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White Skin, Black Masks

You are part of a group of about a dozen friends that has been invited into the home of some colleagues from another land, who are hosting you for a meal to share and learn about one another’s ways. You have come to learn the stories of the people whose home you have been invited into as they relate to theology, violence, suffering, and hope.

At the door, you are welcomed warmly by hosts who usher you into their home. It has been a long trip. You dust your coat, take your shoes off at the door, and step into their modest but bustling dining room. Everyone begins to introduce themselves, laugh, share stories, and connect even across a steady language barrier. Your hosts have prepared for you all a wonderful meal, which is brought out on worn plates and adorned with local spices. You pray, and then dive into the meal.

A few bites into the meal, several of the guests in your group begin to cough. Their eyes begin to water, fists ball tightly, and throats begin to swell shut. You discern that some of the contents of the meal have caused for a few folks an allergic reaction. This is, of course, no one’s fault – caused simply because of what went into the meal and what your friends happened to he carrying around in their own bodies.

Wordlessly, a few of your friends stumble outside for air, to take a minute to see if the symptoms subside. You follow quickly to comfort them. A few others come outside to pray for wellness and healing. One of them throws up. As the pain begins to settle, still raw, your group returns back inside. Medical treatment at this time is unnecessary, but clearly the meal cannot continue as it was.

When you regain your seats at the table, your hosts begin to pepper you with questions: “so I see that you didn’t enjoy our food? We went through all this trouble for you.” You try to say that is not the case, but are cut off: “No, no, no. This is an outrage,” your hosts shoot back. “This is my grandmother’s recipe. We have prepared this meal for you with all of the finest ingredients, from local sources.”

“I understand and appreciate the profound gladness from which this meal came,” one of your friends begins. “But as you can see, eating this meal caused me inexpressible pain. Is there anything else I might eat?”

You look around the room for sympathetic eyes, confused. The mood in the room has clearly shifted from one of celebration to one of anger and hurt. After a period of silence, one of your hosts stands shaking her head and explains that one must always be in firmer control of their emotions. Another man crosses his arms and scoffs: “This is our culture. You don’t understand our ways. How dare you come here and tell us what’s wrong – perhaps you had better leave.”

Later that night, your friends talk about what happened over drinks. How did this happen? Could we have reacted any better? There were more dietitians and culinary professionals sitting in the room than you could count on both your hands, but you feel there was so little understanding of what happened.

The two older members of your group, who architected the visit, have fallen largely silent. They are hurt also. Although they have eaten here dozens of times, they have never thought too much about the meal’s ingredients. Without allergies of their own, this was never a personal concern. No warnings were given before the meal on the hope they wouldn’t prove necessary. You are instructed that we must move forward in learning from our hosts – when we return to the hosts’ home tomorrow, we will not under any circumstances have a group conversation about what happened.

The next day, one of these older friends – who didn’t say a word over drinks the night before – has a separate group member send out his thoughts by email, precluding direct response or engagement (perhaps having had enough time to formulate his own perspective).

The email reads: How could you expect our hosts to be “partners” in a conversation about food allergies? I see you’re in pain, but we must get it together. These people are not scientists! They don’t understand antihistamines. Did you know they just lost their child to a war, and the government can’t help them at all? I think we have got it pretty good back in our homes compared to these people who are very poor. Everyone has suffered pain. My wife and I have suffered also, so you shouldn’t make such a big deal out of things. We should really just be grateful for what we have.

When you return to your hosts’ home the following afternoon, you are surprised to find that everyone is, in fact, now going to talk about what happened. All of the hosts are at the front of the room, arms crossed, joined by your older friends. Those who suffered yesterday begin to share the pain they experienced. One tries to talk about the reality of food allergies in relation to her family history. Others around the room – from both groups – begin to chime in, staring with contorted faces and thin lips. Whispers and groans begin to fill the air:

“Get a handle on yourselves.”

“Voy a defender esta tradición un poco…mostremos honor, y nos insultaron.”

“You all have made a big deal out of nothing.”

“So disrespectful.”

“Es de much dolor lo que ustedes hicieron.”

This is, of course, a sloppy allegory. What happened in real life was that my study trip to Colombia had a large incidence of blackface (preceded and followed by several dozen smaller such incidences) during a visit to a community who had around thirty youth paint their skin black, their lips red, and dance a traditional dance for us. I wasn’t going to write about this, but enough people have asked me what happened and posted about it in part that I wanted to share my honest impressions.

