In a period of severe racial unrest in the United States, Philadelphia-based pastor Gino Jennings, tells black people to stop giving bigots a reason to stereotype them.
By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
Pastor Gino Jennings, head pastor of First Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, spoke to The Tribune from his church’s headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The church has branches in America and other countries around the world including Nassau at Honeycomb Street off Hay and Flint Street. Pastor Jennings is known for hard-hitting sermons around the world which can be seen on YouTube.
“I agree fully that the black man has been stereotyped by racist bigots for many years, but that doesn’t justify us in giving them a reason to stereotype us,” Pastor Jennings said.
“That’s why I tell our black men, ‘pull your pants up, man’. Why would you want to advertise your behind? What’s the reason?
“I tell my black brothers and sisters, don’t be lazy, don’t be afraid to work, stop thinking that the only way out of the ghettos of America or the world is to be a rapper or to play ball. Why would you just look at that and think you can’t do anything else? Parents should encourage their children and tell them that they can be a doctor, or a nurse or the President, or a governor or a mayor. If parents are limited in their vision, then the children will be limited on how to approach what they want to accomplish in life. The scriptures teach us that, ‘If there is no vision, the people perish’. That is not just narrowed down to church, but that’s in life.”
Jennings was criticised recently in his native America for ridiculing those involved in the “Black Lives Matter” movement by asking them if black lives really matter in a society where blacks are killing each other, black men abuse black women and sell drugs to other black men.
Asked about these remarks, Jennings told The Tribune: “Black brothers need to have more self-respect, self-decency. The quote here in America - as you have seen in the demonstrations - is “Black Lives Matter”. I addressed that on a live webcast and I told them the slogan is powerful, but it is only verbalised when a black person is murdered by a white policemen. Black lives should matter across the board.
“I say this, if black lives matter so strongly, why is this statement only stated when a black man is killed? Why doesn’t it matter when a black woman is abused by black men? Why doesn’t a black life matter when a black woman is raped by a black man? Why doesn’t it matter when a black woman is beat up by a black man? So black lives should matter in every perspective.”
Highlighting relationships between black men and black women, he said he would really like to see black men respect black women more. He said young, black men should stop running the streets and “knocking up every woman you meet”. And, he also said these men will soon have daughters and then reap what they sow.
“I want our black brothers to respect the black sisters,” Jennings noted. “Our names will cease to exist without the females and our children taking on our names. How can you love yourself as a black man and hate the black woman? So I warn our brothers to stop beating their women. Stop verbally abusing your women. Take care of your women. You cannot criticise society for stereotyping if you constantly give them something to stereotype.”
Pastor Jennings has very strong views about the current demonstrations by black people in America. He is not hopeful that these demonstrations will make a difference with the growing racial tension there.
“One thing I will say about Trump is that he is an open bigot,” said Jennings.
“He makes a lot of Republican politicians nervous because he says in the open what they say behind doors. He is an open racist! And, what I am saying to you on the phone, I will say the exact same thing on television. Blacks will demonstrate! Blacks will fight! Why should you have to fight for a right that America says is already yours? Think of it, why do we have to demonstrate if it’s true that all men are created equal? When the constitution of the United States was written blacks were not included.
“There will be more demonstrations and more murders. If you research the history of America, the blacks have demonstrated continuously. And, now you have all these white companies coming along with the slogan, “Black Lives Matter”, you have television stations playing more black movies and black entertainment. To me that is sheer hypocrisy and white guilt because if these companies are legitimate in what they are saying just see how many black women they have on their board of directors.”
Pastor Jennings labeled this apparent appeasement of blacks in America as a mere “illusion of progress to make it seem like something is happening”. He said blacks in America have built the society there, but yet are still hated by whites. He also said many businesses and industries like the cotton industry has been built off the backs of black people and have made whites rich.
“They can take down all the statues they want in America, that won’t stop racism,” he continued. “They are taking down those statues and moving them into museums. So what’s the purpose of taking them down if you are going to still have them somewhere else for people to see? As far as the confederate flag is concerned where the south was trying to fight for slavery, that’s one thing, but you have to take it further and realise that it was under the current American flag when blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. The protests will die down and then America goes back to the norm like nothing had happened.”