The black women who voted in Alabama deserve more than your gratitude.

Democrat Doug Jones speaks Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. In a stunning victory aided by scandal, Jones won Alabama's special Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

If not for black women, Doug Jones might very well have given a concession speech on Tuesday night. Because of their overwhelming support, he will be the Democratic senator from Alabama, putting Roy Moore and his horse, Sassy, out to pasture.

Black women voters in Alabama went 98 percent for Doug Jones. That is a staggering percentage. But the real takeaway from this election about black women voters and their loyalty to the Democratic Party is that black women are, as CNN’s Daniel Burke tweeted, “the real Values Voters.” While journalists and faith leaders have touted values as the defining factor in white evangelicals’ support for the G.O.P., black women’s values align more with the Gospel and community. Black women care deeply about civic engagement, democracy, education, children and justice. These are values that were glaringly absent from Roy Moore’s campaign, despite public displays of prayer at his election night rally.

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If not for black women, Doug Jones might very well have given a concession speech on Tuesday night.

It took a candidate like Mr. Moore to show what many have known all along: Black women are a vital, moral resource for civic engagement in the United States. Black women fought for the right to vote during the suffrage movement and fought again during the civil rights movement. The rote narrative in the press of the civil rights movement is truncated with the briefest of histories of men like Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson or John Lewis. The reality is that these men could not have come to prominence without the work of Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Ala., or Fannie Lou Hamer at the 1964 Democratic convention. They and thousands of other forgotten black women walked during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sent their children out to march in the Children’s Crusade of May 1963 and comforted the mothers of four little girls who lost their daughters in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Black women are, as CNN’s Daniel Burke tweeted, “the real Values Voters.”

Black women in Alabama did it again in this special Senate election. While nearly two-thirds of white women voted for a man who has been accused of strolling the mall to pick up underage girls, black women in Alabama opted to vote for a candidate that prosecuted the murderers of those four young black girls killed in a church. White women voted for a man who did not want to take no for an answer from young women. They voted for a man who said ridding the Constitution of all the amendments after the 10th “would eliminate many problems.”

Despite all this, white evangelicals are still the most discussed religious voting bloc in the United States because of their vigorous pro-life stances and opposition to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. The reality is, their backing of Roy Moore is a crisis of moral fortitude, not only for the Republican Party but for evangelicalism.

Black women cannot be expected to continue to save white people from the poor choices they make.

While it is important that black women begin to receive the accolades and assistance they are due from the Democratic Party, they cannot be expected to continue to save white people from the poor choices they make, based not on moral values but party affiliation. This is not simply a problem for white evangelicals. The 45 percent of voting Catholics who chose Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election have to do the same soul-searching that white evangelicals in Alabama need to do about the ways they have compromised their religious beliefs in the name of party loyalty.

Zora Neale Hurston once described black women as the mules of the world, but black women are not mules to be ridden to the polls. Nor are they solely responsible for bringing American democracy back from the brink of destruction. The same black women who stood in long lines to vote before and after going to work on Tuesday will be in churches on Sunday morning across Alabama. They will serve as church mothers, pastors, Sunday school teachers, ushers, choir directors and liturgists.

These women deserve to be lauded. They understand what democracy is because they have had to fight every step of the way to be considered fully human. The work and votes that black women deliver deserve more than just lip service from candidates. They deserve concerted policy initiatives and a seat at the decision-making tables on the local state and national level. I hope that Doug Jones will make that possible.

So while you may want to thank every black woman on your job or in your local parish, think about what they have sacrificed, without receiving much, from the United States. Think about the witness they bear to the principles of community and the Gospel. I am thinking about black women like Sister Antona Ebo, who died in November. Sister Ebo was the only black sister at the Selma march in 1965 for voting rights. She said, “I am here because I’m a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, and because I want to bear witness.” Because she bore witness, black women in Alabama could follow her lead and bear witness and vote. That is what black women of faith can do. Honor them and give them their just due.

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J Cosgrove
10 months 1 week ago

Black woman Value Voters might want to ask what has caused the dystopia in many Black communities across the country. Which political party's policies have led to the 70+% illegitimacy rate in the Black community and the subsequent lack of a meaningful father input into so many families? Has their plight gotten better after continually electing Democratic politician to run their communities for over 50 years?

