Racial Justice Resources: What’s Taking So Long?

— Brackney, William. “As Monuments Come Tumbling Down.” Good Faith Media. July 27, 2020. Brackney, Millard R. Cherry Distinguished Professor of Baptist Thought and Ethics, Emeritus, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, reflects on how well or not white Baptists have told their story of evangelicalism and missions.

— Chaves, Joao and Malcom Foley. “A Message to Our White Friends: Stop Raising Racist Kids!” June 3, 2020. See Chaves’ books and articles and Foley’s articles and upcoming book.

— Cheuk, Michael. “Many Christians Don’t Acknowledge Their Privilege.” August 1, 2019.

— “US Christians Speak Out Against Christian Nationalism.” July 29, 2019.

— Churchwell, Sarah. “American Fascism: It Has Happened Here.” The New York Review of Books. June 22, 2020. A good mini-history lesson of the 20th century by historian Churchell.

— Dowland, Seth. American Evangelicalism and the Politics of Whiteness.” The Christian Century, June 19, 2018.

— Garrison, Greg. “Fifty Years Ago Eight Clergy Asked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Delay Demonstrations.” Alabama.com April 12, 2013; updated January 14, 2019. Comments by Jonathan Bass based on his book Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders (LSU Press, 2001).

— Gjelton, Tom. “Multiracial Congregations May Not Bridge Racial Divide.” Michael Emerson revisited congregations and leaders he reported on earlier. The updates are grim due to white Christians’ refusal to give up power for the sake of integration and unity.

— Gjelten, Tom. “White Supremacist Ideas Have Historical Roots In U.S. Christianity.” All Things Considered July 1, 2020. Podcast. Multiple white Christian voices and perspectives, including several Baptists from Alabama. How do they differ in their understanding and therefore approach to addressing white supremacy, racial paternalism, and ourselves as “implicated subjects” (Rothberg) in the past, present, and future?

— Jenkins, Jack. “Evangelical Writers to Their Fellow Faithful: Donald Trump Is A ‘Spiritual Danger.’” Religion News Service June 6, 2020.

— Luo, Michael. “American Christianity’s White-Supremacy Problem.” The New Yorker, September 2, 2020. Good summary of resources listed here and the information in them.

— Smith, James K. A. “What White Evangelical Christians Can’t See When They See Racism.Religion News Service August 6, 2020.  Dr. Smith is a professor at Calvin College and popular speaker and author of such books as You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (Brazos Press, 2018) and works on St. Augustine. He recently led a series at Samford.

— Tyler, Amanda. “Threat of Christian Nationalism Has Reached High Tide.” July 30, 2019.

— Whitfield, Stephen. “Why ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ Is Still Pushed by Anti-Semites More Than a Century after Hoax First Circulated.” Ever heard of George Soros? If, so, how? Many American Christians still not understand the recrudescence of anti-Semitism, Holocaust Denial, and dangerous conspiracy theories and hoaxes intended to elevate Christian cultural supremacy and white supremacy together. The Conversation Sept. 2, 2020.

— Whitehead, Andrew L., Samuel L. Perry, and Joseph O. Baker. “Make America Christian Again: Christian Nationalism and Voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Sociology of Religion, Volume 79, Issue 2 (Summer 2018): 147–171. A Sociological study of some of the continuities with issues discussed in Churchwell’s article and Barnett’s book.

— “Why is Dietrich Bonhoeffer Relevant Today?” 5 Short Essays by Theologians with Expertise in Bonhoeffer’s Life and Theology. Faith & Leadership is a learning resource for Christian leaders and their institutions from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. These authors are Stephen Haynes, Albert Bruce Curry Professor of Religious Studies, Rhodes College; Reggie L. Williams, Associate professor of Christian ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary; Lori Brandt Hale, Professor and chair of religion, Augsburg University; Jens Zimmermann, J.I. Packer Chair of Theology, Regent College, University of British Columbia; and Robert C. Saler, Associate dean and research professor, Christian Theological Seminary. You can find links to each of these scholars’ work at this site.

— Worthen, Molly. “Is There Such a Thing as an Authoritarian Voter?The New York Times Dec. 15, 2018.

— Applebaum, Anne. Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. Doubleday, 2020.

— Balmer, Randall. Evangelicalism in America. Baylor University Press, 2016.

— Barnett, Victoria. Bystanders: Conscience and Complicity during the Holocaust draws on scholarship of history, psychology, sociology, ethics, and theology to outline, compare, and learn from case studies of three different towns of Christians and their behavior in the 1930s-40s. She invites readers to consider parallels with slavery and Jim Crow in the U. S.  Where do we picture ourselves in each of the case studies (and why)? Highly recommended for groups’ study. A leading Bonhoeffer scholar, Victoria Barnett is retired director of programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the U. S. Holocaust Museum. She taught a Jan-term course at Beeson Divinity School in 2017.

— Cleveland, Christena. Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart (IVPress, 2013) about “sociological imagination.” Associate Professor of the Practice of Reconciliation, Duke University Divinity School, she is founder of the Center for Justice + Renewal.

— Du Mez, Kristen Kobes. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. Liveright, 2020.

— Griffith, Marie. Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics. Basic Books, 2017. The interplay of race, sex, and politics continued.

— Jardina, Ashley. White Identity Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2019. (Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology). This is probably one of the most important pieces of scholarship on the complexities of this subject to read at the moment. Pair with Dying of Whiteness.

— Maxwell, Angie and Todd Shields. The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics. Oxford University Press, 2019. Southern Baptists and Southern Baptist-flavored evangelicals and Reformed Protestants were a major part of this turn at the end of the 20th century.

— Metzl, Jonathan M. Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland. Basic Books, 2019.

— Mitchell, Beverly. Plantations and Death Camps. Fortress, 2009. “Examines the plights of both enslaved African Americans and Jews during the Holocaust to find commonality in the underlying religious and ideological justifications for their oppression as well as the theological features of each. Additionally, the author finds a striking common thread of asserting dignity in the face of oppression and finds important “lessons regarding what it means to be human in a world in which discrimination, alienation, and maltreatment between human beings are daily companions.” Recommended by the USHMM.

— Roediger, David. How Race Survived US History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Eclipse of Post-racialism. 2019.

— Sider, Ronald J., ed. The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump: 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity. Cascade Books, 2020.

— Stenner, Karen. The Authoritarian Dynamic. Cambridge University Press, 2005. This book builds on research literature that distinguishes between “authoritarians,” who prize what Stenner calls “oneness and sameness” so much so that they are prone to support coercion to effect it, and “libertarians,” who not only defend but affirmatively prize diversity and difference. (These labels should not be conflated with the popular use and confusion of these terms right now.)

— Tatum, Beverly Tatum. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

— Worthen, Molly. Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism. Oxford University Press, 2016.

— Applebaum, Anne. Author of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, listen to in-depth interview with Applebaum on NPR: (7 mins).

— Cleveland, Christena. “The Danger of Civility,” The Table, July 13, 2017. Video (15 mins). Cleveland is Associate Professor of the Practice of Reconciliation, Duke University Divinity School, she is founder of the Center for Justice + Renewal.