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
HyperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let's say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?