8 Thoughts About The Bishop Eddie Long Scandal
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.