Sunday, September 21, 2008

Richard Smallwood Gets Political

With high-rising tensions imploding on the political terrain as the U.S. presidential election nears, decided to reveal even stronger tensions within the gospel community with their disgust towards the Bush administration. An article written by Christopher Anderson exposes Richard Smallwood's recent run-in with the current Bush administration and being blacklisted from the White House's Black Music Month Celebration earlier this year.

The article mentions how Smallwood, renowned composer of "Total Praise," "I Love the Lord" and "Center of My Joy," was previously invited to the White House festivities, but was later dismissed from the program after Smallwood cited that the Bush administration learned of his involvements at a March retirement celebration for the controversial Chicago preacher Dr. Jeremiah Wright (whom got in trouble earlier this year for what the media called "anti-semetic" statements). Smallwood spoke to the press at the Democratic National Convention in Denver where he was chosen to perform.

Strangely, Black Music Month is celebrated in June, yet the article is issued as a press release closing in on the upcoming November election date; possibly adding octane to the ever-growing tensions within the Republican and Democratic camps. What's very strange about the article is that it mentions for a brief second September's Gospel Heritage Month - a U.S. observance passed by the Senate this summer - and Smallwood "graciously" saying yes to the invite. Thereafter, the White House called his assistant Kelvin Leach and the invitation was later withdrawn.

Not sure if the article meant to focus on both June and September celebrations or if it was only limited to the gospel celebrations in September only, but what is oddly visible is that the timing of the article's posting is another sizzling firecracker hoping to expose the painful relations between both political parties. Smallwood's choice of words are also obviously striking: "So many of us are tired of politics as usual. The crisis that our country is in is because of this [George W. Bush] Administration. The hypocrisy, the untruths have put a blotch on the very principals this country was founded upon.”

Along with the super list of high-profiled celebrities and superstars aiding Obama's campaign, there's also a highly visible and proactive number of black gospel artists joining the team including Beverly Crawford, William Murphy, John P. Kee, Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary. Add the Maestro to that growing list.


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