By Rev. Floyd Rose
Senior Servant, Serenity Church
I am the son of slaves for which I am not responsible. My skin is black, my nose is broad, my lips are thick, and my hair is kinky. Others have keen noses, blue eyes, straight hair, thin lips and white skin, for which they are not responsible. And just as I should not be blamed for the features with which I was born, others must not be praised for the features for the features for which they are responsible.
In race and in religion, in creed and in color, we may be as separate as the fingers but in things of mutual need, we are one as the hand. We all need food to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear, rest and sleep for our bodies, and shelter to protect us from the cold of winter, and the heat of summer. We all need dreams for our futures. We all bleed red blood. Once we look beyond color, if we can, the only thing left is our character, as Dr. Martin Luther King expressed it.
Yes, we were all born, and must all die. We were all born of a woman with a seed from a man, and one day will all die. We may not know when, where, or how, but we will all die, and return to the Creator who made us.
The rich man, the poor man, the beggar and the thief, The doctor, the lawyer, and the Indian chief. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, and even the undertaker. We all must die!
I was asked by the family of one time financier, Billie Sol Estes, in March of 2013 to eulogize him. Billie Sol financed my education from the time that I was eleven years old through two and a half years of college. He was laid to rest in an expensive casket. However, the 88 year old multi-millionaire took nothing with him. He came here with nothing and left with nothing. Whether rich or poor, we brought nothing into this world, and we will carry nothing out.
I was at the school board meeting when Coach Alan Rodemaker’s contract was not renewed, and outcries of racism were heard from many in the audience. Let me be clear, the Board of Education, whatever it’s racial make-up, has the right not to renew any employee’s contract whatever it reason. Mr. Rodemaker was not fired. His contract was simply not renewed as a Coach. It is my understanding that he has the right to continue to teach, if he so desires.
I was disappointed, but not really surprised as people came out of the woodwork to protest the decision of this predominantly black Board of Education when a white coach’s contract was not renewed, but there was no crowd around when the Board of Education fired several Black teachers and other school personnel, some without cause.
Contrary to what is being said over the radio and on Facebook, I have never made a racist remark, and have always based all of my decisions on what I believed Jesus would say and do. He is the yardstick by which I measure all that I am and do.
Finally, we are all human, not by choice, but by chance. And, God grant that we act like it!