Linking Around: Violent Racism and Christian Conversion

Following up from yesterday’s brief blurb on Joseph Pearce’s autobiography, over at the Register you can read his latest essay, “Charlottesville Through the Eyes of an Ex-White Supremacist.”

At Aleteia, Patrick McNamera tells the history of Fr. John Markoe, who fought racism within and beyond the Church in the early 20th century.

Longtime readers will recall I’ve shared in the past the conversion story of Nathan Bedford Forest:

Nathan Bedford Forrest the fierce fighter, gambler, racist, and sinner….was a changed man.

In 1875, Forrest was invited to speak to a black civil rights group called the “Pole-Bearers” Association, a forerunner for today’s NAACP.

You may also recall I’ve mentioned Max Longley’s book For the Union and the Catholic Church.  This is a detailed history following the lives of four prominent Catholics who had to grapple with the question of how the United States should handle the question of race and slavery.  What I love about this book is that nothing is simple: We see all the complexity of shifting opinions, complicated politics, and personal weaknesses.

And finally, at my personal blog I’ve got up an essay on why people post those tiresome memes about the evils of racism:

This is why people post those memes.  The repetition grows tiresome for us who aren’t at that point.  We don’t need anti-racist reminders anymore than we need reminders that air should have oxygen and diesel fuel doesn’t belong on your drinks table.  We wish you would quit posting pictures of different-colored kittens all snuggled up together in a display of racial solidarity, and get back to sharing the plain old non-polemical kittens for which the internet was invented.

But we’ll be patient.  Because if you are a recovering racist, or you spend your day with not-yet-recovering racists, maybe you need an outlet.   If Solidarity Kittens help you, then please: Be helped.

Something I don’t say explicitly there, but follows: Violent white supremacists don’t come out of nowhere.  They represent the logical extreme of the low-level racism that is still a problem in this country (and others).  And hence the flurry of “Racism is Bad!” comments on social media.  People are still struggling with this issue.

I don’t get it, but they are.

I’d much rather you struggle along than that you give up and give in.

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