On Racial Justice and Evolution

jyarlandBy Jyarland Daniels, executive director of Harriet Speaks

*Re-posted from social media (June 9, 2020)

One day I will write a book (as too many people continue to ask me to do). And a chapter of that book will be my evolution as it relates to race, racial justice and racial equity work.

That chapter will go something like this:

For much of my child and young adulthood, I was suffocated by racism, but didn’t recognize it as such. Later, I had my own personal awakening. The removing of the scales that clouded my vision started in college and in my early corporate life. In my protest, I walked away from a very lucrative career in business. I have receipts of what I have given up to do this work. Yet, I have no regrets. I only regret that I left bodies in my path. In my harshness and reactionary ways, I didn’t stop to consider that power is important to making change and somebody still needs to have a seat at the table; because, if you aren’t at the table then you are on the menu. I didn’t stop to consider that speaking up to in a way that allows you to heard is just as important as speaking up. Continue reading “On Racial Justice and Evolution”

Apocalypse of Whiteness

whitenessBy Jim Perkinson, a sermon for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Detroit, MI)

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. (Paul, heading off to Rome and ultimately, his death, in II Cor 13:11)

Farewell.  The entirety of the message for today.  Farewell to the world you thought you knew.  Farewell to the country.  To certainty.  To your identity.  To the expectation of progress, well-being, comfort, a good end.  And maybe, most important of all, farewell to the story we have been living in.  We live inside stories—a whole mess of stories—origins stories, initiation stories, trickster stories.  Leslie Marmon Silko says at the end of the day, when the dominators come, when the colonists come, when the supremacists come, when the humans come (if you are a fish or plant or mountain top) all we have are our stories (yes, even non-human creatures probably have stories they live).  But if we are the ones who have been doing the dominating, the colonizing, the reducing, being the “human masters over” everything else as the Psalmist unfortunately says—then what our responsibility comes down to is narrating—and embracing—an “ending.”  How do we end and end well?  Continue reading “Apocalypse of Whiteness”

Day of Fasting and Focus

ppcFrom Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival:

Join us Monday June 8th, two weeks after George Floyd’s death, for a Day of Fasting and Focus which will culminate at 5:00pm when we are asking people to stop where you are for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in silence in honor of the time George Floyd had the literal knee of the state on his neck.

Take the pledge to participate in a National Moment of Silence in Honor of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality on Monday at 5pm EST. Continue reading “Day of Fasting and Focus”

More is at Work than Passes for the News

SehestedBy Ken Sehested

Almost every breakthrough begins with a breakdown. Goodness is not thereby assured; then again, neither is our breath, day by day.

We hope to be effective; but our perseverance is not hitched to efficacy. We insert ourselves, compassionately and intelligently, because that’s who we are. (Or at least who we are becoming.) Continue reading “More is at Work than Passes for the News”

Looting

nickRev. Dr. Nick Peterson  (right) says he was just shooting from the hip in these posts last week. We say he was shooting straight for our heart. 

I mean if we want to talk about looting, let’s talk about the “stolen properties” that structure the entire existence of this horrible project. America is a testimony to the sanctity of white looting. #pentecost

Looting in 1607. That’s when the first “permanent” English settlement was established on the “James” river.

Looting, 1607

What 4 centuries, not days, of “looting” look like. Continue reading “Looting”

Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard

MinnyBy Ric Hudgens

This Sunday, May 31, 2020, Christians celebrate the Day of Pentecost. It is a celebration rooted in the Hebrew “Feast of Weeks” (Shavuot). Christians around the world observe it on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The Biblical origin of the sacred holiday is the Book of Acts, chapter 2, which describes the “descent of the Holy Spirit” upon the earliest church. Continue reading “Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard”

10 Ways

MinnyFrom Mark Van Steenwyk of The Center for Prophetic Imagination, on the ground in Minneapolis.

Here are 10 ways to support the struggle for justice in Minneapolis.

1. Add your voice to this list of demands from Reclaim the Block and Black Visions.

2. Support the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a widely respected bail fund for those arrested in protests against oppression. Continue reading “10 Ways”

Diving Into the Wreck

Catherine
Dr. Catherine Meeks recording the audiobook version of Passionate For Justice, a book she co-authored with Rev. Nibs Stroupe.

A word from Dr. Catherine Meeks (originally posted to social media on May 17, 2020).

These days for me are just like yours, some of them are far better than others. Today is a better day. So I want to share out of that space with you this morning.

I have been thinking about Dr. Vincent Harding, historian, speechwriter for Dr. King and all around holy man and his vision of us  “building up a new world in this country.” These thoughts have been accompanied by my writing and thinking about reparations and all of these thoughts are contextualized by this Covid-19 era and what seems to be a new wave of white violence against African Americans. Continue reading “Diving Into the Wreck”

A Spiritual Pandemic

Lansing, April 30
Lansing, Michigan (April 30, 2020)

By Tommy Airey

*Note: I submitted this op-ed to The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Oregonian. None of them printed it. So I submit it to you.

The white Christians marching with their flags and firearms on state capitals and main streets make it clear: they have neither a care nor a clue about how COVID-19 is disproportionately killing non-white populations. While they protest, Black residents in Detroit shelter-in with water taps shut-off, Indigenous peoples attempt to contain outbreaks on reservations with limited access to health care and Immigrants around the country work the front-lines at unsafe meat processing plants mandated to stay open by an executive order. Unfortunately, the spectacle of the fascist few takes the focus off the rest of us white folk—the silent, enabling masses—also careless and clueless. The coronavirus may be novel, but the overwhelming disregard for Black and Brown life is not. Continue reading “A Spiritual Pandemic”