Mitt Romney

Cursed Since Birth: Romney, Race, and the Politics of Religion

“Some people sayin’ that we’re cursed/the lack of Knowledge of ourselves makes it worse.” – “Soul Controller”, Grand Puba

The church was filled with the sound of hand claps and amens, as the conservative presidential candidate, Joseph Young, stood before the all Black congregation. They nodded in agreement as he admonished the young men in the congregation to “pull their pants up” and the young women to “stop having so many babies.” But when Pastor Jones patted him on the back and said, “We’re all brothers and sisters who will meet at the pearly white gates,” Young said, “Sorry, Rev. Heaven ain’t got no ghetto” and walked out the door….

Last week, the New York Times (NYT) exposed a secret plot by “a group of high-profile Republican strategists,” commissioned by billionaire Joe Ricketts (whose family owns the Chicago Cubs), to once again demonize President Barack Obama’s former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright in attack ads against the President.

The 54 page plan, which was accessible through the NYT website, called “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good,” not only called for the creation of vicious commercials but, in order to avoid accusations of racism, the use of “an extremely literate African American” such as talk show host Larry Elder as the face of the operation. Also, according to the plan they were going to get a “group of African American business leaders” to push the agenda.

You can’t say they didn’t have all their bases covered. (Well, I guess accept for some snitch leaking it to the press.)

If you can remember, four years ago, the Right Wing ace-in-the-hole was supposed to be Obama’s religion. They believed he was either a Muslim posing as a Christian, or the ring leader of some militant Black Theology Liberation movement. According to the NYT, even though he denounced the ad plan, Mitt Romney once “suggested that Obama wanted to make America into a less Christian Nation.”

What is most disturbing about these accusations is not the politics, but the hypocrisy. Although the Prez’s faith has been highly scrutinized, Romney’s Mormon beliefs are hardly mentioned.

Although, most people are only familiar with Mormonism (Church of the Latter Day Saints) from the ol’ school “Donny and Marie Osmond” show, or the missionaries who ride through the ‘hood on 10-speed bicycles in the freshly pressed white shirts, the religion has a largely unknown racist history.

According to Richard Abanes in his book, One Nation Under Gods, the belief in Black inferiority by the Mormon Church is based on a “cosmic war” between the armies of “Christ and Satan” eons ago, and those who were “indecisive and or less valiant” in the war were born Black. Hence, the origins of the curse.

Also, Richard and Joan Ostling in their book, Mormon America, claimed that noted Mormon leader, Brigham Young (after whom the university is named), once said that it was the law of God that if a white person had sex with a “seed of Cain” (a dark-skinned person), the penalty was, as they say on the streets, KOS (Kill On Sight).

Now that’s gangsta.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism states that “prior to 1978, Black members could not hold the priesthood or participate in Temple ordinances.” It also states that when African Americans were fighting and dying for their civil rights in the ’60s, there were “athletic boycotts of Brigham Young University, threatened lawsuits and condemnations of the church.”

To be fair, Mormonism is not the only faith that has used religion to justify bigotry. Christians used the “curse of Ham” myth to justify slavery. According to the story, Noah cursed his grandson Canaan, therefore all of his descendants were destined to slaves. Although this is often attributed to the Bible, it is actually based , mostly, on the Babylonian Talmud, as Dr. Cain Hope Felder points out in “Stony the Road We Trod.”

Although, demonized by the Right Wing, it must be noted that Black Liberation Theology is, merely, a reaction to these Black inferiority myths. For, if it was not for religious racism ,there would have been no need for the creation of the theology in the first place. Also, even though the talking heads on Fox News seem to believe that the belief started with Rev. Wright, its roots actually go back to Bishop Henry Mc Neal Turner in the late 19th Century. The theology was later propagated during the Civil Rights/Black Power Era by ministers such as Rev. Albert Cleage (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman) and Dr. James Cone.

The ideology has even been a part of rap music, as Hip-Hop artists such as Sunz of Man and Brand Nubian have challenged Eurocentric religious thought in their lyrics.

Unfortunately, the idea of Black skin being a curse is also embedded in Hip-Hop. In such songs as “Only God Can Judge Me” and “Game’s Been Good to Me” by Tupac Shakur, the running theme is “I’m just a young Black male/cursed since my birth.” Also, his late rival the Notorious B.I.G. rapped that he was “Black and ugly as ever.” So the ideology that Black people are divinely ordained to live in poverty and despair must be challenged.

One must ask why Black leaders seem to be avoiding this issue like the plague, and others are content to ignore the two ton Republican elephant in the room?

Maybe they are saving the issue for the grand finale pre-election show stopper, or perhaps they are afraid that they might get run over by the boys on the bikes.

Who knows?

Bottom line is people in glass churches shouldn’t throw stones.

Regardless, once again, it falls on Hip-Hop to raise the issues that others are afraid to touch. It is up to our journalists and artists to make sure that the issue of religious racism is raised loud and often.

Like Killah Priest said on “BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)”, some people in this country…

“…need to chill and get their minds revived/ for years religion did nothing but divide.”

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s weekly column is “This Ain’t Hip Hop,” a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. He can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com, on his website at www.NoWarningShotsFired.com, or on Twitter (@truthminista).

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  • dominicancoke

    its all twisted..i mean obama or romney who will you choose? simply obama because romney was born rich really rich never struggled for a damn thing and can’t connect to people below the poverty line or to middle class folks,now on the mormon subject? i don’t care if mormon’s dislike and undermined black’s for years’ did you forget where blacks picked up Christianity from? from slavery all religion’s were basically forced on black slave’s brought to the Caribbean’s south america and north america and on the native indian’s in all those regions. religion’s like Catholicism and Christianity so on and so on were basically force fed to people ever heard of the crusade’s? well in short word’s people were rape tortured and beaten to death in the name of jesus so you better convert or die lol ain’t that funny? and 
    9000000 dead bodies later you had your nice run of the mill church goer’s believing and praising something forced on their great grand parents. listen f*ck all religions is all people control.look how religion ruined the world from the crusades to september 11 it’s all in the name of religion. i am an atheist and a little bit of a pantheist but i won’t knock you for believing in god all that i’m saying is believe in him your own way not cause of what some man written book explain’s the bible the koran the torah where all man written book’s just like harry potter was a man written book wake up and believe in your self before you go believing in something man created

    • You make valid points. I still insist that it is bizarre that even with current Mormon dotrine justified racism there are still a handful who expect others to pretend it is not happening.
      What the others doing or have done in their groups does not justify Mormon racism. Surely each group can take responsibility for their actions.

      • dominicancoke

        mormon catholic jew they all the same to me.you ever read the mormon bible lol is like a spoof of the real bible but they are actually serious about it.people should practice humanism before they practice anything. at a days end a person is just a human being that’s why you have pastors who prey on the desperate and hopeless you see it on bet* at 4 a.m telling you to give them money so they can put a special prayer specifically for you.or in catholic churches thousand’s of pedophiles who still haven’t been exposed to the public. greedy jews extra fanatical Muslims blowing them selves up in the name of Allah.billy gram and creflo dollar’s making million’s of people who lack guidance.

      • Deep post , considering all your others & screen name. +1 on this.

      • dominicancoke

        thanks for that. i know sometime’s i get award of the year for most ignorant post some times but i stepped it up lol

    • ” In corporate sponsored elections who’s winning? It’s the wrong direction from the beginning.” krs

      PS: Religion ain’t have a darn thing to do with 9/11 , unless GOD made the U.S. Air defense system break protocol & fail 4x in one day.

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  • Negro Peligro

    Hi holmes. You gotta really know your history on this. Although you are right about Mormons. Mitt Romney’s father actually fought for civil rights in Detroit even against the Church. Although he didn’t march with Martin Luther King he did the day after despite warnings from his church. He also supported Martin Luther King when he came to Detroit. 

    The current real threat from Religion is their Lobbyist in Congress. That’s Mormons to Catholics.
    GOOGLE WWWTL FT Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama.

  • With great due respect, Please stop this whose religion is right and whose is wrong. At the end of the day you all use some type of Book to somehow treat others f’d up. How about we ARE Black first? And we all come from the same place. Treat people like people. Erase all the other sh*t and  Pioneer your own mind..Letting anyone control your mind is the worse thing you could do.

    • You are right. Some media is trying to say that Mormon Racism should be traded for silencing Jeremiah Wright’s.  They can bring the sun to the ground. They need not be subjected to racism to understand that experiencing racism should preclude Hell fire.

  • phillipcsmith

    There is much misinformation about the relationship
    historically and today of African-Americans and the Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter-day Saints. Those who desire to truly understand the history of the
    black – priesthood issue in the Church should read chapters 20 to 24 in a book
    entitled “Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W.
    Kimball”, by his son, emeritus law professor Edward L. Kimball (Deseret
    Book, 2005). Several factors, though not that clear from our present
    perspective, appear to have led to the original phasing in of the exclusion
    policy in about the 1850s. The leaders of the Church and most members rejoiced
    at the change in the policy that took place by revelation in 1978. Recent
    Church statements against racism are unequivocal.

    There are references in ancient scriptures to racial
    conditions that existed thousands of years ago. References  in the Book of Mormon to skin color are not
    related at all to African Americans. None of these observations on race by
    ancient prophets of God have any relevance today to the beliefs and operation
    of the Church.

    Focusing on one group to the temporary exclusion of another
    is also part of early Christianity. This absolutely does not mean that the
    excluded group was inferior in any way in the eyes of God. When Christ, during
    his own mortal ministry, sent his followers out to preach his message, he
    instructed them (Matthew 10:5-6) “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into
    any city of the Samaritans enter ye not…but go rather to the lost sheep of the
    house of Israel” Jesus Christ, holy and sinless in every way, had reasons for
    limiting his outreach at that time. It is really not justified in any way to
    assign a term like “racist” to him who is the God, Creator and Savior of this
    world.

    Later, through a vision from God, this policy was changed
    (see Acts, chapter 10). Peter and the other apostles and Church leaders were
    told then to take the Gospel to the Gentiles and all the world. This delay was
    not because the Gentiles were inferior.   

    Isn’t it wonderful for all of us to know through this
    revelation that God loves all of his children equally, regardless of color or
    ethnic origin! Our black members are a wonderful part of our faith. The
    non-blacks in the Church are expected, as are our black members, to develop
    love for these and for all other peoples, to treat all as equal to themselves.
    Anything said or done by anyone in the Church prior to June 1978 that is not
    consistent with this equality and love ethic should be put aside and forgotten.
    It does not reflect the mind and will of the Lord Jesus Christ today, and that
    is what is really important.

    After reading Kimball’s segments, please write to me or to
    any believing black Mormon (and we now have many) with your questions. I’m sure
    we want to try to help settle this matter.

    Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.

     
     

    • Dr. Philip, I hate to be direct but your post ignores the critical, recent statements by the Mormon church to denounce racist segments of the scriptures as  “policy”.The 1978 is the much older racism. This recent denouncement was addressing the 1978  racism as well as the current racist scripture such as those in Nephi.

      I am in Utah. Mormon officials committed crimes and Judge Nixon and other Judges chose not to hold them accountable.  Having grown up in Apartheid, I know when I come across racism. It is like telling a chef rotten onions are fresh. 

      Between occult practices and racism, there is a metre that Judge Nixon used to choose to sacrifice me for sins of his fellow Mormons. Of the two, I am inclined to think it was the latter because Mormonism justifies imposing bad luck on people with dark skin because this is something they earned before they were born.

    • (Matthew 10:5-6) “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into
      any city of the Samaritans enter ye not…but go rather to the lost sheep of the
      house of Israel”
      That meant that Jesus was rolling with the Christians , only the practitioners of Judaism , like himself.  Only those that practiced like he , Jews & Muslims.