Black Thoughts For Multi-Cultural Readers
Blog: The Royals And
Where Did Bishop Curry Go Wrong?
"Did you see it? It was tough, man, real tough," Thompson [as Bishop Curry on SNL] said. "I preached and I testified and I yelled while 500 stuffy English people looked at me. ... " Bishop Curry on Saturday Night Live Show, May 20, 2018
Oakland, California May, 2018
On May 19th, 2018, millions of people around the world watched the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel. At midday the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Revd. David Conner opened the ceremonies and the Most Revd and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, officiated over the royal couple’s exchange of marriage vows.
Several months in advance of the royal wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury, invited the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the United States, Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, to deliver felicitations. Though his remarks were scheduled to be four minutes in length, Bishop Curry droned on for 15 minutes. The royal family’s reaction to the American Episcopal Bishop’s droning catapulted his sermon to the top of the internet’s all time ‘hits’ list. After the wedding, interest in Bishop Curry’s sermon swept across the internet and went viral.
The internet response to the hapless Episcopal bishop and his less than stellar remarks created a press feeding frenzy. In his press statement, Curry confessed that he had ample time to prepare a sermon fit to be delivered to the nobility of the British Empire, but Curry’s words fell far short. Bishop Curry not only had nothing to say, it took him fifteen minutes to say nothing.
'The Power Of Love'
Bishop Michael Curry’s
Royal Wedding Sermon
Link To Full Text
Provided by Maquita Peters
Power And Love Was Not A Wise Sermon
By choosing Power and Love as the topic of his sermon, Bishop Curry made an unwise choice. Bishop Curry’s subject made the bishop appear, at best, naïve. The basic rule of public speaking is: Know your audience. Bishop Curry’s audience was Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and a royal family that rules over a quarter of the world’s population. Bishop Curry’s first words should have grabbed his audience’s attention, but they didn’t.
There was ample material for Bishop Curry remarks. The royal family is quite familiar with Power and Love. In 1982, Queen Elizabeth’s England gave fascist Argentina a bloody nose in the 73 day-long Falkland War. Prince Harry, himself, has served ten years in the British Army including two active duty tours in Afghanistan. Prince Harry took his officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet into the Blues and Royals and for a short period, he served with his brother, Prince William. At Prince Harry’s Sandhurst graduation, while reviewing the graduating class of cadets, Queen Elizabeth beamed with pride at her grandson.
Queen Elizabeth not only loves Prince Harry, but she loves her children, grandchildren and her entire family. And as great is her love for her children, Queen Elizabeth’s love for her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is equally as great. So Bishop Curry had ample material for his sermon. The House of Windsor was built on the ‘power’ of majesty and ‘love’ of family. Yet, the remarks of the first black man to serve as the Presiding Episcopal Bishop of the United States were quite embarrassing.
In Obama’s Footsteps
Barack Obama, himself, committed two diplomatic faux pas against Great Britain. In March 2009, on an official state visit to Washington, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, presented President Barack Obama with a custom-made fountain pen fashioned from the same wood as the White House’s Resolute Desk. The British Prime Minister’s gift to President Obama was meant to serve as a companion piece to the Resolute Desk.
The Resolute Desk is a large,
desk in the White
House’s Oval Office. The Resolute Desk ___ given
as a gift by Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880 ___ was fashioned from the English oak timbers of the British Arctic exploration ship, HMS Resolute.
Prime Minister Brown’s handsomely
inscribed pen fully met the standard required by tradition for gift exchange on
official state visits. But, in return, President Obama’s gift to Prime Minister
Brown did not meet the traditional standard. Obama gave Prime Minister Brown a box
set of 25 classic American film DVDs. England’s Daily Telegraph called the gift
“about as exciting as a pair of socks.” Even worse, the DVD’s were coded for
the United States and could not be played on a British DVD player.
America’s first black president should have contacted the White House Chief of Protocol for advice. With the rank of ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State, the White House Chief of Protocol could have presented the president with a range of options for an appropriate gift to give the British Prime Minister. Not only did Obama’s Chief of Protocol not advise Obama on a suitable gift for the Britain’s Prime Minister, but the White House Protocol Officer allowed Obama to make the same mistake, again.
Less than a month later, in April 2009, on an official state visit to England, tradition required Barack Obama to give the queen an official gift. Barack Obama presented Queen Elizabeth with an iPod, pre-loaded with audio files of Obama’s speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, photos of Obama’s 2009 inauguration and audio files of his inauguration address. Obama’s gift once again raised eyebrows. The British Press was appalled at the president’s tastelessness and bad manners. The Guardian noted, in a headline, that “It’s The Thought That Counts” following up with the comment that “Clearly a lot of thought went into this gift….” Another British paper contributed to the droll litany by stating that Queen Elizabeth already had an iPod and was fully capable of having it downloaded with her own MP3 files.