Is this also what Value Voters have wrought by giving the Democratic Party 98% of their votes.

PS - Apparently the Republican voters in Alabama showed up at a much lower percentage than Democratic voters. Maybe it was they could not bring them themselves to vote either for Moore or a pro abortion candidate such as Jones.

PPS -Why isn't there a bigger outcry over the timing of the Roy Moore allegations. Why were they revealed after the primary and not before? It prevented Alabama from having a legitimate election.

PPPS - It is interesting the political topics that America, the magazine, will cover. Why this particular one and why this particular view point when there is an incredible number of topics happening today that is tearing the country apart and are not mentioned in America?

Lisa Weber
10 months 1 week ago

Your endless racism is unseemly and dishonest.

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

That’s all you have? Lol, crying “rayciss”? JCosgrove, don’t dignify the Name-caller with a response.

J Cosgrove
10 months ago

Ms. Weber,

I am sorry, but what is racist or dishonest about my comment?

I am trying to point out where the real racism is. It with those who originally caused the problems in many Black communities and then refuse to accept blame for their actions. It is from listening to black Americans that I have learned the causes.

Until people recognize the real problem and the origin of the problem, there is no chance of solving anything.

I would suggest you refrain from calling others unseemly ad hominems. Such an approach means you have no legitimate argument.

Adeolu Ademoyo
10 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove,
1. The state of Alabama is a "deep red state" . By "deep red state" it means Alabama is "deeply" Republican-right? Now, recently a United Nations Mission toured Alabama from the urban centers of Alabama to the Alabama suburbs. What members of the UN delegation saw was devastating to them. They felt they saw in economic terms a third world setting-in terms of the infrastructure and physical environment. They said that no where, no setting, no space in the economically developed world was like what they saw. Yet they saw this in the state of Alabama-a "deep red state", a deep Republican state, governed and ruled by the Republican party.
2. Second, with Donald Trump's Make America Great Again phrase as the context, when Roy Moore was asked when last he thought that America was great, Mr. Roy Moore, the "gentleman" Evangelical "Christian", pontificating, articulating and putting content to Donald Trump's slogan, Make America Great Again, said this and I quote: "“I think it (i.e. America) was great at the time when families were united. Even though we had slavery, they cared for one another. ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction,” This is the same America, the same country you and I belong to, love and swore to defend- if you are real, if you are an American, and not a Russian bot- and with due respect, I do not mean this as an attack because this is an online platform and yes there are Vladimir Putin's Russian bots and Russian faceless online operators and trolls ready to divide we Americans-they -the Vladimir Putin's Russian trolls and bots did it in the last 2016 elections. So those words about slavery and when America was great are Mr. Moore's own words. I quoted everything so as to avoid denial. So my question to you is this: Since Mr. Roy Moore belongs to a section of our country's Evangelical "Christians" , does it mean that this section of Evangelical "Christians" believe that their "Christianity" is compatible with slavery of fellow human beings, slavery of African Americans? I am a Christian. I am a Catholic. Christianity and the Christian God are incompatible with slavery. The Holy Bible (the only word and witness of we Christians) is my evidence and I rely on John 17: 21 to validate this. In other words, one cannot be a supporter of slavery, defend slavery, connect slavery to "greatness" as Roy Moore did and does and as members of a section of Evangelical "Christians" seem to do and still claim to be Christian. There is nothing "great" about slavery, the slavery of of fellow human beings, the enslavement of African Americans. There is nothing "great about a Donald Trump and Roy Moore's "Christianity" that is connected and linked to slavery.
3. Also, members of Roy Moore's section of the Evangelical "Christians" committed heresy against the Holy Family-Joseph/Mary and the Holy Spirit when they defended Roy Moore in the allegation of sexual harassment and abuse of a child, and pedophillic acts against him by citing Joseph and Mary. It is a fact that -a section of the Evangelical "Christians" did this- they cited Joseph and Mary and the Holy Spirit and how Mary carried baby Jesus in her womb in defending Roy Moore's alleged pedophillic acts. The reliance on the Holy Family Mary/Joseph and the Holy Spirit and how Mary carried baby Jesus in her womb to defend Roy Moore in the the allegation against him that he Roy Moore is a pedophile is nothing but analogical heresy. Is this heresy the "Christianity"-which Roy Moore's section of the Evangelical "Christians" adhere to? Is this the "Christianity" of your party, the Republican party that has ruled and governed the "deep red state" of Alabama for years? Is this the "family values" of the Republican party? Is this the "love" of "faith" and "country" of theRepublican party, your party? No wonder Roy Moore's section of the Evangelical "Christians", Donald Trump's 'Christians" and Donald Trump's and Roy Moore's Republican Party believe that their "Christianity" is compatible with slavery, slavery of African Americans, pedophiles, pedophillic acts, sexual abuse and sexual harassment of minors and adults, predatory acts on female teenagers.

