Dr Yeagley passed away yesterday. He was and will always be my friend in spite of some odious views. The Doctor and I shared a love of America, but we had different concepts of Americanism. In my heart, I still believe in the big table of equals open to all who share a common set of beliefs. America and Christ ( he was a man of faith) are egalitarian in that all who believe in a common set of ideas are part and parcel of the community.
Although the Dr's views at times were considered offensive, he remained a friend I strongly disagreed with on many things. Unfortunately, people were not able to look past these flaws and see the person. I knew the person and from my perspective in his heart he was a good man.
The heart of the confusion lies in does DNA make you whatever. There are those among us who think they are the arbiters of authenticity. They look down their nose and based on their fealty to a death cult decide who is authentically Jewish, Black or in Yeagleys case Indian. In many respect Yeagley's individualism and the right to define himself were the most authentically American parts of his persona. Americanism and the love of Christ were at the center of his heart. Sadly, at times he was mistaken about the core concepts or was unable to move past some hangups.
All of us have hangups of some sort. Unfortunately, he was quite vocal about his hangups. For the record, I have alabaster skin and mostly green eyes that also have shades of blue. My hair is blonde in the center with Black tips that give it an odd glow. It is seen in relatives on my mothers side. These are just personal traits and I really don't think about them any more than shoe size. My family is Indo-Guyanese mostly Hindu with some Christian. There are times my daughter or grandaughter look at my skin or my eyes and say I wish they looked like yours. I pointed out they are perfect the way they are and I wouldn't change a thing about them.
Despite what many of you may think the Dr. was very supportive of me and my family and was well aware of the ethnicity of my family. We had a long discussion on line about my first Christmas. I am there as a member of a family despite my different views and beliefs. The fact that members of my family have a different faith does not change the fact that I love them as family members. I am there as head of a household and fully supportive. The Dr. understood I had not converted, but was partaking in holidays as a member of a family.
In my last exchanges the Dr. seemed to understand time was running out. His thoughts were of Christ that he embraced from the core of his persona. He also understood the Jewish roots of messianism. In a classic sense Christ is the fulfillment of the Jewish prophecies and taking Christ into your heart allows the gentile to be a part of this bounty. As I am not theological in thought much of this is above my plane. Jewish folk don't really dwell on the topic unless they are devotees of Chabad who seek to make people more Jewish. They do not look for converts, but seek to usher in the comming of the messiah by bringing back those who have assimilated. My response to the query are you Jewish is I am Guyanese. I prefer to keep a healthy distance
and don't wish to partake in ceremonies or rituals.
I will miss Dr. Yeagley as a friend. He wasn't perfect and he had his issues, but he was always my friend and always his own man. In the end there are not many of us who can say that.