I do believe that healing takes place on a number of different levels and that in fact black healing can be deepened by trying to heal across as well as within. But it could be that to call for black and Jewish healing without acknowledging the need for intra-black healing puts the cart before the horse.
When you say that [Martin Luther] King was a prophet, you don't say that he predicted anything; you say that he bore witness. He left a committed life so that people would never forget the suffering of people that he was connected to. King was prophetic because he lived a committed life. Now he did critique society, saying you're going to go under if you don't treat your poor right. I mean, that is part of prophetic calling, but it's not predicting anything.
It's a spiritual malnutrition tied to a moral constipation, where people have a sense of what's right and what's good. It's just stuck, and they can't get it out because there's too much greed. There's too much obsession with reputation and addiction to narrow conceptions of success.
He[Michael Jackson] had a joy in being alive. There was a joy you felt of him on the stage and making us not just feel good but pushing us against ourselves with the "Man in the Mirror," looking at ourselves critically, "Black or White," what does it mean to get caught in a color as opposed to a rich history and culture?
I just don't want the fear from the right to be used by the [Barack] Obama administration to silence critics. We have to be willing to tell the truth because we're trying to speak about conditions that are being rendered invisible in our prisons and schools in the hood and so forth and so on.
Prophetic pragmatism attempts to keep alive the sense of alternative ways of life and of struggle based on the best of the past. In this sense, the praxis of prophetic pragmatism is tragic action with revolutionary intent, usually reformist consequences and always visionary outlook.
I think in the end, you know, we're just addicted to oil. We've got to overcome that addiction, and we need some serious accountability of big oil, because big oil, like so much of big businesses, has just colonized our government, colonized the regulatory agencies so we can't impose any kind of accountability on them.
The authority of science ... promotes and encourages the activity of observing, comparing, measuring and ordering the physical characteristics of human bodies.... Cartesian epistemology and classical ideals produced forms of rationality, scientificity and objectivity that, though efficacious in the quest for truth and knowledge, prohibited the intelligibility and legitimacy of black equality.... In fact, to "think" such an idea was to be deemed irrational, barbaric or mad.
The street is as diverse as any other sector, but in peoples' mind it gets appropriated as a black man who's tough. Trying to make it through by staying hard and phallocentric. To me, that is just an impoverished conception of what it is to be a black male. It doesn't do justice to my grandfather, my father, my brother - or just the black men I grew up with.
I was deeply influenced by the sartorial practices of both preachers and jazz musicians and actually Masha in Act One of Anton Chekhov, my favorite writer's master piece,Three Sisters,when she arrives reflecting on whether they're ever going to get to Moscow, memories of the death of their father, and she's in black, and she says I'm in mourning for the world, saying in part that I have a sad soul and a cheerful disposition.
Life is such a mysterious thing that you are up one day; you are down the next day. A lot of the homeless brothers and sisters who were a success ten years ago, they are now on the street. Maybe ten years later they will be a success, but the crucial question is what is the quality of their life.
I think that in a certain sense, we're concerned about the same issues. How do you accent the progressive, the prophetic, those things that are critical of all forms of injustice, all forms of bigotry, all forms of dehumanizing other people, and yet still allow for a certain kind of flow, linguistic flow, certain kinds of melodies and harmonies in the samplings that take place?
I think nonviolence and the mediation of conflict by means of respecting civility must be promoted. But being the kind of beings we [peoplep] are - wrestling with greed, and wrestling with fears and security, anxieties, wrestling with hatred that's shot through all of us - wars are here to stay.