by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
A couple in Jackson, Mississippi said they were highly disappointed to have their wedding banned by a white church. The mayor of the city has even stepped in to speak on the serious injustice that has been served to the couple as a result of what some have called obvious racism.
Charles Wilson, the husband to be, expressed his concerns about being banned.
“I feel like it was blatant racial discrimination,” Wilson said today in a phone interview.
Wilson and his wife, Te’Andrea, had already invited people to the wedding, listing the date as July 21 at First Baptist of Crystal Springs. But there were members of the congregation who didn’t want the couple getting married at their church. The church’s pastor, Stan Weatherford, still conducted the ceremony, but the event had to be moved to another church.
Pastor Weatherford even admitted that there were some members of the church who were concerned about Charles and his wife being married there, since they’d never had a black couple married in their church. Wilson has been attending the church for a month and his wife has been there for more than a year.
“Prior to this, I had been telling people how nice they were here,” Wilson said. “It makes you reevaluate things.”
The pastor of the church admitted that the racism broadsided him.
“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church and I didn’t want a controversy to effect the wedding of Charles and Te’ Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day,” said Weatherford, according to WLBT.
Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland spoke up on the couple’s behalf, stating that she was highly disappointed that this incident took place in her community.
“I would hate for a few people to be a reflection of our whole town because it’s not that way,” she said. “We pride ourselves on unity. We don’t want to be known for that.”
Here’s my question for Charles and Te’Andrea: Why in the hayell are you attending that church in the first place? Why are you giving them your money and asking to give them more money by getting married in their church? There was just a finding that the city of New York is going to earn a quarter of a billion dollars this year from gay marriages. This shows that whether on a large or small scale, bigotry is never profitable. If the people at First Baptist are too ignorant to know this, then you should take your business elsewhere.
One of the most awkward things I notice from some black people, especially in the south, is an intense need to mingle with whites in order to feel that we are worthy. We pass over black businesses and gladly give our money to people who hate our guts. In fact, we get angry if they don’t take our money, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Mississippi is one of the most disrespectful states in America, boldly raising a flag possessing a symbol of the greatest holocaust in the history of America, yet there are negroes who will defend this flag to the death.
When someone asked me today at the Urban League Convention how I adjust to racism in America, I gave my friend a simple answer: I don’t trust my self-esteem to the descendants of my historical oppressors. In other words, I don’t wait for a white man to give me a great job with some important position that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. Why? Because when you become dependent on something that’s been given to you, your self-worth is undermined when that thing is taken away. The black man who said “mama I made it” when he was hired as a Vice President at IBM is devastated when he’s reminded that white people still own the company.
The point in what I’m saying here is that looking to whites to validate you is almost always a losing proposition. It doesn’t mean you can’t work with them, marry them, spend time with them and do business with them, but all relationships must be predicated upon a condition of mutual respect. For this couple, they gave their respect and money to a church that won’t even honor their right to declare their love for one another. That is a hateful, ugly and evil way to allegedly serve God on Sundays. The pastor should also be ashamed of being too cowardly to speak up against this injustice, which is what Jesus tells us to do at least once a week.
With regard to this couple, I would hope that they find another church that deserves their time and money. If these people are too ignorant to allow black people to get married at their church, that’s their loss. You should never waste your time pandering to people who are ignorant enough to believe that you are inferior, for they are never worth your time. Don’t let your feelings be hurt when they reject you…just tell them to get the hell out of your face. God has better things in store for you anyway.