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
10 months ago

J Cosgrove, please clean up Appalachia, the ridiculous numbers of your people using SSI disability as their personal unemployment insurance, and the opiate crisis (which is now coined a health crisis since the complexion of the addict changed). Stop pointing fingers of judgement until you’ve addressed your own blight.

J Cosgrove
10 months ago

Ms. Sockwell-Thompson

Unusual comment. But I appreciate that you agree with me.

The article was not about opioids but "Values Voters." I agree something has to be done about opioid addiction and the inability of these people to be gainfully employed. There was an article a short time ago that these people couldn't be employed since they couldn't pass a drug test. But that is an entirely different topic but worthy of attention.

I'm not sure what you mean by "your people" since I never lived in or near Appalachia. Also from what I understand the problem is much more widespread than this particular area. But I am glad you recognize there are many problems within our society.

Steve Magnotta
10 months 1 week ago

Amen, Anthea Butler. And thank you. And thanks to all who worked to defeat this ugliness in Alabama and rebuke the larger ugliness threatening our nation.
I am sorry that thus far the only thoughts offered in response have been suffused with a barely veiled and value-less bigotry.
It’s clear that we still have hard work to do and tough fights to fight.
May we all keep the faith.

Rudolph Koser
10 months 1 week ago

AMEN AMEN AMEN!

Ellen B
10 months 1 week ago

YES!

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

Jones is ugly as is his anti-God and socialist party, that ideology (socialism) that numerous Popes have declared irreconcilable with Jesus and his Church. St. Ignatius would never support Jones and his ilk.

Ellen B
10 months ago

"Eileen Malloy" to paraphrase an earlier comment. "That's all you have? Lol, crying (anti-God socialist)? (Steve) don't dignify the Name-caller with a response." Oh wait, that was your comment.

Douglas Fang
10 months 1 week ago

I am glad to see Moore being defeated. At last, it seems that God doesn’t allow some person likes him to make a mockery out of His Name.

I hope that common sense and decency can still win in America.

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

Satan determined this worldly bad result. Not God. Moore supports Jesus, Jones is pro-abortion, atheistic, sympathizer and collaborator with the anti-God party. No thinking Catholic can support that. It doesn’t compute with Jesus’ Gospel or St. Paul’s espistles. Not one bit.

Adeolu Ademoyo
10 months 1 week ago

Eileen Malloy, with Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again" as the context and background, when Roy Moore was asked when last he thought that America was great, Moore articulating and putting content to Donald Trump's slogan, Make America Great Again, said "“I think it was great at the time when families were united. Even though we had slavery, they cared for one another. ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction,” These are Moore's own words. I quoted everything so as to avoid denial. So my question to you is this: Since you-Eileen Malloy and Roy Moore belong to a section of our country's Evangelical "Christians", does it mean your section of Evangelical "Christians" believe that your "Christianity" is compatible with slavery of fellow human beings, slavery of African Americans? I am a Christian. Christianity and the Christian God are incompatible with slavery. The Holy Bible (the only word and witness of we Christians) is my evidence and I rely on John 17: 21 to validate this. In other words, you cannot be a supporter of slavery as Roy Moore did and does and as members of your section of Evangelical "Christians" seem to do and still claim to be Christians. Also, members of your section of the Evangelical "Christians" committed heresy against the Holy Family-Joseph/Mary and the Holy Spirit when they defended the allegation of sexual harassment and abuse of a child, and pedophillic acts against Roy Moore by citing Joseph and Mary. Yes some of you-a section of your Evangelical "Christians" did this- you cited Joseph and Mary and the Holy Spirit and how Mary carried baby Jesus in her womb in defending Roy Moore's alleged pedophillic acts. Your reliance on the Holy family Mary/Joseph and the Holy Spirit and how Mary carried baby Jesus in her womb to defend Roy Moore in the the allegation against him that he Roy Moore is a pedophile is nothing but analogical heresy. Is this heresy your "Christianity"- the "Christianity" of your section of the Evangelical "Christians"? Eileen Malloy your section of Evangelical "Christians" need to withdraw this heresy which was committed by -your section of Evangelical "Christians" in defense of Roy Moore and apologize to the universal Body of Christ-Christians throughout the world .

