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Thank Ya, Guvanah Bevins. We’s Just Gonna March & Shutup Just Like We’s Marchin’ ‘Round Jericho

“Why, it’s mighty fine of you Guvanah Bevins to come down here to this here colored part of the city. Where did my manners go? Let me remove my cap. Like I’s was sayin’. We’s so glad you came down to our neck of the woods and you even got people to bring those fancy cameras. Guess we’s gonna be on the news! Look momma I’m on TV.

We’s just so thankful that you and your friends came down here and don’t mind us, we’s good colored folks. We’s just gonna sit right in the back while you and ya friends sit up front. Anyways, Guvanah, we’s so thankful you are here!  Lord knows we’s aint seent ya in these here parts in a mighty long time. Must be real busy up there in that there Frankfort. Where ya’ll makin’ all da laws to get us here colored folk right.

I see you brought your gal with you. Always nice to see one of us with the Guvanah. We sho do appreciat’ ya comin’ up with this here plan to get us colored folks togetha. Why I don’t know why us silly old country, backwoods preachers neva thought about askin’ these colored folks to pray. That’s what da Good Book says. And dats what we’s gonna do. Guvanah, we’s gonna march around this here community like it’s Jericho! You hear me?! I said we’s gonna march around this here community like it’s Jericho! And you’s right, Guvanah. We’s ain’t gonna sing no songs. Lawd no! We’s ain’t gonna shout. Lawd no!  We sho ain’t gonna wear no shirts with no slogans. We ain’t gonna carry no signs. And I done told that boy to put up his bullhorn. Oh no, Guvanah! Won’t be no bullhorns. We’s just gonna come outside, when ya’ll tell us we can come outside, and we’s gonna march and just pray in silence. Gonna zip our big lips and get to walkin’.  Might walk so much we end up North!

We’s so happy you came up with this here plan to stop these Negros from pulling out they pistols on one another. I done tried to tell these Negros a million times but dey just hard headed Guvanah. Dey hard headed. Head as hard as des broken sidewalks ya’ll aint fixed. We’s just so thankful Guvanah, that you thought of us in that big, old fancy house we’s been seeing on da news. And here you are in da flesh! Praise Gawd! Our Savior done arrived!”

Perhaps that is how Governor Bevin thought the conversation would go when God spoke to him from a burning bush, he decided to hold a “conversation” in Louisville, Kentucky with local Senior Pastors and/or a church representative to address the ongoing violence in Louisville. (Let me preface this blog by saying, I resigned from a church where I worked for 16 years, so I understand church, church politics and politics that intermingle with the church like the back of my hand. I have been saved since I was 12 years old and I believe in the power of prayer and the power of God.) Having said that, as soon as I heard his call out for Senior Pastors the first thing I thought was, “What a complete and utter waste of time.” If Bevin really wanted to have a true conversation about the violence that is rocking the city of Louisville, I wondered why he would not start with people that are actually in the trenches, doing the work? While that may include Senior Pastors, it is certainly not exclusive to Senior Pastors. That would be mistake number two.

Mistake number one was foolishly presuming that HE, Donald Trump Squared, Bevin, had a plan that was going to “fix” the Black community. As if the Black people in Louisville flashed a light in the sky and asked for Bevin to come to our rescue. Bevin in his naivety believed he could mount up his white horse and gallop down Broadway, West of 9th Street,  with a plan that would fix the ills of the West End and primarily fix the ills of the Black community. Bevin’s actions are typical of having a White Savior Complex Mentality. We never asked for a White Savior. We never needed a White Savior and we certainly never needed Bevin to come into the West End with his ill-conceived, moronic and condescending plan to get the Negros in line.

Mistake number 3 was going online with the announcement of a “plan” without saying what the plan entailed. Did Bevin discuss this “plan” with anyone in the Black community? If this “plan” was so marvelous and would reduce homicides in Louisville, why keep the “plan” a secret? Why not fully announce the “plan”? Over the course of the last few months we have been subjected to a “leader” that always has a “huge plan that is going to be great”, yet we never see the plan. Why didn’t Bevin discuss the “plan” with community activists, business owners and residents? It appeared as if Bevin had a great plan to reduce violence that he was holding on to until his schedule was clear enough and the holiday weekend bourbons were consumed to announce this great “plan”. Meanwhile, Black people in Louisville were still dying.

