Tag Archives: hate

In Remembrance: 1921 Tulsa Massacre

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. If you go out and make good things happen, you fill the world with hope. And in doing so, you will fill yourself with hope.”

Barack Obama

These next two days mark the centennial of one of the worst racial massacres in U.S. history.  The cataclysm began with a story that played out several times throughout the 20th century: a young White woman claimed a Black man had assaulted her.  That launched an angry White mob in the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2021.  And the result was a bloodbath that swept up an entire community; taking more than 300 lives; leaving a legacy of trauma, animosity and pain.

Only within recent years have the details of those events seen the light of truth.  The world of 1921 is considerably different than the world of 2021.

Despite the horrors of those days, we really have come a long way in race relations; that is the understanding of what it means to be human and what it means to be a community.  And we can only move forward.  The angry White gangs of 1921 Tulsa obliterated hundreds of innocent lives.  They destroyed an entire community.  But they couldn’t destroy an entire people.

Tulsa Race Massacre

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Best Quotes of the Week – March 27, 2021

Protestors in Atlanta earlier this week

“If racism and acts of violence are prevalent, we need to bring that to the forefront and not sweep it under the rug.”

Margaret Ann Kercher, a lawyer in Austin, Texas, on recent attacks on Asian-Americans

“We live here. We pay taxes. We work here. This is our life.  This is a country of immigrants, all of the immigrants, so there is nothing we can do better than love each other, than work together.”

Xiaoxu Zheng, a 36-year-old medical researcher at Georgia State University, commenting on the rise in anti-Asian violence over the past year

Zheng who has been in the U.S. for 10 years and lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife and two children, said the protest was his first political event.

“They had lived through an unprecedented planetary pandemic, but they could not survive this: they could not outlive America’s gun epidemic. That proved more fatal than the virus.”

John Pavlovitz, in an essay on the recent gun violence in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado

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Worst Quotes of the Week – February 27, 2021

“I’ve got to say, Orlando is awesome!  It’s not as nice as Cancun, but it’s nice.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida

“If you’re reading the room and you’re intelligent, you realize that Donald Trump is still the future of the Republican Party.  Those people who are being displaced by illegals, those people who are being swept aside by the Democrat Party, who has just flagrantly ignored them for decades, Donald Trump is all over that.”

Donald Trump Jr., on Fox News

“So, they had this whole big narrative going right after January 6, and that narrative has completely collapsed.  There was no insurrection, there was no coup.  As you mention, the only shot fired in the Capitol on January 6 was the shot fired by a policeman into Ashli Babbitt’s neck.  They tried very hard the New York Times was the chief culprit in making up the story about Brian Sicknick, now they knew that the story was a lie from the beginning, and the reason is that there is plenty of video of what was happening all over the Capitol.  And yet you will notice there never was any video of Brian Sicknick being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher.  The New York Times made that up, attributed to unnamed sources and never published a correction, they just later said, ‘well the story has been updated because there’s been new facts that have come in.’ The truth of it is they tried to construct a false narrative and now that that false narrative has imploded they’re moving to the, let’s call it the White supremacy narrative, which is equally bogus.”

Dinesh D’Souza, refuting that the January 6 Capitol Hill rioters were insurrectionists

Brian Sicknick was the Capitol Hill police officer who succumbed to injuries after the chaos, and Ashli Babbitt was the former U.S. Air Force servicewoman who was shot and killed as she tried to enter a hallway.

“We spent all day trying to locate the famous QAnon, which, in the end, we learned is not even a website.  If it’s out there, we could not find it.  Then, we checked Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter feed because we have heard she traffics in disinformation, CNN told us, but nothing there.  Next, we called our many friends in the tight-knit intel community.  Could Vladimir Putin be putting this stuff out there?  The Proud Boys? Alex Jones?  Who is lying to America in ways that are certain to make us hate each other and certain to destroy our core institutions?  Well, none of the above, actually.  It wasn’t Marjorie Taylor Greene.  It was cable news.  It was politicians talking on TV.  They’re the ones spreading disinformation to Americans.  Maybe they are from QAnon.”

Tucker Carlson, claiming there is no evidence of a conspiracy group known as QAnon

On a side note, I’ve said before that Carlson resembles an adult film actor who went by the name T.T. Boy, c. 1990.

