Important Demographic News from the US Census : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

The Census Bureau reported yesterday that US Hispanics now represent the largest ethnic minority group in the US surpassing black Americans. Based on latest estimates, the population total for US Hispanics is roughly 37.5 million and 37 million for US blacks. Demographers were forecasting that Hispancis would eventually surpass blacks in the 21 st century but not until 2010. What does this demographic shift imply for national politics? What does it mean for the AMEC? QED

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2003


As a Texan I have some insight on this. Anglo and Hispanic culture blends to form "TexMex". We eat each other's food, intermarry, and even blend the languages a little. Many can understand a little of the other's language if they're not actually fluent (and many are). Of course the degree of this blending varies from place to place, but it's pervasive.

Evangelical Protestantism, especially Pentecostalism, is also making deep inroads among Hispanics. There are many Spanish speaking Pentecostal churches, but the young may not prefer them because they're not as fluent as their parents.

So they join churches like mine, where ethnic issues don't receive much attention (we ignored MLK day). The TexMex culture is strong in my church, especially where food is involved.

Implications for the AMEC: I've noticed in the black church promotion of black culture is a major item. That makes others feel like outsiders. Blending will be the exception rather than the rule until that changes. Integration will continue among Anglos and Hispanics though.

Politically, there's a good mix among Hispanics between conservatives and liberals, while the black community is heavily associated with liberals. There will be gains for both parties, and both are courting the Hispanic vote hard. Their influence can only grow, but if they agree with you, who cares?

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2003

Our mission remains the same. I recently had an Irish-American and his family join the church! This was an interracial marriage! Yes, there will begin a new courtship of politicians and the hispanic community (e.g. Jeb and his wife who happens to be of Mexican descent). Our mission is clear: "preach the word!" Now I can not understand why people have such a difficult time in recognizing the "King Day Celebration." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived not just for his community, but sacrificed his life for the betterment of people, not just African Americans. This was displayed with his "War on Poverty." How can you ignore his achievemetn of winning the Nobel Peace Prize? I think some people (In Texas) need to go to the library and read for a change, instead of being swayed by the media! Only then will you not be so quick to "ignore" what this man, this day is all about!

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2003

I am glad Bill brought up the census numbers. That man is always thinking;-) Another interesting demographic info is the population growth in America it is occuring the fastest in the west and for our church this means fifth district. At last year's mid-year Bishop Bryant had workshops on evangelism in the hispanic and asian communities. The great commission calls us to go and spread the good news to ALL people. What better way to take down the walls of racism than to have all of God's children in the same church. My church is already a multi-ethnic church and the white people love the preaching style, the music and our all conga worship team. We are the most integrated church in town. And it is wonderful. In terms of the hispanic community our church will be doing outreach in the summer when the migrant workers come to work for the ranchers. Also our town is a ski resort town. And we have a destination ski resort called Big Sky it is like aspen. Tom Brokaw has a house there along with other celebraties. The majority of the workers are hispanics that is a population that in the next couple of years we are hoping to provide a ministry. It will mean having a chaplain at the ski resort. By the way there is a black baptist chaplain who has been there for years so other black denominations are thinking out of the box.

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2003

RP I thought it interesting that you say Hispanics are joining churches like yours where you ignore erhnic issues and you ignored Martin Luther King Day. RP I suggest very, very strongly that you read the works of Dr. King and his stance on human rights for ALL people. It is unfortunate that you chose to ignore this great man for you would have learned what the work and heart of a true Christian man is all about. Dr. King fought for the poor black and white and as he said in his 1967 speech at Riverside church "there are more poor white people than black people" Dr. King was assinated in Memphis tennessee, he was their to help with a labor strike that was impacting on white people as well as black people. Dr. King spoke out against the war in Vietnam for it was killing black and white people and tearing apart the fabric of this country. Dr. King spoke out against racism, and the lynching of black people because it was EVIL! Because he was a Christian he had compassion for ALL people. Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work that impacted all people. When I hear a white person say we don't need to talk about "ethnic issues" (that statement in and of itself is racists) it means A.) I really have not gotten to know people of color for if I did I would hear of the discrimination that they go through. Hispanics in terms of racism are fighting a hard battle, not being able to to have english as a second language, paid less than anyone else, and not being promoted to managerial jobs. Rob Price thank you for your posts for they make me work harder as a Pastor. For when hispanics come to an A.M.E church we will not ignore their "issues about race"

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2003

I don't feel that because Hispanics are a large minority this should negatively impact African Americans. Unfortunately any minority in America has the same plight. The Church of Allen still has much to do. For 216 years after Allen left Saint George's; "Jim Crow" is back in full force and even lives in our government and churches as well.

America talks a good talk but we fail to walk the walk-- "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." Two states in America, including the one in which I live, elected Republican governors on the issues of returning Conferderate bars to their state flag. We need only to be reminded of how the Klan claims not to burn the cross but rather to light the cross to show the way.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived and taught Non-Violent Social Change. Since so many Americans are prone to violence this is a novel and unattainable goal. Thus, they reject the chance to learn and understand how what he did and taught was good for all.

