Secrets camouflaged as an attempt to protect children continue to plague the black community. It was common for a pregnant teenager to be sent to the South to have their babies. If that wasn’t weird enough sometimes an aunt or even the grandmother would take on the role of the new baby’s mother. Sometimes these babies grow up believing that their birth mother is their cousin or even their sister. I never understood this plan. I have concluded that the adults convinced themselves that they were protecting the children involved but in actuality they were only protecting themselves. They only cared about what others would have thought. This fear based, ego driven thought process is just one of the types of secrets kept in the black family. I’m sure these lies (because that’s what they are) are rampant in other cultures, but I can only speak of what I have seen and experienced.
I have to admit the Bishop Eddie Long scandal has sparked and awakened some deep-seeded opinions in the matter of black family secrets. This man allegedly coerced you parishioners in performing sex acts with/on him. His church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has over 25,000 members. I think I have read comments from each of his 25,000 supporters. They begin like this: “Let’s be slow to judge” or my personal favorite, “No weapon formed against me shall…” Some of these people are probably quick to give their opinion about the Real House Wives of ______, though. I’m sure they have an opinion about Kim Kardashian's love life and I’m sure that they just can’t understand why Sister Jackson left Brother Jackson, because he is a good man.
|My sliding patio door, 2008|
Those matters are none of our business. The care and protection of children IS our business, but some reserve comment because they have to protect their pastor. If indeed he is guilty, he is not alone. There are several other people, including his wife and the plaintiffs’ mother’s, who probably should be held accountable. I’m sure there are church staff members who provided a protective fence around “Bisshup” that allowed him to prey on these children.
I find it very disgusting the care taken to protect adults at such a very high cost. How many molesting uncles and mama boyfriends are we going to protect? How many more mothers are going to turn their heads as their husbands touch their children? We have generations of children who were never able to trust the persons who should have an innate urge to protect them, their parents.
How many times must a child find out that his real daddy is “Uncle” Joe from next door at a very inopportune time from a very inappropriate person? Who wants to hear “That’s not your real daddy” from the neighborhood kids at the local playground?
You can help break this stronghold of surreptitious behavior in the black community. Start in your own family. Refuse to keep any damaging secrets especially the ones that harm children. I’m not asking you to blurt out all you know but encourage discussion and openness in your family. Respect children’s right to know and strive to protect them from physical, emotional, spiritual and mental harm.