In ‘offending’ the dignity of the royal family at Harry and Meghan’s wedding ceremony, Bishop Curry followed the precedent set by America’s black left-handed president who was either too gauche or too sinister to consult the White House Chief of Protocol on these matters of diplomacy.
The British Monarchy’s Multi-Cultural Princess
Prior to the outbreak of World War I, King George V of England issued a proclamation that changed the name of the British Royal Family from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor, which remains the current British Royal Family’s dynastic name.
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was a state in Germany consisting of the provinces of Bavaria and Thuringia. The House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha not only ruled over the state of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but throughout the 19th and into 20th century, the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha ruled over most of Europe’s kingdoms, including Great Britain. On the eve of World War I, the sovereigns of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, and Bulgaria were all members of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II and King George V of England were Queen Victoria’s grandsons. King George V and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were distant cousins, but looked like identical twins. Today, nearly all of Europe’s reigning kings and queens are Queen Victoria’s relatives or members of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha or both.
In 1761, Princess Sophie Charlotte of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha married England’s King George III becoming King George’s Consort and Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. On the flimsiest of evidence, some commentators have declared that Queen Charlotte was England’s first black queen. In reality, the rumor stemmed from the hostility the British shipping industry bore for Queen Charlotte.
From the beginning of her reign, Queen Charlotte waged an intense crusade to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire and around the world. Queen Charlotte’s crusade angered Britain’s shipping interests who were amassing fortunes from the slave trade. So the story of Queen Charlotte’s ancestry was used to explain her anti-slavery passion. ‘She’s against slavery,’ it was rumored, ‘because she was one of them.’ But the slave traders had neither genealogical nor biological evidence to support their charge. So they turned to a portrait of Queen Charlotte by Allan Ramsay, the Scottish painter. Ramsay’s portrait of Queen Charlotte emphasized her mulatto look.
Princess Sophie Charlotte’s race notwithstanding, less than a year after her marriage to King George III, the Queen gave birth to her first child, the Prince of Wales who in 1820, became King George IV. Altogether, Queen Charlotte and King George III had 15 children ___ nine boys and six girls. The queen purchased Frogmore House in Windsor Park in 1792 as a country estate for herself and her unmarried daughters.
Queen Charlotte’s love for her own children extended to abandoned children all over England. Not only did the queen establish a number of orphanages, but also in 1809, she became the patron of the General Lying-in Hospital. Now known as the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, it is one of Europe’s oldest maternal and post-natal care facilities.
Queen Charlotte loved music. She especially loved German composers of whom George Frideric Handel was her favorite. Queen Charlotte's music master in-residence was Johann Christian Bach, the eleventh son of the master composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Charlotte sponsored J C Bach’s tutelage of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at Frogmore. Mozart dedicated his Opus 3 to Queen Charlotte and, in 1764; Queen Charlotte invited Mozart to perform at her accession celebration for King George.
In 1833, fifteen years after Queen Charlotte’s death, a Bill to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire passed both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Britain then used its influence to persuade other countries around the world to abolish the slave trade. In addition, England signed treaties permitting the Royal Navy to stop, board and seize any ship transporting slaves.
Duke And Duchess Of Sussex: Multi-Cultural Nobility
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s royal wedding signaled the royal family’s willingness to reject white supremacy and adopt multi-culturalism. In their turn, black leadership should make an effort to observe the forms of propriety and follow the norms of social etiquette. With a xenophobic, misogynistic racist skulking about the White House, non-white people need all the friends they can enlist in the worldwide struggle against white supremacy and white racism. If the goodwill of the British Royal Family is to be maintained, black people should avoid the social blunders such as those made by Bishop Curry and President Obama. Offending the dignity of the Royal Family is not without consequence. The Rte. Rev. William Bruce Curry could have made a difference. He could have expressed a vision of a better world ___ a multi-cultural world where merit is rewarded, political corruption ended and no one is above the law. Undoubtedly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will play an important role in this brave new world. But their success will depend on the level of support demonstrated by those who might benefit from a multi-cultural world.
God Save The Queen!
Though White Folks Worry About The FBI’s Feud With Trump, They Applaud The Justice Department’s Commitment To The Subjugation Black And Other Non-White Peoples.
Eugene Stovall Oakland,
California, May, 2018
It is not enough that Black Americans are profiled, harassed, subjected to illegal searches and gunned down in the streets. Now the FBI has created a new category of black criminality: the black identity extremist. According to the FBI, the black identity extremist is a threat to killer cops and the communities that exonerate them.
In a Think Progress article, entitled “The FBI is using its ‘Black Identity Extremist’ report to crack down on activists,” Melanie Schmitz and Kay Wicker concluded that the FBI is