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A Letter of Faith

A Trump supporter carries a Bible outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press)

Earlier this week more than 500 evangelical Christian faith leaders composed a letter denouncing “radicalized Christian nationalism” that many of the January 6 rioters used to descend upon the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to undermine certification of Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th President.  The statement is bold in its condemnation by actually calling out names of various entities now deemed as hate groups. This is the letter in its entirety:

Sign on: Evangelical Leaders Statement Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the January 6th Insurrection

Evangelical Leaders Statement
Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the Insurrection January 6

As leaders in the broad evangelical community, we recognize and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6.

We recognize the damage done by radicalized Christian Nationalism in the world, the church, and in the lives of individuals and communities.

We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are “blessed by God” and ordained by your faith. This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized.
While we come from varied backgrounds and political stances, we stand together against the perversion of the Christian faith as we saw on January 6, 2021. We also stand against the theology and the conditions that led to the insurrection.

Over the centuries, there are moments when the Church, the trans-national Body of Christ-followers, has seen distortions of the faith that warranted a response. In ages past, the Church has responded by holding emergency councils in order to unilaterally denounce mutations of the Christian faith, and to affirm the core values at the heart of Christianity. It is in that spirit that we unite our voices to declare that there is a version of American nationalism that is trying to camouflage itself as Christianity –  and it is a heretical version of our faith.

Just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith, we feel the urgent need to denounce this violent mutation of our faith. What we saw manifest itself in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is a threat to our democracy, but it is also a threat to orthodox Christian faith. The word “Christian” means “Christ-like.” As leaders in the Church, we do not agree on everything, but we can agree on this – Christians should live in a way that honors Jesus, and reminds the world of Him.

As Jesus himself said, “They will know that you are my disciples by the way you love” (John 13:35). No Christian can defend the unChristlike behavior of those who committed the violence on January 6. Not only was it anti-democratic, but it was also anti-Christian.

On January 6 we saw the flags claiming Trump’s name, calling for violence, and raising the name of Jesus. We saw images of a police officer being beaten with an American flag and another being crushed in a doorway. We know an officer was murdered in the act of insurrection. We witnessed the cross and the gallow being erected. We saw and heard the prayer the insurrectionists prayed from the Senate desk in Jesus’ name. Many of us recognized the content, the structure, and the style of that prayer as matching our own churches and faith.

But we reject this prayer being used to justify the violent act and attempted overthrow of the Government.

We have witnessed the rise of violent acts by radicalized extremists using the name of Christ for its validity in the past, including the deadly actions in Charlottesville in 2017. We join our voices to condemn it publicly and theologically.

We recognize that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin. But we also want to celebrate the long tradition of prophetic Christian witness in this nation that has challenged white supremacy and violent Christian nationalism. Though the KKK in the South claimed the symbol of a Christain cross, prophetic Black Christians formed and discipled children in Birmingham, Alabama who led a nonviolent witness in the face of dogs and firehoses. Though an appeal to “biblical values” has been used to demonize immigrants, undocumented Christians in America today have led a movement that insists upon the dignity and full humanity of all undocumented people. There is a powerful Christian witness for the common good in our past and in our present. White evangelicals in America can grow in faithfulness by following this cloud of witnesses, including the many white freedom-fighters who risked their lives standing up for love in the face of violence and hatred.

We urge all pastors, ministers, and priests to boldly make it clear that a commitment to Jesus Christ is incompatible with calls to violence, support of white Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, and all religious and racial prejudice.

Just as it was tragically inconsistent for Christians in the 20th Century to support the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi ideology, it is unthinkable for Christians to support the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, QAnon, 3 Percenters, America Firsters, and similar groups.

We urge faith leaders to engage pastorally with those who support or sympathize with these groups, and make it clear that our churches are not neutral about these matters: we are on the side of democracy, equality for all people, anti-racism, and the common good of all people.

Instead of seeing the United States as God’s chosen nation we thank God for the church around the world that calls people of all races, tongues and nations to the knowledge and love of God. Instead of seeing any particular political leader or party as divinely appointed, we believe in the prophetic and pastoral ministry of the church to all political leaders and parties. Instead of power through violence, we believe in and seek to imitate the powerful, servant love practiced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our faith will not allow us to remain silent at such a time as this. We are also aware that our world needs more than a statement right now… we need action.

Every one of the signers of this declaration is committed to taking concrete steps to put flesh on our words. We will combat bad theology with better theology. We will resist fear with love. We will tell the truth about our nation’s history.

