Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Lists, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

8 Thoughts About The Bishop Eddie Long Scandal

Eh, I guess.

1. Like last week’s ubiquitous No Wedding, No Womb discussion and subsequent Twitter Deathmatch, I’m much more interested in people’s reactions to the Bishop Eddie Long scandal—and the myriad meta sub-conversations about religion, the “rightness” of mega-churches, and homosexuality that’ll come from those reactions—than the eventual outcome of the scandal itself, and I assume most of you reading this feel the exact same way.

This type of increasingly common “detached but exaggerated curiosity” actually reminds me a bit of the “2 Girls 1 Cup” phenomenon, where more people watched the reaction videos—people showing the video to their friends and family members and taping their reactions—than the actual video. I’m not sure if this is a bad thing or if it just is, but it personally rubbed me the wrong way when I realized I’d offered dozens of opinions (and jokes) about this story last week despite the fact that I hadn’t even bothered to learn (or read) the names of the accusers until Sunday night.

2. One of the more interesting and disturbing developments with this story is the literal frothing of the mouth some of us educated black folk get when presented with the opportunity to speak badly and joke about Christianity and Christians. I’m not suggesting that any religion should be immune to critique and ridicule, but I wonder if some of these people would be as quick to clown Islam or Judaism in the same manner.

3. My feelings about mega-churches and multi-millionaire preachers mirror my feelings about Nicki Minaj’s body: I can’t tell you exactly what, but something about it just aint right.

4. Whenever a person asks my opinion about a high-profile sexual misconduct case, my first reply is “I hope they (the accusers) are lying“. Why?

Well, if choosing between A) They’re telling the truth and the accused is guilty, which means the accusers have had to deal with the agony of being sexually violated or B) They’re lying and the accused is innocent, which means although the accusers have some insidious motives, they haven’t had to deal with the agony of being sexually violated, B) seems like the preferred outcome

5. I think a black straight man admitting he’s been sexually abused carries even more of a stigma within our community than a black man coming out of the closet. Put it this way: It wouldn’t be a huge leap to say there are more than a few educated and “enlightened” women reading this right now who wouldn’t date a man if she knew he’d been forced to do a sexual act with a man.

This is part of the reason why I’ll always say that one of the most courageous things I’ve ever seen a person do was when NFL receiver Laveranues Coles publicly admitted he’d been sexually abused as a child.

6. I don’t consider the leaked photos of Long posing, flexing, and vogueing in full spandex—photos he apparently sent to one (or more?) of the accusers—as “proof” of a sexual relationship. Inappropriate? Yes. Disturbing? Definitely. Unintentionally hilarious? Of course.

But, although I don’t know too many uber-narcissistic 50-something millionaire men with Jeri curls who’ve deemed themselves “Bishop”, I’d assume that people who fit this unique description would be prone to occasionally say and do some strange shit (like sending pictures of yourself in full spandex and matching Kangol to, well, anyone), and being a weird-ass motherf*cker with a God complex doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a sexual predator.

7. With that being said, it’s almost like Eddie Long went to The Rape Store and bought the most expensive “Dress Like a Rapist” Halloween costume kit he could find. My goodness. The only way he could seem even rapey-er is if he changed his name to Charlie Murphy.

8. I have to admit these allegations didn’t pass my initial sniff test. I can’t explain exactly why, but my first thought when hearing about this was “Eh. I don’t know“. “Sexual Coercion” sounds more an Cinemax After Dark title than an actual offense. And remember, I have no dog in the fight. Shit, although I had heard of him before, I didn’t even know Long was black until last week.

But, after considering his awkward Sunday sermon and the fact that as the week continued, accusers began to pop up at a rate rivaling Tiger’s mistresses (at this speed, Long will have enough accusers to start his own winter basketball league by November), I can’t think of a reason not to believe the good Bishop has been doing what he’s been accused of doing, and that’s a bummer.

—The Champ

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank-0

    I was willing to let this slide if no other names pop up, but as more names continue to emerge it’s hard to believe that something did transpire.

    I also refuse to discuss this topic in mixed “race” company. I cannot in good conscience do it. I’m not sure why.

    • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank-0

      Sorry I meant something did NOT transpire.

      While I’m here I’m worried people will use this as an excuse to pin whatever reason they have for disbelief in organized religion on this.

    • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank-0

      Sorry I meant something did NOT transpire.

      While I’m here I’m worried people will use this as an excuse to pin whatever reason they have for disbelief in organized religion on this.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I also refuse to discuss this topic in mixed “race” company. I cannot in good conscience do it. I’m not sure why.”

      i know exactly what you mean.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I also refuse to discuss this topic in mixed “race” company. I cannot in good conscience do it. I’m not sure why.”

      i know exactly what you mean.

    • P.

      “I also refuse to discuss this topic in mixed “race” company. I cannot in good conscience do it. I’m not sure why.”

      I refuse to discuss anything remotely pertaining to race at all in mixed race company.

      • Ash

        I don’t get it. What does this have to do with race? Ted Haggart did it and he was a white pastor of a white church. Missing the racial element here…

        I’ve discussed with my white coworkers with no awkwardness at all. Nothing about him being black came up. We live in Atlanta, it’s all over the news and one of my coworkers was called by local news stations to comment as an expert, so it’s a hot topic right now…but nothing racially offensive has come up.

        • Sula

          Agreed….

          Shoot, I didn’t even know who Eddie Long was 3 weeks ago… I guess not being up on your “bishops” and “mega churches” is not the black thing to do… :)

          • shatani

            i had no idea who he was either….but i already lost my black card, so whatevs!

            ps. im always inclined to believe the accuser….

          • shatani

            i had no idea who he was either….but i already lost my black card, so whatevs!

            ps. im always inclined to believe the accuser….

          • writeous

            I had no idea who he was either. On the strength of those pics alone, I have concluded that he is so many varying degress of weird. Those pics f’d up my coherence something wicked.

            • writeous

              degrees^

            • writeous

              degrees^

          • writeous

            I had no idea who he was either. On the strength of those pics alone, I have concluded that he is so many varying degress of weird. Those pics f’d up my coherence something wicked.

        • Sula

          Agreed….

          Shoot, I didn’t even know who Eddie Long was 3 weeks ago… I guess not being up on your “bishops” and “mega churches” is not the black thing to do… :)

      • Ash

        I don’t get it. What does this have to do with race? Ted Haggart did it and he was a white pastor of a white church. Missing the racial element here…

        I’ve discussed with my white coworkers with no awkwardness at all. Nothing about him being black came up. We live in Atlanta, it’s all over the news and one of my coworkers was called by local news stations to comment as an expert, so it’s a hot topic right now…but nothing racially offensive has come up.

    • P.

      “I also refuse to discuss this topic in mixed “race” company. I cannot in good conscience do it. I’m not sure why.”

      I refuse to discuss anything remotely pertaining to race at all in mixed race company.

    • na’ila

      I agree w/ the whole not discussing it in mixed race company- Even around black folk something in my conscience tells me to leave it alone & not talk about Bishop Long negtatively.

    • na’ila

      I agree w/ the whole not discussing it in mixed race company- Even around black folk something in my conscience tells me to leave it alone & not talk about Bishop Long negtatively.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank-0

    I was willing to let this slide if no other names pop up, but as more names continue to emerge it’s hard to believe that something did transpire.

    I also refuse to discuss this topic in mixed “race” company. I cannot in good conscience do it. I’m not sure why.

  • http://hedidit.com hedidit

    hedidit

    • JessicaL

      Guilty! That nikka id guilty! Lol, on a serious note I hate that I laughed at the whole number of accusers rivaling tiger’s mistresses.

      • Mr SoBo

        @JessicaL
        Your Uncle Rukkus expression made me ‘lol’.

      • Mr SoBo

        @JessicaL
        Your Uncle Rukkus expression made me ‘lol’.

    • JessicaL

      Guilty! That nikka id guilty! Lol, on a serious note I hate that I laughed at the whole number of accusers rivaling tiger’s mistresses.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      Thanks, O.J.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      Thanks, O.J.

