Politics, White People Wednesday

White People Wednesday

I’m going to see about starting White People Wednesday here at Naughty Baptist. I am aware it is Thursday. However I thought of this last night, and White People Thursday isn’t as catchy. Work with me.

Dear Fellow White People:

Please stop telling minorities to not freak out about Trump. You may or may not agree, but don’t jump in and tell folks to stop. And yes, I mean this even if you think someone is going too far. Here’s why:

Republicans did freak out about Obama

I’ve seen folks comparing this to when Obama was elected. “You didn’t see Republicans freaking out!” Couple of things here. First, you weren’t on my FB feed, apparently, but a lot of republicans freaked out. Second, a lot of people started stockpiling guns and joining or forming little wannabe terrorist groups (ie “militias”). So it’s not true to say Republicans didn’t freak out a bit.

If you’re white, Trump didn’t threaten you

More than that, though, Obama never pledged to deport people. He did not have a history of belittling women, minorities, people with disabilities, etc. Trump undeniably does.

I know — You may have voted for Trump, but you’re not racist or sexist. OK, I’ll believe you. But it’s also true that voted for the guy, knowing at some level that his racism and sexism aren’t going to affect you.

Trump is different

I didn’t vote for Obama, but I wasn’t despairing when he won. I wouldn’t have despaired had Romney won (didn’t vote for him either, though). I disagreed with both men. But I didn’t question their character or abilities. I just disagreed with them. Trump goes far beyond that, though, to a lot of people. Folks do question his character, as well as his ability to lead.

Hurting people cry out

Finally, don’t tell people to stop because they’re mourning. If you disagree with someone, or think they’re too extreme, keep in mind that people say crazy things when they’re upset. If you think someone is going too far, try to keep that perspective.

What should you do instead? Listen. Even when you disagree. Especially when you disagree. Try to understand. You may still think they’re wrong, but at least you will understand, and that will open up the possibility of conversation.

I’m upset Trump won. But at the end of the day, it’s easy for me to say, “Oh well, we all need to get over it.” He didn’t threaten to deport me, or ban me, or build a wall around me. I’m a middle-aged white guy who drives a minivan.

Love and kisses,

PS: I really don’t want to be condescending. If I have, I do apologize. Nor do I think I speak for anyone other than myself, especially a minority.

Politics, Religion, Social Justice

Dr Martin Luther King Links

I’ve previous post on Letter from a Birmingham Jail on how I like to read Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail every year.

After reading it again today I thought I’d post a few links on the day we celebrate his life. There is much more to the man than the few quotes we see every year on this holiday.

This quote from his letter has been bouncing in my head today. Like John Piper’s Letter to Dr King, I think this is prophetic:

But the judgement of God is upon the church as never before. If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. I am meeting young people every day whose disappointment with the church has risen to outright disgust.

Some links from the always interesting Jemar Tisby. First, he had some great comments on #BlackLivesMatter and the pro-life movement. His is not the only opinion on the page, but he resonated with me most.

Next, take time to read this: The Master Narrative: The Popular, but Problematic Memory of the Civil Rights Movement.

And finally, a great video of Tisby, Trip Lee, and Alex Medina discussing “What About the Minority Experience in America Do Whites Often Miss?”

Speaking of Trip Lee, I watched a great 3 minute video from him on the Gospel and Race. It’s worth your time.

Finally, two book suggestions. Both of these help give you an idea of who Dr. King was, not just the sanitized version that is popular today.

The first is The Radical King. It is a collection of speeches and writings from Dr King that give you an idea of how the man thought. It’s organized by category, and is easy to read in small bites. The comments from Cornel West help supply context without getting in the way.

The second book is Death of a King, about the final year of his life. Tavis Smiley does a great job showing how, while he is popular today, King’s views about state violence and poverty made many people withdraw their support. Before reading about this I had never heard this part of the story. There is also a great interview with Smiley on The Daily Show discussing the book.

Take some time and learn about Dr. King. He truly is an American icon, and with good reason. I believe it will be time well spent.


Trump and the GOP Debate

Amber has asked if I intend to watch the GOP debate tonight. The answer is, “No, I will be in our room, drinking and quietly weeping for the Republic.”

I don’t intend to vote Republican in the next presidential race. That may change between here and there, but at this point I don’t forsee it happening. That said, there are a couple candidates among the 17(!) who I could live with. I think I’d be OK with Jeb Bush, overall. I kinda like Rubio in general.

At the very least I think those two pass my “beer and BBQ” test: I only want a president who I feel I could sit down and chat with over a beer while eating some grilled or smoked food.

So it’s not most of the guys themselves. Nor is the the number, though I do find that amusing in a way. I tweeted a joke about it on June 1:

No, my problem and concern is simple: Trump is polling at almost twice the person in the #2 spot. Twice. Don’t get me wrong. Trump is free to run. And he’s free to be a complete buffoon. What bothers me is that there’s a sizeable segment of the population that seems to think Trump having his hand on the nuclear trigger is a good idea. And yes, people are free to support him. And I’m free to say they’re out of their minds and scare me to death.

Politics, Social Justice

Letter about Warren Hill

Today Georgia is scheduled to execute Warren Hill. I have no doubt this man is guilty of murder. It is just as obvious, however, that he is also intellectually disabled. Not only is killing him unconstitutional, it is also immoral.

Below is the text of the letter I sent this morning to both Attorney General Olens and Governor Nathan Deal.

Dear Attorney General,

I am writing to urge you to halt the execution of Warren Hill. As you know, the US Supreme Court banned executions of the intellectually disabled. Our state’s own experts all agree Mr. Hill falls within this category. It is therefore not only unconstitutionally, but immoral to execute him.

As Dr. King wrote (quoting Augustine before him), an unjust law is no law at all. Our state’s burden of proof for establishing intellectually disability is unjust, and we are the only state in the nation that sets the bar so unnecessarily high. It is therefore immoral to sit by and allow this unjust law lead to this unjust action.

I implore you to act. This is not a matter of guilt or innocence, but of true justice. Killing a mentally retarded man is no justice. And it is not what we want our state known for.

Because of Christ,

Rev. Bryan L. Fordham