Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Redemption of a Worthless Whore

There are times when something happens and one has to pause, inhale, exhale, and examine what happened.

 Someone cherished and deeply loved went through a painful event and held that event in the heart until it became a cancerous tumor. That tumor spread to the soul and exploded out of the mouth with some most vile things said to a room full of women, some young girls in the hearing, mothers and grandmothers in the hearing.

When spewing the geyser of misognistic rhetoric enough to rival any rap video session, the instinct is to deflect or defend or deny, to protect. But one reaches beyond instinct to know that that spewing is from a place of deep darkness, a hell that seems impenetrable.

But there is light through that, a redemption, even of a worthless whore, one of the comments made

Let me get a bit theological for a moment.

ln the past year or so, many, many things have been said, written, and uttered in the presence of women, particularly black women. Our existence and choices in life, whether we were teen mothers, married to the same man who fathered our children, or married-had children-divorced-rinse and repeat cycle, it doesn't matter. To some men, clergyfolk, familyfolk, whitefolk, legislativefolk, musicfolk, we black women are at the gutteral bottom of the heap to be thought of , representated as, and treated as the lowest of the low. It is like Sojourner Truth's utterance that "Ain't I a Woman, Too?" falls on deaf ears when it is a black woman.

A white woman can get married and married and married, can have an abortion so she only has two kids, and is still held in high esteem. She can be like Elizabeth Turner with seven marriages and divorces or like Kim Kardashian who is literally famous for making a sex tape, and still be celebrated as honorable, wholesome, someone better than a black woman.

It is why black women rapes are ignored, as a local Pastor talked about on her facebook page, she received literally thousands of messages in light of a post about Bill Cosby and after a reporter challenged R Kelley on his underage sexual assault charges. Women (and some men) opened up about the most painful episodes of their childhood, releasing the waters of pain that washed over the banks, much like the flooded Meramec River.

But this, in my faith belief, I do know, there is some redemption of that worthless whore.

In both the Old and New Testament, the place of the woman, the woman of color, is held, central, despite custom or expectation that she would be unseen, unspoken, unheart, unloved.

Rahab was a whore, so was Mary Magdalene, forget about what they called Tamar after her brother brutally raped her and her father cast her out, forget the woman "caught in the act of adultery" ready to be stoned while the man still zipping up his pants walks away, nevermind about the woman who washed Jesus' feet with his hair, forget Gomer or the woman at the well at the heat of the day, all these women in the Bible were "whores." American black enslaved women were used for body parts - hands, breasts, vagina, womb, Saarjite Baartman was put on display for her breasts, enlarged labia, and buttocks to only be literally used for sex until disease killed her physical body what shame, humiliation, and separation had already done ot her soul.

To the men, to the world, there is no redemption of the whore, she is worthless, as one said, of no value, of no use. But that is what they want you to believe, what they want her to believe, why they utter those phrases like bitch, whore, cunt, slut, all those vile things that they try to use to demean the heart and soul of a woman, especially a black woman since our virtue and existence is always suspect from the time our breasts first start to bud.

Redeem indeed is what happens, despite the smelly pile of words written, sung, uttered, or thrown like arrows.

The black woman was the first one in existence. Her DNA runs through the veins of more Americans than care to admit  their blackness. She fed children and kept alive a culture while the men were scared or ran off. Or in modern times while the weight of trying to fight their way up the ladder to take care of family and community became too great, the men left for either white women or other men or some thing to fill the hole in their heart left by a society that is afraid of their presence.

When people fear, they lash out. Even at the one they love the most.

But even in that there is redemption.

In my theological, if I were standing behind the pulpit moment, I would preach that Jesus surrounded himself with the worthless, the useless, the nothingness of society. He did much like the young new minister did at his new church, he came in ragged, dirty, and was cast off, unsightly among the gentry. He found comrades among the harlots and prostitutes, the gambler and hustlers, the ones who knew what pain felt like.

That is the redemption, as Rev. Emanuel Cleaver II spoke tonight at a Missouri Statewide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Kickoff Celebration, black people know what hurting is, what pain feels like so we are most able to identify it and stand up for someone else.

Such again is the harlot.

Remember, in the faith tradition of the Bible, God uses Rahab to help the spies escape and her name is listed in the geneology of the one we call Christ the Savior. The woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and wiped it with her hair, her story is still uttered about his love and acceptance, of his forgiveness and forgetfulness. What about Mary Magdalene and the other women, likely the harlots and worthless whores, who walked to dress his body after his crucification? The risen Christ appeared to them first, according to scriptures, He didn't appear to the men. The women, the cast offs, the ones who had lost something, who had been hurt, they didn't have to be shown proof before they believed, their faith was already there to believe.

Such is the black woman.

Since 1619 when the first black woman set foot on these foreign shores, we have believed in the possible, in the one day, in being awake, as Rev. Cleaver spoke tonight. We have not stopped hoping and not stopped walking in our dream that one day, our daughters would not be used as parts and sold to the highest bidders, that our sons would not be cut down in the streets and left in the hot son to rot while his mother is kept away. We hold on and continue to reach.

That redemption is that she holds the earth.

The black woman.

In her womb that some consider worth nothing, her carrying worlds, nursing generations, feeding millions with what she stretches with her hands. She has stood firm like the palm tree against the hurricanes of accusations that she wasn't teaching her children enough or wasn't smart enough for the position or wasn't professional enough with her hair, she stood firm with her roots sinking deep down into the soil of the earth, gaining strength to one day sway back at the gale force winds of accusation.

She whips her sky growing crown back and forth, gaining strength, knowing that without her presence, none of it would exist. Call her whatever they want, she is still standing.

The black woman.

Like the beautiful six black women who are 2015 medical school graduates, Or making history in research labs winning million dollar grants. Or even representing a man accused of rape, black women are reaching beyond the body parts or stereotyped monikers assigned by the larger society, and moving on with their work making a difference that benefits even those who consider them less than.

The redemption song and possibility of tomorrow. The promise is still there, still attainable, anything is possible, even for a ...

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