Tony Evans Call from The National Black Church Initiative

Tony Evans told me that “nobody is going to tell the Black churches what to do.” I was not telling Black churches what to do, but I don’t want more people to die during this pandemic.

In the midst of our brief conversation he asked me if I know who he is. I replied that I did not.

At the end of the conversation, I quickly reflected on my work of reaching out to people and said “Then I must be a carpetbagger” and Reverend Tony Evans said “I guess so!”

I have to admit that I kind of entrapped the reverend on the last part, but he could have said to me “Why are you talking that way to me?”

In church keep your God and your guard up!!!!!!!!

This is what I had prepared for churches in general but considering the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community as reported repeatedly in the news media, I sought out a website that I had seen before. The National Black Church Initiative with tens of thousands of churches. “With that said, I can turn for my request. There is news from Asia (Hong Kong, etc.) that children at school are being protected during lunch by sitting at a station that has protective partitions which I urge at churches as people attend church. Those who attended church against the orders of the state governors and the White House guidelines put their entire family at risk, even as some walked away saying that they had Christ’s protection. Death By Trump was taking place as he defied the gravity of his own declarations, passing science by in the process and his patriotic duty to enforce the concept that soldiers care about the dead and wounded and will do anything including risking their lives for those men and women.

There is a face shield that is being used instead of a mask and its effectiveness has been reported (both a mask and a shield worn at the same time are recommended). This is one example to consider.

I want the houses of worship of our land to open their minds and hearts to protect the people more who are soldiers of the Lord. As I notice the words keeping distance in pews and that distance may not be safe enough, I am pleased. Individuals have created masks and other equipment that have helped and each person can create an inexpensive protection as an additional layer of protection to place over clothing. This would be the music to my ears that houses of worships can promote to save lives. We must not have Death By Trump in our houses of worship anymore.  It’s about time to go out for some bagels to share with the Mrs as our breakfast club will start shortly.”

The question asked reminded me of another conversation with a woman who told me about another Tony. In that story the woman who lived on New York’s Lower East Side and who I met in a hospital when my late father was not well and had been diagnosed with a staph infection told me that she had been was in an elevator with a famous, extremely handsome actor whose roots were the Lower East Side and Seward Park High School. The actor asked her if she recognized him and she responded “yes you are Bernard Schwartz from the Lower East Side.” This actor had appeared with my cousin, Joshua Shelly in a movie, and had taken on the name Anthony Curtis, later becoming Tony Curtis.

So people evolve and speaking to the reverend was certainly not one of my greatest experiences. My favorite experience of all was meeting Joe Frazier who told me that he loved Jewish people from the Bible. Joe was looking out for me as I was about to leave his boxing gym in Philadelphia. I later sent information about a GED program that was in the Salvation Army near the gym so that boxers and their loved ones could study and progress.

Long before meeting Joe, I was telling people that they should walk to church with the Bible in their hand and with a GED in their home. The National Black Church Initiative started an education effort in 2012, more than a decade after I launched my work upon retiring and several years after Colin Powell started America’s Promise to reduce the dropout rate. That effort by the churches was to lower the dropout rate and spark great progress in Black communities in our nation’s cities, reducing gun violence and more. I had long advocated for Put Down the Gun and Earn a GED. The other important question is does Tony Evans know who I am. And when Barack Obama stated “We are making progress (in education) in 42 states” while he was in the Oval Office, it was not about him it was about “We.” Since then we have a vindictive man in power who himself said that he believes in “An Eye for An Eye” and whose son stated a long time ago that he believes in “green” or money.

A man who claims that he gave such high hope to African Americans and who has played the “race card” with justice and jobs (White people were almost as plentiful in the federal prisons as were African Americans when Trump declared that he did prison reform for Black people). Obama created more jobs for African Americans even though Trump took credit for both as he announced the lowest unemployment in history. And with talk about Obamagate today or criminal activity, Trump should be shown the gate (no not the pearly white gate). St. Lucifer is waiting for Trump to apply.

I got a follow up email from Tony Evans related to the Breakfast Club and Joe Biden article that was sent to his organization.

Joe Biden apologized for misspeaking. And I urge him to return to The Breakfast Club Show quickly and do more for people in the communities served by the National Black Church Initiatives with its outreach to millions of people. I hope that Tony Evans and the men and women around him will take the time to share my ideas. So far I have not heard back from the reverend about my article.

On the website of the National Black Church Initiatives concerning information about former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg where Tony Evans expresses relief that this “gay” candidate had dropped out. I can well imagine his relief but what kind of letter to his community would the reverend write if President Buttigieg had signed a bill granting great financial rewards to the Black community (“render unto Caesar”). In that statement the reverend indicated that he would never tell people who to vote for, using the stationary of the 501 (c) (3) which prohibits a non-for profit from endorsing a candidate. The NAACP just informed Joe Biden that it has never endorsed him since it is prohibited to do so.

This was taken from the website as well. “NBCI hopes to consult with regional health officials throughout the country concerning our key churches and the Bird flu, pertaining to what the faith-based community can do to help prepare for this disease.”

I have seen people in action during this pandemic. People are trusting but this COVID-19 knows nothing about trust. Magic Johnson said it is like AIDS and it is, but the rapid spread of this virus worldwide is unlike AIDS knocking at your door through sexual contact or a blood transfusion. It’s in our churches, parties, beauty salons, everywhere including the White House. Forty pastors on Long Island just died from it. All I want to do is help. Washing our hands is important, but now that the temperature is up everywhere people are wearing short sleeves and they are not washing their arms. It’s time to arm our nation’s churches with new ideas. Can parents trust their children, not knowing for sure if they have violated social distancing in places such as golf courses and other personal places of interest?

Tony Evans has urged people not to attend church during the pandemic and he has been doing this for months.

Joe Biden really seems to be making great progress in Black Churches as his victory in South Carolina shows, but my objective right now is to get a nation and world involved in helping more. Trump still doesn’t get the point on masks. Will the churches have a great awakening about more protections for its members?

After getting up this morning (May 29), I read the news that some readers are learning about around our nation. Young people (and others as well) are not sufficiently social distancing themselves and using masks in public as rural parts of America are starting to be infected. The article that I read was about Alabama and Dr. Ellen Eaton, of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, was quoted saying “a lot of people fell into this idea that we were immune because we’re not in tight spaces like in New York and New Jersey…” I was no “carpetbagger” when I called Tony Evans and today I still am no carpetbagger.

 Virus taking hold in rural, old plantation region of Alabama

By AY REEVES and KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press

The county administrator has seen 5 deaths of elderly recently due to COVID-19 and she knows that people are letting their guard down. She said, “Once it does, it’s too late,” she said. “It’s too late.”

I’m not going to “tell the Black churches what to do” but I wish someone or some group of men and women would spread this word to our nation’s churches.