A Letter to My Church After the Election

File:Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.) - NARA - 542015 - Restoration.jpg Created: 28 August 1963

File:Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.) – NARA – 542015 – Restoration.jpg
Created: 28 August 1963

I attend a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic church in North Carolina. A friend of mine, a great friend of mine, who is a pastor there reached out to me and asked, “What do our people need from the White Pastors at [our church]?” This brotha of mine is a White man, and he is an amazing person. The fact that he even asked me this question indicates that (1) he is humble enough to realize he does not have all of the answers, and (2) he values who I am and my perspective. This is empathy and compassion folks.

Here is the letter I wrote in response to his question:

My brotha,

You asked me, “What do our people need from the White Pastors at [our church]?” and I wanted to answer thoroughly in addition to releasing a few things I have held onto. Thank you for reaching out with that question. It truly made me, and my humanity, feel valued. What makes this difficult is the lack of an ultimate solution (I know Jesus is the ultimate solution, but I want to reference something we can act on as a body).  Whatever the “correct” solution is, it is one that has multiple or repeated steps, i.e. there cannot be a one time “let’s fix it” approach. There has to be a series of attempts to heal the body.

But how do we heal the body? Continue Reading…

This Photo is Disingenuous

homeless

I have seen this going around certain pockets of my timeline, and it has reached the tipping point where I feel the need to comment.

This photo is disingenuous.

Employers often discriminate against people using shelters as addresses. It happens so frequently that some states, like Connecticut, even passed legislation to address the issue (SB 896 is the legislation in Connecticut). Continue Reading…

Take a Seat

Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpeepz/220670731 License link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpeepz/220670731
License link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Historical perspective is nice. Not a patient, friendly, warm apple pie type of nice, but more like the type of nice when a new power tool works as advertised, or a recently downloaded app actually proves to be helpful. Historical perspective provides us with a great tool for deepening our understanding of the present. The US is a country forged from the fires of political protest. We have a strong-willed mentality as a nation, a refusal to let go of what we think is correct, and the legal protections to carry out protests against what we think is wrong—even when that wrong is the US itself.

James Baldwin was quoted saying “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” Baldwin was wildly disliked in his day, and many thought of him as unpatriotic. He was also beloved by many for his deep intellectual honesty. Continue Reading…