A black pastor is defending his sermon at Aretha Franklin’s funeral and refusing to back down from saying that black culture has gone off the rails and needs to be fixed.
Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. told The Associated Press that he still feels his timing was right for his firery speech at the Franklin funeral. He said he thinks the black movement “should move in a different direction.”
“What we need to do is create respect among ourselves,” Williams told the AP. “Aretha is the person with that song ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ that is laid out for us and what we need to be as a race within ourselves. We need to show each other that. We need to show each other respect. That was the reason why I did it.”
Williams, who is the pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, said his words about black women being incapable of raising sons alone were taken out of context. He described as “abortion after birth” the idea of children being raised without a “provider” father and a mother as the “nurturer.”
Many thought Williams took a shot at Franklin, who was a single mother of four boys. But the pastor said a household can become stronger with two parents rather than one.
“Here’s the root of what I’ve been talking about: In order to change America, we must change black America’s culture,” he said. “We must do it through parenting. In order for the parenting to go forth, it has to be done in the home. The home.”
Black Lives Matter folks also got mad at Williams because he said black lives do not matter during his speech. But he says that people have misunderstood his point on that.
“I said blacks do not matter, because black lives cannot matter, will not matter, should not matter, must not matter until black people begin to respect their own lives,” Williams said. “Then and only then will black lives matter. That’s what I said, and again, and again, and again. We need to have respect for each other. Once we start doing that, then we can begin to change.”
Williams also waved off the criticism he is getting on social media:
“I’m sure much of the negativity is due to the fact that they don’t understand what I’m talking about,” he said. “Anybody who thinks black America is all right as we are now is crazy. We’re not all right. It’s a lot of change that needs to occur. This change must come from within us. Nobody can give us things to eliminate where we are. We have to change from within ourselves. It is ludicrous for the church not to be involved. The church is the only viable institution we have in the African-American community. We must step up and turn our race around.”
Even though Williams spoke for nearly 50 minutes of the eight-hour funeral, the pastor said he didn’t have enough time to delve deep into his sermon. He said he will expound more on his sermon and how Franklin was originally named the “Queen of Soul” for the next two Sundays at his church.
“I think if she’s immortalized, she should be immortalized,” he said. “If we can turn black America around, it would be the greatest and best immortalization we could properly give to her for what she did for black America and the world when she lived.”
Pastor Williams is exactly right. If you want t see the proof of his point, look to the City of Chicago where blacks are killing each other by the dozens every weekend.
Chicago proves that black culture is broken. Blacks need more Pastor Williamses, not fewer.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.