Aretha Franklin’s funeral was on Friday but it is the sermon by Reverend Jasper Williams that most are talking about. In a 30-minute eulogy the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Salem Bible Church made some comments about Black Lives Matter and single mothers, which got him slammed on social media. Williams is now speaking out and he refuses to apologize.
“Where is your soul, black man? As I look in your house, there are no fathers in the home no more. Where is your soul. Seventy percent of our households are led by our precious, proud, fine black women. But as proud, beautiful and fine as our black women are, one thing a black woman cannot do. A black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man. She can’t do that. She can’t do that,” Wiliams told the audience.
Speaking about Black Lives Matter, “It amazes me how it is that when the police kills one of us, we’re ready to protest march, destroy innocent property,” he said. “We’re ready to loot, steal whatever we want. … But when we kill 100 of us, nobody says anything. Nobody does anything.”
He continued: “If you choose to ask me today — Do black lives matter? Let me answer like this. No. Black lives do not matter. Black lives will not matter. … Black lives should not matter. Black lives must not matter. Until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves, black lives can never matter.”
Williams told the Associated Press, “I was trying to show that the movement now is moving and should move in a different direction. … What we need to do is create respect among ourselves. Aretha is the person with that song ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ that is laid out for us and what we need to be as a race within ourselves. We need to show each other that. We need to show each other respect. That was the reason why I did it.”