You know, it's perfectly reasonable to compare Black Liberation Theology to Nazism based on one sentence. One killed 6 million Jews and millions of others, the other, well, a guy wrote one stupid sentence in a book no one, not even you has read.
You haven't read Cone's book. You hadn't heard of the guy before last week. You hadn't heard of Black Liberation Theology before last week.
More than a third of black ministers have been influenced to some great degree by Black Liberation Theology. Most of them are the more educated and more liberal theologians of the community. And you'd reject their contributions and their beliefs and their support on the basis of...wait for it...
One sentence in one book that you haven't even read!
I'm sorry, is that one sentence all there is to black liberation theology? Does that encapsulate the entire experience?
Do you REALLY think that 40 years and 8 books from this guy and 4,000 sermons from Wright and countless books and sermons from other authors and ministers is encapsulated in that one sentence from 40 years ago!??
Such rhetoric was not likely to win friends among white people, so consequently Cone became the target of a barrage of white criticism. What his critics failed to do was to read Cone's book from cover to cover, for in the final paragraph of his book he explains: "Being black in America has very little to do with skin color. To be black means that your heart, your soul, your mind, and your body are where the dispossessed are. ... Being reconciled to God does not mean that one's skin is physically black. It essentially depends on the color of your heart, soul, and mind." For Cone, then, blackness is a symbol for the oppressed and whiteness is a symbol for the oppressor.
In his subsequent writings Cone consistently maintained the use of these symbols. In his second book, A Black Theology of Liberation (1970), Cone's rhetoric sounds strident if one fails to understand his use of the terms black and white. For example: "To be black is to be committed to destroying everything this country loves and adores." Or again, "Black theology will accept only a love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy." In looking back on these earlier books, Cone later admitted that he would no longer use such extreme language, but, nevertheless, his condemnation of racism and oppression was as strong as ever.
So, the words black and white, when used by Cone don't signify race, but oppression and power, respectively. He's talking about destroying racism, oppression, not white people. And, yes, he's rejected his strident language.
If the mobster is caught on tape saying, "Guys, we're going to whack Charlie Bonebuster tomorrow when he comes in the club" and he's able to demonstrate that whack is his gang's code for "buy a drink for" then he's not going to go to jail. Especially since Charlie's not dead.
You want to convict the "mobster" on the basis of his comment without even looking at to see if there's a body. That's the analog of deciding that Black Liberation Theology is spiritually bankrupt on the basis of that one sentence, taken out of context, from this guy's first of eight books! Is Black Liberation Theology racist? Who knows. Is Charlie dead? Who knows. Hang 'em high. Hell, you get the lynchin' rope and I'll find a tree!
There are other sources than this one sentence from a book 40 years ago about Black Liberation Theology. You'd think that in order to answer the poll, you'd have to look at at least one of those other sources. Here, for example, is a paragraph from the Washington post:
"To his supporters, the message Wright wove through more than 4,000 sermons is now disseminated in a handful of grainy, two-minute video clips that tell only part of his story. Yes, they acknowledge, he was sometimes overcome at the pulpit by a righteous rage about racism and social injustice. But he was a radical who also inspired women to preach, gays to marry and predominantly white youth groups to visit his services. Until he retired last month, Wright, 66, implored all comers at Trinity to "get happy" -- to shout, to sing, to dance in the aisles while he preached the gospel."
He doesn't sound racist from that sentence, does he?
So, we've got one sentence from his spiritual mentor (one sentence from one of his 8 books) and one sentence from the Washington post. Who to believe?
Simple question. Is Black Liberation Theology encapsulated in that one sentence? Looking at other sentences, I guess, is nuance.
Your answer, then, is yes. That one sentence is the key takeaway we should gather from 40 years of intellectual and spiritual journey.
And if Cone, for example, said in later books that he was wrong to use such language, well, nuance. Fie on you, nuance. You aren't going to try any of this, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" on me!