Ellen B
10 months 1 week ago

Moore "says" he supports Jesus. He pursued under aged girls while he was in his thirties, he was banned from a mall because of this. He was removed from the state supreme court twice for refusing to enforce the laws of the land. He has said that the US should eliminate all constitutional amendments after the 10th. That includes slavery, the right to vote regardless of race, the right for women to vote, presidential term limits, elimination of poll tax. He made a statement that the country was at its best while there was still slavery. His wife says he can't be prejudiced because one of his lawyers is a Jew. He praises the tyrant Vladimir Putin.

The statements I have just listed, are the truth. You can find video of him making the statements. You tell me how that "computes" with the Gospel or Epistles. You want to support a pedophile, because of one single issue with his opponent, then you need to own the vile that is Roy Moore. White skin & a pop gun don't make him a decent human being.

Thank God for educated white women & African Americans who voted for Jones & kept the abomination that is Roy Moore out of office.

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

White women are unique in voting against and nullifying the votes of their husbands, boyfriends, fathers, and sons. Blacks always vote with unity, as do Jews and Latinos. Only white women promote family division.

Ultimately, Roy Moore was (40 years ago) looking for a virgin bride to have a large Christian family with.

Should he have rather sought a 35 year old sex-in-the-city sexually licentious Georgetown U. woman on hormonal contraceptives for over a decade of different sexual partners? A woman on psycho-meds? A yoga addict divorcee?

Get a clue. You’re on the wrong side, start thinking deeper and turn off The View.

Ellen B
10 months ago

"Eileen Malloy" I've heard the "that was 40 years ago" argument. The "he was preying on children because he wanted a virgin" is a new one. It's not an excuse for going after children. The guy was BANNED from the local shopping mall for being too creepy with young girls. There's a name for that - Pedophile. And it is indefensible. I will never stand with a pedophile. Period. Shame on you whatever your name really is.

Dolores Pap
10 months 1 week ago

Thank you, Anthea for this thought provoking, humbling essay. So beautifully spoken..

Michael Cardinale
10 months 1 week ago

In the Sixties blacks were discriminated against, and there wasn't much government largess for them, but their families were in tact. This is why they were able to ban together in (relatively) peaceful protests. Today, governments led by Democrats are quite willing to repay black votes by providing money to abort their children. What is more important, government money and alleged civil rights, or your families and the lives of your unborn children? It's a legitimate decision; but 98% don't care about abortion (mostly targeted at them)? Margaret Sanger would be proud that her target population voted overwhelmingly to support her policies.

As for Catholic soul searching, there is no contest. Clinton was very clear that failure of the Government (to take our money) to pay for abortions is (not tantamount to, but IS) a violation of women's rights. That's her interpretation of Roe vs. Wade. She had no problem with President Obama's and her party's definition of religion, as something that takes place only among its adherents, and has no public square. (Do 98% of black church mothers, pastors, ushers and liturgists think their churches are not religious if they engage in civil rights?) There were no good choices. You believe you voted for civil rights; many Catholics believe they voted for freedom of religion and against abortion. No soul searching necessary.

PanamaSticks .
10 months 1 week ago

Talk about hypocrites! The Democrat party has blood on it's hands from the murder of 66 million INNOCENT unborn babies, at least 33 million of which were of the female gender, and they claim to be on "the moral high ground", in defense of women! The good people of Alabama are overwhelmingly pro-life. How well are they going to be served by Jones? I'd rather we were represented in Washington by a man ACCUSED of abuse, than a man who is unrepentant about his support for murdering babies.

