Book Review: The Boiling Pot of Injustice
Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Kelvin D. Bodley has penned an explosive book. He has taken his experiences of discrimination in the workplace; and using Biblical principles exposes the wrongs of racism and unfair employment practices. It is a very impressive read. From the author's own personal experiences The Boiling Pot of Injustice outlines the negative impact that racial discrimination has on both the personal and professional lives of those who are victims of this type of injustice. His research is impeccable and his concept is very unique. He challenges Christians through references to scripture and by using the Word of God. He encourages believers to identify racial injustices in employment and in the world and to stand up for themselves and not be cowards. The book is also full of historical notes beginning with the African American slavery experience in this country. He opens with the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dissertation on the importance of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation which historically was supposed to free our people from slavery. His writings remind us that although we may have won inroads in the right to live equal lives; racism still exists in the American society and it is an obligation of Christian men and women not to turn a deaf ear to it's consequences.
The author is the son of a minister and now a minister himself and is President and CEO of Fairness Ministries in Orlando, Florida. Fairness Ministries is a catalyst for social change for all of God's children regardless of race, gender or creed. This book outlines the ministry's concept of mapping a battle plan of action to right the wrongs which are inherent in American society. This book is a primer on justice and how African Americans are discriminated against by racial boundaries.
Bodley says that we are wounded by our cowardice, and by not standing up for ourselves and fighting against injustice we are committing sin. In the first Preface to his book his father, Rev. Dr. Simon Bodley, Jr. says that ’although we preach and teach that all men are created equal and endowed by God to be so, our actions are contrary and we do not put these works into practice when it comes to those who look, act and live differently.’
As an employee of Orange County in Orlando, Florida; Kelvin Bodley witnessed a concentrated pattern of racial discrimination practices in hiring and promotion of African Americans, women and other minorities. He himself was a victim of these practices; especially when he began to ask questions and to seek out public records in his research to document the injustices that he faced. In an effort to silence him, the County tried to force him to resign by creating a hostile work environment for him and his employees. When they were unsuccessful, his superiors conspired with management to eliminate his section and transfer his employees to unpopular areas of government. He was transferred to a new position where he no longer had supervisory status and was relegated to answering phones and mailing out notices.
Still refusing to remain silent; he and a few of his colleagues documented their grievances and filed a lawsuit against the County for racial discrimination and retaliation. This was the beginning of a battle that Bodley fought and survived through faith and basic Christian ethics. In this book; he recounts his battle and the game plan by which he won his right to stand up for his rights as both a Christian man and an American citizen.
The Boiling Pot of Injustice encourages all Christians to speak out against injustice. He gives Scriptures that will strengthen individuals who are fighting this battle and he gives truths that it is just and right not to stand idle and accept discriminatory practices. He insists that it is by God's directives that we are to stand up for our rights. On a personal level; I was very impressed having come of age after the Civil Rights Movement had made changes and during the Black Power Movement which further encouraged Black people to demand to be treated equally. This book inspired me and I recommend that it become required reading by young Black students who will find themselves facing some of the same obstacles in today's society. It is a must read for minorities in the workforce and an important body of work.