Say Yes Now, Episode 0004: Dr. Hilliard Discusses the Struggle for Policing Reforms w/ Bishop H. Curtis Douglas
Dr. Hilliard’s special guest today is Bishop H. Curtis Douglas, his successor as the presiding bishop over the Covenant FellowshipAlliance. Dr. Hilliard discusses with Bishop Douglas the struggle for policing reforms and police accountability. Bishop Douglas encouraged everyone to “find their lane” in this struggle and to do their part. Whether you can protest, march, pray, sign petitions, join community groups, make phone calls, advance legislation, have conversations, etc. it’s all important! Dr. Hilliard expressed the needed collaboration between different industries, faiths, and all sectors of society. Truly, policing reform is an issue that should bring everyone together. This episode is a must-listen for anyone desirous to do their part in the world today! Below you will find a partial transcript with timestamps to help you navigate this episode, if you’d like to jump to a specific section in the audio.
We Have Already Been Fighting the Good Fight
Dr. Hilliard: [00:00:55] From protesting to solution strategies for our nation as our guest, the right Reverend Hollister Curtis Douglas, Bishop Curtis Douglas, our friend, the brother. Our son in ministry. He is the senior pastor and founder of the Daybar of Bethlehem Cathedral. He is the presiding Bishop of the Covenant Fellowship Alliance, which was formally the Covenant Ecumenical Fellowship and Cathedral Assemblies.
[00:01:00] He is my successor in whom I’m well pleased been pastoring for 22 years. And he is been in ministry for 35 years. He has ministered extensively throughout Europe and Africa and other parts of the world and has successfully led in the building of six Wells in Africa, with another one coming up this year.
We’re grateful to have him as our guest…. I want to read a passage of scripture to you. And then I want to read the dedication of a book, to you…
The scripture that I want to read to you is 2Corinthians 4:8: We are hard pressed on every side yet not crushed. We are perplexed yet. Not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken [00:02:00] struck down, but not destroyed!
And then I got this book today in the mail. My daughter sent it to me and highly recommended Conversations in Black on Power, Politics and Leadership— Ed Gordon. And I wanted to read the dedication. It says: “To black folk, who for generations have fought and beat the odds at every turn. And if I don’t say anything else, I want to give honor to God, and to those who have for generations fought this good fight. And I want to remind you that we’re going to be all right.”
They fought the fight and they beat the odds, at every turn!… Bishop Douglas. Welcome. Thank you for being with us, sir. We cannot be empowered and we cannot be encouraged if there is no engagement and Bishop, I want to ask you, first of all, uh, what say the. To [00:03:00] these things…..
We got three pandemics…. at the same time. We got a health pandemic with COVID. We have a justice pandemic, everybody’s protesting all over the world, and we have an economic pandemic because so many people are out of work….. What say you sir, to these things?
Bishop Douglas: [00:03:58] First of all, Bishop, I want to thank you for having me on. I want to let you know, I am so honored to be here. … You know, no matter how anointed you are, no matter how gifted you are, everyone needs someone to point them out.
Wow, Jesus needed John, the Baptist to point him out and say, behold, God takes away the sin of the world. He could not begin his ministry until somebody pointed him out. And as I’ve shared with you personally, I’ve shared to my church leadership, you know, with all the anointing and the gifting of the things that I’m doing, if you didn’t come and see something in me and then decide to lay hands on me and certainly then what you’ve done as far as naming me your successor, um, I would be Hollister Douglas, but I would not be Bishop Hollister as well. Thank you for that, Bishop. It makes a difference.
It’s Like 1918,1929 and 1968 All Together
Bishop Douglas: [00:05:00] As far as what’s going on, you know, … I’m amazed because as you said, we are in a tri-pandemic.
We have a COVID pandemic, a financial pandemic, now a racial pandemic. In actuality, it is 1918, 1929 and 1968 all together. …. No other generations had it like this. It’s usually one thing and then some time to recover, and another thing in time to recover. But we are dealing with 1918 with the flu, we’re dealing with 1929, the crash of the stock market. And we’re dealing with 1968, the democratic convention and all that happened in that.
So, we have been really compacted upon by all that’s happening.
[00:06:00] And it’s interesting to me because I think what has made this final thing, this justice push, this racial component, so powerful is the fact that the medical pandemic caused everyone to be home and shut down the world…… And because of that and everybody being in…. when this racial thing happened with George Flyod, which for those of us, people of color… we are used to this…. we know this history… For so many of our Caucasian brothers and sisters– and I thank God for them — I thank God that so many of them, the scales have dropped off of their eyes. And they are finally beginning to see that we weren’t making this stuff up, that we weren’t exaggerating. We weren’t lying.
[00:07:00] Thank God for video. Thank God that every phone is a camera because it’s not new, it’s just being filmed.