And what is wrong with this black woman? Doesn't she realize the abortion holocaust disproportionately affects the black community? They are being preyed on by Planned Parenthood. And what has the Democrat party done for the black community? Did Barak Obama get you jobs or crime free neighborhoods?

MJ Painter
10 months 1 week ago

I stop reading when anyone refers to the "Democrat" Party. (No one calls the GOP the "Republic" Party.) People who refuse to call the party by its proper name expose the fact that they have absorbed the Ultra-Right-Wing mindset and the high likelihood that they cannot see any situation with an open mind. Their comments are generally not worth reading.

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
10 months ago

Agreed, Michael. The tantrums from the fringe MAGA element get more and more bizarre when they are ignored. Let’s ignore them.

PanamaSticks .
10 months 1 week ago

"Black women cannot be expected to continue to save white people from the poor choices they make."

PLEASE spare us from your "saving".

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

Appalling. Doug Jones is a pro-death candidate who favors abortion and death of fetuses for many black women who erroneously choose that path from ill-advice from the Left.

Jones is a member of the anti-God platform party: the Democrats.

No Catholic in conscience of any kind can support such a man. Judge Moore at least was pro-Jesus and a Christian.

Ellen B
10 months 1 week ago

New low in calling a pedophile racist a pro-Jesus Christian. There is no "at least" with that.

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

New low in Jones and his followers. The Jones voters were anti-white racists and anti-Christian bigots, and supporters of dead baby-parts saleswomen (planned parenthood).

Moore was looking for a virgin bride, not a ridden-hard single 35 yr old leftist slut on contraception and psychomeds. Moore is the normal one.

Ellen B
10 months ago

You know what really bugs me? Not the vitriol. Not most of the lies being peddled. It's when men pose as women in their comments by using a woman's name. Just sayin'

Susan Collins
10 months 1 week ago

i thank my black sisters for their courage to take action and make a choice for a man of value. We all have choices- may we make the right ones; you give me hope,

Eileen Malloy
10 months 1 week ago

You sound racist. “I’d like to thank all my white brothers...”

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
10 months ago

You sound ignorant.

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
10 months ago

You sound ignorant.

Ellen B
10 months ago

Gail - The commenter also sounds like a man with a fake female screen name.

Chris Hohowski
10 months 1 week ago

Thank God for black women - the true pro-life voters. Both for the born and unborn. Anyone serious about unborn lives needs to get to the root causes of abortion otherwise the unborn die (and potentially the women in whom they live) illegally rather than legally. To the unborn child the difference hardly matters. Go ahead and search all the ways illegal abortions increase when law alone tries to saves them. To all those concerned about the unborn unless you work to end it your words can hardly be taken seriously.

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
10 months ago

So true. Reading many of these comments, I wonder what Christian means to the commenters.

Eileen Malloy
10 months ago

Me too. I’ve read anti-white racist comments their celebrating racist cohesion and collaboration against Moore. I’ve seen people applaud the victory of an atheistic pro-abortion socialist. I’ve seen hate speech directed about Moore, not a smidge of mercy or Christian love. Satan and the worldly minds prevailed in this election, but Jesus taught us that we’d have to persevere if we were to be authentic followers of Christ.

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
10 months ago

So true. Reading many of these comments, I wonder what Christian means to the commenters.

Eileen Malloy
10 months ago

Thank God for white men - the true pro-Life contingent. The world has seen the anti-Jesuit, anti-Catholic, and ignorant women who sell dead baby parts for Planned Parenthood and the Fake Catholic Democrats who enable and collaborate.

Lisa Weber
10 months 1 week ago

Thank you, Professor Butler! Thank you to all the black men and women who showed up to keep a clearly unfit man out of the U.S. Senate! Thank you to all the people of any and every color who voted for Doug Jones! Alabama gave the entire USA reason to hope that this long nightmare of GOP and Trump craziness will eventually end. Decency won in this special election.

Chuck Kotlarz
10 months ago

Perhaps even more remarkable, Alabama’s Black women voters prevailed despite Alabama’s Black voter disenfranchisement running 15%, sixth highest in the nation.

Stuart Meisenzahl
10 months ago

Chuck
You are using a misleading statistic...the 15% black disenfranchisement rate in Alabama is entirely based on Alabama's felony conviction penalties, not on some series of anti racial actions. The white felony disenfranchisement rate in Alabama is approximately 7%.. The disparity between the two racial rates reflects the difference in felony convictions.

