Thursday, July 02, 2015

an apology from a white supremacist arsonist


I just want to say


Seven churches burning
within a month
black churches getting blacker
by the moment

give me matches
a can of gasoline
and transportation
I'll make it seventy times seven

Forgive me
I didn't think to bring
enough marshmallows
to share



A false apology poem in the style of William Carlos Williams.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

[final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission]


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Logo


Honouring the Truth,
Reconciling for the Future
Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

From the Introduction:
For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”

Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.

In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.
(emphasis added)


Link to full PDF online.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

an apology from the Charleston shooter


For Pastor Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Rev Daniel Simmons Snr, Rev Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson. Murdered June 17, 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, S.C.

A false apology poem in the style of William Carlos Williams.





i just want to say

You welcomed me in
to your prayer time
let me sit
were very kind

an hour of that
was all I could take
I shot nine of you
in little time

Forgive me
I shouldn't have pretended
that prayer
mattered to me

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[traumatizing]







This is a common theme on my Twitter feed these days -- black people mentioning that they are feeling traumatized by the continuous news reports, looping videos, etc. depicting police violence against black people.

This might be difficult for those of us who are white to relate to. We've grown accustomed to watching news of wars in far off places involving people whose skin is a different colour than ours, and this seems like a variation of that. Our senses have become dulled.

But for black Americans watching what is happening to their brothers and sisters in their own neighbourhood or in a city across a few state lines, this is real. Not just because real people are being killed -- in many cases, murdered -- by the police. But because they know it could happen to them just as easily. Just for walking down the street or looking at someone the wrong way.

The result is trauma, perhaps similar to being in a war zone. The world is not safe.


news reports on racial injustice ... can be traumatizing. Austin Channing on Twitter, March 11, 2015

#racialtraumaisreal. Tweet by Zakiya Naema Jackson, April 30, 2015
Related article.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

[god is black]


Daniel José Camacho writes:
Cone’s statement that “God is black” has always been grounded in Jesus’ Jewishness and the biblical narrative which presents God as being in solidarity with the oppressed. As he has clarified on numerous occasions, it is a symbolic statement and not a statement of biology or literal skin color. At the same time Christianity has said “God is white”—in deeds if not in exact words—for the past 500 years. That some hear God’s blackness as a zero-sum statement is a mistake.

In an interview this past January, Cone told HuffPo’s Paul Rauschenbush:
“God is red. God is brown. God is yellow. God is gay…I don’t use blackness as a way to exclude anyone.”

"Why James H. Cone's Liberation Theology Matters More Than Ever"
by Daniel José Camacho, including a quote by James Cone.

Listen to James Cone say more about this in an interview with Paul Raushenbush.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

strip jesus of whiteness


There was a time when I would have been offended by tweets like these by @FaithInFerguson:



But when these came through my twitter feed a few weeks ago, I stopped for a moment and then said, "Oh. That makes sense. I get it now."

What made the difference? I'm not sure about all of it, but certainly a lot of the difference was informed by the many black people I've been following on Twitter, and the many tweets over the past year about #BlackLivesMatter and about #MikeBrown, #NatashaMckenna, #FreddieGray, #RekiaBoyd and many more black people who have been murdered by American police.

Without their perspective, I would be more entrenched in the white privilege that I've grown up with and in. Their words, their emotions, their wisdom has been opening my eyes to see the world in new ways and from where they stand, which is really where I should also stand if I follow the way of Jesus.

So it's making sense to me now. White Christians own Jesus. The white western Jesus. He's become one of the establishment, along with his father, the God who loves war and corporations, hates fags and the homeless, is in favour of the death penalty, and is so many more things that are completely opposite to what the Jesus of the Bible looks like.

So just as Jesus when he walked on the earth was the opposite of what the Jewish people expected the Messiah to be (though very much what the people at the edges loved), it's time to "strip Jesus of his whiteness and center Him in his otherness".

And what better way to do that than having to choose whether we would follow a queer, female Christ of colour... or if that's just too high a cost of discipleship.


strip jesus of whiteness - presenting a queer female christ of colour. cartoon by rob g





For more on this, see the brief article The Black Christ by Kelly Brown Douglas, particularly the quote from her book of the same name that makes up the second half.


Link to article referred to in tweet.


Thursday, June 04, 2015

jesus gives his life for every tribe


This may come as a surprise to some... 

but if you're looking for really good news, 

this is it:


jesus prays - confirming that he's giving his life for lgbtqia. drawing by rob g


A while back I read A Spacious Heart: Essays on Identity and Belonging by Judith M. Gundry-Volf and Miroslav Volf. In one of Judith's essays, she suggested that Jesus' sense of mission might have evolved (viz., broadened) over time and that his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman had influenced this (see Matthew 15:21 - 28 and Mark 7:25 - 30).

This cartoon is playing off of that idea, to suggest that Jesus progressively learned that he was giving his life for "his own people" and for everyone, including tribes that were not formally known of in his time. He came to understand that, in fact, "his own people" were everyone in this world his father had made.

Sadly, it would seem that since that Jesus ascended into heaven, our understanding of whom he gave his life for has devolved, narrowed, to include only those who fit our ideas of who is acceptable....

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

[there is one catch...]

Reality check: racism is alive and well in Canada:

A black man is looking for a furnished place, and adds the following to the end of his Kijiji ad:

There is one catch I am a black male.


black male looking to rent via kijiji. post at exclusionandembrace.blogspot.com


It suggests that he has previously called about apartments and received a positive response, until he showed up in person to look at it. At that point, the landlord saw that he is black and was no longer wanting to rent to him.

So he now gives a heads up in his ad so that his time isn't wasted, and so he can avoid another experience of racism. 


black male looking to rent via kijiji. full ad. post at exclusionandembrace.blogspot.com


And some people believe that the world is more civilized than it used to be...