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Kelvin Cochran, former chief of the Atlanta Fire Department

Kelvin Cochran. | Source: LinkedIn/Kelvin Cochran

In today’s episode of Thank God For…Slavery? a former Atlanta fire chief who happens to be Black decided a Black History Month event was the perfect opportunity to essentially thank America for saving Black people from Africa by, well, condemning Africans to two and a half centuries of intergenerational forced labor, separation from their heritage and families, torture, lynchings and other assorted acts of systemic oppression and racism.

Kelvin J. Cochran spoke at the event, which was hosted by the Georgia Department of Labor on Monday, according to NBC News. He kicked off his verbal love letter to white supremacy by declaring that  America “has been a part of God’s divine plan from the beginning of time.” And things only went downhill from there.

“Slavery in America did not catch God by surprise,” Cochran said midway through his speech. “In his sovereignty, God…allowed Africans to be brought to America as slaves. Africa was on the eve of social, spiritual and economic catastrophe and famine—still going on today. So, he brought six million Africans to America through the Middle Passage as slaves.”

First of all, the Uncle Ruckus of T.D. Jakes is continuing the white American tradition of talking about Africaa continent with 54 countries, many of which are developed and thriving and/or on the rise economicallylike it’s just one huge destitute mass of poverty and desperation. Secondly, Cochran’s speech validates the idea that western Christianity has done a doozy on the Black psyche. I just can’t think of another explanation for a Black man citing the Middle Passage as our path to salvation while citing the Christian God as both our savior and enslaver.

And, again, even if the Candace Owens of Kim Burrells was accurate in his characterization of Africa (which he’s not), it would only mean that Slaver God “saved” Black people by plucking us from the frying pan and tossing us into the fire. Besides the fact that roughly two million Africans died during Middle Passage, those who survived suffered nearly three centuries of hell followed by at least another century of diet hell.

Here’s more of the Massa’s Pastor’s divine ministries from the Book of Klanesis, as reported by NBC:

Cochran compared African slavery to slavery in Israel, saying, “Just as it was God’s divine plan to enslave the nation of Israel,” God’s sovereignty “allowed Africans to be brought to America in bondage.” He also cited a verse from the book of Genesis, when God told Abraham his descendants would be enslaved and mistreated for 400 years. He pointed out too that slave masters were adamant about teaching slaves about Christianity, and that enslaved people would gather outside church houses to eavesdrop on the worship sermons.

It’s unclear whether Cochran had any receipts on enslaved people auditing the white church from outside to learn about White Slaver Savior Jesus, or if Cochran simply pulled those “facts” from, but what is clear is that he doesn’t have any qualms about Black American adhering to a religion taught to us by our oppressors.

Anyway, unsurprisingly, it turns out the Jason Whitlock of Joel Olsteens has a history of homophobic bigotry, or as he described it, religious freedom. (Seriously though, why TF would the Georgia Department of Labor tap this guy as a BHM guest speaker? Maybe they figured out Clayton Bigsby isn’t a real person so they went for the next best thing.)

More from NBC:

In 2013, Cochran, who was fire chief at the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, gave his subordinates a copy of his self-published Bible study book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” which included homophobic comments such as that gay people and those who have sex outside marriage are “naked,” wicked and ungodly sinners. He also called homosexuality a “sexual perversion” and compared it to bestiality. 

In October 2014, an assistant fire chief raised concerns over the book and the following month Cochran was suspended for 30 days without pay for failing to get approval or provide proper notice ahead of the publication of the book.  Following his suspension, Cochran waged a campaign claiming that he had been fired for his religious beliefs, which ultimately led to his termination in January 2015.

Then, in October 2018, the Atlanta City Council voted to pay Cochran a $1.2 million settlement lawsuit against the city and former Mayor Kasim Reed over his firing. He’s now the vice president of Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative Christian organization that represented him in the lawsuit. (Wait, conservatives aren’t racist and homophobic, are they?)

So, basically, if there’s one thing Cochran should be praising America for, it’s being a country where one can sue over his right to be a bigot.

Thank God, amirite?


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