The Reverends Emmett G. Price III and Irene Monroe were back on Boston Public Radio for their regular Monday feature, "All Revved Up." Price and Monroe discussed the killing of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina; Hillary Clinton's faith and its bearing on her nascent campaign; and Pope Francis' controversial remarks during a Sunday religious service.
Questions are paraphrased, and responses are edited where noted [...].
What do you make of the reaction to the killing of Walter Scott?
Monroe: A black man's best friend these days is a video of him being stopped by the police, but I'm really worried about the trauma [...] of seeing black bodies brutalized. [...] We see him get out of the car and run. [...] He never wanted to go to jail.
Price: It's an opportunity for white people to come to grips with reality, [...] to replay [the video] to see if they can back-seat quarterback it [differently]. This is a situation that's very different from Mamie Till making the corpse of Emmett Till public.
Do you think it's harmful to constantly replay the video of Walter Scott's death?
Monroe: It becomes a form of infotainment in a way, [...] the ongoing looping of it.
The official report filed by Officer Michael Slager seems to contradict what the video shows. Will people be more circumspect about law enforcement accounts from here on out?
Price: Let's not forget that when the case first broke the conversation was, 'Why did he grab the police officer's Taser?' [...] You have scenarios where cops pull over white individuals. [...] There is a differential in treatment in these situations.
Monroe: Was this cop-assisted suicide for him? This guy is not a criminal. He's being harassed.
Price: I don't think it was suicide, I think it was black anxiety. [...] There is a real anxiety that I'm not sure some folks realize.
Monroe: Some of us might very well panic, and that's why I say how cops respond matters.
Switching gears a little, there was a recent Washington Post article about Hillary Clinton's faith. Does faith have a place in politics? How does this seem to you?
Monroe: Suspect. The interesting thing is that nowadays electability for office is how 'churched' you are. [...] Jimmy Carter was an evangelical person, and never once did he proselytize. [...] We're a better nation when we really embrace the whole idea of separation of church and state, when we're ecumenical and a pluralistic nation.
Price: That's beautiful, but if it's going to be posed as, This is going to get her elected, I would love to see her tithe [instead].
Monroe: Ted Cruz has come out and declared his candidacy. Of course, there were all these religious references. [...] You can't grandstand any bigger than Cruz. [...] It's really a shame that [our] lens of looking at a candidate is, 'How religious?'
Pope Francis included controversial remarks during his Mass on Sunday about the 1915 Armenian genocide. How do you guys rate the Pope's performance in the past week?
Monroe: I like the Pope this week very much. [...] He doesn't always get it right but he certainly did yesterday in Mass. [...] And when he talked about the Armenian genocide I think it was quite appropriate to name it what it is.
Price: This was a huge, courageous move, particularly in the landscape of international politics. [...] It's time that we deal in the truth. [...] It was a mass genocide and we need to call it that. You have a mass exodus of people that really don't have a country to claim. [...] This is a real important moment.
Monroe: He was on the right side of justice. [...] This was one of those moments where I said, 'Right on, Papi. I'm gonna get you a pizza.'
>>To hear All Revved Up, click the audio link above. Rev. Emmett G. Price III is a professor of music at Northeastern University, and the author of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture. Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Huffington Postand Bay Windows.