Thursday, May 24, 2007

Response to London Bridges Falling Down

Sun, 10 Jul 2005 15:20:44 -0400

Jideofor, peace and blessings,
I quite understand your position. And I respect your choice and your reaction. Those who commited the acts in London may be all you say. I do not know the facts of the situation. I know there is a lot of dying going on in the world, everywhere. Oceans of tears have fallen, and there are rotting corpses a plenty, everywhere. I'd love for it all to come to an end so that we can all live in peace and comfort.
I must however disagree with you in how you characterize Marvin X. I think he is neither delusional nor a sadist. At least I cannot discern that from his writings and his public statements. What occurs in his private life is another matter, in those matters I little concern from a moral or ethical point of view.
From what I know of Marvin, he too loves humanity, and he loves the individual, regardless of color or nationality or gender or sexual persuasion. He is Love, and sacrifice everyday for the poor and the oppressed. I did not get the impression that he took cruel delight in the death of others. He is not monstrous. He was not operating on the gound level of sentimental feelings he may or may not possess.
I only know for certain what he wrote. That writing was done in the context in which there is a Great War or great wars between the operations of the Global North and the Global South. And there is a long, long history, of violence and oppression which incorporates biblical history. Israel's very existence is built up on a mythic foundation, in which is invoked scripture and scriptural prophecy. Why should such structures not be available to Marvin X as an artist and a citizen of the world.
The millenialism notion incorporated in Marvin's prophetic sermn is a mode of interpretation that did no begin with Marvin. It is rooted in our national history here in America, used by Abe Lincoln to justify the slaughter of our Civil War, and it has been used by George Bush to justify his War on Iraq.
The issues of divine justice and divine retirbutions is as much an important aspect of Christian theology as it is found in Islam. Did he have a right to say what he wanted to say in the manner in which he said it, you damn right he does. And the only reason that I would not post it on ChickenBones: A Journal would be out of fear.
I will not silence Marvin X.
As ever and always, Rudy
----Original Message Follows----From: "Editor" To: "rudolph lewis" Subject: Re: London Bridges Falling Down Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 19:37:43 +0100

I find Marvin X's article, prophetic or not, extremely in bad taste. To justify the recent London mayhem by a bunch of delusional psychopaths as retributive justice sits uncomfortably with my notion of justice - from humanist, religious, political and intellectual perspectives. It is akin to some non-blacks somewhere celebrating as a comeuppance the setting the torching and killing of all congregations in a black church because some black men raped some non-black women somewhere.Many of the people who lost their lives are ordinary individuals like you and I, who daily struggle to make ends meet. Some, I am sure, may have taken part in demonstrations against some of the decisions of the politicians, which the killers claim motivated their sick actions. There are single mothers who left their children at schools, hoping to be back before the end of the school that day to pick them up. With mum no more, the fate of such children could only be imagined. And yet, someone out there, in a delusional intellectual grand-standing, dared call it retribution.Even if the actions of the politicians had called for this, there is time for everything under the heaven. There is time for analysis of what happened and why, and time to show compassion. It is only a sadist who will want to engage in an ill-digested analysis at a time when what is called for is compassion.I am surprised that you chose to defend that ill-advised piece.

Jideofor ----- Original Message ----- From: rudolph lewis To: Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2005 6:51 PM

Subject: London Bridges Falling Down

My dear Friends, I come to you, today, with another piece of artful composition. This sermon, performed in the prophetic mode, has its special appeal to me, not because of the particular event it refers. I have not kept up with them. The last four years has just been too rich for my comfort. As some of you know, I'm ever in the religious mode, my grandparents who raised me had the Baible at the oppressive center of my universe. Virginia-bred, living in Nathaniel Turner Country, which has a proclivity toward preaching and prophecy. As you know I daily defend Nathaniel Turner, preacher and prophet of Southampton, who redefined for us black manhood, and black masculinity. For me, Marvin X plays that role in comtemporary times. He too is preacher and prophet. In this sermon, he is Jeremiah, I imagine, warning governments of Divine Justice, and retribution. Of course, preachers and prophets have always frightened me since I was a boy, by their talk of hellfire & brimstone, wars and rumors of wars. I realize too keenly, the discomfort that can ensue when one speaks for God. Here's Marvin X's London Bridges Falling Down -- Rudy

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