Monday, April 25, 2011

Bishop Eddie Long Tells His Accusers “You Ain’t Messing with Me”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

The Bishop Eddie Long spoke to his congregation on Easter Sunday, stepping back into the public eye after a period of silence and detachment from the media. For whatever reason, Long decided to address the young men who are suing him for sexual misconduct, telling them that he refuses to be messed with.

“You ain't messin’ with me. I shall rise again and I ain't going through this,” Long said.

It is being reported that Bishop Long is close to reaching a settlement with the young men and his public remarks may be in response to frustrations over the negotiations. Four men who were once mentored by Long have come forth and accused him of using his influence to obtain sexual favors. Using Easter Sunday as his opportunity to share the message, Long continued to make comments about his ordeal to the audience.

“You have to go down there and let the devil know that what they thought was gonna kill you, didn't kill you. What they thought was gonna bring terror to you, didn't bring terror to you and you made the enemies public spectacle,” he said.

It’s interesting that Bishop Long has convinced some members of his congregation that the young men who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct are somehow the enemy and that they represent the devil. I’m not sure if Bishop Long committed these acts against these young boys or not, but if he did, then we must acknowledge that the devil could be represented by the man standing in the pulpit.

I stand by my statements early last year that if Bishop Long wants to regain the trust of the members of his congregation, he will open the door to full transparency of his ordeal. Negotiating things behind closed doors and not announcing details only makes him look like a guilty man. If the final settlement comes with a confidentiality agreement, then that will tell us all that we need to know.


Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University.  To have Dr. Boyce Watkins commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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