White Supremacy

An Obituary For America 

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IMG_2686An Obituary For America
November 26, 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of America. This past weekend America, at the young old age of 242 years, passed away while launching tear gas at women, children and men seeking asylum on its southern border. For the past two years we have watched America slowly giving up its fight to sustain those long held values which founded a great nation, welcomed us from around the world and forged us into its hopeful dream. Yesterday, while most of us worked on finishing off our Thanksgiving leftovers, America slipped away from us.

America didn’t like to talk about its health problems, but for a few decades now and especially in recent years it had grown frail and thoroughly riddled by resurgent ailments like white supremacy, racism, isolationism and internal gun violence. Treatment was repeatedly refused, usually for economic reasons, and the dark spiral to tear gassing the innocent began. With many months to prepare for the arrival of the asylum seekers with aid, increased federal staff to process their applications, and a clear signal of a recognition of their basic human dignity, America chose instead to send in armed troops and escalate things to a violent confrontation. 

America is survived immediately by a meaner, nastier sibling who on the surface reminds us a little bit of the old America, but is too driven by fear and selfishness to understand the greatness it could achieve. This surviving America no longer allows our lady to stand with torch held high calling the masses to us to help us create and share the cherished American Dream, but she is silenced and mourns quietly, her historic call for the moment stolen and silenced.

But America is also survived by some extended family who haven’t given up hope, who mourn with those gassed at our border and remember when America was a beacon, a dream of what could be. There are some standing in the wake of America’s passing who would not have the deepest promise and founding values of America lost and forgotten. Gifts and honorariums in memory of our dear deceased America are requested in the form of letters, emails and phone calls to your congressional representatives. Ask them to stop the violence on the southern border. Ask them to demand that we recognize the human dignity of those coming to us, and give them a fair and honest chance to seek asylum and refuge with us. Ask them to stand against the fear and the racism that has crippled the American dream. Remind them of who we are. And for America’s sake, vote a better future into existence every chance you get. Thank you.

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Meeting Hate with Love

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fullsizeoutput_4826With Unite the Right protestors gathering in DC and many more planning to counter protest their messaging, all of us locally are bracing for the insanity, the hate and the possible violence. I’m working today, so I can’t be there to stand against the hate. But in these last few days running up to another rearing of white supremacy’s ugly head I did rework one of my images about our beautiful diversity. ->

The gravitational pull to meet hate with hate and ignorance with ridicule and disgust is strong and difficult to ignore. I appreciated so much this week when our Bishop in DC called us to love, to respond with what is best in humanity and not with violence or more hatred. I have made time this week to listen to the voices that matter, voices which lead me to love, to peace, to something positive.

IMG_0554I can’t be there at Lafayette Square to be seen today, but I still have a responsibility to be heard. We all must be heard. White supremacy is wrong, sinful, ignorant and destructive. Racism is a killing white sin in our society which must be confronted and defeated. These militant white supremacist clowns dressed up with their Confederate patches, racist flags and guns, and their narrative of hate and division, must be rejected with courage, dignity and love at every opportunity. (By the way, DC has said “no guns” to the white supremacists at this protest. Wouldn’t it be nice if what works to keep the President’s house safe would be applied to keep us all safe? hmmmm) We must always fight for liberty, equality and justice… but let us not have fighting in the streets. We need to make sure we elect the women and men who will help us bring the needed change. #midterms We need to have the courage to speak up against division and hate. We have to be heard.

Let’s change the narrative every time someone says we’re losing American culture or white culture or some other racist code phrase. America has never been a culture, but a joining of cultures. America has never been perfect, but a tension filled meeting of diverse people who can very often make beautiful things from our sharing. We have never been red white and blue, but every wonderful shade of human. 

AMDG, Todd

A War On Racism!

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leo tolstoyOk, white people. It’s getting a little embarrassing out here. A string of recent events have caused some of us to scratch our heads and wonder at the audacity of your racism. You do know that when non-white people do stuff you don’t like them doing (like sitting, napping or having a cookout) that your dislike and racism does not criminalize their behavior, yeah? You know that, right? Because when you don’t, that same racism calls the police for no reason and even might put on a uniform and a badge and start assaulting grandmas and learning your life lessons the hard way… and that’s when we have to have a chat. Come on. Going after a grandma?

Wait, it’s not just adults and senior citizens… some white people will shoot at a black teen for asking for directions! We cannot look away. This is a stunning white sin on display, shameless and feeling very entitled. I wonder how many of our gallery of racist rogues linked above were at church, today? How many of them will claim Christ and a Christian life? I know I linked all the above stories, but let’s stop for a moment and say their names: Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson,  Lolade Siyonbola, Kenzie Smith and Ms. Campbell.

white racism with flagsI totally understand the feeling that many white people get when these videos start popping up on Facebook and our news channel of choice, “Hey! That’s not me! I’m not like that! I’m not racist!” I mean, I’m not one of those rifle-toting Swastika-wearing (very fine people) nutters like those we see on TV and the internet! Well, good. But these episodes remind us that in all times and all places people of conscience who have a voice must speak. We all need to speak out in every social platform available to us: white supremacy and racism are wrong. Some may have the uncomfortable job of telling coworkers, friends and family to stop their racists language and behavior around us: don’t back down. Every time we remain silent we further enable racism and violence against our non-white neighbors, friends and family. This is an all-hands-on-deck, white people!

“The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me what the lives of the Prophets sought to convey: that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, 11 January 1907 – 23 December 1972

The white sin of racism passed from generation to generation will not stop until white people stop it. We can’t legislate it away. We have to change white culture, white society and white people. No more excuses. Not being racist is not enough. We need a war on racism. We need a war on racism because non-white folks need to sit down sometimes, might become fatigued while studying and need a quick nap, and will surely enjoy cooking out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

“Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better. It doesn’t matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us… each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful.”

Colossians 3:10-11 & 15, St. Paul

All of us, white people of faith especially, must be loud and clear in our condemnation and opposition to racism and white supremacy. There is no other way for us to be but loudly, clearly and completely opposed to this historic and tragic sin. Our weapons are love, grace and truth. Say it peacefully and say it civilly. But for the sake of all our beloved non-white friends, family and neighbors: say it!

AMDG, Todd