I’m not going to post pictures, but please know that the experience splintered the group. It chemically altered the way we were able to relate to each other. It fractured both Colombian and Chicagoan students and professors along strange fault lines of indifference, loyalties to old friendships, and misguided racial solidarity. It changed the way I was able to understand, and even look at, students and faculty from both schools.

masks

In 1952, critical theorist Frantz Fanon published Black Skin, White Masks, a psychological study of the internalized racism that colonialism infuses in its subjects, particularly in relation to the pathology of the colonized mind and the black body. Like Ta-Nehisi Coates (and James Cone before him) Fanon was a prophetic expositor of the implicit but often unarticulated fault lines along blackness and whiteness, theorizing on the invisible racial cracks that swallow up entire persons and psyches. He elucidated before many others the profound inability of black people to fit into dominant social norms in a postcolonial society and discussed the implicit association of “blackness” with “villainy” with which we have all been trained to think.

In Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon reflects: “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

The core, inviolable belief at play in our group conversation about the people with white skin wearing masks of black paint, for our Colombian friends, seemed to be a misplaced sense of cultural orgullo and defense of the nobility and supremacy of “our traditional ways.” Therefore, it didn’t matter that the room was full of pastors trained in pastoral care, that some of our group experienced a trauma beyond human words, that we were all Christians struggling to express our mutual hurt. In that moment, very cowardly responses emerged (with the exception of one comment). To preserve cognitive harmony, overwhelmingly cold, sterile, mathematical reactions – “there is no racism in Latin America;” “Look, I am 1/16th African on my mother’s side!” – needed to be liberally employed to, as Fanon writes, “rationalize, ignore, and even deny” our students’ raw, emotional pain.

On the very first day of class we presented for three hours on experiences of anti-black racism that our students felt in both Chicago and in Colombia. But even after two weeks together, there was no recognition that this was all connected: Laquan McDonald’s lynching; being followed around in stores in Barranquilla and Chicago; the racial profiling by security at the airport; Ta-Nehisi’s talk of reparations for slavery; the protests actual black Colombians have been making against blackface; and the “beloved cultural tradition” of putting black paint on white skin.

It is hard to imagine that a blackness one can apply with a sponge, crudely baptize under the guise of “honoring our slave ancestors,” and mop off the floor afterwards is not related to the kind of pathologies that Fanon was writing about. This is perhaps why one of our Colombian professors felt the need to liken light-skinned people doing blackface to the beauty of the incarnation (how a perfect God slipped on soiled human skin and became one of us in a gesture of love). On a continent where blackness has historically been associated with embarrassment, terror, and sin and is currently publicly extinguished or painted on for minstrel dance, this was an uninspired analogy.

Many times in Colombia I heard an invocation of Latin America’s historic tripartite blood fraternity to explain women’s physical beauty, and to justify romanticized claims to African identity. As a multigenerational diasporic mixed race person, I can appreciate to some (although an entirely different) degree the distanced pride in mestizaje identity. But just as I don’t dress as a samurai and do fake Japanese or Hawaiian accents to entertain my white friends, I don’t know that it’s possible to crudely spiritualize away and “parody” one’s vague African ancestry without virulently participating in a tragic kind of anti-blackness. A largely hypothetical mestizaje identity, imagined as a single potent drop of black blood, does not excuse one from the task of reckoning with what the actual black people are feeling today.

I’m not going to go into the exhausting, painful experiences of racism I constantly experienced throughout our trip. I won’t delve into how my sharing of my pain related to Orientalism and anti-Asian racism led to mocking from our own group, how our Colombian hosts perpetuated some of the most hurtful racisms I’ve felt in a while. Those are conversations I will reserve for those I trust.

I’ll just close by saying that in light of the ongoing poverty that children of the African diaspora are still experiencing on this continent, it is unfortunate that many of us took into account the momentary discomfort of fake black people far more than the abiding trauma that actual black people experienced. It is, to be sure, unfortunate that during a trip studying contexts of violence and how the church responds, our leaders, our local partners, and we ourselves largely failed to meaningfully account for situations of emotional violence and silencing perpetuated by the church.

