WASHINGTON — The event was billed as one of solidarity, thousands of people unified in their demand for “justice for all” and an end to alleged police brutality against “unarmed black men.” Led by MSNBC host Al Sharpton, the march was organized and promoted by his National Action Network.
The final speaker, Reverend Jamal Bryant of Empowerment Temple in Maryland, gave a speech and closing prayer laden with political anger and racial overtones.
“How in the world are we gonna get victory? We don’t have the money of the Koch brothers, we don’t have the backing of the Republican Party. How in the world are we going to find triumphant victory,” he asked. “Why is it that we’re working but Congress is on vacation? How in the world are gonna get justice when families are crying, but it looks like the Senate is just laughing? But we believe the only way that we’re going to prevail is our secret weapon – God has never failed us. And he’s never forsaken us.”
But Bryant didn’t end there.
Bryant declared Sunday “Black Solidarity Sunday” and urged the crowd to “go to church wearing black.”
After that, he said, “I don’t want you to just go to church wearing black. When you leave church still be black. And because Hollywood didn’t get the memo, Jesus is black.”
As the crowd cheered, Bryant started his prayer:
Dispatch angels right now of protection around our sons from psychopathic, sociopathic police officers. I pray right now that you will convince prosecutors who have, in fact, given up the law for popularity. We pray that you will disrobe judges who are elected, but have not been appointed by your glory. We’re going to march in 2016 until we have righteous Congress people, righteous Senators, and a righteous President. God, we don’t want just black elected officials, we want a black agenda. We want to make sure that ‘our lives matter’ is not a slogan, but it is a lifestyle. Let us march on. And God, for every person who opposes justice, every person who opposes righteousness, we came to remind them – we know when they are sleep, we know when they’re awake, we know when they been good or bad, and because they been bad please send Black Jesus for goodness sake. Amen and God bless you.