WEDNESDAY CLERGY FELLOWSHIP 

WEDNESDAY CLERGY FELLOWSHIP

AND RACEISM

For many years I have been a member of the Wednesday Clergy Fellowship a group of largely African-American pastors with active church ministries in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Its major purpose is spiritual. Each weekly meeting begins in the sanctuary of various hosting Congregations. There are prayers, hymn singing and testimonies in support of our Christian ministries. After an ample breakfast the conference session begins with a spiritual presentation by our Facilitator. This is usually followed by often passionate discussion. The public policy portion usually involves a presentation by one or more spokesman for an affinity group. They support community action in areas like housing, employment, and a great array of social concerns particularly with emphasis upon the plight of the poor. The meeting ends in about two hours with a spiritual message delivered to one of the members.

On September 16 at the first summer post-vacation session the major concern expressed by the Facilitator and the members was a very distressing demonstration of hatred and animosity dramatized in the series of public meetings on medical reform. There is deep concern about this substitution of ugliness for informed public debate. There is also a strong suspicion that a major part of this ugliness is based on racism and sponsored by Republican Right wingers like talk show haters like Rush Limbaugh.

One of the summers triggering incidences was an outburst by South Carolina Congressman Wilson during Pres. Barrack Obama's Joint Congressional session on medical reform. He shouted “You Lie” before the entire leadership of the federal government and televised to the entire world.

The president through his spokesman Ron Emanuel immediately accepted Wilson's prompt apology. The president noted that all of us make mistakes. The House of Representatives however voted principally along party lines to reprimand the Congressman. Again the president in keeping with his almost 2 year long campaign absolutely refuse to get into any race baiting. At this writing he gives every indication of letting the matter rest.

It should be noted that the photograph above was taken in the parking area of the 19th St., Baptist Church size of our meeting. The question of what church the Obamas will attend while in Washington is still not known. The President and his family have attended this church which is a former synagogue now operated as a Baptist church.

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