When people want to take potshots at emergent Christianity, an easy bullseye to tag is its alleged lack of racial diversity. There’s nothing that progressive white Christians agonize over more and bust more radical Jesus jukes about than the lack of racial diversity in our movements. What’s obnoxious is when racial diversity is pursued for contrived, self-legitimating purposes rather than as a genuinely pragmatic collaboration between communities like the kind taking place in North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement. So what should progressive white evangelicals do about their racial homogeny when there isn’t an organic catalyst for cross-racial community building?
Should Christians “stay angry” at the injustice in our world? That’s a question raised in two different blog posts this week. Rachel Held Evans says she “can’t stay angry” even while she stays committed to her prophetic witness while my friend Rod the blerd (black nerd) theologian explains why he does “stay angry,” particularly at patronizing white moderates who presume to tell black people when to “just let it go.” I don’t see these two pieces as point and counter-point, nor do I interpret Rod’s piece as a dig on Rachel since she wasn’t telling black people what to do. Reading the way that Rachel and Rod accent and nuance the issue differently has forced me to really wrestle with what it means to be a genuine ally to people of color and others who have been marginalized in our battles against injustice.
I spent Father’s Day in Durham with both of my two families: my white family and my brown family. In the afternoon, I went down to the Eno River to swim with my white family where I noticed with perhaps a little too much pride that we were the only white people there (I guess most white people stick to chlorinated pools). Then on Sunday night after I put my boys to bed, I went out to the soccer field to see my brown family (the mostly Mexican immigrant kids from my former youth group who adopted me into their family). I only had a few minutes with them because I was meeting my friend Mitch for a drink so I had to settle for a few quick hugs while the ball was at the other end of the field. Continue reading