Some harsh rhetoric, but the message is spot on. I’m not sure if a funeral was the appropriate place for it, but it seems that most of the backlash was about people not liking the message – not the venue.
“I was trying to show that the movement now is moving and should move in a different direction,” he said. “… What we need to do is create respect among ourselves. Aretha is the person with that song ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ that is laid out for us and what we need to be as a race within ourselves. We need to show each other that. We need to show each other respect. That was the reason why I did it.”
Williams, who is the pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, said his words about black women being incapable of raising sons alone were taken out of context. He described as “abortion after birth” the idea of children being raised without a “provider” father and a mother as the “nurturer.”
Many thought Williams took a shot at Franklin, who was a single mother of four boys. But the pastor said a household can become stronger with two parents rather than one.
“Here’s the root of what I’ve been talking about: In order to change America, we must change black America’s culture,” he said. “We must do it through parenting. In order for the parenting to go forth, it has to be done in the home. The home.”
Williams also received backlash for his thoughts about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Some called Williams’ eulogy a “disaster” as his speech caused an uproar on social media and in the funeral crowd, including Stevie Wonder who yelled out “Black Lives Matter” after the pastor said “No, black lives do not matter” during his sermon.
“I think Stevie Wonder did not understand what I said,” Williams said. “I said blacks do not matter, because black lives cannot matter, will not matter, should not matter, must not matter until black people begin to respect their own lives. Then and only then will black lives matter. That’s what I said, and again, and again, and again. We need to have respect for each other. Once we start doing that, then we can begin to change.”