Book review: ‘Plantation Jesus’

Jul 30, 2018 by

Another book on racism? Haven’t we moved beyond that topic yet? Isn’t it time for all of us to get over it? It is precisely these responses to racism that prompted Skot Welch, Rick Wilson and Andi...

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Kennel-Shank: Misplaced superiority

May 21, 2018 by

I felt a surge of pride to be Mennonite while reading Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, a history of U.S. racist and antiracist ideas. He described the 1688 Germantown Petition Against Slavery as...

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Opinion: What I learned from a founder of black theology

May 21, 2018 by

When James H. Cone, a leading founder of the black theology movement, died last month, I felt the loss personally. Cone’s book God of the Oppressed changed my theological career. Early on, I knew Mennonites...

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Powell: A right to health care

Apr 23, 2018 by

Accessible health care has risen to the top of the list of issues facing our communities. Affordable insurance is one aspect of dealing with health concerns. It has become unaffordable for many people. Several...

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Book review: ‘Shalom Sistas’

Mar 26, 2018 by

Those who have mucked out a house after a flood know how painstaking and messy the process becomes. Worse yet is when the disaster drives you from your home as a refugee, carting away pieces of your old life...

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Kriss: Trying to see from another’s view

Jan 15, 2018 by

The final project of our Christian Ethics class last semester was a field trip rooted in the implications of what we learned. My small class of four students chose to focus on learning African-American history...

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A white man with guns

Oct 23, 2017 by

Was it terrorism? No. The shooter was white. The mass shooting that took the lives of at least 59 people and injured hundreds at an Oct. 1 country music concert in Las Vegas revealed much about American racial...

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Charlottesville unrest an opportunity to act, reflect

Aug 17, 2017 by and

In the wake of violent clashes surrounding a white nationalist rally that turned deadly Aug. 12-13 in Charlottesville, Va., individuals and groups connected to the weekend’s events are finding varied ways to...

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How to pray against racial hostility

Aug 17, 2017 by

Where I live in British Columbia, the smoky haze is finally clearing, and I can actually see some blue sky this morning! Yet as a province we’re still in a state of emergency due to wildfires continuing to...

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Before you punch a Nazi: A new Anabaptist response to white supremacy

Aug 15, 2017 by

There isn’t much to be surprised by in Charlottesville. There’s much to grieve, but none of it should be a surprise. All the elements of Saturday’s events have been in headlines for months, or years, and...

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Watson: Deeper than charity

Jun 5, 2017 by

Reparations is a chilling word to most white people. An aggressive, accusatory word that will have many people skipping over this column before they finish the first paragraph. I invite you to stay with me. As...

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Gun shots and privilege

Apr 4, 2017 by

On a recent Saturday as my wife and I rode motorcycles to Albuquerque, N.M., two people were shot in my neighborhood. According to my neighbors, dozens of shots were fired. Thirty-six hours later on Monday,...

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Diversifying the face of mission still a challenge

Mar 13, 2017 by and

Ann Jacobs expected to be deeply moved during her first visit to West Africa with Mennonite Mission Network. What Jacobs did not expect was how a conversation in Accra, Ghana, would affirm the importance of...

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Theology that favors whiteness

Mar 2, 2017 by

Black theology and womanist theology, the theologies written by African-American men and women, speak to white as well as black audiences. Theology for Mennonites and the still predominantly white Mennonite...

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More than skin color

Feb 27, 2017 by

We are hearing important statements calling Anabaptist Christians to work for racial justice. These words come from people of color at a Mennonite Church USA leadership meeting and a Bethel College lecture....

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Powell: What kind of savior?

Oct 24, 2016 by

In a past column I asked, “Are you looking for Jesus?” I wrote that some people are looking for Jesus to provide material possessions. Their actions are geared to assure that people who are unlike them...

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Kriss: The road to 2042

Oct 10, 2016 by

According to U.S. Census figures, white people will be a U.S. minority by 2042. Comedian Hari Kondabalu jokes this shouldn’t make white folks nervous, as the 51 percent of people of color aren’t...

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Assumptions and book titles

Sep 29, 2016 by

“It is nice to find someone who agrees with me.” This was the second comment my seat-mate made within a minute of sitting next to me on the plane. Her first comment was a question, “What are you...

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Yoder-Short: Was Lydia black?

Sep 12, 2016 by

Images become stuck in our heads. Of course Lydia was white. And Cleopatra looked like Elizabeth Taylor. Lydia is frequently cited as the first European convert. Most children’s Bible storybooks confirm...

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Fierce urgency

Jun 20, 2016 by

As the presidential race becomes more intense, the rhetoric, division and hatred have intensified. There is a deep-seated hostility toward marginalized people. The idea of a postracial environment has taken a...

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Accessible education is a faith and justice issue

Feb 15, 2016 by

I’ve had several conversations questioning the validity of the quote, “Now we are faced with an onslaught of potential annihilation,” in my March 16, 2015, column. People primarily focused on gun...

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All lives DON’T matter — and that’s the problem

Feb 12, 2016 by

As a white person, I’ll tell you something: I feel threatened by the Black Lives Matter movement. There was a time, briefly, when I would have been one of those people who, if I saw the hashtag...

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Goshen professor earns Indiana’s highest civil rights award

Jan 18, 2016 by

GOSHEN, Ind. — Regina Shands Stoltzfus, assistant professor of peace, justice and conflict studies at Goshen College, has been awarded the Spirit of Justice Award by the State of Indiana Civil Rights...

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Opinion: Riots are failed cries for justice

Nov 23, 2015 by

In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” That comment resurfaced after riots by African-Americans in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore in the past two years. Deaths of...

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Our history is absorbed into our whiteness

Nov 10, 2015 by

In the beginning of his acclaimed book Between You and Me, written as a letter to his adolescent son, Ta-Nehisi Coates wonders how Mennonites came to be included within the “people who think of themselves as...

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