Many Americans also live and practice distorted truth. This even extends to Sunday Morning at 11 a.m. Dr. King often said that the most segregated places in America were the churches we attend each week. He also noted that in most cases this was not the fault of black church, which welcomed all with open arms. Thank God that in Atlanta we seem to be slowly turning this around. Though I must admit the change is subtle and will probably not make a dint in my own lifetime.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2003

I think we have a good example of what I'm talking about here. Many on this board feel that study of Martin Luther King is an indispensable part of church. I disagree because that's taking the focus off of Jesus, and putting it onto a man. I've seen recognition of Martin Luther King in some African-American churches taken to such an extent as to almost appear idolatrous. It resembles the way Catholics treat their saints. From his image in stain glass windows to constant discussion year-round, it proves my point that promotion of black culture is a major part of the African American church. And say what you like, MLK is primarily a hero to African-Americans. To most non-blacks he's similar to Winston Churchill or Teddy Roosevelt. He's one of history's great figures worthy of study in school.

African-American cultural studies and celebrations are not evil, but neither are they divine. They should be done in a secular setting. Done in church it robs Jesus and the Great Commission of air time and emphasis. Ethnic issues are simply not the reason God commissioned the church, and have nothing to do with the church's mission.

As long as the African-American church continues to engage in these practices blending with other races will be limited. Most non-blacks will have little stake in the activities. In a church like mine, where the emphasis on the divine is nearly total, racial desegregation between whites and Hispanics is proceeding rapidly, and no one gives a second thought to ethnicity.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

Well, well Rob you have actually visited a black church? That is very interesting you have been posting on this board for almost a year and a half (approximately) and I have repeatedly invited you to attend an A.M.E church since you are posting on an A.M.E discussion board. So did you finally go? Now I want to share A Martin Luther King Celebration from my perspective. I live in a state that is 98 percent white. And my congregation is over 50 percent white. I chose to preach about Dr. King last sunday because I use the lectionary readings and the scripture readings were apropo to the life of Dr. King. (And yes I will preach about him all year round) . I chose to preach about Dr. King because his life and legacy was based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, Dr. King ALWAYS said to look to God and not to put him on a pedastal but that Christ must come first. Our church co-sponsored a MLK community celebration on Monday. It was incredible. We did not have enough seating. People were in the hallway of the space that we used. And 99 percent of them were white! They came through snow, they came over Mountain passes, they left their farms and ranches and they came to celebrate, learn and embrace the teachings of this Godly man. They sang freedom songs, they talked about healing this country of racism and they came because they love the only black pastor in their town, they love the only ordained black clergy woman in the state of Montana. They came because if it were not for the work of Dr. King we would not have all been in that room together. There was a white couple from Austin Texas who was there and cried. Because there was so much unity. By the way Rob many of the white people there were college students and went to the south to register blacks to vote. They met and worked with Dr. King. Rob you cannot take away my Jesus joy for Dr. King and in the words of that great freedom song "Ain't nobody gonna turn me around, gonna turn me around. I'm gonna keep on walkin, keep on talking marchin on to freedom land" God is alive and anointing this board!!

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

So you used church resources to host a basically secular event. Was Jesus the focus? If MLK had top billing, guess what? Jesus was a sidebar.

The activity wasn't sin, but I'll bet it didn't bother the devil much. Remember that if the devil can't lead a church into sin he'll settle for neutralizing it with some kind of sidetrack. Who knows? Maybe a klansman was there and the program changed his mind. So now he's a non-racist who's still going to hell. Ya gotta get 'em saved, and that happens ONLY by lifting up Jesus. He doesn't share His glory.

And yes, I attended a church that was roughly 50% black/white for two years in the Air Force overseas. The Full Gospel white families and most black families didn't like the General Protestant service, so the base chapel allowed us to have our own rockin' service. It's where I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We enjoyed it and had great fellowship. Race was never mentioned by anyone.

Then a new African-American sergeant transferred in. He seemed enthusiastic at first, but later told the Chaplain that no service on base met his needs. He was allowed to host his own service, and at first many in our group were excited. It sounded like his service would compliment ours very well, and allow us two services on Sunday like we enjoyed in the States.

I missed his first service, but most of my white friends went. I asked them how they liked it, and they just shook their heads and said they weren't going back. No elaboration. I wondered what the problem was until I went myself. Both Sundays I attended he made a big deal of coming from an African-American heritage. I knew I had no stake in that ministry.

Later the chapel gave out cards sponsored by his ministry. They were pledge cards stating that we would fight racism "in memory of Martin Luther King Jr." I scratched out his name, wrote "Jesus Christ", and signed the card. Focus, focus, focus.