Mistake number 4 is treating Black people in Louisville like we are the problem. While redlining and city planning may have divided up the city like momma’s sweet potato pie, what happens in the West End affects everyone in the city of Louisville and beyond. We are inescapably intertwined. Let’s not pretend as if White people are not dying from heroin and pain killer overdoses every day in Louisville along with a multitude of other ‘we-can-conceal-them-because-we-are-White’ problems.

While Bevin may believe he must get us Negros in line, he fails to recognize the undercurrent of racism that is prevalent in Kentucky. Not just Louisville. But Kentucky. He needs to acknowledge that paddle boats ain’t the only thing that flowed down the Ohio River. Kentucky has a history of slavery that it wants to hide with horses, bluegrass, and bourbon but the stench of your sin still lingers. We have not forgotten. We will never forget. And if you want to deal with violence in Kentucky truly, I suggest you, Guvanah Bevins, take a long, hard look in the mirror. This is what you inherited when you decided you wanted to be Guvanah of Kentucky. I suggest you look at your friends that you golf, sip mint juleps and hobnob with. I advise you to ask them about the 9th Street divide. Ask them what would we find if we shake their family trees? Ask Meade County, where a Confederate statue was relocated,  about a slave named Lucy, that was hung for killing her White slave master and rapist. Go to Lexington the capital of the Kentucky Slave Trade, where thousands of children were separated from their parents. Men and women that were sold and shipped “down the river”.

You want to understand being Black in Kentucky? Start there and work your way through Kentucky history and then come back and humble yourself before you stand before us in your suit and tie and kumbayah entertainment. Start talking about a plan to fix wrongs that your people committed and NEVER righted. Start talking about funding and policy changes to make right the wrong your people committed against Black humanity. The seeds were planted in Kentucky years ago, and it is all entangled in the roots of the bluegrass.

We will no longer be hidden. And oh no, Guvanah Bevins, we will no longer remain silent. The revolution will not be met in shadows and whispers. In the spirit of our ancestors, we come with songs and shouting!  Since you want to cherry pick scripture, let me pick some out for you today.  We will not be silenced. We are called to fight for liberation like Esther because perhaps we are here for such a time as this! And we will not stop, we will not be moved. We stand like Amos, shouting for freedom, until justice rolls on like a river and righteousness like a mighty stream!

26 replies »

  1. This is truth! No one black that I’ve communicated with has thought this was a good idea. I’m insulted that he thought he could call for faith leaders to fix a problem that will take more than a community. He acts as if the black community hasn’t been praying and speaking to its’ members all along. Bevins, you didn’t come up with an original idea. “Hey Guvanah, you gon’ come to walk with the colored folks and talk to ’em ’bout dem killin’ each otha for a year?” No, he’s going to point a finger at others to take care of it and take full credit if it were to go well. I’ve got news for you. It’s not going to go as well as you hope.

    • That’s what was extremely odd, we are a praying people. If that and that worked alone we would be living in pockets of peace and prosperity. Especially to mention that to a room of senior pastors was just strange. We have to pray and work.

  2. When Bevin announced his little get-together asking for religious leaders, I already knew what time it was. I knew that he would do nothing but appeal to people’s religiosity and not offer anything real as a solution. But even still, I didn’t think it would literally only be to “pray on it”.

    I don’t know if he noticed, and honestly, I don’t think he even cared, but he must have passed dozens of churches on the way to Western Middle School to give his spiel. And that’s no exaggeration; I live just a few blocks from there, and stepping outside of my apartment, I can immediately count SEVEN churches in just ONE direction. Bevin called for prayer at every street corner in a part of town where there are churches already at nearly every street corner. His notion that black people aren’t sufficiently “prayed up” should have been a great insult to everyone there, and yet he was greated to a wave of “hallelujah” and “praise him”, and at that point i couldn’t help but be angry at the people around us (myself, my wife, and a friend went there representing The Satanic Temple, and another went representing Louisville Pastafarians). Here he was basically insulting the intelligence of everyone there, but they couldn’t see past their Jesus Goggles to recognize that the man standing there telling them “all you need is prayer” is the same man who’s promised to drastically cut or outright eliminate the social programs, job training programs, drug treatment, healthcare, and educational programs that many attenting absolutely need to survive, and yet many bayed and bleated like good Christian sheep. There were voices of dissent in the croud, though. Quite a few of them, some of them prominent area pastors, deacons, and other church officials walked out out heckled him; calling him a “hypocrite” and even a few “fuck you”s.