Culture-blindness and the Bible

A friend posted on Twitter the other day: “the person that relies on culture for interpretation of the Bible will never be stable.” His tweet raised for me a few larger questions that I have been thinking about recently while studying here in Barranquilla, Colombia.

As James Cone has posited, the awful violence of the cross is simply more viscerally communicated by witnessing a lynched black body than it could ever be by words from someone “sitting up in some mansion somewhere.” In the same vein, my friend Cláudio Carvalhaes has described how we will write theology very differently depending on whether we’re writing about God from a calm seminary office or from a cantankerous, clamoring refugee camp. In climates of immediacy, our theologizing necessarily takes on a sharper, more tenacious tone.

Likewise, the biblical stories hold different resonances and weights for us based specifically on our social locations. Whether we read scripture from a vantage point of privilege, a position of liminality, or, more likely, from a circumstantial matrix of both advantage and disadvantage, the word of God is alive, breathing in sync with our own breaths and cultural lenses, crackling along our scar tissue.

I know that I shiver hearing certain stories in scripture in ways that others never will. This is humbling. There are many contradictory bloodlines are bristling here, together. Always, starkly different shapes and shadows will leap out us from the biblical text depending on who and where we are.

As a member of the Japanese diaspora in the Americas, it is impossible for me to hear “Exile” without thinking of “Internment;” “Eden” without “Manzanar;” “Exodus” without the presence of divine activity in the protracted, bloody struggle for black liberation on this continent.

When I hear about the pregnant mother of God and her husband being forced to take shelter in a wooden animal shack, I immediately remember the indignities of Santa Anita Racetrack. In the call to violently divorce the indigenous peoples of Canaan from their land as recorded in the book of Joshua, I hear echoes of Prince Asaka’s orders to cleanse the city of Nanking. In Herod’s command to slaughter the innocent, I remember the burned, the scarred beyond repair or recognition after the orders were given to liquidate civilian life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I’m writing this post from the north of Colombia, where I spent the day hearing the stories of displaced and local Afro-Colombian and indigenous residents of San Basilio de Palenque and Gambote. The woman and men we met are firm and fierce believers in the power and presence of God in the midst of their circumstances of the nastiest manifestations of human violence.

I could not imagine trying to tell these communities that their histories of enslavement, displacement, liberation, slaughter, sexual violence, multiraciality, lucha, healing, and raw hope should somehow be shrugged off, that they must lay all of their cultural scars and strengths aside when reading scripture.

It is generally very difficult for Christians of color to take seriously the idea that our cultures shouldn’t let us inform how we interpret the Bible given that those who say this often believe themselves to have no cultures of their own to hinder their encounter with the biblical text. Conveniently, all of the people who take the highest pains to stress to me that our most important identity must be in Christ, not race, happen to see themselves as white.

If the sin of white conservatism’s reading of scripture is to insist that our cultural experiences don’t affect our interpretations in a meaningful way in light of the Universally Revealed Clear Teachings of the Bible, white liberalism’s great idolatry is in their very attempt to center “human experience” – by which of course they have always meant the “human experience” of white men and women. Both methods are effective ways of sterilizing the biblical text, of subjugating persons of color to the idols of white culture, costuming naked racism with religious garb.

While it’s easy for me to herald the many blunders of my country’s majority culture – civic religion, heteropatriarchy, hedonism, capitalism and individualism, meritocracy, white supremacy – I am not then saying that my own culture is the New Boss. It is a romantic endeavor to claim that nonwhite cultures never enshrine negative values. If anything, faults within our own cultural systems should warn us from the idols of ethnic supremacy.

For instance, the East Asian tradition of communion with ancestors with which I identify so deeply has strongly patriarchal elements, problems I also saw to a great extent at the indigenous and Afrodescendant communities we have been spending time with this week. Patriarchy is indeed often an ancient “cultural tradition,” but that doesn’t mean it aligns with God’s vision for gender equality.

The stubborn desire to worship our own ways over those of others is a desire entrenched in every human culture, including my own. Yet only in respecting and recognizing ours and others’ heritages will we come to recognize the ways in which only together might be able to move forward to celebrate the teachings in our backgrounds that point to things like ethnic mutuality, gender equality, and epistemological humility – even as we jettison what’s old and rotted out along the way.

We know that the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than a two-edged sword: it cuts away at cheap aspirations to pure, hermeneutical objectivity which are always undergirded by a white ontology – whether in conservative claims to cultureless-ness or liberal appeals to colorblind-in-Christ-ness.