BTW, I've not mentioned it because I didn't want to hurt any feelings, but we do have one AME church in town. I have a couple of friends who go, and they tell me it's small, consists mostly of the elderly, and they get mad when the pastor changes the order of service. Sounds like many of the laments I've read on this board. Nothing they told me made me want to miss a single service in my church.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

You said maybe someone from the Klan was there? I doubt it they don't like me. When I came here 11 years ago I was the first and only black clergy person in my town. Plus I am a woman and the good ole boys had a fit. You see RP God sent me here to do his work. I have dealt with the KKK, aryan nation, and the militia, I have had death threats and bomb threats. And the threats begin slowly in a manner that is similar to your style of posting. They begin to talk about Dr. King and try to bring him down, they want to know why we call ourselves African-American, they want to know why we don't forget the past of slavery and then little by little, they begin to get bolder. Yes Rob I have had this same conversion many times, God has protected me and strengthen me to do his work. And in the midst of hate and racism I show love and compassion. I have had white friends patrol my home for fear I would be attacked. And yet I have not kept silent, I have had the police share their concern for my safety and yet I have not kept silent. I have had the grand dragon of the west move to my town and distribute leaflets with my name on them with the request I be killed. I am still here, I am not leaving. I am A.M.E and yes Rob I know your rhetoric all to well, for it is always veiled under the "so called banner of Christ" there are many of us on this board who are ole timers, and we know what is really in your heart. In another post you made a so called joke about liberals and guns and BANG, BANG. Oh yes Rob I have heard and read those same jokes from the KKK. They are nothing new but vieled attempts to frighten people. In the past they hid under sheets now they the use the internet and the guise of being a Christian to attack. I was not silent then and I will not be silent now.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

Oh, so I'm a klansman now. How come every time somone posts an answer that disagrees with the general opinion they're called:

A. A klansman if they're white. B. Uncle Tom if they're black.

This is simply a shield many hide behind because of the weakness of their arguments. I have no love or admiration for the people that threaten you. They're wicked, ok? They need to get saved or they're going to hell.

Also, I have numerous black friends. I was recently on a retreat where the lodging arrangements caused us to share beds. I shared my bed with a black man. Would a klansman do that? Tossing out the "racist" grenade any time someone disagrees with what's commonly held as the truth only destroys the credibilty of minority communities. It's a crutch. By crying "wolf" all the time like this you're less likely to be heeded when real racism arises.

Don't associate conservatism with racism. They're not the sam.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

Rob if you go back and read the previous your previous posts you will see that it was YOU who first brought us the word Klansman. I simply responded to you posts. What I have shared is the truth and can be easily documented through police reports and newspaper articles. I simply pointed what the rhetoric of the KKK and white supremacists groups are. One of the most transforming things that has happened in my life has been my experience with white supremacist groups. I am very, very visible in my state and outspoken so I have had to depend solely on God. Scripture tells me to love my enemies. And I had to work hard at forgiving and loving those who would want to harm and or kill me and my family. But through prayer I do not have hatred in my heart. And that makes me victorious. Rob my prayers is that you will take ONE DAY OFF and go that A.M.E Church in your town. For Christ is there for there is some real issues about race that you have not dealt with. To be a Christian is not about being comfortable to be a christian is to move out of our comfort zones and embrace all people. All of us have to deal with our own personal feelings about race everyday. We have to ask God to cleanse hearts daily so we will not hate another because of skin color. You asked if a klansman could sleep in the same room with a black man? The answer is YES and one day will share the story of an ex klansman who I have worked with in my organization and the things he did for the KKK. Rob pray about your words and your relationship to black people. We are also called God's people.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

Folks like RP, Pat Roberson, Jerry Falwell & Rex Reed are allies not enemies in Kingdom Building. I have attended several Promise Keepers activities and can attest from personal experience that conservative thought does not equal racist supremacy. MLK, Jr. is not a patron saint for some whites, but they tend to be male, older and less- educated. By the same token, Elvis Pressley doesn't elicit hero- worship among many blacks, like me. QED

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

We don't have to believe or live a lie. Regardless to who one claims to be or the cloak they may wear, God's Spirit allows us to discern between evil, good and truth. "By their fruits ye shall know them." "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Let us, then, not be confused or swayed by those who are uninformed or unwilling to learn.

The A.M.E. Church has always been opened to all. Bishop Allen allowed Dorothy Ripley, an English woman, to address the Congregation of Bethel Church--something that no church in Christendom had ever before allowed. Bishop Payne also received a white woman as a member of Bethel as well.

In my own Conference on January 14, 1871, J.F.A. Sisson, a white man, was among 14 persons ordained Elder in the A.M.E. Church. He served as delegate to every General Conference thereafter until his death. He later transferred to Arkansas to serve Native Americans in the A.M.E. Church.

My Conference still has white members who not only belong but also hold offices at every level of the church. This is also true throughout the Connection as Reverend Rogers has shared.

We have Churches in London, and I believe in Moscow too. Churches in New York and California have Asians and Hispanic members as well. Since we are worldwide others can site examples I missed. At every General Conference they come. I am certain they will continue to come from all races and walks of life till God calls His church and people home.

While racism and is strongly forbidden race or national origin has never been a factor in the A.M.E. Church. The Church of Allen needs no defense. Founded on Christ the solid ROCK, it shall ever stand.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

You know brother Matthews, I love to read your posts. I know we have a connectional historiographer. Do you know if the AME Church has a connectional historical society? Thanks.

-- Anonymous, January 29, 2003

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