October Journal: Racism’s Last Gasp?

I am not a medical person, so I don’t know if this analogy works, but I’m going to try it anyway. Imagine a disease or condition which comes on slowly with symptday-4oms easy to overlook. Eventually, however, the symptoms are so gross and the patient’s condition so degraded as to require extreme and/or radical treatment.

The treatment appears successful, and symptoms abate, only to reappear, and sometimes maliciously so. Each recurrence, however, surrenders to treatment and the benefits of overall improving health. Continue reading

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Please Change That Horrible Name

If I am totally honest, I will admit that the impetus behind my movement in a more progressive direction over the past few years has been more ethical than theological. I can illustrate what I mean with the following question. Why are so few people, especially conservative Christians, offended, embarrassed, or possibly enraged over the name of the NFL franchise in Washington, DC? Continue reading

I Can’t Stop Crying

I’ve been crying a lot over the past several days. (And indeed, I am crying again as I try to type this.) I’ve cried every day since June 17 as I’ve watched the news reports coming out of Charleston, SC.Pic 2 I’ve cried over the senseless and brutal murder of nine good people in a house of worship. I’ve cried for the friends and families of those victims, for the pain they are going through, and for the love and forgiveness they have shown in the midst of their pain. Continue reading

To Black Church Leaders: Please Don’t Give Us An Out

Over the past few weeks, like many of you, I have read scores of articles purporting to offer analysis of the issues arising from and relating to the situation coming to be known colloquially as simply “Ferguson.” Many have been unusually insightful and helpful. I have learned much from them.

For me personally, however, the least helpful have been those written by church leaders—some prominent black pastors among them—who want to remind us that the pain and suffering experienced by the black community every time another Ferguson breaks upon our corporate consciousness derives, at least in part, from wounds that have been self-inflicted. Continue reading