Welcome!

News Feed Item

Reverend Eliakim Thorpe asks: The African American Male; are they truly on the verge of extinction?

KALAMAZOO, Mich., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 

According to Reverend Eliakim Thorpe, a motivational speaker and ordained minister out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, "In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, where yet another unarmed African American male was shot and killed by law enforcement, we find the consciousness of America gripped again by the ongoing debate of race."

Mr. Thorpe added that most concerning to him, is what appears to be a disturbing trend of unarmed African American males being shot and killed by law enforcement across our country, most notably Trayvon Martin and most recently, Michael Brown. While race has always played a prominent role in the history of the United States (ie. slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, white supremacy, civil rights, police brutality, etc.).

The reverend continues, "America is now entering a critical time in U.S. history which requires an honest appraisal of race/racism, economics, culture, politics, and governmental policies that further disenfranchise African American men and further perpetuate a negative racial pathology amongst African Americans & Whites. This racial pathology continues to distort the heart and minds of both blacks and whites, continuing a post-civil rights history of divisiveness and misunderstanding instead of demonstrating the values of: peace, love, unity, truth, justice, harmony, and brotherhood."

The United States was founded with the forefather's belief as stated in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."  What kind of country will America be asks Rev. Thorpe? "A country true to its values as stated in the Declaration of Independence or a country that perpetuates an oppressive history based on the ideology of race," he adds.

The African American Male; are they truly on the verge of extinction? This is a multilayered problem which requires a multilayered approach that must address more than race if America is to create a meaningful dialogue on the tensions between institutions governed by whites and black America.

There are a number of factors contributing to what is called the extinction of the African American male which can be categorized as historical, institutional, cultural, and spiritual explains Rev. Thorpe.

The African American male is under assault - Historically, the African American male was forcibly taken from their land and family to live a life of enslavement which damaged the soul, distorted the personality, and created an indescribable despair that has left a legacy and lasting residue of fear, anger, frustration, disillusionment, hopelessness, and disappointment for African American males.

Institutionally, racism became the primary ideology to disenfranchise African Americans while protecting white privilege and creating inequities in: employment, housing, education, banking, health care, and the justice system. This lifecycle of inequities continues to perpetuate poverty for the disadvantaged while perpetuating prosperity for the privileged. Oftentimes, the African American males lives a life of hopelessness never really able to grasp their hopes and dreams. It is difficult to live a life of liberty when there are still institutional inequities!

Culturally, the African-American has always had a rich history of theologians, inventors, scientists, doctors etc. which provided a great sense of identity and belonging in an otherwise oppressive society. There must be a renewed sense of identity within the African American male for true change to occur. The identity of the African American male must be defined according to values that emphasize integrity, responsibility, accountability, bravery, charity, and empathy. Not values or qualities perpetuating negative identity images which further distort/pervert the African American males' sense of self and worthiness. 

"We as a country must be careful of the subtle messages of race that contaminate the minds of both Whites and Blacks", says Rev. Thorpe.

Spiritually, the African American male suffers from the loss of its once vibrant relationship with God. The hunger and thirst of the soul to connect to the embodiment of love reassures one's purpose for existence.  There is not only an external battle but an internal battle on how to embrace one's uniqueness in a world that celebrates conformity and assimilation. There comes a place and time in every person's life where one must decide on whether or not to embrace their uniqueness without hesitation.

When this decision is made, it is as if the shackles have been loosened, the soul has been liberated, the yoke has been broken, the burden has been lifted, and the mind freed to commune with the Universal Mind which is God.

An overall question posed by the motivational speaker and minister is "If the African American male is to exist beyond the 21st century, it requires a conscious re-awakening of men who are willing to surrender to God and conquer the love of self and allow themselves to be 'the clay in the hand of God the Potter' (Ghandi)?"

"African American Men & White America must rediscover their birthright, have a reverent respect for God and humanity, break the chains of hatred, and recommit to the will of God if we are to help heal the land from the evil acts committed by ungodly men, according to Rev. Thorpe. My hope and prayer is that every American will discover its spiritual identity which will liberate us to live in the image and likeness of God," the reverend concludes.

All that is still happening in Ferguson still resonates in Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birmingham Alabama jail letter "Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states….. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…. You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood." (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html)

Rev. Thorpe adds, "We must be careful not to minimize the death of Michael Brown by changing the narrative that subtly justifies the killing of African American men as well as any citizen of the United States. The penalty for theft is not death!"

Finally, for true change to occur, the reverend contends, requires the collaboration of both white and black America. Changing the consciousness of America has never occurred without the collaboration of all citizens in the United States. "As we move forward; we must be direct in our dialogue, respectful in our response, compassionate in our character, sincere in our statements, authentic in our answers, steadfast on a solution, resilient against ignorance, and unbiased in our truth."

Contact Information:
Rev. Eliakim Thorpe
Ordained Minister/Public Speaker
Reverend Eliakim Thorpe
(269) 760-1571
[email protected]

This release was issued through WebWire(R). For more information, visit http://www.webwire.com.

SOURCE Reverend Eliakim Thorpe

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discussed...
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Elon Musk is among the notable industry figures who worries about the power of AI to destroy rather than help society. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, embraces all that is going on. AI is most powerful when deployed across the vast networks being built for Internets of Things in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, healthcare, government and other sectors. Is AI transforming IoT for the good or the bad? Do we need to worry about its potential destructive power? Or will we...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
Your clients expect transactions to never fail, cloud access to be fast and always on, and their data to be protected - no exceptions. Hear about how Secure Service Container (SSC), an IBM-exclusive open technology, enables secure building and hosting of next-generation applications, both cloud and on-premises. SSC protects the full stack from external and insider threats, allows automatic encryption of data in-flight and at-rest, and is tamper-resistant during installation and runtime – with no...