Praying to JC for JWP: Attending the South Dallas Rally for John Wiley Price

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Photo by Brantley Hargrove
At Kirkwood Temple C.M.E. Church last night, 120 or so congregants petitioned an Ecclesiastical Court on behalf of a decidedly earthly cause: that of embattled Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, the target of a sweeping FBI probe.

Matrons fanned themselves with "A Night of Prayer and Preparation" programs as perfume wafted through the cool wood-panel-and-brick temple. Women both old and young (surprisingly, given Price's constituency) swayed and clapped in time. Meanwhile, the Kirkwood choir boomed in a raucous and exalted call-and-response with Reverend James Searl: "I want to praise the Lord! I want to praise the Lord!"

Unfair Park could have stayed for the choir, but we came for the corruption-probe-as-religious-parable. And we weren't disappointed. The Wednesday evening service was a testament, in fact, to the extent to which politics and religion are inextricably intertwined in South Dallas.

On hand were any number of powerful pastors. Frederick Haynes, the senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church, made allusions to "Gestapo-like tactics," characterizing the probe as "a witch hunt, which, in a real sense, presumed guilt," particularly by "certain media outlets." As we cringed in our pew, we were relieved he didn't name names. Though he did name-drop a certain beer-summitting Harvard professor and his run-in with profiling police.

Haynes spoke of the black church, "as a conductor and a station on the underground railroad during the dark days of slavery in this nation."

"The black church," he said, "served as the headquarters of the civil rights struggle. The black church right here in Dallas has had the anointed audacity through the leadership of the African American Pastors Coalition to fight for economic justice, recognizing it's one thing to have civil rights, it's another thing to have your silver rights." The crowd erupted into applause.

[Schutze sat with me and injects this by way of context: Actually the black pastors of Dallas, under the leadership of S.M. Wright, were opposed to the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and much of the civil rights movement associated with King. Haynes is faithful to history, however, in stating that Wright and others fought for what Haynes now calls "silver rights" -- a commodity usually delivered to Wright personally in the equivalent of a brown paper bag.]

"Now we pray for the one we're gathered here for tonight," Reverend Dr. S.C. Nash began. "Besides Jesus Christ, John Wiley Price. The thing he's getting ready to go through, he needs you to go with him. Fortify him with your strength."

That thing being a hard a look at a lot of unaccounted-for money, a massive car collection and some circuitous land deals. But for now, a Mavs allegory by Reverend John Morris, with the Power Structure as Goliath and JWP as David: "The team that won wasn't supposed to win."

"If God's people just stay here, we can suck the air out of the new Jim Crow," he thundered. "We can suck the air out of the new Tea Party Pharaohs in this land! Can I get a witness in the house!"

The congregants roared.

"For 27 years, John has been our man downtown."

It wasn't only religious leaders representing their "man downtown." Council member Carolyn Davis was on hand, as were former council member Diane Ragsdale and Constable Derick Evans.

But it was a 45-year-old A/C repair man in dusty work pants named Johnny Johnson who summed up the evening's mood most succinctly: "I know many people who keep that kinda money in the house," he said. "And John has always liked cars. If John has done anything wrong, God's gonna be the judge, not man."

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32 comments
Marsellus Wallace
Marsellus Wallace

JWP:Our Man in Downtown::Jules Winnfield:Our Man in Inglewood?

toro
toro

The Democrats 'Big Daddy Government' giveth and taketh. Personally who cares what possessions or wealth JWP has obtained. If he did indeed snooker his sheeples out of their money and they are happy dupes then so be it. However let not them complain when the Dems BDG they vote for comes knocking on the door--and with brother Barack as President no less. You get the government you vote for. So then the Dems BDG giveth and the Dems BDG taketh away too.  The Democrat Party leadership is happy to turn its back on God and His Word yet the Black sheeple voters (most who believe God) keep voting for their godless Dem leaders.  Why?  because the Dems BDG has got them addicted to the goodies and the tribe mentality of sheeples dare not vote otherwise.  Praise God in the churches but the Dems godless BDG gets worshipped at the ballot box. So whats the problem when JWP's Dem BDG is applying a little discipline---his fellow blacks voted Dem and so this is the result. I say leave JWP alone if his sheeples don't care but the Dems BDG has other ideas. Like I said, you deserve the government you vote for---you listenin' black folks still stuck on your masters the Dems?

Purplelovekis
Purplelovekis

None of you people are even old enough to know what jwp has done for the black people here who cares what you think if they look in to jwp they should look in to  every last person on the city counsel you bunch of racist poor MFs

Hightowerdc
Hightowerdc

I'm perfectly content to let God be JWP's judge, unlike JWP who told me to "go to hell".  I don't understand how people can sit in congregations under Pastors who are so full of hate, bitterness, unforgiveness and racism that they support the likes of a man who has hurt the members of their congregations by costing them jobs for his own personal gain. 

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

too bad the po po couldn't arrest them all while they had the chance...crooks praying for a crook...HILARIOUS!

Alpone
Alpone

We should have a prayer vigil for Willy Nelson.

md
md

They should be praying for 60,000 jobs to come to south Dallas.

Jesse Jackson, writing in Ebony in June 1974:

"Just as we are moving toward making basic progress with our economic thrust for 'silver rights,' along comes the "energy crisis" hoax, and it cuts into the livelihood of the workers in basic industries. Layoffs among automobile workers and in such industries as airlines and plastics cut at the very heart of the wage economy of the black community.

...Dr. King once made a profound assessment of the Civil Rights Era of our movement. He said: 'The real significance of the civil rights struggle is the effects which it had on the psyche of the black man. We armed ourselves with the armor of dignity and respect; we straightened our backs.' There is a great lesson in that experience for organized labor today.