    What really struck me was how quickly the meeting became… essentially church. It began with a devotional song and prayer, and as protest and to remind people that there weren’t only Christians attending, i stood and posed as Baphomet (which earned me the watchful eye of Bevin’s security team), and throughout the day Bevin would quote from the Bible and invoke Jesus. It was pretty much Thursday morning church service with the Good Rev’rin Bevin front and center.

    • Very good points. I am so glad that someone went live so that I could see and hear it myself for I might have even believed that happened because it was just so ridiculous. And you are correct, he is the same person cutting funding for programs that people need yet saying pray. Maybe that is his answer for healthcare and other issues, pray about it. However, when they are in need of something, the answer is never pray. It is how can we shape policy and guide finances to get the job done? I think so many people were stunned and I believe overwhelming most people thought it was a ridiculous plan. Very embarrassing.

  3. I really wish the black community would stop blaming good ole whitey for their problems! Listen to your music, your sports “hero’s” and your role models…..nigga this and that, money, ass, drugs and liquor. You are a bunch of illiterate people trying to blame slavery hundreds of years ago. Move the F back to Africa if it’s so bad here!

    • Clearly I do not agree with your message but my blog is open to hearing other opinions. I typically do not allow anyone to say the n word on my blog but your comments actually bolster the intent of this blog. Your thinking only makes this blog resonate with people even more. Thanks for reading. Peace!

    • You might want to read this book, Joe. It explains brilliantly how the wealthiest people who settled the US have purposely set up a confrontational relationship between black and white members of classes lower than theirs, in order to manipulate white people into participating in their own enslavement.
      *resident *rump and his minions are perfect examples of how this has been done. You’ve been had!

      • Karen, I’ve never read that book but I am going to order it. Thank you for sharing the information. A lot of this was covered in The New Jim Crow. If we do not want to face history and the impact of history on today, we can not expect to make any significant changes to impact race and economic inequity.

    • I hope that your words reflect your annoyance or at best discomfort with topics like this. Let me give you the benefit of the doubt here. I know that you know the interests of blacks are varied. I know that you know that certain types of songs and certain types of entertainers are not representative of all blacks. I believe Ms. Drake’s words were specific to the governor, his plan or lack thereof and where as governor, he should educate himself or at the very least talk to the actual people he is targeting. Our relationship with the Black Church is more nuanced than the governor thinks. I know that you know there are literate black people. I KNOW you know that. And I know you know we WERE in Africa until we were not. I also know you know that colonialism happened all across the continent so even Africa could not escape white oppression. The oppressor can never really empathize with those they oppress/ed. I understand that, but the insults do nothing to move any of us forward. God bless you and I hope that you receive this feedback constructively, which is my intent.

      • Precisely, Tonya. The insults don’t add to his argument. It actually adds to mine. When people come on my blog and act this way (outside of the n word but like I said this adds to what I was saying) I let it ride. I want people to see the responses because it just proves everything I am saying. I don’t waste my time trying to educate people like that because in this day and age of endless, free information, if they wanted to learn something different and educate themselves the information is at their fingertips. He would rather come on here with the typical narrative that has never changed, “the n-word”, “go back to Africa”, whatever else is common. We have learned nothing new from him except that he can regurgitate insults that he has heard and fostered over time. Big Whoop! No one is impressed.

  4. Hope the Governor doesn’t think his idea is a new one. On Saturday May 13, almost 500 people from churches from the east and west of Louisville gathered to pray and sing along Broadway for the 2nd annual Hands Across Louisville event.

    • Amen! Thank you Rosemary for standing in that space. Our communities do need prayer and action and I believe that is where he missed the boat, especially as someone that can impact so much.

  5. If the bevinator would stand in front of the 20,000 members of the congregation assembled in the golden roofed temple on Breckinridge Lane and asked every business owner to hire five young people from the West end for summers jobs it would be a start. Commit to hire these young people for for years would be a good second step. Get to know them personally. Visit their homes and families. Support these young people with more than lip service. They might just become the future mentors to the community that the governor basically just blew off.

  6. If the bevinator would stand in front of the 20,000 members of the congregation assembled in the golden roofed temple on Blankenbaker Lane and asked every business owner to hire five young people from the West end for summers jobs it would be a start. Commit to hire these young people for for years would be a good second step. Get to know them personally. Visit their homes and families. Support these young people with more than lip service. They might just become the future mentors to the community that the governor basically just blew off.

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