Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bishop Long as a metaphor: Why together we must break the silence on abuse...


I have struggled for a couple weeks with how I would approach this subject... You see, I have strongly felt a check in my spirit, a calling to speak out on a crisis within our community, but I just hadn't found the words. But now I have... This is not about Bishop Eddie Long - This is about us, and all the bishop long's we've tolerated in an indefensible silence.

Now with regard to Bishop Eddie Long, I don't know if he is guilty or innocent. Truthfully, I didn't know anything about him prior to these recent accusations so my point here is not to cast aspersions upon him. The justice system will ferret that out... But we've been too silent for too long about the sexual victimization of young girls and boys within our community. And I for one, will not remain silent any longer.

Rather than deal with Bishop Long the Reverend, I'd like to take a look at Bishop Long as a metaphor. Consider a man held in high esteem. Well regarded, and well known. A man holding a position of influence and one who used that influence to serve as a mentor to youth within our community... But even as he made his positive offerings to the community, he was victimizing the very children he purported to mentor.

This is not an isolated incident. This is not an uncommon anecdote. Too many children within our community are subject to acts of sexual molestation or abuse and we as a community need to speak out about it.

Through our work and my contact with youth, I am alarmed by the vast number of children who harbor terrible stories about the times their trust was betrayed and their innocence attacked. I have been equally pained to learn of the men, most of well repute, who selfishly scar the lives of our youth. These stories are scattered all around us; unchecked, unchallenged, they are our collective secret...

But no more.

Now I certainly realize, that this is a complicated psychological issue, and certainly not one that could be easily solved with a public awareness campaign. But I also know that the first real step to making a change is that Somebody has to stand up and say "Enough". We need to stand up for the safety and well-being of our children. No more young girls should have to endure this. No more young men either... Our Juvenile detention facilities and jails are filled with former victims of abuse: people who've struggled unsuccessfully to process and deal with their victimization. Our relationships are suffering, our family units are in free fall, and the monsters remain among us.

Now I don't know how this fits into the work of the NAACP. Our mandate is very clear and our mission is unambiguous. We are an organization that is dedicated to protecting people from the effects of bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination. I am as proud to be a part of that work today as I have ever been. But I also recognize a greater mandate. That we are ALL called to stand up and be protectors of our children and of those who can not protect themselves. And on this count, we are falling short.

I am a Civil Rights Warrior. But we can not be so concerned with defending our civil rights that we neglect to stand up for our children's Human Rights.

That is why a couple weeks ago I sat down with Pastors Reuben Eckels, Micheal Tyson, and Kevin Graham, along with NAACP Youth Director Kenya Cox, and TKAAM Executive Director Prisca Barnes, to have a conversation about how we could begin a community dialogue around the issue of ending the abuse. I don't know what form the campaign will eventually take - but I know its time to say "Enough".

If you have suggestions, ideas, or just want to be a part of the change - please drop me a line either by email or on Facebook, and let's end the silence...

wibiya widget

About This Blog

About This Blog

Jung/Myers Briggs

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP