Urban Ministry Notes on the Recent Dallas Shooting-Part 1

by:  Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma)

“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world: My own Government, I cannot be silent.”  -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam, April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, NYC, to Clergy & Laity Concerned About the Vietnam War-

“A true revolution of values will lay hand on world order and say of war, ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’  This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love.  A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”  op. cit.  —-(Emphasis ours)

  1. For the second month in a row the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Evangelical Association (NBEA-Chicago), in which we are an active member, has held its monthly meeting in the wake of a very significant homegrown act of individual, automatic weapon, terror via what can be spiritually described as a demon possessed perpetrator with a military style assault gun i.e, first Orlando of June 2016 and now Dallas of July 2016.  The former was sensationally characterized by the media as the “deadliest mass shooting in U. S. history” and the latter as the greatest loss of police officers at the hands of terror since 9/11.  Our notes here are shared as an  attempt to break out of the established order’s media frame and make a contribution to broadening the discussion on the burning issue of gun violence and violence in general in U. S. society and the world.
  2. Being a child of the turbulent 1960s plus (when a whole generation of Nina Simone’s  ‘Young, Gifted, and Black’ people, and their organizations, stood up), we cannot help but recall that the City of Dallas has  historically served as the City not only of the tragic Friday afternoon November, 22, 1963 JFK assassination, in broad day light on national television, but also of the assassination of suspect Lee Harvey Oswald by assailant Jack Ruby on that following Sunday morning, also in full view on national TV.   More, Dallas/Fort Worth, we subsequently learned from in-depth reporting, was a hot-bed of White Supremacist opinion and threatened armed survivalist resistance to the progressive social changes of the day-especially the initiatives of the Black Freedom Movement (“Ain’t gonna let nobody turn us around”).
  3.  One need not be an adherent of Naom Chomsky’s propaganda model to see that the historic role of the established order media is to mobilize supportive consent to its regime with regard to the present social arrangements of inequality, i.e., of domination and subordination of the many by the few as well as of the thwarting of the aspirations of the many to control their own destiny and daily lives, to use the words by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies of California State University at Long Beach, the Creator of Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba as well as a distinguished Afrocentricity Ethicist.  For it is against the domination and distortion of Black lives in the field of established order representation, that African Americans have historically developed the Black Press (beginning with Cornish and Russwurms’ 1827 Freedom’s Journal) , Black literature, and Black creative production generally (music, art, film etc.) of which NBEA’S website and publications are an ongoing representative expression and contribution.
  4.  So we are now learning that the Dallas shooter, as a U. S. army reservist and veteran of its war in Afghanistan, was not so much a product of the Black Lives Matter social movement against institutional racism, beginning with Black life domination under the camouflage and color of law, but was primarily the creation of U.S. militarism i.e, state coercion or use of armed force-in policing at home and armed forces projections abroad.  We are now learning that the shooter was a cult-of-violence-possessed U.S. army veteran, in need of a professional exorcism by expert spiritual healers and medical personnel, now turned proverbial chicken, as it were, come home to roost.  We are now learning that the shooter appears to have been a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), African American veteran, himself victimized (blame the victim?) by what Minister Malcolm X (Al Hajj Malik Shabazz) called “an American nightmare.”
  5.  This said any talk of healing the social division within America (Post-Dallas) must begin with addressing what Dr. Karenga called “THE CONFEDERATE MIND OF AMERICA: DOUBLE-CONSCIOUSNESS AND DOUBLE-DEALING” in his LA Sentinel OP Ed Column of 06-28-12.  By which we understand him to mean this society’s studied denial of its systemic violent history against all peoples of color-internally and externally, against its working people, its women, and against itself generally (Pre- & Post- the U. S. Civil War, 1861-1865).  Its very premature self-congradulatory claiming to be the free and just society which it has clearly not achieved.  Its contradictory, nay hypocritical and cynical, posturing as an exceptional bastion of freedom and the rule of law in the world.   All the while faining historical amnesia with regard to

A) being guilty of historically advancing an organically genocidal culture with regard to its First Natives or Native American peoples (“The only good Indian is a dead Indian”);

B) its historically promulgating the enslaving culture of Africans in America-what Dr. Karenga defines as the Holocaust of African Enslavement, followed by Jim Crow, urban ghettoization, “the New Jim Crow” and

C) Its advancing a history of remorselessly exploiting  its own multicultural working classes through its herrenvolk domination (democracy for the ruling race/class only) of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, its factories, mines, farms, offices, finance, culture and media etc., (“Too big to fail.  Too little to save.”).

Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation Church-Chicago (“Young Barack Obama’s sanctuary for community organizing”) and for Afrocentricity Opinion, Updated: 7-15-16.


Black Evangelical Perspectives NBEA Blogs Advocating Biblical and Cultural Integrity, through “Unity In Diversity Without Enforced Conformity.” The views expressed are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the NBEA.

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