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Racism

"The people who settled the country had a fatal flaw. They could recognize a man when they saw one. They knew he wasn’t…anything else but a man; but since they were Christian, and since they had already decided that they came here to establish a free country, the only way to justify the role this chattel was playing in one’s life was to say that he was not a man. For if he wasn’t, then no crime had been committed. That lie is the basis of our present trouble."    - James Baldwin ; The White Problem, Quoted in Begin Again by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.


"Taken as a whole, then, the lie is the mechanism that allows, and has always allowed, America to avoid facing the truth about its unjust treatment of black people and how it deforms the soul of the country. The lie cuts deep into the American psyche. It secures our national innocence in the face of the ugliness and evil we have done."    - Eddie S. Glaude Jr. ; Begin Again


"The colonization of the Southern economy by capitalists from the North gave lynching its most vigorous impulse. If Black people, by means of terror and violence, could remain the most brutally exploited group within the swelling ranks of the working class, the capitalists could enjoy a double advantage. Extra profits would result from the superexploitation of Black labor, and white workers’ hostilities toward their employers would be defused. White workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology."    - Angela Davis ; Women, Race and Class


"The major barrier to Christianizing the slaves was the slave-holders’ fears that the freedom that Jesus offered the oppressed during his own time, and the egalitarian themes present throughout the New Testament, might make slaves think that they should be free and equal to the white population."    - Kelly Brown Douglas ; The Black Christ (p. 37)


"The black Christian experience has been one in which black people have consistently confirmed the presence of a sustaining and liberating Christ in their lives."    - Kelly Brown Douglas ; The Black Christ (p. 23)


"And so, we might paraphrase the Gospel question for today: 'But lord, where did we see you dying and on the cross?' And Jesus would answer: 'On a Florida sidewalk with Trayvon, or at the U.S./Mexican border with an immigrant refused asylum, or in a detention center with a brown child separated from his or her parents, or in a juvenile court with the black child trapped in the poverty-to-prison pipeline. As you did to one of the least of these, you did it to me.'”    - Kelly Brown Douglas ; The Black Christ (pp. 19-20)


"[Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] connected the dots between what he called the 'giant triplets' of racism, militarism, and poverty and then challenged us to take back the world from those 'who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.;"    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man


"...there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence."

   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; 18 December 1963; Western Michigan University


"It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, the same hour when many are standing to sing: 'In Christ There Is No East Nor West.'"    - Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story


"I traveled to faith— learning to trust the righteousness of God in spite of trouble and injustice; learning to trust women of many colors regardless of sexism, racism, classism and homophobia in our society; learning to believe in the sanctuary power of family defined in many ways in addition to nuclear; discovering love in a variety of forms that heal, but also believing serious political action is absolutely necessary for justice to prevail in the world of my four black children and other mothers’ children. Faith has taught me to see the miraculous in everyday life: the miracle of ordinary black women resisting and rising above evil forces in society, where forces work to destroy and subvert the creative power and energy my mother and grandmother taught me God gave black women."    - Delores S. Williams ; Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk


"All men [and women] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be."    - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; The Man Who Was a Fool


"The black body that was once marked as chattel is now marked as criminal."    - Kelly Brown Douglas ; Stand Your Ground; Black Bodies and the Justice of God (p. 74)


"You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."    - John Ehrlichman; Watergate co-conspirator and top Nixon advisor ; Legalize It All: How to win the war on drugs; Dan Baum; Harper’s Magazine


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