The Creator’s cosmic design encourages me as a white pastor to lead my church into the terrifying, life-altering work of racial justice.
American culture is patriarchal to the core. As author Leslie Dorrough Smith argues, the ideal male identity remains white, heterosexual and given to “family values” (even while their behavior contradicts this supposed conviction).
We cannot continue to pretend that time will heal the deep wounds that divide us. Generation after generation, we bring our gifts to the altar without stopping first to do the work of reconciliation to which Jesus calls us.
The story of our struggle is a story of resilience, resistance and triumph-in-the-midst-of-tragedy that actually has the power to redeem this nation from the sins of the fathers and the privilege of the few that has come at the expense of the many.
A friend quoted from memory lines from Langston Hughes’ poem, “Mother to Son.” I was reminded that it is the very definition of white privilege to think we can just sit down on the stairs because the work of racial justice is hard.
The most dangerous aspect of reconciliationism is that it assumes an immunity to modern iterations of racism. There is no such immunity. There is only a fight – a never-ending battle against the virus around us and within us.
We celebrate the 11th-hour decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to stay the execution of Rodney Reed. At the same time, Reed’s case highlights the need to abolish capital punishment.
I felt anger rise in me as I watched “Harriet,” the new film about the famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The anger came from an awareness that the distorted use of victimization by the oppressors and the enslavers is still prevalent 100 years after Tubman’s death.
The nature of lament is profoundly spiritual and political. Lament ensures that questions of justice are asked and makes clear that things are not OK. But it doesn’t stop there. Lament suggests that what is wrong can be changed.