  • http://hedidit.com hedidit

    hedidit

  • B. Brown

    1, 2, 3. Co-sign.

    4. I had a feeling he did it. Not sure why, I just did. I think the feeling I had as with the idea that they were coerced. Um, they were too old to be coerced. There was some “want to” in there somewhere. Just saying. When more people started coming out, that was when I actually started to think Long was innocent. “Me too” usually is a phrase of hangers-on.

    Stephen A. Smith pointed out that Long never flatly denied the charges when he spoke at church. I know that’s part legal strategy, but if I were in that situation I’d pay my lawyers extra (which Long certainly can) to work past that.

    The act/accusation is sad, but the situation surrounding it (media-induced bells and whistles, including commentary) is funny.

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      I haven’t kept up with Stephen A. since he left ESPN. Is he doing political commentary now? Why is he talking about Eddie Long?

      • B. Brown

        SAS has a show on Fox Sports Radio and also appears on Steve Harvey’s show and msnbc every now and again. His show is a sports show, but he also talks about non-sports topics.

      • B. Brown

        SAS has a show on Fox Sports Radio and also appears on Steve Harvey’s show and msnbc every now and again. His show is a sports show, but he also talks about non-sports topics.

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      I haven’t kept up with Stephen A. since he left ESPN. Is he doing political commentary now? Why is he talking about Eddie Long?

    • http://www.twitter.com/quiethaylestorm Keisha Brown

      *waves good morning to B Brown…
      ToureX noted the same thing on twitter last night, that the words INNOCENT never once was uttered by Long.
      alas.

    • http://www.twitter.com/quiethaylestorm Keisha Brown

      *waves good morning to B Brown…
      ToureX noted the same thing on twitter last night, that the words INNOCENT never once was uttered by Long.
      alas.

    • whykendra

      “Um, they were too old to be coerced.”

      Please explain.

      • R-Tistic

        They were…how the hell does a 17 year old MAN (not boy) get “coerced” into gay sex?? They were already gay, which is not a problem, but they can’t act like he raped them or forced them to do a single thing at all.

      • R-Tistic

        They were…how the hell does a 17 year old MAN (not boy) get “coerced” into gay sex?? They were already gay, which is not a problem, but they can’t act like he raped them or forced them to do a single thing at all.

    • whykendra

      “Um, they were too old to be coerced.”

      Please explain.

  • B. Brown

    1, 2, 3. Co-sign.

    4. I had a feeling he did it. Not sure why, I just did. I think the feeling I had as with the idea that they were coerced. Um, they were too old to be coerced. There was some “want to” in there somewhere. Just saying. When more people started coming out, that was when I actually started to think Long was innocent. “Me too” usually is a phrase of hangers-on.

    Stephen A. Smith pointed out that Long never flatly denied the charges when he spoke at church. I know that’s part legal strategy, but if I were in that situation I’d pay my lawyers extra (which Long certainly can) to work past that.

    The act/accusation is sad, but the situation surrounding it (media-induced bells and whistles, including commentary) is funny.

  • Brian

    I wasn’t sure whether to give props or shake my head at dude being able to match up a Kangol with an Underarmor set.

    And really, I thought I was the only one that noticed that.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      And really, I thought I was the only one that noticed that.

      there are some things in life you’ll notice that you’ll wish you can unnotice.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      And really, I thought I was the only one that noticed that.

      there are some things in life you’ll notice that you’ll wish you can unnotice.

    • http://thecochranfirm.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/my-week-as-the-mango/ Dasher of The Newport Dashers

      If it did not now carry an air of sexual abuse around it, I think Under Armor-Kangol mashup could have swept the nation. It is oddly stylish, and has just the right amount of impracticalness to excite irony-loving trend-setters.

    • http://thecochranfirm.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/my-week-as-the-mango/ Dasher of The Newport Dashers

      If it did not now carry an air of sexual abuse around it, I think Under Armor-Kangol mashup could have swept the nation. It is oddly stylish, and has just the right amount of impracticalness to excite irony-loving trend-setters.

    • theillestone

      WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!

      • legitimate_soul

        LMAO!

      • legitimate_soul

        LMAO!