It is not faithful, but a work of the satanic force of whiteness that asks us to ignore how our cultural ancestries inform our Christian witness. Followers of the Christian way are instead asked to bring all of ourselves to Jesus. This includes applying all of our background to scripture.  In approaching the weighty darkness in which God dwells, pray that the joys, lacks, gems, and brimming absurdities of your culture might help us see and interpret God’s holy words even more clearly.

#BlackLivesMatter Liturgy

Below is the outline of a worship service that was held by the six students in my seminary’s Worship and the Arts: #BlackLivesMatter course this winter. My friend Lauren Robinson and I structured the flow of the liturgy and created the public call and response critique of “All lives matter,” adapted with permission from a blog post by Peter Gathje.

I wrote the prayers below, inspired by the Book of Common Prayer, and they are a part of an ongoing project (a booklet of uncommon prayer) I am working on for the sharing and curating of Collects (a specific kind of traditional prayer used in the Anglican and other traditions) specifically for (and from a lens of) the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

In these skeletal words it is impossible to capture the fullness of the service: thinking here of the cadence of the testimonies, the power in public renunciation and confession, the musical depth, and the impressing of our fingerprints on the portrait of the lynching tree. The service was filmed in its entirety, and I will post a link on this page when it becomes available. Hopefully that will help fill in some gaps for those interested.

I’m very happy to hear feedback on this service: please feel free to use, workshop, and improve it in creating your own spaces to worship God as we journey together to praise our Savior, celebrate blackness, and address the ongoing bane of white supremacy in this land.

black glass

WORSHIP SERVICE

Wednesday, Dec 2nd, 2015

Call to Worship

Liturgical critique of “All Lives Matter!”

All: Moses went to Pharaoh and said, “Slave lives matter. God says, ‘Let my people go!’”

Leader: Pharaoh said:

White People: “ALL lives matter. Get back to work.”

All: The prophets went to the rulers of Israel and said: “Poor lives, widowed lives, orphan lives matter!”

Leader: The rulers of Israel said:

White People: “ALL lives matter. Shut up.”

All: Jesus walked about Roman empire and said: “Lepers’ lives matter. Blind peoples’ lives matter. The lives of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the incarcerated matter.”

Leader: The Roman empire and their collaborators said:

White People: “ALL lives matter. Enjoy your crucifixion.”

All: The children of God held in bondage said: We are in chains. We live under the lash. Our mothers and sisters are being raped.

Leader: The Christian slave-owners responded:

White People: The Bible says: “submit to your masters! Don’t be a trouble maker!”

All: The children of God held in bondage said: We cannot vote, we cannot make a living. Our houses are being stolen from us. We are burned and hung on trees and lamp-poles.

Leader: The nice white people said:

White People: They were probably criminals anyway. We work hard for what we have!

All: The children of God held in bondage said: Our churches are burning. The police are killing our children. We are not safe in Wednesday night Bible studies.

Leader: The lawmakers and churches,  said:

White People: Stop being thugs. What about black on black violence? Jesus says: “Turn the other cheek! Pray for those who persecute you! Forgive your enemies!” Donald Trump’s Life Matters!

Pause

Leader: God, they are killing our children. What else, God, can we say?

All: Silence.

Leader: Against the killings of your children and all strange fruit, Merciful God, we ask that you make prosperous the good fruits of the Holy Spirit in us. Let us hear the cries of those who are mourning. Let our own cries be heard. Grant us boldness and assurance as your children, and end the reign of evil in this land.

All: Amen.

Passing of the Peace

Song: To God Be the Glory

Scripture (Numbers 21:7-9)

Some of the people went to Moses and admitted, “It was wrong of us to insult you and the Lord. Now please ask him to make these snakes go away.”Moses prayed, and the Lord answered, “Make a snake out of bronze and place it on top of a pole. Anyone who gets bitten can look at the snake and won’t die.” Moses obeyed the Lord. And all of those who looked at the bronze snake lived, even though they had been bitten by the poisonous snakes

Testimony

Eucharist

Confession

Fingerprints on the Lynching Tree

Collect for an End to Violence at the Hands of the State

Leader: O God, Protector and Servant of All, Grant that we through the strength of your divine hand might protect and serve one another – make all hatreds cease, unmask all systems of corruption and power, drive out all fears and prejudices in our day. We know that you are as near as our breath and as close to us as the recesses of our hearts and minds. May your presence be a balm to those who are suffering and a dark flame to those who are causing injury. Rupture, O Holy Spirit, O Giver of Truth, the status quo of perennial violence that infects our land, and teach us through your divine Word to reject the lies of any false peace in favor of the presence of your dangerous justice.

