Thursday, April, 1, 2010

Congested Terrain

Filed under: books, my stuff, school — mete23 @ 9:43 am

For my Comparative Race Analysis class today, we had to read a chapter titled “Congested Terrain” in the book Race Rebels: Culture, Politics and the Black Working Class. This chapter focused on the local resistant movements between blacks and whites in the American south. It was a resistant movement for both the blacks and whites because blacks were fighting to sit at the front of the bus, among many other inequalities, and the whites were resisting to protect their jobs and themselves from the perceived threat that if blacks were equal to them, they would lose something.

Four thoughts I have:

  1. Even before class, I can already imagine the conversation we will have during class. My peers, including myself, will state how heinous these violent acts were. Indeed they were heinous, hateful and horrible, I do not deny that at all, but I feel that in some ways we will try to separate ourselves from the aggressive white supremacists who mostly come from a working class background. We might think that we are different, smarter and would never ever spit at a black women or make blacks or anyone else for that matter pay at the front of the bus then ask them to board at the back.  In my conviction, I feel that if my job, in other words my means of survival, was threatened, I would be angry and perhaps even violent towards the individual or group who threatened “my right” to live. Which leads me to my next point.
  2. What are my rights? Is it really my right to say that that is my job and so no one can take that away from me? As a Christian, I must say that I have to constantly remind myself to submit my rights to the God of heaven and earth. That is my choice and I do that willingly.
  3. Now to say something about my school and my generation or at least something about the “northeast intellectual elite.” We, including myself, have this “sense of entitlement.” I say things like I want this, I want that. I definitely notice this when I am in a group setting and I try to outdo the person before me to say something that I want that is unique, special or would make me feel awesome. Back to my first point, the north was fortunate that there were not as many poor whites who were trying to get jobs that blacks were also trying to get in order to sustain themselves. We see less local battles (granted that there were riots in urban areas in the north, midwest, and west) because some of us are pretty wealthy. No one is competing with us for survival and so the ugliness that was visibly displayed in the south was simply internalized. I want versus I need.
  4. I can make the statement in the second to last sentence of my third paragraph because there are still racial problems everywhere! Racial reconciliation is still a huge problem at my school, a “liberal, open-minded, loving to everyone, don’t want to offend anyone” school. The worst part is that we are so damned PC. Talking about racial issues either silences people or makes everyone feel like crap. Here is where I think Jesus comes in and the promise that He will “reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1.20) Freak, I said “Jesus,” “blood,” and “cross” all in one sentence. And that’s not all, in Revelation, “nations, tribes, people, and language” are the things that God redeems on earth into heaven, thus ethnicity/race is indeed beautiful to God.
  5. So do we want to experience the fullness of peace and reconciliation? To actually be able to celebrate and rejoice differences and not use our differences as sources of self-entitlements and rights?

I understand that I certainly am not the first person or Christian to ever right about faith and reconciliation and this perhaps is simply a reiteration and less comprehensive or intellectual post of what many have written about before. But thank God for the many who have deeply wrote about this before me.

Yesterday, I was reading a biography on Francis Schaeffer, one of the greatest evangelists in America/Western Europe. He was definitely labeled as Conservative, evangelical, right-wing whatever else but he can definitely also be considered intellectual, very cultured and progressive. So what the freak is he? Why the heck is society so concerned with categorizing people, especially Christians? The God I believe in supersedes and transcends all labels and stereotypes. I wish I visited L’Abri, the school he opened in Switzerland, when he was still alive. (I would still like to visit there now anyway.) I really admire him a lot despite what critics say of his theology and intellectualism. I will probably blog about him soon too, when I have time.

Oh and it’s April Fool’s Day and Maudy Thursday.


1 Comment »

  1. Ma’am,
    My name is Jess Coiffard. I am a senior at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Currently, I am enrolled in a Computer Science class, and my team and I are currently involved in producing a large web portal project for the class.

    Sir, we would like to request your permission to use your photo of the movie you used for “Good Will Hunting” in our project and display it on one of our pages. The site is solely for academic use only and is located on a secure, military network and server here at West Point. Your link cannot and will not be distributed from our project site beyond the class’ network server.
    Could you please reply with your approval or disapproval?

    Thank you for your time, ma’am!

    Very Respectfully
    Cadet Jess Coiffard

    Comment by Jess Coiffard — Monday, May, 24, 2010 @ 8:25 am

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