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Gene Robinson admires Chris Matthews’ approach to talking about race

Gene Robinson admires Chris Matthews’ approach to talking about race

Retired Bishop Gene Robinson writes in the Washington Post about Chris Matthews’ compelling efforts to understand for himself – and advance the understanding of others about – the racial divide that exists in America:

Matthews’ public journey is modeling for white America how we can all learn from the tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death. Look at what he’s doing, and see in it a way forward for greater racial understanding in this country: 1. He is willing to talk about race, to talk openly about what he knows (and what he does NOT know) about how race works in America. 2. He asks questions of people of color who do know about the experience of racism (without being embarrassed by his need to ask) – and then he listens to them and believes their truth, shaking his head in acknowledgement of the fact that all of this has been going on under his own white radar screen. 3. He begins to make connections and analyze situations he once thought he understood. 4. And then, seemingly coming to the end of what he can absorb, he vulnerably and almost naively, mutters “All I can say right now is, I am so sorry.” 5. And then he says, in a way that makes you think he means it, “We have to keep talking about this, publicly and on TV. I want to have those conversations.”

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brsholl

Why is Chris Matthews somehow a potential model here? I have to admit I get angry reading complacent fluff like this. If you want to truly experience what many (and more to come) are experiencing as the “American dream”, accept non-employment in an American city and stand in the unemployment line. Believe me, it will change your mind! You will wake up.

Don’t listen to the Chris Matthews of this world, safe as they are behind their wall of wealthy white middle-class fantasy. Who cares if they see the violence in the fantasy they continue to perform? It’s still violent.

Seriously, for Jesus’ sake, become poor at least once in your life. It’s called SOLIDARITY.

And then — and this is why I still believe in what TEC does, despite all the fucking litigious nonsense (the violence of the rich) — see the liturgy as a work of the people to bring some kind of joyful meaningfulness to everyone participating in whatever way they can. We are free. Give money. Reach out. Become the poor in your generosity. Be black. See the unemployed as just “us”, deserving of full personhood.

Brian Sholl

Ann Fontaine

I think Gene wrong to rely on black people in our lives to be sources of white people’s education about race — better to read up on the experiences or watch some videos from the point of view of a person of color. Most are pretty exhausted by just surviving in this system – having a bunch of friends grill you is not very helpful. If they volunteer – great. But white people need to get their own education. Take anti-racism or living in a diverse world courses. The church has a good program.

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