The Culture of Whiteness

RubyA Ruby Sales Ted Talk? Hell yes. This is just an excerpt. Watch and listen to the entire talk here.

Now that we’ve touched the hurt, we must ask ourselves, “Where does it hurt and what is the source of the hurt?” I propose that we must look deeply into the culture of whiteness. That is a river that drowns out all of our identities and drowns us in false uniformity to protect the status quo.

Notice, everybody, I said “culture of whiteness,” and not “white people.” Because in my estimation, the problem is not white people. Instead, it is the culture of whiteness. And by culture of whiteness, I mean a systemic and organized set of beliefs, values, canonized knowledge and even religion, to maintain a hierarchical, over-and-against power structure based on skin color, against people of color. It is a culture where white people are seen as necessary and friendly insiders, while people of color, especially black people, are seen as dangerous and threatening outsiders, who pose a clear and present danger to the safety and the efficacy of the culture of whiteness. Continue reading

Second Helpings

talitha2By Talitha Fraser

We live in times where the focus is on those things that divide rather than connect us but as Chappo (Peter Chapman) says “You should share communion together, it has a unique power to unite beyond words.

For over 20 years Credo, in Melbourne, Australia, was a community gathering around food, recreation and creative art to foster a sense of home – especially for those of us experiencing homelessness, addiction, mental illness and isolation.  The Credo community believed good community development is possible when people from all economic and cultural backgrounds get together and support one another. Whether it’s by cooking together, eating together, singing together or playing cricket together. We need to foster spaces for people to develop transformative relationships with each other.  Though this community no longer exists its ethos, and delicious bolognaise, might live on in your kitchen and at your table. Continue reading

Jesus of the Streets: Honoring “Duff”

duffBy Dr. Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

For the last number of years a rag-tag bunch of us have remembered Good Friday by utilizing the Catholic liturgical tradition known as the Stations of the Cross. However the particular form we have employed is borrowed from the radical liberation theologians from Latin America, a practice which departs from standard piety by moving into the streets both to stand in solidarity “for” and “with” those crushed by poverty within our midst and to challenge that imperially driven alliance of corporations and their political sycophants which sustains and undergirds a socio-economic war against the poor. We carry signs, posters, have readings and pass out leaflets. Continue reading

To Fight With Unrelenting Passion

ransbyAn excerpt from Barbara Ransby’s “Revolutionary Musings,” originally posted on Huff Post two years ago.

When I was a teenager growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, I thought we were on the verge, if not in the midst, of a revolution. Increasingly, I have come to view revolution as a process, not an event, as a journey, not a final destination. In fact, there is no ‘promised land’ in my revolutionary imagination, just a beautiful eternal promise that we make to one another (and to the planet) to fight with unrelenting passion for a more just, humane and sustainable world.

Barbara Ransby is the Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

One of the Flawed and Ragtag Band

dee deeBy Dee Dee Risher (Philly, PA)

*This is the fifth installation of a year-long series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

Discipleship is hard enough without the “radical” word in front of it. Often when I hear the phrase unpacked, there is a focus on radical (“root”), and what it entails. In our current context, community, and point of history, how should the taproot of our faith look?

That is a beautiful and rich question, but I find myself grappling with the word “discipleship” instead, pondering that ragtag band of twelve that followed the bold, enigmatic teacher around the backwaters of Galilee in Palestine. Continue reading

People Who Love Fiercely

lyniceA Friday classic. An excerpt from The Sun Magazine interview (Oct 2014) with Rev. Lynice Pinkard.

I identified deeply with my father’s ministry, and I wanted to emulate him. My siblings and I used to play church. I’d stand on the hearth with a white towel around my neck like a clerical collar and preach. They hated it, but I was the eldest, so they had to go along. As much as I loved Sunday worship services, the cadences of black preaching, the way people expressed their faith openly, the call and response, I also cherished the community, the deep love I felt from the congregation. And Jesus is just about the only man I’ve ever been in love with! Continue reading

Letter from an editor

geez logoDear Radical Discipleship community,

I write with some exciting news that I long to share with this community of readers and contributors who have been and will continue to be a resting place for me.

It is with delight that I share that over the next few months, I will step into the position of editor at Geez magazine. I am not leaving RadicalDiscipleship.net. These past 4 1/2 years cultivating RD have been such a gift to connect with so many of you and share powerful stories from those with hands and hearts in the struggle. I love working with Tommy on this project and we hope that it will continue for many years to come. Continue reading