Smart people saying smart things (2.12)

Smart people saying smart things (2.12) February 12, 2016

Kali Holloway, “How Delusional Nostalgia Is Killing the White Working Class”

White Americans overall believe African American and Hispanic gains are their losses. A 2011 study from Harvard found that “white Americans see racism as a zero-sum game that they are now losing.” …

That is, they perceived racism, and the limitations it sets on African Americans in every sphere of American life, as beneficial to whites. Equality, by white Americans’ curious logic, doesn’t serve us all: The more equal some of us become, the less equal others of us get. For blue-collar white Americans, who are more vulnerable than their more affluent and better educated peers, this fear is particularly pronounced. The terror of slipping down a rung on an already precarious ladder is transformed into a sort of paranoia.

Walter Brueggeman, “The Gospel vs. Scripture? (via)

For me, the conviction from Martin Luther that you have to make a distinction between the Gospel and the Bible is a terribly important one. Of course, what Luther meant by the Gospel is whatever Luther meant. And that’s what we all do, so there’s a highly subjective dimension to that. But it’s very scary now in the church that the Gospel is equated with the Bible, so you get a kind of a biblicism that is not noticeably informed by the Gospel. And that means that the relationship between the Bible and the Gospel is always going to be contested and I suppose that’s what all our churches are doing – they’re contesting.

… The prophets are largely focused on economic questions, but I suppose that the way I would transpose that is to say that the prophets are concerned with the way in which the powerful take advantage of the vulnerable. When you transpose that into these questions, then obviously gays and lesbians are the vulnerable and the very loud heterosexual community is as exploitative as any of the people that the prophets critiqued. Plus, on sexuality questions you have this tremendous claim of virtue and morality on the heterosexual side, which of course makes heterosexual ideology much more heavy-handed.

Margo Kaplan, “Fertility clinics destroy embryos all the time. Why aren’t conservatives after them?”

The disparity between how the law treats abortion patients and IVF patients reveals an ugly truth about abortion restrictions: that they are often less about protecting life than about controlling women’s bodies. Both IVF and abortion involve the destruction of fertilized eggs that could potentially develop into people. But only abortion concerns women who have had sex that they don’t want to lead to childbirth. Abortion restrictions use unwanted pregnancy as a punishment for “irresponsible sex” and remind women of the consequences of being unchaste: If you didn’t want to endure a mandatory vaginal ultrasound , you shouldn’t have had sex in the first place.

Daniel José Camacho, “Do Multicultural Churches Reinforce Racism?”

Multicultural churches have been better at making people of color approximate white attitudes and perspectives on race than challenging Whiteness itself. Part of the issue lies with how race and racial categorization itself is understood. Like popular reconciliation paradigms, multicultural paradigms mistake racial separation and lack of diversity as the heart of racism when these, in fact, are symptoms. …

To be sure, cross-racial/cultural relationships are important and beneficial in many ways but insufficient by themselves to undo racism. Relationships and group-dynamics need to be held within a larger context. More than a superficial multiculturalism which boils down to demographics, we are desperately in need of Christian practice that is liberative and decolonial, that attends to structural realities and exercises long-term memory.



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