By the way ...Alabama's felony disenfranchisement rate for blacks is the seventh highest rate among the states not the sixth (see Anna Claire Vollers article for AOL.com based on data from the Sentencing Project) but keep in mind not all 50 states even provide for such disenfranchisement or do so with varying periods of post conviction time elapses.

Chuck Kotlarz
10 months ago

Stuart, Alabama’s black women stood up for the soul of the republic. The founding fathers would be cheering.

Nationwide, the number of disenfranchised voters has exploded since the late 1970s, running nearly six times higher. Voter disenfranchisement, I believe, veers dangerously toward aristocracy. The U.S. constitution is based on a republic and is not designed to handle aristocracy.

Adeolu Ademoyo
10 months ago

I have an observation to make for the publishers of America Magazine. Some of the comments on this platform read like comments from trolls and bots. We all know the divisive and destructive roles Vladimir Putin's Russian bots and trolls played in our election-here in the United States-in 2016. The roles of Putin's trolls and bots in manufacturing falsehoods and poison and spreading them online definitely affected the outcome of the last election in 2016. Whoever denies this needs to re-think our condition and the situation in our country today. During last election in 2016, Vladimir Putin's Russian trolls and bots took advantage of the openness and robustness of western democracy, they hid under the nature of online platforms, the problematic nature of online addresses that may be difficult to trace, and spread electoral poison on the election and sway peoples' minds because people tend to believe what they read without interrogating the sources. For example, last year fake facebook online addresses based in Macedonia in South Eastern Europe -while pretending to be Americans - spread havoc on the 2016 election here in the US and affected the outcome. So, is there anything the publishers of America Magazine can do to make sure that comments are not from fictitious persons, bots, trolls etc? This is not to censor content because I actually like disagreements and opposing views. Disagreements allow the best and the worst to come out of all us and disagreements allow us to see things as they are without any mystification; when we disagree, we see ourselves exactly as we are without any burnishing, or false make-up or fake ornaments which we often put on to disguise our real selves and real objectives. I welcome disagreements like these because they help us see how some package private cultures, hawk them around and pass them on as "Christian" faith-an example is Roy Moore and Donald Trump's "Christianity" which connect days of slavery with when America was "great" . Christianity is not culture. Christianity is our abiding faith in God, yet some people locally and globally package their culture as Christianity. I have pointed to that intellectually dubious move on this platform. And it is disagreements like these that help us make those arguments as powerfully as possible. So making sure that it is real people who are commenting is NOT censoring because no one wants to waste her/his time responding to bots and trolls of any type-including Vladimir Putin Russian types. America Magazine is a cherished world and first class platform based here in our country-the US. So, can the magazine please help to create a system where only real human beings are able to comment as we dialogue in a civil and civilized manner (while articulating our disagreements pointedly and sharply with no holds barred so long as we are civil and respectful) on the fate of our country and the world?
Thanks everyone who is real (and not a bot or a troll) for this robust and fine debate on our condition, on our faith in a "non pedophile loving" God, on a "non-slavery loving" God, on a peaceful, loving Christian God who does not and will never tolerate sexual harassers, sexual abusers of teenage girls and adults; on genuine family values that do not tolerate preying on teenage girls; for the genuine love of an open democratic forward looking country, that looks confidently, courageously and boldly into the future with all of us (regardless of race and ethnicity) holding our hands together peacefully, lovingly while celebrating and worshipping Christ our savior together regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity etc, not a country that panders to the past and looks nostalgically to the past, worshiping a past of the evil of slavery; thanks everyone who is real for the debate and conversation on our faith in a loving God who will never tolerate bigotry, hate, sexism, racism, anti-semitism; on the true Christian God, the universal God of the universal Church, and on the condition of the world at large.

Megan Wilson
10 months ago

Hear, hear. A thoughtful, extraordinarily balanced and hope-filled comment. Thank you. This is exactly the kind of dialogue we need more of in our church and our world. I am so grateful to Professor Butler for her vision and her faith-filled challenge to us all, and to the thoughtful commenters here for expanding upon it and giving us all hope.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world." (John 1:5-8)

Adrian Shaw
10 months ago

Black women suffer tremendously by a group that sensationalizes their "booty", calls them "hot mama", have fathered their children but who have historically abandoned them and the children for decades, and uses them as content for their "music". We all know the villain: black rap "artists".

