Charlottesville: A Reading List

AlexanderA great list of resources from The New York Public Library’s Gwen Glazer, Librarian, Readers Services (see original post here): 

Events of the past week have left many of us struggling for understanding. In such times, it can help to turn to books and authors to help us see the world through a broader lens.

The Library always seeks to provide information, so we’ve assembled a list of books—on bigotry, white supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, social justice, freedom of speech, and more—that can lend context to the events in Charlottesville and beyond.

Racism and Anti-Semitism in America

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America by Calvin Trillin

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman

The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan by Laurence Leamer

The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men by Eric Lichtblau Continue reading

After the Rallies, the Real Work

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Philadelphia March. Photo from the News and Observer

By Will O’Brien

The Wednesday following the violence in Charlottesville, I joined with thousands of people in Philadelphia, mostly persons of faith, to march in the streets and rally.  The energy was high, the anger was rife, and the sense of energy to change palpable.  As distressing as the events were that precipitated this march, it felt good to be there.

But it also stirred some long-standing concerns and questions of mine.  This was partly the result of recently picking up off the shelf my old copy of Will D. Campbell’s memoir Brother to a Dragonfly, a book that had a powerful impact on me when I first read it over thirty years ago.  Campbell was a Southern Baptist preacher from rural Tennessee who became an important leader in the civil rights movement.  As a white southern man, he was part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  His radical understanding of the gospel and his own discernment of the racial crisis in his home region led him to the conviction that “Jesus died for the bigots as well,” and he took to a very controversial ministry among Ku Klux Klan members.  Ornery and wickedly funny, Campbell often cut through the pretensions and hypocrisies of many white liberal activists. Continue reading

My “Nonviolent” Stance Was Met With Heavily Armed Men

AntifaA post from Logan Rimel, parish administrator at University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley (CA). Logan traveled to Charlottesville during the weekend of August 5 to bear witness with his friends at Charis Community Cville.

Some thoughts on nonviolence post-Charlottesville:

TLDR: White Christians, if you aren’t willing to personally take a bat to the head, shut up about antifa.

My FB feed, podcast feed, workplace conversations, and church chit chat are circling around Charlottesville, antifa, violence/nonviolence, white folks quoting Dr. King, white supremacy, neo-Nazis…It’s hard to get away from it. There’s part of me that doesn’t want to, that wants to keep refreshing the feed, taking in more, trying to read the next thing and the next thing. Maybe if I keep myself submerged here, what I saw will make sense. Continue reading

Sermon: On Charlottesville

index.jpgBy Ross M. Reddick, Pastor
A gospel message delivered to Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church
8/13/2017
Text: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Today’s scripture lesson is about hatred, and the results of hatred. Joseph’s brothers hated him. The reasons why, while they are important for a full understanding, seem to fade in importance today.

As our session met yesterday in the fellowship hall, as we were laughing together, making plans, praying and visioning, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia…erupted. Violently. As of last night, dozens of serious injuries are being dealt with by the medical community there, and at least three have died–two police officers (in the line of duty), and a 32 year old woman…crushed to death as a car intentionally rammed through a crowd of people.  Continue reading

And Not a Moment Before

CvilleBy Tommy Airey, co-editor of RadicalDiscipleship.net

On Friday, in preparation for this past weekend’s neo-fascist march and rally in Charlottesville, Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, cited “the right of every American to deny those ideas more attention than they deserve.” He strongly encouraged people to stay away from the counter-protest.  As if oppressors and abusers just go away if we don’t confront them with our humanity.  As if level-headedness and moderation have ever saved those catching hell.

However, this was far from the first time that McAuliffe has distanced himself from the militant nonviolent tradition of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who, while in a Birmingham cell, rejected “the narrow, provincial ‘outside agitator’ idea” of white moderate clergy.  Jyarland Daniels, the founder of the racial equity organization Harriet Speaks, reminded me recently that, in the lead-up to the 2016 Presidential election, McAuliffe, a huge Hillary Clinton supporter, worked tirelessly to ensure that (mostly black) ex-felons could get the right to vote. This is significant because McAuliffe’s support (with most of the Democratic Party establishment) for mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders and felon disenfranchisement laws have crippled black families and neighborhoods for decades. Continue reading