If a white pastor would have put that racist garbage in front of his church, we would have been marching and running the pastor and his congregation out of Birmingham, Alabama, right now — rightfully so.

But, someway, somehow, when this pastor puts this racist garbage on his church, I hear people saying there’s some truth to what he’s saying. Let me say this to everybody: A broke clock is right twice a day; that doesn’t make it right.

The same garbage that I hear being spewed — that there’s some truth in what he’s saying — is the same thing the Ku Klux Klan said when they tried to justify what they were doing. Racism is racism, whether it’s black or white — it’s wrong on any front — and I’m sick and tired of sitting here waiting, listening to people trying to give an excuse for it.

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We demonize the white man when he shows racism or we think there’s racism, but when it comes to the black community, if somebody spews racism, we say, “Oh, they can’t be racist.”

Yes, they can.

And let me say this: For everybody that thinks that every white person is out to get the black community, it’s not true.

Are there racist people in the world? Yes. Are there racist black people in this world? Yes. And, at the end of the day, will racism ever go away? No, it won’t, but there are white people who truly want to do something to help.

WATCH Lockett share these thoughts:

Now, I don’t know Pastor Hodges personally, but everything I’ve seen these people do from Highlands, and from everything I’ve researched, I haven’t heard anything bad, that they’re trying to take over the community, trying to get black people to leave the Church of the Highlands to go to the black Church of the Highlands because they don’t want the black people in the white Church of the Highlands.

Last I checked from everybody I know, they’re diversified to the hilt and it’s not 50/50, but there’s a lot of blacks that have been going to the Church of the Highlands for a long time.

It’s time for people to wake up and stop buying into this racism crap.

Now, let me pause and not say “racism crap” — the “racism rhetoric” that we’re hearing. Everything in America is not racism and if we continue, like we’re doing now, to holler racism about every single thing, when true racism shows its ugly head, no one is going to listen because people are tired of hearing it.

Now, when we’re talking about the church, we’ve got two men of the cloth here. My question is: What you have to say, you couldn’t call that man to sit down with the pastor and see what his reasoning was and see what the program was? You had to put that out there? I don’t agree with it. I think it’s horrible.

The First Amendment, everybody has a right to freedom of speech, just like I’m doing right now, but let me just ask this question: What the hell does the black community want? Do we want an answer to problems or, if a black person doesn’t find the answer, it can’t be right because it’s white?

Let me say that again: Do black people want an answer to their problems or, if it’s white, it can’t be right? Think about that because here’s a man, a pastor in a congregation, saying, “Hey, we want to help.” Now, do we know it’s going to help? We don’t know, but one thing I know for sure, what we’re doing right now is not working.

I don’t have the right answers — my program’s not working — and whatever other programs that we are doing in our communities right now are not curbing the violence and stopping crime. So, if these people want to come in and it works, why not implement their program in your church? Or, if you have a program that’s working, why don’t you show the mayor what you’re doing and he’ll implement that?

But to go out and crucify and demonize somebody trying to help you and not asking for taxpayers’ money — he couldn’t come after that — they’re not asking for your money from your church — they’re not asking for that — and they’re bringing their own funds and their own resources and so we demonize that?

We say we want help. “What is the white man going to do? When are they going to lend a hand?” But, now they’re trying and we’re saying that we don’t want it — some people are — even if it’s coming from the church.

In our community, when are we going to realize that there are some times that we have to open our hearts? Yes, we’ve been hurt. Yes, white people have screwed us over. Yes, but we did not get our civil rights by ourselves.

And let me say this in closing: Black people community, if we’re ever going to move forward, we have to understand we always have to be optimistic and we always have to remember our heritage but there are cases where sometimes people just want to help.

And, if we are true Christians at the end of the day and you believe in God, it doesn’t matter the color of a man or woman’s skin that brings the help to you. If God is sending help, He’s sending help and, sometimes, we just need to listen and obey.

Joe Lockett lives in Jefferson County and is a radio/TV talk show host.

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