Dix: Billboard may be uncomfortable to see, but the words are truth
By Raymond Dix February 25, 2011 12:56PM
Updated: January 23, 2012 12:31AM
As a Christian, I am well-aware of the often-quoted passage of Biblical scripture in John 8:32 in which Jesus says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This statement reveals the unique quality of truth. The truth has the authority to bring freedom to those who hear it and know it.
A perfect illustration of this point in modern culture is the recent effort by a group called Life Always located in the Dallas area. The group legally purchased a billboard in New York City within the parameters of the standards set by the advertising company Lamar that contained an uncomfortable message. The billboard displayed a picture of a young black girl with the words “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb.”
On any busy street corner in America this type of message is bound to garner attention and considerable reaction. Exacerbating this fact, Life Always chose the country’s largest city, New York, which also happens to be a place where black and Hispanic women have 73 percent of the abortions performed locally.
Consequently, one can understand the motivation of a group dedicated to revealing the horrid nature of abortion on demand. By the group’s perception, they took their message to a place it needed hearing.
The problem is that based on statistical data the message is quite true. Abortion kills and prevents the lives of black babies to the tune of 1,400 per day. If not for the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, there would be twice as many black people in America. Perhaps twice as many black college graduates, black doctors, black lawyers, black teachers and black professionals in general. These statistics are available from the census.
In my humble opinion, the very nature of these statistics makes their veracity uncomfortable. It is so uncomfortable that the first reaction of many abortion supporters, especially so-called black leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network, is to attack the ones bearing the message. The kill-the-messenger strategy works well for those who have no real answer or solution revealed by this truth.
Therefore, Rev. Sharpton threatened a protest march against the ad company for putting up a billboard he termed “racist, offensive and against a woman’s right to choose.” This is incredulous coming from the mouth of someone who follows scripture to the point of calling himself a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That aside, of course the message is offensive! The very Jesus the Rev. Al says he honors brought a similarly offensive message to the world regarding our sin; we were offending God. I cannot help but lament that this hypocrisy of leadership often goes unnoticed in the black community.
The Rev. Al further demonstrated his angst by saying that the billboard was offensive “especially during Black History Month.” Never mind that Life Always is an organization led by a black pastor, Stephen Broden, who works to illustrate what abortion is doing to black people. Indeed, Black History Month is just the time for such a truth that uncomfortably illustrates the millions of black people that will never even participate in black history due to abortion.
But Rev. Al forges ahead with straw arguments that raise the specter of race, injects the trumping of women’s rights over human rights and suggest impropriety on the part of a legitimate business.
Why is the truth of this billboard so uncomfortable for the good reverend? It seems he and his cohorts like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, the Urban League and other civil rights leaders and organization are strangely silent on the issue of black death in the womb. In fact, black death in the womb just doesn’t seem to muster the same kind of media attention for them as black death by a white cop.
Rev. Al would much rather gallivant around the country telling white folks what’s wrong with them, and telling us that racism is the same as it’s always been despite that we have a black man working behind the desk in the Oval Office instead of cleaning it.
The release of this truth also reveals that all we get from these so-called leaders, who claim dedication to black people’s advance, is silence on this issue. In fact, if you listen for a message regarding abortion on Rev. Al’s website, all you hear is the chirp of crickets.
Is unborn black life unimportant to the struggle of black people? Apparently this is true, when viewed through the eyes of our leaders and the groups who claim to fight for black advancement. It is this silence that screams nearly as loud as the voices of the children who die daily at the hands of a society too busy to value them.
By the way, happy Black History Month to all, even the unborn.
The Rev. Raymond C. Dix Jr. is senior pastor at Berean Fellowship Church in Gary.