Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tilghman, Woods and Sharpton

Here's a link to a post from Ed Gilbreath about the Tilghman racist remark about Tiger Woods and Al Sharpton's demand that Tilghman be fired. I appreciate and respect Ed's comments expressed below.
While I believe it’s right for Rev. Sharpton to remind us of the gravity of this situation and the weighty power of our words, I think he also needs to remember his call as a Christian minister and learn to balance his crusading activism with a spirit of grace and forgiveness. If instead of condemning this woman Rev. Sharpton were to say, “What she said was wrong, and we need to understand why, but we should forgive her and pray that we all learn from her mistake,” imagine the impact that could have on a jaded and cynical culture that lives by a code of tit for tat.


Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Ed offers us some balanced wisdom. Jesus said when someone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other, not hit him back.
Ms. Tilghman's comment was awful, I heard a replay of it on the news. And I have to wonder if Tiger Woods wants Rev. Sharpton speaking for him? It makes me wonder a bit about Sharpton's motives for even getting involved in this highly visible controversy.

thaberean said...

While I think Sharpton's call for Tilghman's job may be extreme, given her quick apology and other factors (her comments were not as egregious as Imus', and she is friends with Woods), I am puzzled by how quickly Woods and his camp seemed to brush off the incident. Though I agree with Gilbreath's call for Christian forgiveness and grace, I agree with Ed C.'s comments (see Gilbreath's blog) as well. Sharpton isn't my favorite dude, but would this situation have rec'd any attention had Sharpton not inserted himself into the matter? I also wonder: Does forgiveness mean there are no consequences for a person's actions? Does grace necessitate 'brushing off' evil? I can't help but think of how Paul "withstood Peter to the face" when Peter showed ethnic prejudice by refusing to eat with Gentiles when Jews were present. I also can't help but think of Jesus' taking a whip and running the money changers out of the Temple, as they were turning His vision of His Father's house (a house of prayer for all nations) into a place where common folks were exploited. Now, I am in no way equating Tilghman's comments with the money changers or even with Peter's overt prejudice (I don't know the woman's heart). I am saying there's nothing wrong with speaking up against such inappropriate, hurtful comments, and there's nothing 'un-Christian' about calling for tougher consequences in situations like these(losing one's job for a one-time offense is excessive, but a two-week suspension may be seen by some as too lenient).