All: Amen

Collect Against False (White) Pacifism (Presented through word and dance)

God, we know that the enemy is here to steal and kill and destroy. May God’s Spirit fill and free us, ending false peace and giving us the strength to enter into the depths of our world in all its mangled truths. Empower us to reject any false peace that is maintained through social violence. Forgive us for believing the lie that black people are inherently violent, that white people are inherently safe. Teach us to follow you down any path, empower us to greater freedom and peace in our day by as many means as necessary.

Scripture (Proverbs 6:16-19)

There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
        haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
     a false witness who pours out lies
    and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Final Message 

Closing Scripture (Romans 12:2)

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

how to kill a god

(This is the final post in a three part series on what we talk about when we talk about whiteness. Check out part one here, and part two here.)

Although whiteness has global implications, my aim is not to write about this phenomenon in broad, unhelpful terms. I am reckoning with this heritage from a United States-based (and mainland-centric) perspective. I am processing my experiences as a mixed race person of color living in a country where whiteness has been nourished and crystallized over the past several centuries.

As has been already addressed, we must push back against the idea that race is inscribed in our genetic code. Remember, being “a person of color” is not a simple matter of skin color. In the United States context, being a person of color is a political identification that emerges from making an ancestry claim from a region of the world that has been victim to historic colonialism. Identifying in such a way is an act of claiming political solidarity with other groups that are treated in a racially exclusionary manner.

As we’ve already discussed re: blood quantum, Native American tribal identity has been erased through physical slaughter even as Native Americans have been forced into whiteness through legal and sexual violence. The idea of white people simultaneously, with a wink to those it has already invited in, summons “blackness” as a negative value, and constantly erases other non-black cultures, heritages, and peoples, orienting them towards a single dominant ethnic identity.

Americans of all ethnic backgrounds are affected by whiteness. To play on Shakespeare, some are “born” white, some “achieve” whiteness, and some have whiteness “thrust upon em.” Others, still, are cast far outside its graces.

(To be clear, what we name “blackness” also involves the subsuming of disparate cultures into a single homogenous group – and yet this relic, created to ease and further other-ness and conquest, cannot be said to be evil in the way whiteness can. Blackness was formed differently: not to crush others, but because people were themselves being crushed into a single thing. Therefore, unlike whiteness, blackness has become an emblem of resistance. We can certainly celebrate the holy spectrum of black beauty and center its power in our lives, even as we acknowledge that the idea of a distinct “African race” or a singular “black people,” outside of a political sense, is itself a fiction of historic white supremacy.)

imagine all the people

My concern with whiteness has less to do with biology than it has to do with a dominant social posture: what I am concerned with is whiteness congealing different non-black immigrant groups into a racial militia. I’m concerned with whiteness as violent cultural plunder, as forced ethnic amnesia – as the erasing of your family recipes, the standardizing of human language, the separation of a person from the land her ancestors farmed, the whitewashing of tribal histories and bloodlines, the flattening of nicknames, the shedding of traditional garbs, the assumption of European standards of beauty, the abolition of religious ritual and spiritual heritages.

(Much of this happens because the people who believe themselves to be white have had their own ancestral memories erased. Most days, I feel much happier to have my end of the deal. I prefer the privilege of being able to claim my people’s story, even if it has been maligned, over believing that I am somehow civilization’s cultureless, colorless apex – that I am without the inheritance of precious cultural history.)

As we’ve discussed, the most perplexing thing about whiteness is certainly its virus-like ability to defy categorization, to morph, mutate, and evolve as needed in order to subsume new hosts and continue to reproduce itself across as many populations it comes into contact with. Whiteness is a socially engineered pathogen and we, and certainly our grandchildren, are potential carriers.

The viral analogy is helpful, but in terms of a solution it presents a jarring implication. Can one extinguish a virus that is immortal, that resists every immunization, every genetic code, antidote, and education we have set against it? Can something so adaptive and inexact truly be cured?  In a climate of paranoia and fear, perhaps it is not surprising that some have posed as a solution violent action against its most obvious carriers, even as others have preferred alternative, more peaceable means of exorcism.

