Not long ago, I attended a political meeting in San Francisco sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Society in support of Senator Rand Paul. The remarks were very well received by the conservative audience: Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, and Whites. We were unified, focused on what is best for the country, not split by the victim/grievance agenda.
One extended conversation I had was especially meaningful. At the time I did not realize I was talking to Pastor Walter Hoye. He is unassuming, delivering his carefully selected words quietly. He has done jail time for offering help to pregnant women entering an abortion clinic.
He walks in the tradition of Christ, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Frederick Douglass, offering true hope, love, and peace.
Pastor Hoye has for many years fought for righteousness in the public square, calling all of us to heed God’s commandments. He is a tireless prolife leader, President of Issues4life Foundation and the California Civil Rights Foundation. He is especially burdened about the destructive force of abortion, the breakdown of the family, fatherless children, and the redefinition of marriage.
He does not promote strife and rancor, so he won’t likely be seen on the national news. He does not demand a hearing or threaten demonstrations or strikes. Rather, he speaks the truth, in love. When I asked him about anger in the Black community, he was forthright, and pointed in his explanation.
He invited me to imagine how I would feel if someone abused my wife. He encouraged me to visualize the experience of sitting at the dinner table as a child listening to the adults express their anger and hatred over the treatment they’d received. He suggested I consider my rage if I was prevented from working to support my family based only on the color of my skin. He challenged me to explore how I’d react if my children were taken as toddlers and sold to a slave master far away. He described the rage and humiliation, insult, and abuse suffered by so many for so long, and he did so without passing all that along, as so many do, making it a profession. Instead, he was only speaking from his experience: his heart and his mind, teaching, and promoting understanding.