Smart people saying smart things (2.1)

Smart people saying smart things (2.1) February 1, 2018

William J. Barber II, “The moral and national danger of a president’s cursing”

Theologically, there is a difference between profanity and cursing. To curse is to pronounce harm and back it up with power. When a president writes off whole nations as “shitholes,” he is not simply using salty language. He is advocating harsh immigration policy that would use the most powerful government in the world to enforce discrimination and inequality. 

Every political leader who is accommodating Trump’s vulgar extremism is, biblically speaking, cursing and not blessing this nation.

Jemar Tisby, “Of Sh*tholes and Section 8: A Response to Rod Dreher”

Dreher likely calls me a liberal because I talk about racism and systemic injustice. He makes his opinion about these topics clear when in the final paragraph he calls me a “ professional race-baiter.”

It is an easy and oft-used tactic to claim that someone who talks about race is a “race-baiter.” But, as has often been said, saying that it’s raining doesn’t mean you caused it to rain. I point out racial issues because they exist. They affect me and our entire nation daily. To turn a (color)blind eye to racism is to fundamentally misunderstand the way our society has been (dis)ordered.

Ursula Le Guin, National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, 2014

Rachael Denhollander, “My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.”

The reason I lost my church was not specifically because I spoke up. It was because we were advocating for other victims of sexual assault within the evangelical community, crimes which had been perpetrated by people in the church and whose abuse had been enabled, very clearly, by prominent leaders in the evangelical community. That is not a message that evangelical leaders want to hear, because it would cost to speak out about the community. It would cost to take a stand against these very prominent leaders, despite the fact that the situation we were dealing with is widely recognized as one of the worst, if not the worst, instances of evangelical cover-up of sexual abuse. Because I had taken that position, and because we were not in agreement with our church’s support of this organization and these leaders, it cost us dearly.

Jamelle Bouie, “Donald Trump’s Enduring Promise”

This effort has been the administration’s greatest success to date and may well be its most lasting accomplishment. Trump’s rhetoric sends the clear message that America does not welcome nonwhites, and his immigration crackdown brings real fear to black and brown communities across the country. His tax policies don’t just widen income inequality, they entrench our deep racial inequality too, heightening the zero-sum thinking — their gain is my loss — that makes closing those gaps difficult and politically costly. His court picks may allow Republican politicians — who rely almost exclusively on white voters to win elections — to disenfranchise black and Latino voters through gerrymandering, vote dilution, and outright voter suppression.

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