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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Indiana Latinos, police pray together

Oct 26, 2015 by , and

ELKHART, Ind. — Gilberto Pérez Jr. didn’t like seeing a routine litany of run-ins between law enforcement officers and his Latino community in northern Indiana, so he did something about it. Speaking at a...

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Sin problems and skin problems

Oct 21, 2015 by

“Racism is a sin problem, not a skin problem.” Have you heard this statement? I recently saw it on Mike Huckabee’s extraordinarily problematic Twitter timeline last week during the democratic...

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Fighting for the dignity of every human being

Oct 14, 2015 by

We heard that Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested for climbing into his own home after accidentally locking himself out. Chris Rock started posting selfies when being pulled over by the police. And just a...

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The gospel according to Ta-Nehisi Coates

Aug 18, 2015 by

This is the final post of a six-part series examining theology through the lens of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me. See the other parts here. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the...

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Been down into the South

May 27, 2015 by

In 1961, when the Congress for Racial Equality planned a “freedom ride” through the South to test the integration of interstate transit, they were experimenting in nonviolent direct action — a radical...

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Understanding Baltimore

May 6, 2015 by

We live in a world where news about the news is almost as important as the news. Take for instance Baltimore. On April 26, Freddy Gray was killed while in police custody and over the weekend charges were...

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White fragility

Apr 27, 2015 by

We have heard many apologies in recent months, particularly from white communities, regarding racial, ethnic and gender issues. There has been a lot to apologize for. Politicians, sportswriters, newscasters...

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Goshen, Ind., confronts its sundown town past

Apr 20, 2015 by and

When Dan Shenk began researching the sundown town history of his city, Goshen, Ind., he was surprised how much information he found. He read about it in sociologist James Loewen’s book, Sundown Towns: A...

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The test question for your church

Apr 16, 2015 by

We tend to measure the “success” of a church by numbers. I propose in A Fellowship of Differents another way of measuring whether or not our church measures up to the kind of success that the Bible...

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When culture is right

Mar 16, 2015 by

Letters to MWR have suggested that some Mennonites are changing our views on homosexuality and accepting gay and lesbian people because we are being influenced by our degenerate culture and not sticking to...

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Lives that matter

Mar 16, 2015 by

Reflecting on Black History Month in February caused me to ponder violent attacks — past and present — and the veiled assaults on black folks and communities. There are daily reports of violent incidents...

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White privilege, guilt

Mar 2, 2015 by

The night in November when the news broke that officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., I joined a group of religious leaders intent on providing a...

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Bethel talks focus on crime, race

Feb 16, 2015 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Charles Epp, professor of public affairs and administration at the University of Kansas, came back to his alma mater, Bethel College, to give presentations Feb. 8-9 on police treatment...

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What are Anabaptists becoming?

Feb 9, 2015 by and

ELKHART, Ind. — Pastors Week participants at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary pondered metaphors of rhizomes, a flame, a midwife and mestizos as they heard challenges to trust God more fully and to...

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How does race work?

Jan 27, 2015 by

Chances are you aren’t blatantly racist. I wouldn’t give much of my time if you tried to convince me I was. But does race still work in unique and particular ways to affect how we see and experience the...

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Silence is violent

Jan 5, 2015 by

It’s easy to think, as a majority white denomination, that U.S. Mennonites don’t have a lot to contribute to the current national conversation on racial injustice in police enforcement. But, like the...

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I can’t breathe, but I’m listening

Dec 29, 2014 by

My son came home and told me that on his walk from school in our middle-class neighborhood, a police officer slowed down and tailed him and his two friends. His friends — one black, the other white —...

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Bluffton professor: Ferguson was years in the making

Dec 8, 2014 by

BLUFFTON, Ohio — The aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., hasn’t surprised Walter Paquin, a Bluffton University faculty member. “This is an event 20-plus years in the making,” the...

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Demonstrating Christ

Dec 4, 2014 by

“Be patient,” they say. “Be peaceful,” they say. “Just wait,” they say, “for this is how Christ behaved . . . MLK behaved . . . the truly godly behave.” But I...

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Talking to preschoolers about race

Oct 21, 2014 by

My daughter and I were sitting outside of seminary housing when one of the few married, male black students in our apartment complex walked by. My daughter, then 2, shouted, voice ringing across the...

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We still need to talk about Ferguson

Oct 10, 2014 by

I know, I know. The news cycle on this is over, and thoughts are elsewhere. But, Ferguson’s story happens in some form every day in our country. The sad truth is that too many folks consider brown bodies to...

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Why privileged people love quoting MLK

Oct 8, 2014 by

If you’re outspoken on the issue of race, chances are, at one point or another, you’ve had a conversation with a self-proclaimed pacifist who has cited Martin Luther King Jr. King was nonviolent, they...

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Voices in the streets

Aug 22, 2014 by

This week I was glued to Twitter on more than one evening, watching the events in Ferguson, Mo., unfold in the wake of Mike Brown’s murder. In light of these events, today’s gospel passage (Matt....

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10 racial reconciliation conversation deflections

Jun 19, 2014 by

My friend Grace Sandra wrote an article for Christianity Today on the vulnerabilities faced by black women where she discusses the links between her personal experiences, current events and statistics....

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