White Privilege as Spiritual Discipline: When

When I wrote about examining white privilege as a spiritual discipline, I had no idea how unoriginal it was. Turns out, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Adventists, Unitarian Universalists, United Church of Christ, Mennonites, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists–all acknowledge examining white privilege as a spiritual discipline. Apparently,...

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Our Different Realities

On this Martin Luther King Day, I acknowledge a truth. The years of us white folks embedding racism in American society has warped our perception. We whites see different realities from Black folk, every day, day-by-day. If I’m inside the white community, I experience life in America differently than those who aren’t. How Different...

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White Privilege as Spiritual Discipline

White people hate the term “white privilege.” Why? Because life is hard for all of us. “Privilege” implies ease, and our lives have not, in fact, been easy. Also, as Americans, we value rugged individualism. Only those who made their own way in the world count as successful. No silver spoons for us, thank you very much. You...

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Everett’s The Trees

Percival Everett’s The TREES is the most sarcastic, gut-punchingly funny novel about the Emmett Till lynching. As I type that sentence, I think, What the hell? In the apt words of one of the characters from The Trees, it is, “A sentence I never imagined myself saying.” Very on-brand that this book, which short-listed for the Booker...

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By Hands Now Known

I have been reading about my American South’s racial violence for over twenty years, and yet, “By Hands Now Known,” caused me to go get a rosary to hold while reading. The full name of the book is a clue to its unsettling nature: “By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners.” Margaret A. Burnham’s...

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Safe Space, An Error

We sat around the table at Caritas Village. The time was the early 2010s, the place Memphis. We were in the back room behind the grey folding partition conducting our Memphis School for Servant Leadership Board meeting. We were probably eating chips or brownies or other snacks Board members brought for meetings. As the Board chair reviewed the Parker...

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