Too few black women leaders call out these black male "performers" for destroying black families. It isn't the Russians, the Republicans, the conservatives or the liberals that have destroyed black families. It is the black culture led by aimless, powerful, violent black men who have crucified the Gospel from their own people. Black families at one time shamed most Christians by their embrace of the Gospel as seen by their actions..

Black culture needs the Gospel just as badly as the rest of America, but now more than ever. Dr Condoleezza Rice is an excellent example of a black woman who lived during the Alabama scourge, but her amazing history as a holy leader should be held up as the role model for us all.

Government is not the answer. They are the problem (e.g. Maxine Waters, Alcee Hastings, Marion Barry, Corrine Brown, Chaka Fattah, Jesse Jackson Jr, et al)

NB: the author called Dr Ben Carson a "coon" and has a well documented history of making hateful, ugly, racist comments.

“I know that this American god ain’t my god. As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men,” Butler wrote.
- The Daily Pennsylvanian, Oct 16, 2015

Vince Killoran
10 months ago

Voting is a responsibility of citizenship, so I don't express "gratitude" when people show up at the polls.

I understand why, but I do wish African American turnout in 2016 hadn't dropped so precipitously (lower than that of white voters for the first time in decades).

Adeolu Ademoyo
10 months ago

Vince, it is possible either out of an act of omission or commission that you missed the point of the essay. The point of the essay as I understand it is the obligation of citizens as voters on one hand and responsibility and duty of citizens who are elected representatives, to those who voted them into office on the other hand as two indivisible aspects of citizenship. Citizens as voters have the obligation to carry out their civic duty, by voting while elected representatives also have a political and moral obligation as citizens to fulfill the expectations of those who voted them into office. Your point about voting being the responsibility of citizenship is one side of this indivisible duality. However, it neglected the historic point the essay is making. The historic point is that the other side of the indivisible duality of citizenship-the side where elected representatives must fulfill the expectations of the citizen-voters who elected them. So the essay is saying that Doug Jones should not ignore the wishes of the voters-including black women- who voted for him. That this is possible is obvious because of the blanket, woolly and wrong headed idea that Alabama is a "deep red state" which may lead people and Doug Jones himself to begin to see himself as only responsible to "deep red" voters, "deep red" ideas/policies-the traditional "red meat"! " Doug Jones was elected by a center coalition of Democrats and republicans and not exclusively by Democrats and not exclusively by republicans. Hence, Doug Jones must not be swayed by the myth, the woolly suggestion that Alabama is a "deep red state" and therefore responsible only to "deep red voters". In other words, that politicians often forget the coalition that voted them into office is the point of the essay. Historically that has been the case especially with the constituency the essayist is referencing. That this is the case is well illustrated by the wrong headed attempt to define every voter in Alabama as republican or "red meat voter" and therefore leading elected representatives in Alabama to pursue only "red meat" policies to the exclusion of non-republicans and non-republican voters! For example, Donald Trump's policies are anti-women, anti-minority population-but these are part the coalition of Doug Jones voters. Yet the first thing Donald Trump did for purely opportunistic and personal reasons of his own political survival is to invite Doug Jones to the White House! I think it will do the country better for Donald Trump to first implement policies that respect the coalition that brought Doug Jones to office rather than attempt to court Jones for reasons of "red meat " politics and polices. A coalition of the center elected Jones. Doug Jones was not elected solely by Democrats. Doug Jones was not elected solely by republicans. That it is possible to forget this coalition and hence forget the different components of the coalition which includes black women who have been historically used electorally and dumped by politicians both in Alabama and in Washington is the point of the essay as I understand it. This is why I argue that your post missed out on the second duality of citizenship which is the responsibility and duty of elected politicians not to forget the diversity of the voters that voted them into office. Doug Jones must not forget this diverse coalition. This is the point of the essay.

Vince Killoran
10 months ago

I appreciate you finding the thesis statement in Professor Butler's essay because it eluded me. In any case, I was stuck on the "deserving more than just your gratitude" bit at the front of the piece; you are right: the second half was a plea that Jones "not forget" black women voters.

