How can we forget the movie Antoine Fisher? This movie addressed a very difficult issue for Blacks in America, which is sexual abuse. I used to work in the Georgia prison system, and I’ll never forget the number of males who were sexually abused by other male family members. YES, PEOPLE…this has been present for generations! Bishop T.D. Jakes calls them generational curses. They do exist and must be addressed in order to stop the pattern in our communities, and specifically our churches.
This is a very touchy subject; I will get either a lot of discussion or none at all. The fact is that our young Black males become very angry as a result of unresolved sexual trauma. Remember this, Readers: many of the abused grow up to become abusers! This cycle of generational curses has to be broken; Brothers, don’t be afraid because we know that it’s REAL, and it EXISTS in our churches and communities.
Now, in regards to the Don Lemon situation, I don’t know what’s true or false, but the pattern and process sounds too similar (i.e. long distance trips, remarks such as “oh, this does not make you gay…”). THANK YOU DON LEMON FOR “JARRING THE FLOOR”! You’re not the only one, but your bravery deserves commendation and applause. Thank you for helping to raise consciousness about this issue. However, let me be your next guest on the show; I believe that the young students were “stunned” by the depth and clarity of your questions.
This issue needs to be confronted and the curse has to eventually stop. I polled about 50 middle-aged Black men to see why this “thing” seems to be so devastating to our community, particularly in the case of Bishop Eddie Long. The results are as follows:
- 50% stated that many people have been aware of these type of behaviors in our churches for years.
- 23% stated that this is old news, and wondered why all the rhetoric and focus was on Bishop Long.
- 20% thought it was extortion, and was retaliation as a result of a “Sugar Daddy Gone Bad”.
- 7% would plead the 5th and wait until more facts surfaced.
From seeing Don Lemon’s video, we see just how vulnerable some young Blacks are to sexual abuse in the church. But, let’s not forget that John Campbell III, Gabrielle Richards, and Gary Foster, Jr. all have an “overly idealized” view of their pastor/leader. This is a common but scary occurrence in the Black churches. And….let’s not forget: a LOT of young females reveal being turned out by their female church mates (time to jar the floor, ladies!)
The allegations against Bishop Long are most likely disheartening to most Black men, namely because some have experienced or testified to being sexually abused in the church. I can’t begin to tell you the astronomical numbers of confessions I’ve heard in my practice, but, even more interesting, many of the assailants have never been exposed…not by the victims, the parents, or other clergymen. I suspect that Bishop Long’s allegations are a catalyst for resurfacing feelings of hurt and anger in abused church members. This phenomena of sexual abuse in the Black communities and churches may explain why the frenzies, controversies, anger and blame are so strong in Bishop Eddie Long’s case. Brothers (and Sisters): seek out help! Communicate with someone; if you HAVE been sexually abused, don’t let this ticking time bomb of frustration explode!
Is this an important topic for us to discuss? Is it time for us to “Jar the Floor?” Do you think that the above blog post explains some of the anger in the community? Let me hear your thoughts.
You may also have feelings of depression from sexual abuse and not know it. One way to be sure is to take the Dr. Owens Mental Health Prescreen Assessment and check your mental status. Remember…we are here for you!