The killing of Mike Brown nearly a month ago has unfortunately proven that we do not live in a post-racial America. While a black man sits in the highest seat of authority in this country, his position has not lessened the degree to which black bodies are profiled and stereotyped on a daily basis. In fact, it can be argued that his appointment, along with the rapid browning of this country, has even intensified the resentment and anger among those who believe that black people do not have a right to do well for ourselves and our community.
Racism. It is America’s original sin.From our nation’s founding, race has been used to marginalize and categorize all of those who are not white including American Indians, blacks, Chinese, Japanese and Latinos. Although the days of colonization, slavery, and internment camps are behind us, our nation continues to enforce policies that systematically bankrupt communities of color. These policies not only take away opportunities that we need to thrive like employment and housing; in many cases they rob us of life itself.
In the wake of Mike Brown, many advocates and community leaders around the country have been calling attention to this country’s racist history. Unless we deal with it, tragedies like this will continue to happen. Anytime we challenge the structural foundations of America, we inevitably challenge the American church as the American church has been in bed with American policies and practices also from the beginning. In fact there was a time that to be American was to be a Christian, and to be a Christian was to be a (white) American. While this is a theological fallacy, it was an ideology that was propagated nonetheless.
I am participating in the Theology of Ferguson project which explores how our faith, race, justice, and activism intersect. Head over there to read the rest of this post.