From the prophetic imagination of Nick Peterson, currently pursuing his PhD in Liturgics and Ethics at Emory University:
Do you find that your race or ethnicity prevents you from getting humane treatment in life? Well, this product is for you. This bracelet will instruct those who you encounter in the real world to treat you like you are white. In an age of colorblindness and implicit bias, nothing can communicate more clearly how you should be treated. When an officer pulls you over – treat me like I’m white. When you are being followed by a clerk in a nice store – treat me like I’m white. When you are in a restaurant and they don’t want to seat you or let you use the restroom – treat me like I’m white. When you go to the bank – treat me like I’m white. Basically, in any formal and mainstream circumstance, there is no better way to be treated. For less than $5, you have a wearable reminder to the world to – Treat You Like You’re White! Order Here!!
Day 3 of our Lenten Journey with Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam.”
I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans.
By Rev. Nick Peterson (above right, with spouse NaKisha), a pastor and prophet pursuing a PhD in liturgics and ethics at Emory University in Atlanta
Fixed in the intellectual heritage of American pragmatism is the notion that every problem has a solution. From the earliest stages of our formal education we are presented with problems that can be solved if we take the time to understand them and apply the methods and rules we learned. Modern medicine and technology are all furthered by a desire to solve our problems and in so doing make our lives better. Continue reading
A series of social media posts from Rev. Nick Peterson:
Last night me and a friend were talking inside the Chick fil A when they closed. We continued our conversation outside and after a while 3 male employees came out to tell us that we were not allowed to be in the parking lot after 10:30 pm. We did not know what time it was or that it was already past 10:30. We spent another few minutes wrapping up our conversation. In the intervening time the employees called the police on us. We of course did not know this when we pulled off and one of the young men who initially came to us bid us a good night as we were pulling out of the parking lot.
As we were waiting at the light, two police vehicles pulled in, drove past my white friend in his truck in front of me and when they locked eyes on me pulled a U turn and put there flashers on. My friend was able to make the right turn on Lincoln highway without any officer following him. He proceeded to park across the street and witness both officers round my car for the next 10 minutes. Continue reading
A Facebook post from Rev. Nick Peterson (July 1):
some white people are concerned that black people hate them.
there are white people who never hated black people and did little to nothing to challenge the systems that oppress black people.
some people believe hate is a key ingredient to oppression.
if we focus on hate, we can keep the conversation to individual actions that convey hate and bias.
the driving force behind oppression is always material gain.
hate functions as the myth to justifying oppression. Continue reading
A recent Facebook post from Rev. Nick Peterson, Capital Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, PA:
As a powerful but vain imagination, white supremacy attempts to imprison God to whiteness. In a white supremacist framework – God has a white sentence without parole. While confined, God must look white, talk white, think white, affirm white, bless white, and value, above all things, “his” own image made in whiteness. White supremacy attempts to hold the very God of the universe in chains – theological, liturgical, spiritual, creedal, geographical, social, emotional, and political. Continue reading
By Rev. Nick Peterson (right, being introduced by Ruby Sales)
Without this effort, the secret place is merely a dungeon in which the person perished; without this effort, indeed, the entire world would be an uninhabitable darkness.
James Baldwin, Another Country (1962)
My friend was in pain. All the things he held dear and cherished were slipping from his grasp. In naming his losses he named his desire to grab ahold of something, something to help him live, to help him cope. I wanted to comfort him, to hold his hand, make some kind of physical contact, to disrupt the isolation he was feeling. But I hesitated, unsure of an appropriate way, a manly way, to comfort my friend. Truthfully, I was paralyzed by the fear of what my touch might communicate about my identity as a man, my sexuality, and my connection to him.
A Call to Worship written by Nick Peterson (photo: far right) for today’s service at Capitol Presbyterian of Harrisburg, PA:
The Lord be with you.
A year ago today, Michael Brown, Jr., an 18-year-old recent high school graduate while unarmed was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson in Fergson, MO. His death and others like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Renisha McBride, and Oscar Grant sparked a national movement aimed at bringing awareness to racialized police violence and excessive use of force.