On the same day, we all found ourselves “attending” 2 funerals that brought to the forefront the scarring racism has brought into this country. Instead of us being able to just sort of relish in the fact that the 2 funerals actually revealed some of the healing that has taken place, we found ourselves bombarded on social media with the bitterness and hate that clouds our view. I am not sure what others may have seen, but I chose to focus on the positives of both funerals and what I saw made my heart smile:
- Both funerals revealed a crossing of racial lines. Check out Aretha’s funeral: That Ariana Grande was invited to sing at Aretha’s funeral, was something amazing to me. In that historic black church, filled with all types of pillars of the black community, this one girl braved the stage and sung her heart out. To me the image was a beautiful one. Then as Ariana sang, I look behind her and see my former President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton sitting among Jesse Jackson, Farrakhan, and others. On top of that, across the waters, Buckingham Palace does the changing of the guard to Aretha’s RESPECT. When in the history of the world, has royalty honored a black person… a black WOMAN in this way???
- Now, check out John McCain’s funeral: Uh…the first black president…who is a DEMOCRAT spoke at his republican, former OPPONENT’s funeral…I mean gave the eulogy! McCain asked Obama to give the eulogy…at his own funeral!! Then we see video of this mixed race of political leaders sitting together with their wives, smiling.
- THEN! Some of those who were at McCain’s funeral, had been invited to Aretha’s funeral and sent in letters, yet Michael Eric Dyson accused those who did not attend Aretha’s funeral of not wanting to be in too much blackness. Why couldn’t people see that those who chose to go to McCain’s funeral, were actually INVITED TO SPEAK and doing what Aretha often fought for…EQUALITY. They were living out what she fought for and dreamed of and I think she would have been proud.
- Aretha’s funeral should have been a time where those of us who grew up in the church could celebrate that the world was invited into a service. Ariana Grande being criticized for her short dress was the most phariseeical foolishness (Pharisees were the religious leaders in the Bible that Jesus hated because of how they judged people)! And I also sensed her nervousness at being called to stand in the gap of that racial line to sing a song that was such a huge hit, sung by Aretha. There was no grace for her…there was no appreciation of the huge task set before her. Do any of you know how terrifying that may have been for her??? Where was the love of God for her?? Help me LORD! This made me so mad! I was just so excited to see those IN the church and those who watched it from home, to be invited into the black church. But we BLEW IT! We blew it with our posts, our criticisms, our wandering hands, our self-glorification, our political slander, our back stabbing of the black mothers who struggle to raise their black sons, our lack of understanding of Black Lives Matter…we blew it!! Only a few of those who spoke truly understood who Aretha was and tried to reflect that, others used it as a time to gain notoriety and it hurt my heart. I’m surprised Aretha didn’t get up out the casket and slap all of them!
I just don’t want people to miss what happened on the day of these 2 funerals. Both of these icons’ lives reflected their desire for unity in this country and yet many used the two funerals to promote the hate and dissension and self-serving agendas. I know we have a long way to go, but we have still come a long way. At what point do we stop to actually notice and celebrate how far we have come? Then we can get back in the fight again. If we could have all just focused on whose lives we were celebrating. Why couldn’t we just come up for some air? For just a day? Yes, McCain often goes against many of my political stances, but he was trying to build a bridge and I appreciated that so much. It is a step forward. If we could have just taken our minds off of ourselves and our “causes” just for a minute to celebrate these 2 people and all they stood for. I really believe they both really tried with their whole heart to bring healing to our land and to actually make America great. Although a sliver of their light did shine through on that day, it did get clouded by some FOOLISHNESS! The world could have been saturated with the glorious light of their lives and we could have been even more inspired.