Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

The Church, Embracing Grace, and Racism 6

So, we are led to ask, “What can we do about it? What can we do about racism in our culture? What can we do as Christians?”
[I had a comment here that I deleted because I thought it would draw discussion. It didn’t, so I have edited it out.]
Carol Swain, who comes at the entire issue of racism and racialization from the angle of the development of white nationalism in the USA and who is proposing macroscopic solutions, or a way toward macroscopic solutions, offers all kinds of purplish — beyond the classical red and blue solutions. I’ll avoid stereotyping either solution.
Here are Carol Swain’s recommendations, and as I said in my previous post, there is a fierce independence of mind at work here. No one, I suppose, will agree with everything, but there is something behind every suggestion she makes.
Ideas for improving American society
1. Honor free speech by permitting race to be discussed honestly.
2. Address and acknowledge the legitimate issues raised by white nationalists.
3. Abandon all race- and gender-based double standards.
4. End all racial preferences in employment and promotion.
5. Provide public funds in public schools for more vocational training.
6. Invest public dollars so all can at least attend community colleges.
7. If racial preferences are to be used, remove immigrants from eligibility for such.
8. Protect minorities with a more observant system for finding discrimination.
9. Dramatically reduce immigration, enforce laws against illegal aliens working.
10. Politicians need to listen to more than just recognized leaders among minorities.
11. Replace earned income credit with direct monthly wage subsidies.
12. Establish partnerships car dealers and government to help the poor with transportation.
13. Establish more humane guidelines for collecting child support.
14. Provide audit studies of state-run social welfare agencies.
What Black Leaders can and should to to help reduce racial hatred
1. Make the reduction of black crime rate the #1 issue.
2. Stop treating riots as an opportunity to press for governmental largesse.
3. End discussions and demands for racial reparations.
4. Highlight the progress that African Americans have made.
5. Start condemning and stop contributing to the illegitimacy rate.
6. Use African Americans’ faith as a tool to change behavior.
7. Provide legal aid to convicted felons so they can learn what they can do.
8. Institute training to help young blacks on how to deal with police when they have been stopped.
9. Black leaders need to read the books, articles, and web pages of their enemies.
Explosive stuff on all sides here. She knows the problems, and she’s got strong views on this stuff, and they are not always a stereotyped solution.
Tomorrow I’ll look at United by Faith.

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Bob Robinson

posted October 1, 2005 at 10:49 am

I just helped lead an initial meeting of Christian college students at the University of Akron who have felt the call from God to multiethnic ministry. The CCO’s ministry there is predominantly black, and the church in which I used to be a staff-member in Akron (The Chapel) has a predominantly white attendance in its college ministry. Also present at the meeting was Impact, another African-American group on campus.
What a wonderful thing to see:
College students, by their own initiative, seeking to join together in order to be the united Body of Christ!
I warned them: If you are really serious about this (and not just doing it superficially-by having a pot-luck once a year or a joint worship time once a year), if you are really wanting to create authentic friendships across this racial divide and join together to change the racialization in our culture, expect to be radically changed!!

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Scot McKnight

posted October 1, 2005 at 10:52 am

Bob’s practicing Pentecost, Anthony!

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Jamie Arpin-Ricci

posted October 1, 2005 at 11:36 am

Does Swain develop the ideas listed in more detail in the book? I find her list promising and frightening, specific and needing qualification. While much could be applied across the border, other aspects would need to be altered in the Canadian context. However, I am deeply intrigued by what I am reading here. Thanks for sharing it.
In the last few months, I have been dialoguing with our cities Hate Crimes division of the police. A group of skin-head/neo-Nazis moved onto our block, posing some serious challenges in an already conflicted neighbourhood. The police being largely hand-cuffed by well intentioned, but functionally inappropriate laws, leaves us as the primary response to this presence. Your prayers in this would be greatly appreciated.

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Scot McKnight

posted October 1, 2005 at 11:50 am

Yes, she does. Paragraphs or pages for each one — some developed.
Prayers are with you. This issue of white nationalism is more serious than most of us think because it is embarrassing enough that our media doesn’t want to cover it.

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posted October 17, 2005 at 11:38 am

I know this is a bit late — I just now got around to reading this, but just had to comment.
Regarding Carol Swain’s idea # 2: Address and acknowledge the legitimate issues raised by white nationalists.
I’d say, address them even if they don’t appear legitimate.
I’ve felt for a long time that the standard “politically correct” way of simply giving them the cold sholder, as if to say, “your ideas are so far off they don’t deserve an answer” — is the wrong approach. It only strengthens their possition, and confirms their “us – them” mind set.
If we listen to their possition, and honestly try to answew them, and honour them as people who have a right to their opinion, maybe — just maybe — if they find they’ve lost their argument, they’ll know they can concede defeat without utter humiliation. They’ll have a friendly world (or at least a friendly Christian community) to fall into that won’t forever punish them for having held such opinions.
It means we have to do our homework, of course, to come up with firm facts to support our answers, or be honest to say “I don’t know”.

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