In the United States of America, whenever a cause wants to garner national awareness, it often attempts to do so by staging an event in Washington, DC.
Indeed, one of the many hazards of driving in the District of Columbia is simply never knowing when a road will be blocked off so that a large group of people with signs, flags, and chants can cross.
Although plenty of protests, rallies, and demonstrations have seen immense success, getting a certain number of people at a given place for a given event is never guaranteed. more >>
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted an official statement on Friday denouncing its previous theories that black skin color is a sign of a divine curse, or that black people are descended from the biblical figure Cain, and said that its past ban on black priests stemmed from an announcement from former church president Brigham Young in 1852.
"The Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else," the 2,000 word statement on the official church website read. "Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form."
While the ban on black priests was lifted in 1978, The Associated Press and other sources have pointed out that there had never been much in the way of explanation from the church for its past stance. more >>
U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech on the life of Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, describing the late South African president as "the last great liberator of the 20th century," and compared him to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.
"Given the sweep of his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so rightly earned, it's tempting I think to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait," Obama said at the service attended by over 90 world dignitaries in front of tens of thousands of people.
"Instead, Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. 'I am not a saint,' he said, 'unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.'" more >>
At the passing of Nelson Mandela I am acknowledging that he was a humanitarian who gave his life to ending apartheid in South Africa and human racism on this planet.
His efforts to do so, especially when he was a young man, certainly included horrendous acts of violence. He and his wife were "vigilantes for freedom." Their methods of warfare were designed to match and overpower the inhumane tactics of their oppressors. President Mandela was jailed for many years for his "war crimes."
Young Nelson and Winnie Mandela were radical rebels and following very much in the philosophy of say a Malcolm X who said we must obtain freedom "by any means necessary." When I was a young civil rights freedom fighter, we had to deal with Alabama Governor George Wallace. He was a virulent monster of a man who approved the lynching, burning and bombing of African Americans during those days. I lived in "Bombingham" where our family home was bombed by hateful people who didn't want Black people to be free. However, George Wallace, and there are pictures of historical accounts if his standing right there and saying that he hated people if they had black skin or brown skin. And he wanted to keep us out and called us bad names. But Jesus Christ came into his life and he repented and he said that he was wrong. more >>
The Potter's House of Denver dedicated their Sunday services to Nelson Mandela's memory as members gathered to praise and worship while they heard an inspiring message on Mandela's legacy.
Led by Dr. Chris Hill, who is considered by many as Bishop T.D. Jake's protégé, the 7,000-member congregation is one of the largest churches in Colorado that brings together members of different multicultural backgrounds each Sunday. Hill preached his encouraging message, "Letters from Robben Island," in reference to Mandela's prison site and to make the point that any man can change a nation.
"We're losing the people that truly inspire…Still, the 11 o'clock hour on Sundays is the most segregated hour in the country so this church is living against that tide," said Hill, reports Denver's KDVR-TV. "To us, Nelson Mandela, his work with desegregation and his work with unifying a country has great significance." more >>
A group of more than 60 clergy have signed and sent a letter to the owner of a National Football League team demanding that the franchise change its Native American derived name.
Circulated by the Rev. Graylan Hagler of the District of Columbia, the letter calls on the Washington Redskins to change their team name.