      • Mo (VSS)

        LMAO for real…I’m in class and just laughed out loud and folks looked at me like I was crazy.

      • Mo (VSS)

        LMAO for real…I’m in class and just laughed out loud and folks looked at me like I was crazy.

    • theillestone

      WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!

  • Brian

    I wasn’t sure whether to give props or shake my head at dude being able to match up a Kangol with an Underarmor set.

    And really, I thought I was the only one that noticed that.

  • It Figures!

    I live in GA. Good point on #2 and all around. In my family, the first night the story broke, it was the hot topic from my mother on down to my pre-teen nephew. I am praying for the Long family and the people that follow him rather than God. I do not want these allegations, true or false, to turn them away from God or damage their faith in any way.
    I think we all wanted to be neutral until the national news came on that night and showed the pictures. The pictures changed a lot of minds because the local news did not have them yet.
    I am not a member or an Eddie Long fan. I have not been since I met him 20 yrs ago. But, I do have compassion for all involved, innocent or guilty.

    • http://twitter.com/imhotep06 stlunatic

      EXCELLENT point. When it broke, that’s the first thing I thought “Aw hell, here is more anti-Christian ammunition for these intellectual atheists on these blogs. . .”

      • Intellectual Atheist

        Yep…more ammo indeed.

        • Sula

          Yup, yup! :)

          Am not an intellectual atheist but I’m an all-opportunity, critique offerer… If less things were swept under the rug and more things were talked about in the open, a lot of less of those Eddie Long stories there would be… This has nothing to do with the religion or the faith, and everything to do with people taking more responsibility for their faith and beliefs. It’s okay to criticize things you believe in… It doesn’t make you believe in them less, or at least it shouldn’t… It should help you get to the better version of your faith…

        • Sula

          Yup, yup! :)

          Am not an intellectual atheist but I’m an all-opportunity, critique offerer… If less things were swept under the rug and more things were talked about in the open, a lot of less of those Eddie Long stories there would be… This has nothing to do with the religion or the faith, and everything to do with people taking more responsibility for their faith and beliefs. It’s okay to criticize things you believe in… It doesn’t make you believe in them less, or at least it shouldn’t… It should help you get to the better version of your faith…

      • Intellectual Atheist

        Yep…more ammo indeed.

    • http://twitter.com/imhotep06 stlunatic

      EXCELLENT point. When it broke, that’s the first thing I thought “Aw hell, here is more anti-Christian ammunition for these intellectual atheists on these blogs. . .”

    • It Figures!

      I must have come to the post too early. I remember when there were 5 thoughts. We are up to 8 now.
      My #2 is now #4. “Whenever a person asks my opinion about a high-profile sexual misconduct case, my first reply is “I hope they (the accusers) are lying“. …”

      P.S.
      Champ stop updating and call it a post!

      • fixedwater

        “I must have come to the post too early. I remember when there were 5 thoughts. We are up to 8 now.”
        ^^^THIS^^^ I saw 5, then 6 and now its 8. I guess you’re done now, Champ.

      • fixedwater

        “I must have come to the post too early. I remember when there were 5 thoughts. We are up to 8 now.”
        ^^^THIS^^^ I saw 5, then 6 and now its 8. I guess you’re done now, Champ.

    • It Figures!

      I must have come to the post too early. I remember when there were 5 thoughts. We are up to 8 now.
      My #2 is now #4. “Whenever a person asks my opinion about a high-profile sexual misconduct case, my first reply is “I hope they (the accusers) are lying“. …”

      P.S.
      Champ stop updating and call it a post!

  • It Figures!

    I live in GA. Good point on #2 and all around. In my family, the first night the story broke, it was the hot topic from my mother on down to my pre-teen nephew. I am praying for the Long family and the people that follow him rather than God. I do not want these allegations, true or false, to turn them away from God or damage their faith in any way.
    I think we all wanted to be neutral until the national news came on that night and showed the pictures. The pictures changed a lot of minds because the local news did not have them yet.
    I am not a member or an Eddie Long fan. I have not been since I met him 20 yrs ago. But, I do have compassion for all involved, innocent or guilty.

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