The negotiations ultimately broke down during the summer of 2001. The pivotal moment — the money quote that is often brought up in conjunction with [this version of] the story — is Wendy Chamberlain, who was then the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, telling a Taliban representative that Afghanistan could either expect a carpet of gold if it signed the agreement, or a carpet of bombs [if it didn’t]; and it’d be their choice. They weren’t able to come to terms, financially, and the Taliban walked away. Two months later, 9/11 happened, and the U.S. was at war.
We are increasingly renting instead of buying our homes. Rental household growth is rising at double the rate it has in previous decades. Developers are building more multi-family units than they have in years. Last month, the home ownership rate fell to a 19-year low, down to 64.7 percent from a peak of 69.2 percent in 2004.
Black churches are a central part of the 20th century story of American racial politics. Dr. King was the consummate preacher, flanked by peers like Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Joseph Lowery, and protégés like Rev. Jesse Jackson. Last century, black churches were the locus of a kind of narrative authority in black communities – the way black preachers, mostly male, told our story to us in light of the story of Jesus Christ gave us hope, inspired change and helped us to make sense of black suffering, to believe that God had a grander purpose in the sure and steady sacrifice of black bodies, namely the fashioning of a better, more just America.
It is within that context, that of the black church and its relationship to black politics, that we have come over the last three decades to know the person of Rev. Al Sharpton