Aretha Franklin’s Family: Reverend’s Eulogy Was ‘Offensive And Distasteful’

Mike Brest | Reporter

Aretha Franklin’s family issued a statement condemning the eulogy from Pastor Jasper Williams which focused on black-on-black crime and the Black Lives Matter movement late Monday night.

“I want to speak on behalf of the Franklin family as it relates to the comments that Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. made on Friday during my aunt’s Celebration of Life service on Friday, August 31,” said Vaughn Franklin, a related of Franklin, to the Free Press. “We found the comments to be offensive and distasteful, Rev. Jasper Williams spent more than 50 minutes speaking and at no time did he properly eulogize her.”

He also added, “We feel that Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. used this platform to push his negative agenda, which, as a family, we do not agree with.”

Much of Williams’ eulogy focused on the black community instead of Franklin herself.

“Black-on-black crime — we’re all doing time. We are locked up in our minds. There’s got to be a better way. We must stop this today. Think down, look down, walk down, talk down, act down — most times we are low down. Where is your soul?” the pastor said during the funeral. (‘Nobody Says Anything’: Pastor Goes Off On Black-On-Black Crime At Aretha Franklin’s Funeral)

He continued, “If you choose to ask me today, do black lives matter? Let me answer like this: no, black lives do not matter; black lives will not matter; black lives ought not matter; black lives should not matter; black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves — black lives can never matter.” (RELATED: Look Who Showed Up In The Front Row At Aretha Franklin’s Funeral)

Despite reports that Franklin specifically chose Williams to give a eulogy, Vaughn Franklin said that was untrue.

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