October 11, 2007
During a rather turbulent time in American history, the late music legend James Brown released a song that greatly impacted the morale of the African-American community: “Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!” Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it was nearly impossible to ignore the resonance of the song “I’m Proud to be an American” through media airwaves. Throughout the country, at several times during the year, thousands of people in the LGBT community gather in celebration of Gay Pride. While spending time in prayerful reflection of the turmoil in Jena, LA, I heard a simple question: What are we really proud of?
We live in a society that lulls us into the comfort of sophisticated ignorance. As long as injustice isn’t blatant or directly affecting us we don’t notice it. We are so busy being proud of our comfortable lives that we blind ourselves from the struggles of our neighbors. This haughtiness just perpetuates the injustice. It allows the powers-that-be to slip its oppression under the radar. Luke’s gospel records Jesus saying, “For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased, and everyone that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Lk. 18:14 KJV) If we want to be truly liberated and sincerely proud, then we must first learn humility.
I am proud of the community’s response to the injustice of our brethren in Louisiana. Continual actions of the same sentiment must continue all over this great nation. We must continue to put our lives in perspective to the rest of the world and fight for equality on every opportunity. Once this is achieved we can say we truly have something to be proud of.
Br. Ashton J. Reynolds, OPC