Finally, because I don’t expect or desire the average person in our Christian communities to have to wade through waters of academic vernacular found in critical race theory or theological ethics, the entire book is written out of a pastoral voice (of which I have 10 years of pastoral ministry experience), and saturated with personal stories and experience that help communicate important themes and points. In short, Trouble I’ve Seen = antiracism theory + theological ethics + pastoral voice.
In many books, the Jim Crow era is mediated through the sensibilities of white people. Jim Auchmutey shrewdly avoids this.
Some suggest the tragedy in Charleston would have been averted if Pastor Clementa Pinckney had been carrying a gun. The victims' families showed us another way.
In years and decades to come, we’ll remember the last two weeks. The Emanuel A.M.E. massacre, the sudden shift away from the Confederate flag, the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of the Affordable Care Act and its extension of same-sex marriage to every state. Last Friday there was an awesome funeral service for Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel and one of the victims in the shooting. And all of it while once again black churches have been burning, some under suspicious circumstances. For all of America’s secularization, actual and expected, each event was resonant with religious significations—and each prompted a wave of public theology.
Amid the chorus of Facebook likes and rainbow images, it was easy to overlook a third critical SCOTUS ruling.
I’m a white parent, and I want my white kids to be like Brandon Brooks when they get older. He’s the teenager who filmed the pool party incident in suburban Dallas, at which a police officer violently restrained 15-year-old Dajerria Becton and pulled his gun on others. That was smart of Brooks, and bold. His remarks to the press since then have been pretty perceptive, too.
In “God of the Oppressed,” James Cone recounts how Christian responses to the 1967 Detroit riot revealed not only an insensitivity to black suffering but a larger theological bankruptcy on the part of white theologians. As he saw it, they were not genuinely concerned about all cases of violence. Worried about the threat of black revolutionaries, they did not see the structure of violence embedded in U.S. law and carried out by the police. Cone asks: “Why didn’t we hear from the so-called nonviolent Christians when black people were violently enslaved, violently lynched, and violently ghettoized in the name of freedom and democracy?”
In the midst of all the unarmed black people dying at the hands of police and the even larger problem of anti-black ideology that has normed our society, I thought it fitting to share Moe's song. Let me know what you think about his song entitled Brown Skin.
May we not domesticate the Jesus story for our own religious comfort, but in telling the story, and doing so truthfully, may we worship our crucified Christ and encounter his delivering presence, and therefore be transformed after the image of God.