But, really, what is the chance that this moderate, establishment Democrat won't forget them? I guess that I'm just a cynical, left-of-center guy. Will a politics of pleading with elected officials to take into account, or listen (or whatever it's called) be effective? In a nation where African Americans constitute about 12-13% of the total population--and this is a fairly steady figure--a call to fashion legislative measures on their behalf--however compelling--will fall on deaf ears. In the end, it's not much more than posturing and, at it's worst, grandiose "activism."

The historical record bears this out. Cross-racial & ethnic organizing are much more effective. The "same leaky boat" mentality is what will drive progress for women, students, workers, immigrants, et al.

Stuart Meisenzahl
10 months ago

Mr Ademoyo
It is rather tough to square your red/blue dichotomy when you are referencing principled responsiveness to the center left coalition voters when applied to President Obama's record. In 2008 he promised Hispanics Immigration reform as his first Act. He had a filibuster proof Congress. He did nothing until the 2012 reelection when he belatedly created DACA which by its terms was temporary and subject to immediate constitutional challenge. He similarly ignored the black community as it's dismal economic progress under his tenure reflects.....Even one of his usually reliable, principal sources of media adulation The Atlantic noticed( see:,"How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans", The Atlantic, Dec 222016)

Adeolu Ademoyo
10 months ago

Mr. Stuart Meisenzahl,
Thanks for your response to my post. But to be honest, and with due respect, I do not know what to make of your post. My post is a response to Mr. Vince Killoran's interpretation of the main essay by Professor Butler. I pointed out that while Mr. Killoran is right, he seemed to have ignored an aspect of Professor Butler's essay which is the responsibility and obligation of elected representatives to voters-especially voters in a rainbow, diverse and big tent coalition that has just sent Mr. Jones to the nation's Senate. The need for alertness to this responsibility is what I called the indivisible duality of our citizenship-the citizen-voters/citizen-elected representatives. If you wish to argue that President Obama fell short when he was president please you are very free to say so in clear rational terms. On my part, I was responding to a concrete issue/conversation on the just concluded 2017 Alabama senatorial election and the real danger of once again using a unit of the coalition that elected now Senator Doug Jones and abandoning that same unit under the false assumption that Alabama is a "deep red" state and will always remain so. On this false assumption (as if things and political dynamics are not changing in the country as they have been changing) elected representatives like Senator Doug Jones may just begin to feed a coalition that elected him which is not "deep red" with Donald Trump's kind of "red meat". And I pointed to the facts we Americans know about Donald Trump's policies. I said his policies are anti-women, against minority demographic and against the working class of all races and ethnicities in our country. Donald Trump is for the rich class, the elite class in our country. Trump is feeding the swamp in Washington and everywhere in our country, he is not draining the swamp. The Donald Trump/Republican Party Tax "reform" which is a booty to donors to Republican Party is a good example. Another example is the attempt by Donald Trump/Republican party to dispossess American working people, the poor, the elderly of all races and ethnicity access to health care through their attempt to repeal the Affordable Health Care-called Obamacare. What good person or party will take health away from the poor, the vulnerable, the elderly-a class that cuts across all races, gender and ethnicity? Only Donald Trump and the Republican party, the party of donors and of the swamp can do that. Now if you disagree with these facts as I have stated them, about Donald Trump and his policies, please come out openly and offer counter arguments with good examples-not rhetorics, phrases or slogans. I am not saying that Senator Jones will do what Donald Trump is doing-i.e follow Donald Trump's anti minority, anti women, anti working class policies. I am saying this clearly that this is not my point. However I am saying that the essayist Professor Anthea Butler is correct in arguing that gratitude is not enough for a crucial unit in Senator Jones coalition-the black women- but that Senator Jones when he gets to the Senate in Washington -would have to respond concretely to why the coalition and the units in the coalition voted for him. Now you can take on president Obama. You are free to do this. Ours is a democracy. But what you need to contend with and argue for or against or clarify is the concrete conversation in Professor Butler's essay and my reading of it. I have given an interpretation of Professor Butler's essay. As I said in a different post on this conversation, disagreements are good, our disagreements bring out the best and the worst in us. To help our conversation, you should advance your own interpretation of the essay just in case you have a different or rival interpretation.

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