was on stage. (Ellis has since apologized, according to The Associated Press, and said the tough was accidental.)
The Rev. Williams isn’t backing down from the angry mob. He says the only solution is “good parenting.”
As the reaction to his words show, though, it’s a long, uphill fight.
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