No doubt about it. Anti-semitism is real and frighteningly on the rise worldwide, especially with the rise of the extreme right, and we need to fight this tooth and nail. But the idea that someone who criticizes the Israeli government’s racist policies must be an anti-semite is ludicrous, a smoke screen for greed and thuggish colonialism. Good article by Juan Cole about Palestinian rights’ finally entering the American political mainstream.
Tag Archives: racism
We’ve had two and one-half years of Trump’s prevarications, his blatant racism, white supremacy, nationalism, militarism, concentration camps, and cult of personality, and yet the mainstream media is still demure about using the ‘F’ word. I’m talking about fascism. His recent cult rally in Greenville, NC was so blatantly fascist, one wonders what the media is waiting for. Perhaps a goosestep? Arm-bands? Are they afraid of alienating their readership? I don’t think we should be too concerned about offending racists and fascists.
The media as a whole have done such a piss-poor job at educating and protecting the American people, one marvels at just how deeply complicit they are. Perhaps the ‘F’ word has been so over-used by both sides of the political spectrum that it no longer has any meaning. It’s a pity, because it does have a clear definition.
Those who attended Trump’s rally seem so obsessed with Sharia law’s being incompatible with our Constitution, they don’t seem to realize that fascism is too. Straining out a gnat, they’ve swallowed a camel. The rally had some striking parallels to the 1938 American Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden. Or would today’s media simply call that one “far-right”?
Scholar Henry Giroux has written an important article on the topic, and it’s well worth the read.
Another descendant of Robert E. Lee is speaking out about his struggle to come to terms with his family’s Confederate past. Journalist James Gannon has put together a moving video about his personal journey and his exploration of the legacy of slavery in America. Check it out.
A few weeks ago I went for a routine blood test. As normally happens, the phlebotomist looked at the long list of tests ordered by my physician and whistled. I suppose it was to distract myself from counting the number of tubes she was extracting from the drawer that I asked how she was “surviving the Age of Trump.” She is African-American; I’m white. Over the past year and a half we’ve had a few good heart-to-heart conversations about what is happening to our country. Like me, she’s in her late fifties, a committed Christian, active in her church body. I shared with her some of the struggles we’ve had, as parents of a biracial child, finding a church here in the Bible Belt. I told her a few stories of the subtle racism that we’ve encountered. She had grown up in the South, had attended church all her life, so I knew what I shared wouldn’t surprise her, as it has me. She just nodded her head sympathetically. Then, when I was done, she looked at me, sighed, put her hand on mine and said something succinctly profound: “Honey, when it comes to racism, the church is where the devil sits.”
I’ve just endured my daily scanning of the headlines, read the transcript of another creepy press conference from hell in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders (à la Jeff Sessions) defended the separation of immigrant children from their parents, citing the Bible. I can only feel pity for someone who is clearly a shipwrecked soul. One could say, when you mix religion and politics, you get politics. Yet the twisted sophistries that come from her mouth have an old and familiar ring.
The racist policies of this administration, which seem daily to out-Herod Herod, are deeply rooted in a cruel and cultic brand of white-European Protestant Christianity that centuries ago allied itself with colonialism (which was also an outgrowth of capitalism). It has had various manifestations, justifying genocide, slavery, manifest destiny, Jim Crow, white supremacy, the re-education of Native American children. We thought it was dead, or at least dying. In reality, it was just waiting in the corner doing push-ups, getting ready for the last battle, waiting for a champion.
Let’s face it. When it comes to racism, the church (55 years after Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech) is still where the devil has his seat. We thought we had evolved beyond this, that we could solve this through education alone. But racism is also a demonic principality that must be pulled down, through repentance, prayer, and the word of God. Racism is not powerful merely because of what it is, but also because of where it sits, cockily ruling over the hearts and minds of those who call themselves “God’s people.” Unless pastors wake up and start attacking this dragon from the pulpit, unless we repent, disenthrall ourselves, and start praying, we will still be fighting this battle a century from now.
Check out this New York Times article on the “quiet exodus” of African-Americans from white churches.
Great article by Maj. Danny Sjursen, former history prof. at West Point. It deals with slavery and the “devil’s bargain” made by wealthy Virginia landowners in the 17th century. In order to keep their unequal share of wealth and quench growing class unrest, they ‘racialized’ class in America. And we’ve been stuck with this ever since.
At its annual meeting this week, the Southern Baptist Convention faltered in its condemnation of racism. This Guardian article explains why the failure is more the rule than the exception. (Lors de sa réunion cette semaine, la Convention baptiste du Sud a été presque incapable de condamner le racisme. Cet article explique pourquoi cet échec est plus souvent la règle que l’exception.)
“It would be a mistake to interpret this fiasco simply as a misstep. The Southern Baptist Convention’s reluctance to condemn racism is not only true to its history but it reflects how white supremacy is built into the very DNA of American Christianity.”
“…Christianity came into America enslaving black people, dispossessing indigenous people of their lands, and committing sexual violence. In doctrine and practice, it justified all of this. Christian faith consolidated itself around the bodies of white, propertied men while dehumanizing others. Trump’s platform might not be a grotesque distortion of American Christianity as much as it is its sins come home to roost”
“At some point, it becomes naïve to see the white supremacy in American Christianity as an exception when it has been the rule. What is needed is more than reform and more than the correction of bad actions attached to otherwise innocent beliefs. Instead, the only alternative is a revolutionary Christianity that becomes something it has never been in the Americas; what is needed is the blossoming of a new kind of faith.”
Read full article here.