Rev. Cynthia L. Hale on Race Relations Since Obama

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(Chris JL/flickr)

When he ran for President, then-Senator Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of hope. For many, that hope meant a post-racial era, one when an African-American man could lead a country with a sordid racial history. The Reverend Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia, doesn't think America is past racism but has hope for the future. 


The Reverend Dr. Cynthia L. Hale

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [7]

James from Chicago

I grew up in Roanoke, VA. Rev-Dr Hale must had her head buried in the clay hills of Roanoke Valley. Racism was and is ramped in the Valley. As an African American professional, I and she had to leave the Valley because of Racism and NO Opportunities for us.
I believe in the ALL INCLUSIVE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS EXTRAVAGANT GRACE. I wonder what is her position. FOR GOD SO LOVE THE WORLD HIS GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. The world was grafted into the Kingdom by the Love of Jesus Christ, Savoir of the World

Jul. 05 2012 01:18 PM

Racism is not overt as it was in the past; however, I agree with Dr. Cynthia L. Hale that America is not past racism, for it still exists in a subtle and covert fashion.
I was however dismayed and shocked by the ignorant comments Dr. Hale made concerning President Obama's support for gay marriage. First, I do understand the term "homosexual" is commonly used by the media. However, this term was invented at the end of the 19th century and created a dichotomy between "normal" heterosexual behavior and "abnormal" homosexual behavior. Thus, this terminology demonized gay people as exhibiting a mental disorder requiring rehabilitation. The American Psychiatric Association in the 1970's removed "homosexuality" from the list of recognized pathologies. In fact, I would argue the terminology is similar to the use of "negro" in that it categorizes a group of people as "other".
Secondly, Dr. Hale used the term "lifestyle". This implies that sexual orientation is a choice not a part of one's identity like gender or race. This denigrates gay and lesbian relationships by implying these relationships are based on sex acts.
Finally, it is troubling that John Hockeneberry shirked his duty as an interviewer by not confronting Dr. Hale over the use of such oppressive language.

Jun. 18 2012 08:02 PM
Elonda Abrams from Beaverton, Oregon

I was a member of Pastor Hale's church while I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Pastor Hale is passionate, committed, and devoted to her teaching. Albeit you may not agree with all of her comments and that's your choice to agree or disagree. However, speaking from a personal view and being a former member of the Ray of Hope church; I know what she said came from her heart. Fear is the driving force that fuels doubt, insecurity, low self-esteem, hatred, violence, etc. Since Obama have taken the oath of office racism have resurged ! President Obama have been disrespected, underminded, misquoted, maligned, lied on, betrayed, threatened, and I can continue. All of this is ignited by fear and President Obama is still a man that is: "Courageous under Fire." God is in control and his eyes run to and fron -- GOD doesn't miss a thing!

Jun. 14 2012 11:08 PM
Jackie from Westchester, NY

Rev. Hale expressed how appalled she is by the continuing racism of so many in the U.S. And how right she is. Meanwhile, she was completely comfortable expressing her intolerance and disapproval of gay people, as evidenced in her pat conservative "christian" (huh?) response to President Obama's support of gay marriage. So, her experience of racism has taught her nothing? And Hockenberry gives her a pass. Perhaps more importantly, given that she is a "christian" minister, I'd like her to point to the place in the New Testament (we are called to a NEW covenant by Jesus) where Jesus says, "I accept the tax collectors, the adulterers, the roman centurions, but, oh my, not those gays." Appalling.

Jun. 13 2012 02:06 PM

So this minister -- a religious professional, heading a tax-exempt organization -- come on the program and talks about nothing but race relations, public policy and electoral politics.

She sounded much more like a DNCCC staffer or a convention delegate than a minister.

I can't even recall the last time that I heard a clergyman from one of the nation's many large African-American congregations speak about faith or religion, as opposed to ppolitics or elections.

I found this interview troubling, insofar as Rev. Hale seemed to have no doubt about her role: to register as many voters as possible and turn them out on election day. Not because of some faith-based interest in voting in general but because Obama represented "her/our side." I thought that her answers would have been no different, had she been a paid party staffer for the Democratic Party, or a union steward assigned to the election team.

I also thought what a different tone the interview would have taken, if the minister/interview guest had come from a Southern Baptist congregation in Virginia, and she was making similar comments about such a close linkage with the Republican Party. Would John Hockeneberry have been using his softest voice to coo his thanks to the interview subject? Or would he have treated the guest like a political opponent?

Jun. 13 2012 11:03 AM
Tere O'Connor from U.S.A. : New York : New York

Wondering why it wasn't pointed out to Hale that both her stance on gay marriage and her use of the word "lifestyle" as a gay qualifier enact a subtle, lingering bigotry against which she is ostensibly railing.
Do religious people get a pass on being called out?

Jun. 13 2012 09:48 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Brian Lehrer is nothing if not consistent in his materialist/evolutionist outlook. He also, of course, doesn't accept the doctrine of original sin.

The Bible does say that the end of war is possible, but that it's not man that can do it, specifically it is the presence of God among men that will do it. See Isaiah 2:4:

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Jun. 13 2012 08:13 AM

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