Time for Moratorium in Faith-Based Community: Suspend Political Access.
This may draw fire from the Faith-Based Community, but I would like there to be a moratorium on the parade of elected officials given access to church members by church leadership in Black and Brown communities. During this moratorium, set aside much-needed time to assess, reevaluate and think through the value this granted access has and is bringing or not bringing to the community. Conduct a line-by-line, issue-by-issue review of how your elected officials are meeting your needs and that of your community – not just the church.
At the end of the review, the Church community should be able to say “Our economic, social, political progress and standing has increased exponentially.” This is a step that holds elected officials accountable to the outcomes and progress in Black and Latino communities. The community is the membership; they are the people who live and work in the greater community when they leave the Church house. And these are candidates/politicians from Governor, Attorney General, Senator(s), Assemblymen/women, Mayor, City Councilmember, Borough President, District Attorney, Judges and District Leaders. All of these offices are your representatives and are accountable to the community they serve.
A Community Taken For Granted
I know there are well-doing politicians and candidates, but the truth is there are not enough; and they, trust me on this, take the Black and Brown community for granted. Candidates and elected officials need access to the faith-based community, more than the faith community need candidates and elected officials.
“If a city has a 30% Negro population, then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30% of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yet, each political season politicians know Black-Brown clergy will give access to its membership, in one form or another. But the question becomes, in plain terms: how does this access pay off? Until they prove themselves to be true and continued friends of the community -in easy and not so easy times- they do not get access. It is really that simple. There is nothing radical or revolutionary about this suggestion. A moratorium is a long overdue “time out.” In this moment in time, Church leadership in the Black and Latino community can’t afford to be timid, unaware of its power, detached, complacent or any and all of the above.
Cease the parade of elected officials (some who show up and don’t even stay the entire service). And, please, church leadership, for the love of the community, stop handing out awards and acknowledgements to elected officials who do not deserve it.
And for churchgoers, You can love your leadership and still require accountability of your elected officials.
From Philsun: Black Church Losing Political Power:
Emory University Associate Professor of Political Science Michael Leo Owens: ”Churches do not push for more government action to improve communities” once there is some government action. He feels this leads to blacks failing to realize they need to keep pressuring politicians even after the political system has provided some benefits. ”Blacks have become weaker politically,” he said.