It seems like almost all Black people have some type of opinion about Bishop Eddie Long regarding the sexual allegations that are being claimed by now four Black men. What is most troubling for me about this situation is what it reconfirms for me about many Black people: Many Black people are eager to tear one another apart. Now, what I have observed is many White people are willing to stay united behind members of their own race, even in the most horrible of situations. Black people, we can learn something from White people on this issue—let’s unite more behind our people. Now, I am not saying that we should simply unite behind Bishop Eddie Long no matter what he does and has done, but what I would like to see is for us to not be exploiting him like the media is doing. Before we make up our minds up about what happened, we need to allow the presentation of all the evidence to come forth.
Beyond this issue about Bishop Eddie Long, we need to be more loyal and united to one another. We have a history that demonstrates what we can do when we are united. It was our dominant unity and loyalty to one another that was instrumental in helping to defeat slavery and Jim Crow. Don’t just assume that this man is homosexual just because four men are claiming that he forced them to have sex with him. How many times have people claimed false things about you? How many times have people mischaracterized you? I am not suggesting that this is the case with these four men, but I am saying that it is a strong possibility that what we are hearing and reading from media accounts is not the complete truth. Let’s let truth prevail in this case, which means that we are going to need to gain more facts before we can intelligently start throwing this man of God under the metaphorical bus. No matter what is ultimately concluded about these allegations, I will not demonize this man of God.
What is it about so many Black people that make them want to hate on one another? What is it about so many Black people that make them enjoy seeing members of their own race suffer? I know whatever it is it needs to stop. It seems like many Black people do not want to see other Black people succeed. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, I have had the opportunity to experience many Black people who have tried to derail my success. Fortunately, these individuals have failed miserably, but the larger problem with their attempts is that they should be happy to see a Black man doing so well, especially considering many of the horrific statistics that exist about us.
What I’m going to try to do is have a conversation or interview with one of these Black people who hate on successful Black people to gain an understanding about why they hate on successful members of their own race. I think that the core problem that they have lies in their low self-esteem. The Black individuals at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the city of Madison who have hated on me all have the common problem of low self-esteem. As I reflect on all of the people who have hated on me throughout my life, I realize that they too have suffered from low self-esteem.
Black people, we are already a racial minority in America. Let’s not further complicate our situation by continuing to allow self-defeating mindsets to undermine one another.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison