It’s time to add systemic change to your symbolic actions.
It seems no one wants to be caught dead without a protest selfie amidst this global wave of antiracist protests. People don’t just want to make sure they were among the marchers, they want you to see that they were there.
This is probably because, organizer Jonathan Smucker explains, many people participate in activism in a similar way that people engage in fashion: namely, many people are more interested in signaling their values to their peers than in obtaining a tangible political objective.
They want you to see them saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ so that you’ll know what type of people they are — that they’re on the “right side of history,” that they’re not racists. I don’t say these things as criticism but as observation. …
Why the use of force in response to the murder of George Floyd could be a productive part of the movement for Black Lives.
There’s a white American proverb about violent protests that goes something like this: “What good will it do?”
As surely as the sun will rise, viral footage of any violent protest concerning race will inevitably lead to some virtue signaling about nonviolence. …
“I can’t breathe,” he pleaded. For several minutes, George Floyd lie handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck.
“Please,” he begged. The officer wouldn’t relent. By the time an ambulance arrived at the scene, Floyd was unresponsive.
As much of the nation erupts in outrage about these latest episodes of anti-Black violence, many are asking “what do I do?” They want to know how to make the killings stop.
But the truth is that murders like Floyd’s will never truly become a relic of the past until the U.S. …
This white woman’s 911 call shows that antiblack violence was not about fear, but skill.
**content warning: the n-word lurks below**
Amy Cooper doesn’t want us to think she made an attempt on a Black man’s life this week. “I’m not a racist,” she told CNN. “I did not mean to harm that man in any way."
The video footage of the encounter tells a different story.
Christian Cooper (a Black man of no relation) confronted Amy, who is white, for allowing her dog to go about unleashed in an area of New York City’s Central Park where leashes are required. …
Ahmaud Arbery was considered a trespasser from the day he was born. That racist notion ultimately caused his death.
The 25-year-old man went for a run one February Sunday afternoon near Brunswick, Georgia, as was his custom. That Sunday, his route took him past the home of Travis McMichael, whose father Gregory had been standing in his front yard. Unbeknownst to him, the McMichaels armed themselves with a .357 magnum revolver and a shotgun, and set off after Arbery.
Moments later, Arbery heard a voice call after him. The voice demanded, “Stop, stop, we want to talk with you!” Arbery looked back to see the McMichaels trailing after him in their white pickup truck. Arbery was fatally shot, at least twice, after a struggle over the shotgun. …
How recent events with RELEVANT Media Group demonstrate walking away from whiteness may be the only solution.
“I fear, I am integrating my people into a burning house.”
— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
I was told that white people were not invited to this happy hour. They called it Black Sabbath, and it was exactly what it sounds like, a kickback exclusively for Black people at a swanky wine bar in Old Pasadena.
“Are we allowed to do that,” I thought to myself. I’d never heard of Black people deciding, intentionally, explicitly to get together without white people. It felt…out of bounds. …
“But the trouble is that what we call ‘asking God’s forgiveness’ very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses… There is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing.”
— C.S. Lewis
Some have called it “the hug heard round the world.” Just moments after former police officer Amber Guyger was handed a 10-year prison sentence for the murder of Botham Jean, an unarmed Black man who was shot while eating ice cream at home, she was embraced by her victim’s brother.
“If you truly are sorry — I know I can speak for myself — I forgive you.” …
A week after the Relevant Media Group CEO stepped away from the helm, people are asking questions about where the movement that ousted him is headed.
“It feels quiet today,” my friend Ryan texted me. It was the first time in a week that our cohort of former Relevant Media Group employees hadn’t been contacted with an interview request.
I agreed. It did feel quiet — especially since the company has released no updates since our efforts pressured the CEO into an impromptu sabbatical.
When I wrote Black Christians Deserve Better Than Companies (And Churches) Like Relevant Media Group, I didn’t expect a groundswell. But, within days, a deluge of stories from other former employees about the toxic work environment there arose. …
What does the RELEVANT Media Group CEO’s recent statement mean to the recipients of his toxic leadership?
When I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, I was assigned to read an adaptation of author and surgeon Atul Gawande’s essay Education of a Knife. Gawande’s essay reveals something I’d never considered: a surgeon in training makes mistakes.
“Like the tennis player and the oboist and the guy who fixes hard drives, we need practice to get good at what we do. There is one difference in medicine, though: it is people we practice upon,”
He later describes this reality, that they practice on people, a “moral burden.” …
They’re not against us, but not for us either. The difference between the two is clearer in the abstract.
These were angry tears. After only three months at what I’d imagined would be my dream job at the largest Christian media company serving millennials in the U.S., I’d determined, in tears, there was no way I could stay there indefinitely. I promised myself, after that meeting, I’d quit once I’d completed a year at the company.
Just a few hours before, the editorial team at RELEVANT Media Group gathered in the bullpen for our weekly content meeting.
The purpose of the content meeting is to discuss what articles will be published to the website the following week, and to collaborate on headlines. When I was hired as Managing Editor, the content schedule was dropped in my lap to fill. I was asked to present 20 new articles I’d chosen for publication at this weekly meeting. …