Edd’s MANtra: Crisis of Faith

Wow, this was certainly a tough week to be a black man:

– Rumors have run amok all week about famed record executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid. Depending on whom you ask, he may or may not have been let go from his post as CEO of Island Def Jam. Last I heard, a rep from Universal Music confirmed that L.A. had not been fired. I’m not sure if that means his job is secure or if he’s been asked to step aside quietly. After he signed the Marge Simpson-sounding Shyne to a million dollar contract, it wouldn’t surprise me if he has been shown the door.

– Illinois Senator Jesse Jackson Jr. apologized for flying his “social acquaintance” from Washington to Chicago for a rendezvous. Social acquaintance, huh? I bet Jesse’s wife had a different name for her…

Lyfe Jennings became just another sta-tist-ic. Lyfe is heading back to the slammer after receiving a three year prison sentence for wildin’ out on his babymomma, shooting rounds, leading police on a high-speed chase and other assorted coonery. I hope he doesn’t plan on continuing to “expose” men while in jail.

– And the biggest news of all – Atlanta megachurch Bishop Eddie Long was accused of sex crimes against two former male parishioners. He allegedly texted revealing pictures to his so-called victims – pics his lawyer said are no big deal for a weightlifting man who loves da Lord.

Let me catch this picture in my inbox. He’d better use that phone to call on Jesus for help.

According to Twitter and Facebook, the way I now gauge the world’s social consciousness, you’d think that this week has marked the downfall of mankind. Cries of “The music industry is imploding!” “Politicians are filthy monsters!” “My faith is a lie!” have resounded through social media feeds.

Never has it been more clear that we unrealistically revere public figures. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have admiration for these guys. We love and respect their music. We vote them into office with high hopes that change will be made. We turn to them for spiritual guidance. But no matter how high we place them on that pedestal, eventually they come down to earth and we realize they’re as flawed as we are.

In the cases of Lyfe and Jackson, those “flaws” don’t excuse them for being punished for acting like idiots (and in Long’s case, an alleged idiot) but never should we get so wrapped up in their celebrity that we’re devastated by their mistakes.

Public figures’ good works might drive us but never should they define us.

I don’t believe that all black men are destined for a lifetime behind bars. I can look to my own father, grandfathers and friends for proof of that. And in no way does one man’s alleged indiscretions discredit an entire religion. My beliefs remain as strong as ever, no matter what my pastor does.

Beware with whom you place your faith because the people you admire are likely more screwed up than you are.

Do me a favor – someone refer me to this blog if Keith Sweat ever goes on a rampage. Just in case I need comforting.


  1. You need to watch the Pastor Manning you tube video about Eddie Long. Hilarious!

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