What I’m Reading and Tweeting: More on Abortion, Christian Wiman, Casual Sex, and Down syndrome

In addition to tweets mentioning articles I’ve read and appreciated this past week, I want to share a quotation from a book I just started by Wendell Berry, The Hidden Wound. I wonder whether those of us who are white people struggling to think about and understand the reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict would do well to read this book in full. Here’s how he begins:

If I had thought it was only the black people who have suffered from the years of slavery and racism, then I could have dealt fully with the matter long ago; I could have filled myself with pity for them, and would no doubt have enjoyed it a great deal and thought highly of myself. But I am sure it is not so simple as that. If white people have suffered less obviously from racism than black people, they have nevertheless suffered greatly; the cost has been greater perhaps than we can yet know. If the white man has inflicted the wound of racism upon black men, the cost has been that he would receive the mirror image of that wound into himself. As the master, or as a member of the dominant race, he has felt little compulsion to acknowledge it or speak of it; the more painful it has grown the more deeply he has hidden it within himself. But the wound is there, and it is a profound disorder, as great a damage in his mind as it is in his society.

This wound is in me, as complex and deep in my flesh as blood and nerves. I have borne it all my life, with varying degrees of consciousness, but always carefully, always with the most delicate consideration for the pain I would feel if I were somehow forced to acknowledge it. But now I am increasingly aware of the opposite compulsion. I want to know, as fully and exactly as I can, what the wound is and how much I am suffering from it. And I want to be cured; I want to be free of the wound myself, and I do not want to pass it on to my children. Perhaps this is only wishful thinking; perhaps such a thing is not to be done by one man, or in one generation. Surely a man would have to be almost dangerously proud to think himself capable of it. And so maybe I am really saying only that I feel an obligation to make the attempt, and that I know if I fail to make at least the attempt I forfeit any right to hope that the world will become better than it is now.

And the tweets:

Poetics and Piety: One man’s journey of rediscovering God & expressing “#Faith, in#poetryow.ly/n8XgG @markopp1#YaleDivinity

What makes #abortion different from other issues? ow.ly/n8Yed #politics @nytimes#LifevsDeath

Why young college women are choosing#CasualSex over emotionally invested#relationships. #Achievement @EllenPDollarhttp://ow.ly/n9wzb

#DownSyndrome’s Extra Chromosome Silenced in Lab Cells http://ow.ly/n9xay@BloombergNews #ChromosomeTherapy#StemCells

#DownSyndrome man dies in police custody- Family seeks answers @washingtonposthttp://ow.ly/n9zXk #EthanSaylor #WalkInLove

President addresses the nation’s#RacialFaultLines http://ow.ly/ndyol@nytimes #Zimmerman #TrayvonMartin

Can low and middle income Americans really live the #AmericanDream ow.ly/njYfa@MilesCorak @nytimes #Inequality#Opportunity

http://ow.ly/nk2Xo When Is a #RoyalBaby a#Fetus? @rowenbpe #Abortion @TheAtlantic

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).

Comments

  1. As you are an advocate for those with Down syndrome, coul dyou use person-first language? Man w/Down syndrome vs. Down syndrome man.


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