On Race, Gender, and Being “Unbiased”

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Rachel Held Evans recently posted this on her facebook page: Observation: It seems like a lot of young theologians assume that being male makes them unbiased about gender, that being straight makes them unbiased about sexuality, that being privileged makes them unbiased about oppression, that being white makes them unbiased about race, that that being relatively wealthy makes them unbiased about poverty/economic issues, and that being highly educated makes them unbiased (and uniquely qualified) … [Read more...]

John Crawford III Denied Justice

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I have to admit to feeling a bit sick. I just saw two things in very close proximity. The first was a headline announcing that Beavercreek, Ohio, police were cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of John Crawford III. The second was the surveillance video of that shooting, which occurred in a Walmart.Crawford had picked up an unloaded BB gun off a shelf and was swinging it gently, point down, while standing in an aisle talking on the phone. The autopsy report found that Crawford was … [Read more...]

Adrian Peterson and Black Parenting

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Several of my commenters have pointed out that there's a racial dimension important in understanding the Adrian Peterson situation. This isn't about saying that what Peterson did in abusing his son was okay, but rather that it's important to understand the context within which black parents make their disciplinary decisions. As a white woman, I don't feel qualified to speak to this directly, but I want to point to several articles I've seen written on this dimension over the past few days. For … [Read more...]

The Militarization of American Police

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I just came upon a rather startling article that may help introduce this whole "militarization of the police" thing to those new to the concept. The article is titled "'It's a warzone in the US': Indiana sheriff explains why he deployed heavy armor in his county." Here is an excerpt:From the streets of Fallujah to Franklin, Indiana, heavily armored military vehicles have been rolled out for one and the same reason: many police officers in the US believe there’s a war going on … [Read more...]

Some Readers’ Experiences with Race and Police

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When I posted last week about white privilege and the Mike Brown story, I was fascinated as readers relayed their own stories and experiences with racism in the comment section. I want to take a moment to share two of those stories with you. This is Trinity91's story:It isn't just the south though. It's all of american culture. The south is just more open about their bigotry. I moved from New Mexico (where things are bad, especially in regard to police brutality) to the suburbs of Seattle … [Read more...]

What’s a Death Sentence in the Grand Old USA?

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Some weeks ago I read an article about a man who shot a home invader in the back as she fled down an alley, having already left the house. In the comments, readers pointed out that the woman had chosen to break into the guy's home, and that when he returned and found her there she initially assaulted him, and that she therefore deserved what she got. These things were ostensibly true, but here's the thing---they had no bearing on whether or not the man had been correct to shoot and kill … [Read more...]

Educating My White Privilege

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I started this post some time ago, but recent events have made me feel that now is the time to finish and post it. Several days ago black teenager Mike Brown was gunned down by police. He was unarmed and had his hands in the air, and still the police officer shot him again, and again, and then left him for dead.I have a lot of privilege. I am white. I was raised in an upper middle class family. I am cisgendered and present as straight. I grew up in an evangelical community that was 100% wh … [Read more...]


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