He notes the coincidence of rising youth violence in Black sections of Boston and many Black pastor's obsession with same-sex marriage. Not long ago, the clergy in Roxbury, Dorchester, upper JP and the South End, joined to face issues that directly affected their parishioners and larger communities.
In a miracle of urban healing, Black on Black violence decreased dramatically. Streets were safer, as the whole kettle of the community gave off a gentle warmth instead of scalding steam.
Now, as Bey put it:
The problem is that by taking sides in the Culture Wars (as a way of winning the street wars waging in places like Roxbury and Dorchester), it seems to me that the black clergy and the larger black community are playing into the hands of conservative politicians whose fiscal policies ultimately undermine black families and hurt the inner city. Morality is not the problem. Racism and economic inequality are; as are tax cuts for the wealthy and budget cuts that eliminate much needed social programs. Black clergy are doing exactly what the Republicans want them to do. They are placing a greater emphasis on the so-called moral issues than they are on the larger socio-economic issues that are the root cause of violence among urban black youth.This theme of the Black community being used by groups who oppose real reform that would provide long-term solutions recurs with greater frequency. It's likely that as more people see the underlying contradiction, they'll leave the anti-SSM/anti-gay folk to rant into their own megaphones.
Meanwhile, Yala nailed a key point. Because the community leaders can't accomplish everything, they have to decide what's important. Teens with guns and knives murdering each other must surely deserve great attention. As hard as it is to strike at the underlying causes, these pastors and people have done it before. Kicking off the distractions is an essential first step.