For more than a century and a half, black people in this country have been battling their oppressors. But we have forgotten something important. We have been so busy fighting oppression that we have forgotten to ask just who our oppressors are.Maybe at one time our oppressors were white people. But that is not true any more. I have never seen a slave owner, or a slave dealer, or even a slave. They were all dead long before I was born, before my father and his father were born.I have never met a member of the Ku Klux Klan. There may still be a few of those somewhere, but I doubt if there are any within a hundred miles of Newark. If I did meet a Klansman in his white sheet, I would laugh.I have never been oppressed by a white person. But I have been oppressed by other black folks almost every day of my life. So has everyone in this church.We are oppressed when we fear to walk home from the bus stop, because another black man may rob us. We are oppressed when our schools are wrecked by black hoodlums. We are oppressed when our children are shot by another black child for their jacket or shoes. We are oppressed when our sons are turned into crack addicts or crack dealers by other blacks, or our daughters are raped by other blacks, or taken into prostitution by other blacks.We Christian black people are oppressed today worse than we have ever been in our history. Our lives are worse than they were in the deep South under segregation. They are probably worse than they were when we were slaves, because then we were at least a valuable piece of property. The black toughs with guns who terrorize this city and every black city in this country do not value us at all. They shoot us down for any reason, or no reason at all.It is time for us to fight our real oppressors, the drug dealers, the whore-mongers, the gang members. The fact that they are black makes no difference. They are our black oppressors. They are not our brothers. They are worse enemies than whites ever were. It is time for us to battle them, and to take our city back from them.
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