The Queen of Soul - public domain

Aretha Franklin’s funeral was hijacked, just as that of Sen. John McCain was. Not by anti-Trump barbs by the speakers (although there were a few), but by an off-topic eulogy.

It’s “now time for black America to come back home,” said Rev. Jasper Williams. He began by describing the official discrimination that followed the end of legal slavery in America, the Jim Crow era, but stating how that brought black communities closer together. But now:

“Where is your soul, black man?” he asked. “As I look in your house, there are no fathers in the home no more. Where is your soul?”

“Seventy percent of our households are led by our precious, proud, fine black women. 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.”

Then, Williams touched on the Black Lives Matter movement and called for an end to black-on-black violence.

“It amazes me how it is that when the police kills one of us, we’re ready to protest march, destroy innocent property,” he said. “We’re ready to loot, steal whatever we want. … But when we kill 100 of us, nobody says anything. Nobody does anything.”

Although Rev. Williams mentioned the time when black people came together and sang, “We Shall Overcome,” he did not relate the current state of affairs to President Johnson’s Great Society and the explosion of the American welfare state. Nevertheless, all hell has broken loose in the Twittersphere.

“a homophobic, sexist, misogynist, ableist, uneducated bigot who is disrespecting Auntie Aretha Franklin at her funeral. She wasn’t about nonsense”….”a prime example why there is a total disconnect between young Black people and the older Black church crowd. All that cowardly ‘you’s gots to do better’ talk ain’t fooling these kids”

David Dennis on Newsone removed vital organs:

He reprimanded Black people for “Black on Black crime,” which, as you probably know, is a white supremacist talking point that is based on total fiction…..he disagreed with the notion that black lives matter….He touted the old statistic that 70 percent of black children are raised by single mothers, which isn’t exactly true. Yes, according to a 2010 CDC study, 72 percent of black children are born out of wedlock, however….the study doesn’t tell us if the single parent is a mother or father….Then, the kicker: the notion that black mothers can’t raise black boys. Totally ignorant of the fact that Aretha Franklin herself was a single mother who raised black boys….Let alone all the black women across the world who are raising black boys on their own.

But is it optimal? Me, I like the self-empowerment messsage, but it no longer belongs at a funeral than insults against the President. Aretha was, after all, a singer. The message has something to do with R-E-S-P-E-C-T (laughably misspelled in a political commentary by Al Sharpton), but it was mostly a soapbox for Rev. Williams.


This, however, was merely a sideshow. The Main Event was guest singer Ariana Grande (whose Manchester, England concert last year was the target of a suicide bomber) and the man in charge of Aretha Franklin’s funeral, Bishop Charles H. Ellis. Ellis reportedly groped Grande:

Ellis pulled Grande to the pulpit, locking his arm around her in a side hug. Instead of resting his hand on her shoulder, as he did with other mourners, he slid it under her arm, above her waist and curled his fingers around her breast.

The cameras do not confirm this. They do show former President Clinton gazing at Grande’s buttocks, but no one is surprised at this. Whether or not it happened, Ellis has issued the obligatory apology for it. Kate Woodsome of the Washington Post adds to the above graphic description that:

Sexual harassment and the objectification of women are so woven into our culture that they are considered normal. The problem is that only one person feels normal. The other wants to take a shower and probably key a car.

Yes, just like irreversible cataclysmic destruction of the planet primarily caused by people who don’t share my values, misogyny is a compelling narrative. So compelling that it really doesn’t matter whether it is fact-based.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, who is not a member of the Black Community and doesn’t know who Ariana Grande is, writes in the Washington Times:

Norman Podhortez, the former editor of Commentary, made the observation decades ago that some Americans have become too touchy. It is as though they are eager for a chance to be irritated….It is unthinkable that Bishop Ellis would commit the acts that he is accused of.

Tyrrell is also amused that the Washington Post “reported that Bishop Ellis felt he had to apologize to ‘the singer, an army of her outraged fans, and the Hispanic community.’…why the Hispanic community? Ms. Grande is not Hispanic. She is famously Italian American.” Ah, but there is no Italian American community, in the sense of a political agitation bloc. Ellis joked that Ariana Grande sounded like something you would see on the menu at Taco Bell, but that earns Hispanics a reference, not an apology. Ellis strikes me like Redd Foxx playing the junk-dealer Fred Sanford in an American sit-com. He might hit it off with Trump. I am unable to find any remarks that Ellis delivered at the funeral — but he did hire Rev. Williams.

Tyrrell also related the trend to electoral politics: “One of the reasons that Donald Trump won the presidency is that political correctness is seen as a bully club to harass ordinary Americans.” Well, avoiding another four-year National Dialogue on Race (in favor of perhaps total assimilation) is a prime criterion for me.

This is not “touchy,” this is vintage High Dudgeon, and there is a more sinister interpretation: These two men were not shamed to make a statement in favor of political correctness as a concept. No one defends political correctness per se. But Rev. Williams made a direct attack on welfarism. The welfare state — the caseworkers who guide monthly checks to millions of black people, who in turn vote 95% for one party and for continued stipends, and the politicians and media outlets that hang on for the ride — marshalled its resources to force an apology and to put the men on record that the welfare state can and will destroy them if it sees fit.