Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Today people are trying to define “being Woke” with a definition that blacks never before have entertained. - Damon Davis
I’m going to tell you how black lives are becoming an even bigger target in 2018.
It’s likely that in some form or another you’ve probably heard of a legal term called a policy rider or simply a rider. If you haven’t, what you will learn is going to blow your mind. Riders are usually controversial attachments added to an appropriation bill as an attempt to force the Executive office to sign it into law. For example, most people would not be open to allowing their internet service to share their personal information with government agencies without their permission. Passing a bill like that would be extremely difficult, but it is possible if attached to a bill that is less controversial. In that case, it can be passed much easier. In fact, this rider was passed about two years ago, December 2015. It is called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.
So history proves the key to passing a ridiculous and controversial policy rider is undoubtedly to attach it to something much more meaningful and a lot less controversial. Next key is to present it all during a time of high pressure, emotions, and urgency. Policy riders are the Trojan Horse of the legislative world. And we all know how that story turned out.
As much as many of us know about our nation’s legislative process, I’d guess that not as many of us know the same about Spiritual Legislation. This may sound bizarre to some of you, but there is more. There are also policy riders in Spiritual Legislation. Currently, a few misleading voices are attempting to push through policy riders that would be devastating, especially to black people. Just like Satan convinced Eve that “knowledge of good and evil” would be the answer to all of her desires, but failed to let her know how deadly his route to knowledge would be to her life. That was the policy rider attached to the bill he was proposing. Knowledge, information, awareness, etc. were the innocent face of the bill, but the rider authorized hatred and murder.
For this reason, the Bible warns us, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)
This is a very urgent, emotional, and high-pressure time if you’re a black person living in America. Recently, our nation reminded us that African Americans must become more historically, culturally, and flat out self-aware. No one is going to argue against passing that “bill”. But while the pressure and emotions are high, opportunists have come to the surface with more controversial agendas; attempting to pass their policy riders into law. They are suggesting that we should altogether drop Christianity, go back to ancient beliefs, and embrace hatred as the answer to our progress as if violence is the only way we will be heard. This is a great time to get a rider like that passed because as I stated before, emotions are high.
But the pendulum of black awareness doesn’t have to swing all the way to the opposing extreme to see meaningful progress. It’s likely that someone would emotionally argue, “How would you know?” And to them, I would respond, “I don’t know. But I do know who does”. People like George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, and Frederick Douglass probably know more about advancing social progress for blacks than every voice of justice speaking today. And all of them thought Jesus was integral to their success and our success. Today people are trying to define “being Woke” with a definition that blacks never before have entertained. Keep in mind, they are the reasons why you are currently reading this on your beautiful smartphone and sitting in your air-conditioned home. They didn’t seem to think their Christianity diluted their fight for equality. In fact, they seemed to think it gave them an edge. And we can see that their work was not in vain. Although, we are still facing monsters in this land, in less than 200 years we have gone from bullwhips to business owners, from imprisonment to being president.
Yes, racism does still exist, and it should not be allowed to stand. But the average black person’s reality today would be considered a taste of heaven to our ancestors. We should not fail to acknowledge the progress many of them worked to ensure we would enjoy. And the majority of the men that helped us to get here claimed they had divine assistance. And since we are enjoying the fruit of their success, I think we should give these brilliant and resilient people the respect that someone who defied impossible odd deserves. We would be foolish not to acknowledge the value of their wisdom.
Booker T. Washington is quoted as saying, “The men doing the vital things of life are those who read the Bible and are Christians and not ashamed to let the world know it.” He also stated: “Those who have accomplished the greatest results are those…who never grow excited or lose self-control, but are always calm, self-possessed, patient and polite.”
Today’s self-appointed historian would call these the words of a pacified house nigger. The only problem with that reasoning is many of these men have done more to destroy their community than the average white supremacist. While men like Booker T. are noted for starting works that would elevate blacks for the next century. He is most known for establishing what is now known as Tuskegee University. Booker T. Washington is also known for being an eloquent speaker and superior intellect. He is probably the equivalent to the Barack Obama of his day.
George Washington Carver credits the Christian God with teaching him how to dissect and understand the peanut, the sweet potato, and a variety of other plant life. In his book, Man Who Talked With Flowers he says, "Years ago, I went into my laboratory and said, 'Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for?' "The great Creator answered, 'You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size.' "Then I asked, 'Dear Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for.' Again the great Creator replied, 'Little man, you still are asking too much. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.' "So then I asked, 'Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?' "’That's better, but even then it's infinite. What do you want to know about the peanut?’" …"And then the Great Creator taught me how to take the peanut apart and put it together again. And out of this process have come forth all these products." Dr. Carver is credited for revitalizing the agricultural industry in the South by restoring the nutrient-depleted soil. His inventions are countless, but to name a few: face powder, printer's ink, butter, shampoo, plastics, dyes, cosmetics etc.
Frederick Douglass stated, "Though for weeks I was a poor broken-hearted mourner traveling through doubts and fears, I finally found my burden lightened, and my heart relieved. I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern was to have everybody converted. My desire to learn increased, and especially did I want a thorough acquaintance with the contents of the Bible." He was a well-known abolitionist and became the first African-American to hold high office in the United States government. He was a professing Christian to the end, but Frederick rejected any “Christian Church” that supported slavery. He is noted for acknowledging that God’s Word and Christianity had been proven in his life, although he was fully aware there are some that attempt to use it as a tool of manipulation.
With all the propaganda on TV and social media, you’d think historical black figures hated the God of the Bible, but what you find instead is that their love and trust for Him ran just as deep as anyone of that day. They leaned on Him for comfort in their darkest days and used His strength to overcome.
This is really what it means to be WOKE. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
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