Nathan Phillips and Catholic boys have Much to Teach Us

I have been delayed in sharing this piece, and am doing so now because we tend to move on too quickly in our culture without learning our life lessons.

A couple weeks ago, a short video clip of a white male Catholic student named Nick Sandmann from Covington Catholic School in Kentucky, along with a group of his predominately white classmates seemingly disrespecting an indigenous elder, Nathan Phillips, went viral on the internet. People were appalled at the student’s disrespect. Within days, the school issued an apology, the families of the students were given a platform to defend their children and tell the world of the death threats they had received.

Then a longer video was released revealing a more complicated situation. The Atlantic article, “I Failed the Covington Catholic Test,” cautioned the viewers who rushed to judgment, encouraged readers to wait for more facts to emerge, and implied that the white students were the victims. The credibility of Nathan Phillips was in doubt.

It was a clashing of three people groups in a polarized society. A situation like that can become dangerous very quickly.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.

There is a Crisis Happening at our Border

I am a black mother of a black child in America, and that means that I carry an abnormal desire not only to ensure my child’s safety but to actively pursue and defend it. I learned this from my ancestors. From the time I was a child, I’ve been made aware of this burden.

 

Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes, informed us in his poem, “Mother to Son,”

 

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare,

But all the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goinn’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.[1]

 

This is a narrative of a woman who is not wanted in her country, and yet she wants the best for her son. She tells him that in spite of her reality and the ever-present darkness in her life, he must keep going, he must not turn back, he must not fall, and he must continue to climb higher.

 

She keeps climbing because she wants a better life for herself and her son. That’s what all decent humans want for their offspring, a better life and the opportunity to keep climbing in spite of the darkness.

biracial children

As I reflect on this artistic work, I am reminded of the human need and desire to survive. I am also heartbroken by the mothers who have similar words to say to their children, but maybe now they are saying it with a little less hope or maybe their children can no longer hear their voices at all because they have been separated.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.

[1] Langston Hughes, “Mother to Son” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. Poetry Foundation. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47559/mother-to-son

Book Review – “One: Unity in a Divided World” by @DeidraRiggs

Book Review – “One: Unity in a Divided World” by @DeidraRiggs

Why I picked up this book:

Deidre RiggsOne: Unity in a Divide World” was written by Deidra Riggs, and I find her particularly intentional and passionate about the work of reconciliation. She is a person who uplifts and brings other persons together, so I’m glad to share this resource.

 

Who Should Read One: Unity in a Divide World:

 

We are so easily divided about everything. Given the current political and social climate in America, this book can be beneficial to anyone. I see it as an on-ramp book, particularly helpful for those just getting started on the reconciliation journey. A journey the Deidra defines as a “process that begins when two opposing parties come together for the purpose of peace.”

Continue reading “Book Review – “One: Unity in a Divided World” by @DeidraRiggs”