Smart people saying smart things (12.6.16)

Smart people saying smart things (12.6.16) December 6, 2016

Jamelle Bouie, “Why Did Some White Obama Voters Go for Trump?”

We assume that the relative lack of racial violence over the last generation is because of a change of heart and attitude. And surely that has happened to some extent. But to what degree does it also reflect an erstwhile political consensus wherein leaders refused to litigate the question of multiracial democracy? Absent organized opposition to the idea that nonwhites were equal partners in government, there was no activation in the broad electorate. It wasn’t an issue people voted on, because they couldn’t.

Donald Trump changed that.

Crystal St. Marie Lewis, “Now That the World Has Changed”

I have pondered the implications of sharing a “big tent” with religious people whose “literal” interpretation of the Bible somehow fails to capture the bare essence of what Jesus found most important: Justice for the oppressed, care for the sick, a welcome for the stranger, and an upending of systems that perpetuate injustice. A religion – my religion – which burst forth from the hearts and imaginations of a people desiring a world closer to God’s dream has become a monster of nightmares. Perplexed by all of this, I wondered aloud in a series of conversations with a clergy friend: How does one fight for justice from within a philosophy that has itself become oppressive? How does one fight Empire with empire?

Jarvis Williams, “5 Ways Christian Institutions of Higher Education Can Avoid White Supremacy”

It’s naïve for white institutions to think that mono-ethnic white institutional leadership can deconstruct a white supremacist reputation and heritage amongst people of color. In fact, white institutions who think that they’re able to avoid becoming a white supremacist institution without black or brown leadership are blinded by their own privilege.

Predominately white institutions are predominately white for historical and cultural reasons. These institutions need the help of people of color to lead them away from and to keep them away from all forms of white supremacy, especially intellectual white supremacy.

Joy Reid, “Already Happening: Media Normalization of Trumpism”

You may be asked, over the next four years, to accept things you never dreamed would be acceptable, and to turn a blind eye to vulgarity and hypocrisy and failure. You’ll be sold the pageantry of presidential succession, along with lighthearted stories about Melania’s New York shopping sprees or Ivanka’s parenting tips. Long forgotten will be questions about the former’s immigration lies or the fact that potentially any world leader has seen photographs of the first lady naked; or about the many times the latter has been the object of prurient commentary by her father. Religious leaders will grin and embrace the Trump presidency as if it was blessed by God almighty, even as they hover over bill signings designed to consign women and gays back to second class status and ignore the Biblical admonition to see to the poor, the widow and the orphan.

Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and [humanity] must be proclaimed and denounced.



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