Funerals have become the latest venue for liberals to air their political grievances — and even nationally prominent congressional leaders are taking part in the once-taboo practice.
Appearing at iconic singer Aretha Franklin’s funeral, where the black separatist hate group Nation of Islam handed out free copies of its incendiary newspaper to mourners, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) acknowledged a shout out by standing and giving the “Wakanda Forever” salute made popular from the Marvel film Black Panther.
Guests of honor
On its own, Waters’ salute was a benign gesture unworthy of mentioning. The cross-armed, double-fist motion may be interpreted as a peaceful symbol of black solidarity and pride. Paper’s Beatrice Hazlehurst even argued that “the symbol doesn’t connote an uprising, as with the Black Power fist,” therefore “it’s likely ‘Wakanda forever’ could be more palatable to the mainstream.”
But Franklin’s funeral was no mainstream event. This was a ceremony where a seat of honor was given to Rev. Louis Farrakhan, an outspoken anti-Semite who once said of white Americans: “Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling!”
Seated next to Farrakhan at the homegoing ceremony was Rev. Al Sharpton, who once made claims that blacks are racially superior to white people. In one of his disgusting monologues, Sharpton said: “White folks was in the caves while we [blacks] was building empires… We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was… We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”
He went on: “So [if] some cracker come and tell you, ‘Well, my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,’ you better hold your pocket. That ain’t nothing to be proud of. That means their forefathers was crooks.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson was there, too, as another guest of honor. Of course, Jackson once referred to Jews as “Hymies,” and New York City as “Hymietown,” and more recently threatened to “cut off” President Barack Obama’s genitals for talking down to black people.
Fantasy nation of Wakanda
While this was the scene of Waters’ black power salute, the gesture itself may be steeped in troubling origins. “Wakanda Forever” was inspired by a comic book that shares its name with a racist, armed revolutionary group and comes from a movie that features — according to Psychology Today — an arch villain that just so happens to represent white colonialism and white supremacy.
According to the FBI, the Black Panthers were a black extremist organization that advocated for the use of armed violence to overthrow the U.S. government and establish a black-dominated state. While co-creator Stan Lee insists that “the name was inspired by a pulp adventure hero who had a black panther sidekick,” it is hard to ignore the militant imagery which comes from Wakanda’s black-centric society.
“Imagine a homogeneously white nation-state that brands its citizens and restricts entry only to its own people,” Psychology Today‘s Dr. Mikhail Lyubansky noted.
Enough is enough
But at least one black American has grown weary of funerals being used to make political statements. Conservative Candace Owens tweeted: “This new trend of using funerals and eulogies to deliver political messages is really quite disgusting.”
“Sympathy from death as means to sway public opinion is next level corrupt,” she wrote. “Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.”
Franklin’s funeral was no exception. Steeped as it was in black separatism, with some of the most racist figures in the African American community present, Waters’ salute came off as divisive and demeaning.
Too bad no one from the mainstream media will call her out on it.