Grieving Philadelphia: What Have We Become?

Guest Submission by: Kunta Evans

DC Talk was a group I discovered during my high school years. Considering what they accomplished as a Contemporary Christian group is remarkable … even more so is how they did it. They started out creating cheesy Christian dance, hip-hop tracks and then as time passed, they evolved their sound, polished it and created something that was substantive with the kind of crossover sound that afforded them mainstream acclaim. Their landmark album, Jesus Freak, featured a track titled “What Have We Become”. The words of the chorus seem to provide an accurate description to our world’s current climate:

What have we become?
A self-indulgent people
What have we become?
Tell me where are the righteous ones?
What have we become?
In a world degenerating
What have we become?

The lyrics above seem particularly prescient considering the recent news coming out of Philadelphia regarding Kermitt Gosnell and his abortion house of horrors. If for whatever reason you don’t know who he is, go here. Read every word…even take time out to read the report attached to the link that details out the charges made against Gosnell. What you will find is beyond disturbing. The level of brutality and the duration of it is staggering, especially considering that this monster was allowed to practice “medicine” for over four decades and reap a considerable fortune off of poor, inner city residents while the Philadelphia Department of Health looked the other way knowing what was going on.

In case any of you weren’t aware, I don’t see abortion as a matter of women’s reproductive rights. I see this issue as a matter of life and death, a matter of protecting those who can’t protect themselves. That, by itself, is enough of a reason for me to see this issue the way I see it. But I also see this in another light. I view this issue through a racial lens. And I hope that by the end of this post, you’ll understand why.You might have noticed that Mr. Gosnell is Black. If you followed the link I provided above, you might notice that there’s another Black abortion practitioner out in California that’s being investigated for committing similar acts to Mr. Gosnell’s. Make no mistake, there are more stories out there waiting to be told. Time will unfold these stories and bring to light even more unspeakable horror. For me, it’s not just that these incredibly brutal acts are being committed under the guise of reproductive choice. What makes this even more repulsive to me is that Black men, whose ancestors were brutalized in much the same way at the hands of their White slave masters, are committing these acts.

Please know I don’t point this out to engender more White guilt. Lord knows there’s plenty of that going around. What’s done is done. The savage acts of White slave masters hundreds of years ago do not need to be carried on the shoulders of present-day White Americans. There will always be racism because of the condition of men’s hearts. But by and large, we live in a very diverse society with more people of color in positions of power and influence than at any other time in our nation’s history. This could not happen in a fundamentally racist country.

What I contend is that Blacks – who not that long ago were brutalized, tortured, even murdered because they were deemed as not fully human – should be especially sensitive to the plight of the unborn and the inequality shown them. There was a time when we could not speak to make our case for why we deserved equal protection under the law. Thank God that there were people who decided it wasn’t above their pay grade to see our cause as a worthy one to take up. They saw a part of Creation that was stamped, like they were, with the very fingerprint of God Himself. These little babies are no less stamped as we are. We, like them, were knit together in our mother’s womb.

They are just as deserving of equal protection under the law and they deserve, as we did, for someone to come to their rescue and speak for them in a way that they can’t do themselves. Before this can happen, we have to wake up out of the malaise we’ve been in for the last 40+ years, conditioned to believe the promises of a political party that was to deliver us our balancing of the scales after years of inequality. It has helped create the conditions now seen in much of the Black community – disproportionate rates of single-parent families, paternal abandonment, teen and unwed pregnancy, incarceration, violent crime, unemployment, under-education…and last but not least, abortion. Blacks, while they compose 13% of the US population, represent 40% of babies being aborted.

What have we become? We (Blacks) have, in large part, become a people that have swallowed whole a debilitating mindset that has created far-reaching consequences that are destroying us. And to make matters worse, we willingly participate.What we must become? We (Blacks) must awaken to this reality and grab hold of a better destiny than the one we believed for so long was entitled to us. We must fight for ourselves in a way that does away with giving credence to people and organizations we cede leadership to who are only interested in lining their own pockets and centralizing power at the expense of everyone else.

Towards the end of “What Have We Become”, DC Talk asks:

What about love?
What about God?
What about holiness?
What about mercy Compassion and selflessness?
So then … what’s it gonna be?


Cross-posted at Random Alien Musings.

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