...The glory of work is an untold American story. That it is untold is not an accident in a society whose economic system rests upon exploiting labor for private profits. Yet the need to work is a human reality--the need to feel useful, to be productive, to be recognized and compensated for work produced. Gainful employment is the basic alternative to welfare. It tends to deter crime, because people working in the plants tend not to deal with dope, tend not to end up in jail, tend to be homebodies and car owners and to send their children to school. They represent the backbone of the economic life of the black community.

...We have always been what they call 'happy people' not because we were silly but because we were always spiritually fulfilled ; there is fulfillment in work. It is work that has always given us an inner sense of self-confidence, and that is why one of the greatest enemies that ever came to Afro-Americans was the present welfare system."

BC
BC

Now we pray for the one we're gathered here for tonight," Reverend Dr. S.C. Nash began. "Besides Jesus Christ, John Wiley Price. The thing he's getting ready to go through, he needs you to go with him. Fortify him with your strength."

The only person going through this with Price is his Attorney Billy Ravkin. I guess Nash forgot that GOD said "Thou shall not steal"

jcs
jcs

"We can suck the air out of the new Tea Party Pharaohs in this land! "Then why did Rawlings carry South Dallas in the mayor's race? He is the rich white men of  Highland Park's  candidate.

Jrider
Jrider

yeah, I'll pray...  Pray that this oxygen thief gets some hard time in club Fed. 

i'll bet you do
i'll bet you do

"I know many people who keep that kinda money in the house,".....yeah, they are called drug dealers.

Alpone
Alpone

Can't we all just get a loan?

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

The good news is that there's less than 150 people in Dallas that support JWP.  So it's not a black vs. white issue at all, almost the same number that were praying for Don Hill and we know how that worked out. JWP's support numbers in the tens of tens.

I like the concept of Dallas' old school Black leadership/Clergy historically and presently believes in "silver rights"; makes perfect sense to me:

"Thirty pieces of silver was the price for which Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew 26:15"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

"silver rights" sounds like a perfect description for what the Black Clergy has been doing for decades.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

How would you feel if your momma and daddy participated in this type of thinking. Were going down to protest the (white) man keeping us down by sending the FBI against our hero because hes black and for us.

Boy thats a positive message, something that would really motivate me to get an education, work hard and be productive !

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Black Folks = Paradoy of themselves

To cry conspiricy is more racist than anything white folk have done in years, I doubt MLK gave his life for equal rights, so this type of thing could be abused by the church and dirty politicos  

Alpone
Alpone

Now, what we have here, is a failure to communicate. We see JWP as a greedy, unethical, thieving crook. The black community, however, sees him as Robin Hood type. To them he is stealing from whitey and giving back some of it to the black community. For instance, when he goes to church, he may slip the pastor a little "extra" for doing gods work. Gods work includes getting his flock to march downtown or hold prayer vigils like this. You've heard of Trickle Down Economics, well, the black community calls it Matrickulatin Down Economics. JWP is good at matrickulatin. I have known this for many years because I watched a lot of Amos n Andy when I was young.

MattL1
MattL1

God will get her shot at "John" eventually, but I'm pretty sure the Justice Department is planning on some judging of its own.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow, more hypocracy from the "Black Church"..Gotta love a group of people who sit around and play the card whenever a crooked brother or sister gets caught robbing them blind. When is the African-American church body going to finally realize that not every brother or sister is oppressed and that not everything is a "civil rights cause". JWP, EBJ and the rest of the lot of south dallas poverty pimps are guilty as the day is long..Quit making excuses for them and make examples of their idiocy..

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

It's funny. They talk up a big storm about "sucking the air out of the new Jim Crow". But until south Dallas frees themselves from this sort of "leader" they'll always be pawns of "the Man".

cp
cp

Uh well, it turns out that man IS the judge when it comes to the law. Do they still teach civics in high school?

Cujo
Cujo

Where the hell was the church's support for the Allen group when JWP's stooges wanted 1.5M and 15% equity? I guess the message is that anything is fair to these guys as long as it's against those white people who are going to hell anyway.  It's amazing how you can dismiss 60K jobs.

P1Steven
P1Steven

Drink the kool aid. While JWP car collection is greater than most of those people income in the last 10 years. He sure is fighting for the poor.

md
md

I hope they do look into everyone of the city council. And Ross Perot Jr's connections. Most white people feel this way because we're not a "bunch of racist poor MFs."

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

A lot of us are as old or older than JWP, so, yeah, we've been around long enough to know what he's done for the black folks in South Dallas. Which is what exactly? 

He's walking around in a pimp suit with $100,000 in cash in a safe in his home, not to mention the personal fancy car museum, while telling 60,000 black folks without jobs in South Dallas that its better to stay unemployed if it means JWP won't get his cut.

Tell us again how this benefits the good people of South Dallas.

Sharkondryland
Sharkondryland

now you see how easy it is for the shepard to defend the wolves and not the sheep the only reason why black pastors are there is because they do  the same things as jwp

Montemalone
Montemalone

Prayer is absurd.A smoke out would be better.

jamesworthy
jamesworthy

Oprah herself said several eyars ago that she keeps a few million in cash in her home just in case.....so spew your ignorance elsewhere...

md
md

We also haven't been brainwashed by our political and religious leaders to believe we're in some kind of low-intensity race war and thus must close ranks when someone of our race is suspected of wrongdoing.

JWP has not only abused his office, he's abused your faith in him.

Jay
Jay

Damn...its hard out here for a pimp.....tryin' to get the money for the rent.......

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