We will seek to repair and heal the wounds of the past. We will seek racial justice on a personal, ecclesial, and systemic level. We will support organizations led by people of color. We will listen to and amplify the voices of people of faith who have been marginalized by the colonizing force of white supremacy and Christian Nationalism.

We will do our best to be faithful to Jesus, and to those Christ called “the least of these.”

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Cartoon of the Week – January 9, 2021

Kirk Walters

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Best Quotes of the Week – December 19, 2020

“Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.”

Dr. Jill Biden, in response to an editorial by Joseph Epstein

Biden earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007.

“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame.”

– President-Elect Joe Biden, on the Electoral College decision

The Electoral College had cast 306 votes for Biden and 232 for Trump, cementing Biden’s win.  The votes will now be sent to Congress to be counted formally next month.

“He has lost and he has to let it go.”

Geraldo Rivera, on Donald Trump’s ongoing election fraud claims

“When evangelicals can speak on behalf of unborn babies, can speak on behalf of law and order when it comes to White people and White property, but are silent when it comes to banners that proclaim ‘Black lives matter,’ the moral silence is stupefying.  We’ve gone from having to say ‘Black lives matter’ to now having to say ‘Black churches matter.’”

Cornell William Brooks, former president of the NAACP and a member of Metropolitan A.M.E. and professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School graduate program, regarding vandalism at 4 Washington churches following Donald Trump rallies

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Most Ominous Quotes of the Week – October 31, 2020

Drew Miller, preparing for the 2020 elections and other calamities inside a fortified bunker in West Virgina. A retired Air Force intelligence officer and Harvard-educated writer, Miller has been establishing compounds in readiness for an apocalypse.  Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

“Militia groups and other armed nonstate actors pose a serious threat to the safety and security of American voters.”

Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a nonprofit organization that researches political violence and has tracked more than 80 extremist groups in recent months. The project’s report said Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Oregon “are at highest risk of increased militia activity in the election and post-election period.”

“Could the election devolve into civil war? Unlikely. “But look at World War I: Some worthless, low-level archduke gets assassinated and things escalate out of control. I’ve got people who are concerned that all it would take is a close election and some cheating.”

Drew Miller, founder of a network of members-only survivalist camps

“The right is not going to give up their power unless they feel threatened.  People are opening up to the idea that a riot is the language of the unheard.  Property destruction is not violence.”

Olivia Katbi Smith, a co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America in Portland

“We’re talking about violence in U.S. elections, and that’s insane.  This is a real threat, and we have seen increased confidence among the militias.”

Lisa Kaplan, the chief executive of the Alethea Group, a Washington company that tracks disinformation efforts

“I don’t want to amplify the voices of extremists because the last thing we want is to help them create fear and anxiety. But people need to know there is real concern, that these are the perfect conditions for extremists to try to create chaos.”

Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism

“I just can’t get product. It seems like 30 million people went out and bought guns. We call suppliers and distributors and they just don’t have any product. Our selection is just terrible.”

Nate Gerheim, general manager and gunsmith at the Shooters Bench in Russellton, Pennsylvania, about the increased number of recent firearm purchases

“Violence is not popular at all. But even five percent is millions of people, and it only takes a few people to create chaos.”

Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at the University of Maryland

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Worst Quote of the Week – October 3, 2020

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.  This is a left-wing problem.”

President Donald Trump., at Tuesday night’s presidential debate, when asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to disavow White supremacy.

Wallace asked if Trump would urge White supremacist groups that incited violence at nationwide protests to “stand down.”  Trump said to “give me a name” when asked to denounce a specific group, and former Vice-President Joe Biden called out the Proud Boys – a violent hate group that believes, among many things, that women are subject to men and that Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews.  Ironically, the group is led by a dark-skinned Hispanic man.

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In Remembrance: September 11, 2001

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Image: “Fisherman at Sea”, JMW Turner

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Best Quote of the Week – January 25, 2020

“We want to thank Governor Herbert and his administration for not allowing this issue to be politicized.  He saw how polarizing this was becoming, and he made the decision to allow science to prevail over politics. He kept his word to the LGBTQ community, and we are deeply grateful to him.”

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, after the state of Utah banned “conversion therapy” for minors.

Conversion therapy is an ancient ritual where devoutly social conservatives try to beat or exorcise homosexual inclinations from people.  Here in the U.S. it’s been connected to high rates of suicide among teenagers.  I’ve personally seen this action.  It’s call the Roman Catholic Church.

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