Aretha Franklin's homegoing came to a confusing end when Georgia revered Jasper Williams slammed black women and proclaimed "black lives didn't matter" in his disparaging eulogy.
Some of America's most important political leaders, artists, singers and others paid tribute and celebrated the life of Franklin at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on Friday.
Among the great musical tributes, political speeches from the likes of Michael Eric Dyson and others, there was Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. of the Salem Bible Church in Atlanta who spoke at length about Franklin's life in an unforgettable eulogy.
USA Today reports Williams has come under attack for his critical take on the black community. In the 30 minutes he spoke, Williams claimed black people don't bat an eye at black-on-black crime, black families are broken and men are not acting as God intended.
"70 percent of our households are led by our precious, proud, fine black women," he said. "But as proud, beautiful and fine as our black women are, one thing a black woman cannot do. A black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man. She can’t do that. She can’t do that."
His repudiation of single-parent households was just one aspect of his eulogy. He took Black Lives Matter to task for focusing on police brutality and not enough on black crime.
"If you choose to ask me today — Do black lives matter? Let me answer like this. No. Black lives do not matter. Black lives will not matter. … Black lives should not matter. Black lives must not matter. Until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves, black lives can never matter."
34 years ago, Williams eulogized Franklin's father, minister and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin, using some of the same talking points, the Associated Press points out.
It is no surprise his eulogy wasn't well-received by Twitter. Users were baffled by his dire language killing the celebratory mood of the homegoing of one of the world's greatest voices.
Aretha Franklin did not sing at Martin Luther King’s funeral and feminist rallies and bail Angela Davis out of jail for Jasper Williams Jr. to disrespect her and Black people everywhere like this. He done fucked up the ENTIRE funeral. #ArethaHomegoing
— racially amnigguous. (@oluwablk) August 31, 2018
Jasper Williams brought this celebration ALLLLLLL the way down. BLACK LIVES DO MATTER. And the QUEEN was PERFECT. This isn’t your pulpit to spew your intolerant shit. Why won’t the microphone cut off?!? #ArethaHomegoing
— Such (@Such) August 31, 2018
Haven't said a word about #ArethaHomegoing but Jasper Williams is delivering one of the most offensive sermons I've ever heard and I can't with this nigga.
— Sekani Wright (@DJsekani) August 31, 2018
It would’ve been amazing if Pastor Jasper Williams had centered Aretha Franklin instead of her father and right-wing talking points.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) August 31, 2018
And I only bring up Jesus so often because religious folk like to act like the “world” just hates and rejects Jesus but in reality they’re rejecting your toxic politics that you pass off as theology.
Jasper Williams didn’t preach Jesus he preached white, male supremacy
— Benjamin Dixon???? (@BenjaminPDixon) August 31, 2018
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