Because, the historiography of whiteness has been detailed and described in length by many academic scholars, I will not invest any more time articulating its functions and features. However, for those of you whom are interested in increasing your understanding of whiteness, I will include some resources at the bottom of this blog post.
While the history of the United States is one which remains firmly situated on the politics and supremacy of whiteness, it is hardly arguable to suggest that the zero-tolerance policies as invigorated by the current administration is surprising. However, this should not be mistaken for an advocacy of careless complacency or mediocre activism.
Indeed, as illustrated throughout the depraved and unjust policies foundational to America’s history, it must be everyone’s duty to speak out against injustice. And, as Christ followers, we each are called to name evil and speak truth to power.
As a Christian and follower of Jesus, I have found that the call of Jesus is one in which effectively shatters the westernized ideals and idols of safety and security.
Jesus continually calls his followers into the way and relationship of and with other people.
Jesus calls his followers into the way of policies, legislations and governmental acts.
Jesus calls his followers into the way of walls and pipelines and contaminated water because Jesus calls us each to do the work of restoration, resurrection and redemption.
In the Gospel of Matthew, one is reminded again of what it is to follow Jesus: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ and to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
As Christians, we are more than equipped to do this work, for we are not equipped by our own strength but by the eternal well of Jesus. And, as Christians living in a land formed on the bones of marginalized persons, we must also reconcile with a history of complacency and a reality of easy deniability.
I have found hope and conviction in the late James H. Cone’s writing, particularly this following excerpt regarding the role and history of the church and racism:
1. The hope of the Christian faith rests firmly in the hands of a good God. And, God is fundamentally situated on the side of justice. God was present in Jesus’ solidarity with the oppressed. And, “God declared victory out of defeat, life out of death and hope out of despair.”
As you enter your week, may each of you go in love, for love alone endures. Go in peace, for it is the gift of God. Go in safety, for you cannot go where God is not.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DeAngelo (Book comes out on June 26, 2018).
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack – Peggy McIntosh
So You Want to Talk about Race – Ijeoma Oluo
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race – Beverly Daniel Tatum