We Need All Hands On Deck
Bishop Douglas: [00:08:40] We also know that we are sent to the kingdom for such a time as this, and we are able to handle this tri-pandemic that’s happening. I’ve been saying: Find where you fit. Find where you fit in, in the struggle. All of us are not going to be in the streets protesting. [00:09:00] We need people in the legal area. We need people in the medical area. We need people in the religious area. We need people all over. Find where you fit, find your lane and work your lane. We need all hands on deck right now,
Dr. Hilliard: All hands on deck, exactly! The thing is we have to understand that it’s not one strategy. It is many strategies.Find where you fit in this struggle. Fine your lane. All hands on deck! Click To Tweet
Bishop Douglas: And all of these strategies have to be covered in prayer…. have to be born in prayer. Prayer has to be the wind beneath, beneath our wings. And, and when we do that, Um, God will come through.
Being in a Difficult Condition Does Not Mean that God Isn’t with You
Bishop Douglas: [00:09:50] Some of, one of my young people said to me, well, you know, how is it that the Lord has allowed us to go through some of this? So, well, we had, we know that he loved Israel. We know that Israel was special to him. And [00:10:00] yet Israel went through 430 years of slavery before God brought them out….. So being in a difficult condition is not a sign of God is not with you.
I firmly believe that as we continue to pray and as we continue to protest, as we continue to get new policies, that all of it – everybody, all hands on deck, in their lane — God is going to use all of that to push this thing to the next level. Because that the Civil Rights Movement brought it to a certain point, and now we’re ready for the next move.
What About Efforts to Discredit the Fight for Justice?
Dr. Hilliard: [00:13:15] The other thing that’s coming to my mind now…. when you mentioned the Sixties… We had, you know, Black Liberation movement. We had the Black Panthers, some of them were on the fringe and some of them were violent, but, but many of them you know, they would do on school lunches, school breakfast, and they were moving forward. Some of my own cousins, we’re very much involved in those movements. And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, came a deluge of drugs. It was like drugs were planted. And my prayer is that by the power of God, that nothing like that happens again….[00:14:00] That we’re very careful. Because I’m wondering what tactic is going to be used to try to stop justice….
Bishop Douglas: Well, here’s the thing, we know that playbook. We have watched them do it over and over again. We have watched them flood our neighborhoods with drugs and alcohol. We’ve watched them flood our neighborhood with guns. We have watched them. We kind of know what’s coming. And I think that we are more qualified and fortified to be able to handle that stuff.
[00:16:00] We know they’re going to try to discredit leaders. We know they’re gonna try to put in thoughts of those that have been killed and murdered by the police– Well, he was in jail and he was a drug addict, or he was drunk. But that does not equate to the fact that you’re shooting an unarmed man or you shooting somebody in the back.
You know, Most of us grew up on westerns Bishop. And if you know anything about the wild, wild West, you know, this… there was very few laws, but there were two things that you never did, even the wild, wild West… One, you never shot an unarmed man… And the second thing is you never shot a man in the back. You would be consider [00:17:00] cowardly and gutless if you were to shoot an unarmed man or shoot somebody back. And yet these, these police officers who, who we have been trusted and empowered to uphold the law in our communities, have come into our communities and shooting unarmed men and shooting men in the back. They’re cowardly.
Not Against Police or Policing, Against Police Brutality
Bishop Douglas: [00:17:45] I am not against police officers. I am not against policing or police. I’m against police brutality. Some, some of my sons and my daughters are police officers, yours too. We have people in law enforcement. We understand the dangers of the work. We understand.
[00:18:00] We don’t mind criminals acting like criminals, right. We mind cops acting like criminals.
This Is an Issue That Unites Us All
Dr. Hilliard: [0019:38] What’s interesting about these marches now is that it is no longer just us. In the sixties, there was a moral compass; the Church was in charge. You know, those marches, they started from the Church. Now, it’s Christians and Muslims, and Buddhists, and atheists and agnostics. And we need not discourage that. We want them all.
[00:20:00] This issue pulls us all together. We might disagree theologically. We might disagree with some things, some issues, but this issue, it’s what pulls us together. And this is the fight of our generation.
What Are Some Solutions?
Bishop Douglas: [00:21:49] Isaiah 58:1 “Cry aloud and spare not”. That’s the first thing. In the text, God was speaking to Isaiah because of the sin of Israel. And He said you as the prophet you have to cry aloud and spare not and tell my people their transgressions. So that’s the first thing. There are people who might want us to kind of tone it down.
[00:22:00] But the Word of God, in this season says, no, no, no, no. We have to speak loud. This is not the time to be quiet. This is not the time to be silent….
We are determined to speak out because we have truth on our side, and we have right on our side. I would say everywhere “Let right be done… from New York to California… Let right be done…. From Minnesota to Florida… Let right be done from sea to shining sea!”
Let right be done. That’s what we want. We’re not asking for special treatment. Just let right be done.Cry aloud and spare not: Let right be done from sea to shining sea. Click To Tweet