Lutheran Quarterly asked for comments from 3 others for the publication. Today's response was from Rev. Lee H. Wesley, who at that time was a staff person for the Board of Parish Education of the LCA [Lutheran Church in America], based in Philadelphia.
II. Responses [to the position paper from Holy Family on Black Power ] The first response in Lutheran Quarterly was by LEE H. WESLEY
Board of Parish Education, LCA
2. The paper did not make explicit
enough, for me at least, the fact that even with all the wonderful things that
Black Power will do for black people and the measure of justice which it will bring about in our nation, it will not solve the "race problem" because the "race
problem" is basically a white man's problem. It is he who fears the "tar brush" and not the other way around; it is he who is afraid that the black man is "out to get him," and, if given half a chance, will "put the shoe on the other
foot," or to use more familiar language, "will return an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Consequently any respect which Black Power will achieve
from the white man for the black, will be the respect of power for power and not necessarily that of a person for a person. No one likes to be forced to do
anything; no matter how right or compelling the reason may be. People will do if they have to because they have no other choice; but it will always lack something in terms of warmth and depth because it was not done out of free will or the desire to do that which is right.
I suppose what I am trying to say is this: the black community is determined to get its fair share of the American "pie" or die in the attempt. The white community will have to yield that share, either by force or otherwise, or it must destroy the black community. Should it opt in favor of yielding, the 'level of brotherhood which this country is capable of achieving cannot and will not be attained until the white community both desires and wills to do "right" by its black brothers. The desire to do SD is called REPENTANCE and the will to do so is called LOVE. Now I know these are pretty old-fashioned words, but I also happen to believe that Jesus knew what he was talking about when he used them.
Tomorrow: Massie L. Kennard