Robert Porter: When Hate Turns to Love
By Michelle Wilson
The 700 Club
“To be called a “nigger”, it just starts a lot of rage in you. I’ve been called “nigger” so many times that it’s a hatred, anger build up in you.
Robert Porter grew up in the 50’s in Watts Los Angeles. He remembers how the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 affected him. He was just nine years old.
Robert remembers, “They castrated him, they lynched him, they threw his body in the river. The mother said, ‘We’re going to have an open casket.’ That was one of the things that turned me when I was young.”
Robert’s mother instilled in him a sense of self worth and value in the midst of the racism and hatred around him.
“We grew up in a single family with six kids. She said, ‘You’re going to make it. You’re better than that.’”
Here in Long Beach California is where Robert Porter experienced and saw many social injustices that propelled him into intense hatred for the next 30 years of his life.
When Robert was 14, he and his family moved to Long Beach. During the 60’s the racism he saw only intensified. One such injustice was the incident that incited the 1964 watts riots that left 34 dead.
Robert recalls, “They started throwing bottles and started shooting, and the next thing you had a riot. And so the police at the time, they just disrespected black people.”
Then at 17, Robert and his friends were harassed by white officers when they were caught out after curfew. He took me to the place where it happened.
Robert remembers, “Police rolled up said, ‘Get against the wall.’ This is the very wall. They had us line up like this.
Michelle Wilson asks – “Did you think that you were going to lose your life?”
“Well, they had their guns drawn. You could have lost your life,” says Robert.
Malcolm X Video – “Not only are we as good as the White man. We are better than the White man.”
Robert became a radical follower of Malcolm X’s.
“He represented manhood. We had a right to declare ourselves to be a man, that’s what the Black Panthers were about. James brown made a song, ‘Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud.’ And everybody start uniting, said ‘We’re not going to take this Uncle Tom stuff no more,’” says Robert.
When he was 17, he was drafted into the army. After a year ½ , Robert was honorably discharged due to poor eye sight. When he wasn’t working, Robert threw himself into partying and fighting.
“But I was the type of person, you know, you aren’t going to intimidate me.”
Michelle Wilson asks – “Did you ever have any relief from your hatred?”
“It was hard. There was so much stuff going down. I just didn’t like White people. I have to put it that way. Certain ones I liked the liberals. I liked the Jane Fonda, the Kennedys. I like people who were for Blacks.”
While Robert was fighting an outward war, he was also facing serious health challenges. His doctor diagnosed him with prostate cancer. One week later, Robert was in excruciating pain and barely able to move. He was watching the 700 Club when the host gave an invitation for salvation.
Ben Video - “He can never reject you because He’s already given up Jesus Christ to die for you.”
“Then man said, ‘It’s no sin that God won’t forgive you. And God can heal you.’ And he said, ‘If you have faith, believe.’ You know, ‘Get up and dial this number.’ And so I was hurting so bad with excruciating pain. I got up off that floor and dialed that number and then a man prayed for me. I said the sinner’s prayer. He said, ‘You just got saved.’”
Then Robert asked the prayer counselor to pray that God would heal him from prostate cancer.
He said, ‘Do you believe the Lord can heal you?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ And so he prayed for a healing. So we hung the phone up. I fell back and then I saw Jesus on the cross and then I felt a peace over me. ‘Lord thank you. Thank you.’ I knew I was saved cause the pain was gone.”
Robert knew he was healed. He went back to the doctor to confirm it.
“He said, “Well, Porter we can’t find nothing.”
Over a period of time, God also healed Robert’s heart from 30 years of hatred.
“And all of a sudden it wasn’t any more about radical stuff. I had a desire for the word of God. As I got into the word, I found that Jesus loved everybody. He didn’t just die for the African American. He died for everybody. The hatred that I had for White people, God has completely run out of my heart. I look at people as people. Not as a White person or whatever. People are people,” says Robert.
He even learned to forgive those who abused him in the past.
“If you don’t have Christ in your life, it’s hard – it’s almost impossible in the natural to forgive. We’re talking about supernatural power, which is Jesus Christ.”
Today Robert is cancer free and has a message for others who are victims of racism and hatred.
“Hatred will cause you to have cancer or arthritis or ulcers, whatever it is, you need to forgive because Jesus forgave us. For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son. Love is the key to everything. And so I have love in my heart now. I love people, and it’s better to be loving then walk around with hate and anger and malice and bitterness. It’ll kill you. He transformed my life. He healed me. He blessed me. You know, He turned my whole life around, a complete transformation. If you don’t know Jesus, you need to know Jesus. Cause there is nothing better than the joy and the peace you have.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.