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29 April 2013

Black Groupthink on Display: Pastor Who Penned Opinion Piece Critical of Obama Uninvited from Morehouse Graduation Exercises

One of the easiest ways to get Blacks riled up is to suggest that all Blacks either look alike, act alike or think alike.

Unfortunately, folks who look like me do a good job of reinforcing the notion that we all think alike when they label those who dissent blood traitors to Black people for expressing an opinion contrary to whatever the prevailing opinion in the Black community happens to be at the time. It's called groupthink. It stifles individual creativity and it is prevalent among Black people.

A good illustration of the groupthink that is pervasive in the Black community happened last year, when actress Stacey Dash publicly announced her support for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Dash, who is black, was excoriated on Twitter by those believing all Blacks should vote for Obama.

The Blaze reported:

Presumed Obama supporters began insulting Dash for her opinion, saying she isn’t “black” enough, several even asking if the actress would just “kill herself.”

One man wrote: “This hurts but you a Romney lover and you slutting yourself to the white man only proves why no black man married u @REALStaceyDash.”

Ritz, Erica (8 October 2012). Twitter Explodes After Black Actress Endorses Romney as the ‘Only Choice for Your Future’. The Blaze. Retrieved on 29 April 2013.

Yeah. It was bad. No finer example of Black groupthink could be found, until now.

The Reverend Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, Senior Pastor of the Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, was scheduled to deliver the Baccalaureate Address as part of the 2013 Morehouse College graduation exercises. Then Reverend Johnson was uninvited. Why? Because on 14 April, Johnson penned an opinion piece published in the Philadelphia Tribune critical of President Barack Obama.

The column, titled "A president for everyone, except Black people," expressed disappointment in the Obama Administration for failing the Black community.

"Indeed, if we objectively look at Obama’s presidency, African-Americans are in a worse position than they were before he became president," Johnson wrote. "At the end of January 2009, unemployment for African-Americans was 12.7 percent. Four years later, the situation is worse, and unemployment is higher at 13.8 percent."

After that April editorial, the Reverend Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, Senior Pastor of the Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, was uninvited from the Morehouse graduation ceremonies.

The revocation of Dr. Johnson's invitation has upset quite a few people.

Reverend Delman Coates, Ph.D., Senior Pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD, said, "The idea that Dr. Johnson's views disqualify him as a candidate to deliver the Morehouse baccalaureate address is quite disturbing.

"Punishing the expression of political dissent is the wrong message to send young African-American men charged with being global citizens in a diverse world."

The Reverend Dr. Amos Brown, Senior Pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, CA, said, "If [Morehouse College President John Silvanus]Wilson turns his back on one of our most distinguished alums because of an exercise of free speech and political commentary, he will have set Morehouse on a dangerous course and departed from the great tradition bequeathed to us.

"In 1947, Dr. King warned that, 'If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, 'brethren!' Be careful, teachers!' We are potentially witnessing the realization of King's greatest fears," Brown added.

In other words, if we are not careful, our colleges will continue the cancerous groupthink permeating through the Black community.

Twelve Morehouse College alums are calling on Reverend Johnson to be reinstated as the Baccalaureate speaker. Time will only tell if their entreaties prove successful.