I’m asking seriously: how can one vanquish that which powerfully exists by denying its existence and its power? How can we blur a shifting shadow, kill an unnamed god?

killing a god

Truly, what are our options? Do we imbibe a sort of racial atheism, claiming that the hidden deity of white supremacy doesn’t exist? (We may call this the liberal “colorblind” approach.) Do we take whiteness utterly seriously, soberly and constantly naming its presence to the point of being accused of courting the occult? Do we humiliate whiteness? Dress it up in clown shoes and a red nose, trout it about in public, laugh that the emperor is naked, that it dresses funny and can’t dance?

I don’t have a complete answer. I’ve seen the efficacy of different approaches. Surely the solutions will need to come from those on the fringes of this system. This particularly means people who have been stripped of whiteness, and those on its borders: black people, Native persons, mixed race people, and those whose ethnic groups have in more recent decades begun to be absorbed into whiteness.

We may start, at least, by speaking frankly about the Bogeyman‘s existence. We can all begin to examine more closely how our own ancestries have been either crushed by or tricked into relationship with this force. Do not underestimate the power of self-awareness. Ours is a grand time for searching out these histories.

If you know your origins, claim them. Fight for them. If you don’t, if you’re privileged enough to do so, get on the Internet. Use ancestry-tracing tools. Send in a vial of spit and see what stories you were never told. Ask a grandparent if you can. Try to trace your ancestry back: if you’re “white” today, when, precisely, did your ancestors begin “passing” as white? I’m not asking you to “find your roots” in a distanced, clinical sense – don’t feel forced to cling to the shred of a foreign culture that means nothing to you. But was there another story there? Was there a time before you were just “white”? What happened?

One final thought. Working in tandem, scientists and biblical theologians have over the past few centuries proven themselves to be the two most popular tools used to justify white supremacy. It makes sense to start addressing these histories here, no?

If a theological lens makes sense to you, read some James Cone, William Jennings, J. Kameron Carter, Drew Hart, Christena Cleveland who explicitly talk about the connection between whiteness and Christian history. Check out the ByTheirStrangeFruit blog. There are awful histories here to atone for, and tools with which we might begin to move towards hope.

If a scientific framework resonates with you right now, learn the names of those who managed to pull off one of the biggest heists in human history: Blumenbach, Morton, Cuvier, Pickering, Agassiz, Gobineau, Huxley, De Bow. For a more sociological and historical perspective, read the unparalleled Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sharon Chang, and Neil Irving Painter, who will all remind you that race is an idea, not a fact.

Wherever you are, don’t think you have no role in this mess, that you’re just a part of the problem. Truly, people who can “pass” as white need to be engaging in this work just as crucially as those who cannot. Our salvation is ultimately tied up together. Whatever perverted racial thinking infects one directly, infects all indirectly – unchecked whiteness anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. For those of us who grew up without a strong sense of racial identity, let’s resolve to do things differently. Let’s name whiteness’ presence in our midst constantly, in constructive, fierce, and loving ways. And let us always, always be wrestling with the theft that has been done to us.

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An ongoing exploration of faith, culture, myth, life, art. An advocate for all who are trapped in nightmares.

All Things Rabyd

A blog dedicated to the thoughts, opinions, ideas and random madness of Edward W. Raby, Sr. - Pastor, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Bodybuilder and Football Fan. "Yes, the dog is foaming at the mouth. Don't worry, He just had pint of beer and is trying to scare you." This is a Theology Pub so drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home as theology can be as intoxicating as alcohol.

Mercy Not Sacrifice

The Blog of Morgan Guyton

The Visionlarry

Stride with Confidence into the Unknown

brandon andress

extending the kingdom of god...

Deconstructing Myths

Social justice is built one idea at a time...

David Westlake

What on earth is God doing and how do I join in

ywammercy

A blog about how to better serve the poor and vulnerable of our world.

the life of ashley marie

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Good Deeds Are Easy

Do something good today!

Married in Mile Square City

life & love in Hoboken

Ad Dei Gloriam

My thoughts and work on philosophy, theology, and politics.

Walking Christian

One Way, One Truth, One Life

Thoughts from a Catholic

I've been Roman for a while

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