Fear of a Black Messiah
For years, there has been a controversy in this country over what black parents should name their children. The argument was that if the parents named the child, "Winchester" or "Molly," the kid would have a bright future at some prestigious law firm. But if they named the kid something like "Naquan" or "Shauniqua" , the child would be doomed to a life of snatchin' purses from old ladies or at best, flippin' burgers at Mickey Dees. Well, now a judge in Tennessee , Lu Ann Ballew thinks that naming someone "Messiah" is a problem, too.
According to news reports , Jaleesa Martin wanted to name her lil boy, Messiah, but the judge thought that in a predominately, Christian area, the name make cause the good towns folks to try to burn him at the stake on his first day of kindergarten. So, the judge anointed him with a more fitting name of " Martin DeShawn McCullough." Ballew argues that the name, Messiah, should have been copyrighted 2000 years ago.
Now, if you want to get all Biblical with it. "Messiah" means "the anointed one" and most religions have some figure who was chosen to save his people. Also, even in Christianity, the names of Yeshua or Joshua predated the birth of the historical "Jesus" by hundreds of years. Matter of fact, the name was not uncommon in Biblical times as the Children of Israel were always looking for someone to save them from their oppressors.
So, it seems that somebody needs to go to remedial Sunday school, ASAP.
This is also most disturbing when put in the context of the demonization of black youth in the media.
Since the end of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial, talking heads such as Bill O'Reilly have used their bully pulpits to blame all the ills of society on the black "cultural " glorification of "saggin' pants" and "loud rap music." Seems like names like "Lil Wayne" and "Niki Minaj" have more to do with the social status of residents of "the 'hood" then the socio-economic conditions that created them.
So, following that warped logic, what kid has the best chance of growing up to be a great black leader, DeShawn "D-dawg" Jackson or Messiah McCollugh?
Of course, that is based on the assumption that America actually wants a black leader to lead African Americans to the proverbial Promised Land. What if all black children started to have aspirations of being "messiahs?" Who would be around to pour Miss Daisy's coffee every morning?
Oh, the horrors!
Back in the Civil Rights/Black Power Era, then FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, is said to have created the COINTELPRO program to prevent the "rise of a Black Messiah who could electrify the youth."
Apparently this "fear of a Black Messiah" is alive and well today in Tennessee.
"TRUTH Minista Paul Scott is an activist and Hip Hop journalist based in Durham NC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 308-4233