Co-Dependent not Independent

For believers, independence should not be the goal. The definition of independent is ‘free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority or on another for livelihood or subsistence.’ No, we should strive for co-dependency; a word often used in psychological analysis around addiction. However, for true followers of Christ, it is appropriate. We depend upon the Triune God for our subsistence and our addiction is to Them alone. We also depend upon our fellow sojourners for support, accountability and to be brothers and sisters in the struggle together. We are not intended to be in this journey alone and to do ministry by ourselves. The entire body of believers are to work together regardless of race, age, gender, faith and any other things we use to divide ourselves and keep us from collectively working together for the kingdom.

I encourage you today, having just celebrated America’s Independence Day, to break from the individualism of the US and seek unity amongst as many diverse people that are in your midst. Seek out those different from you in your community and strive to build relationships; relationships of peace and unity. We have gotten off track. Let us move back towards the model of the Trinity; distinct yet equal, separate yet unified. If you need help getting started, give me a call or shoot me an email.

Blessings

Pam

Weekend for Peace

sponsored by Visible Unity, Inc.

Prayers for Peace

Friday, July 7, 2017
Southwest Dallas Police Station
4230 W. Illinois Ave, Dallas, 75211
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Participants will be encouraged to pray individually and collectively for police officers, victims of police shootings and all those negatively impacted by violence, oppression and injustice.

I/Eye Perspective

Saturday, July 8, 2017
Meadows Conference Center
2900 Live Oak, Dallas 75208
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Participants will view clips from “I Am Not Your Negro” followed by facilitated discussion.  People will be encouraged to identify action steps for their community.
Integrated Hour of Worship


Sunday, July 9, 2017
First United Methodist Church
1928 Ross Ave, Dallas, 75201
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Participants will model healthy diversity in attending the worship service at First United Methodist Church.
I am anticipating a wonderful weekend with family and friends as we seek to be peacekeepers.
Blessings
Pam

Reproducing Racism

I was reading a book by Daria Roithmayr, Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage, and she equates the way white people have systematically oppressed people of color as a cartel.  Whites engaged in “cartel conduct” utilize “economic coercion, violence and harassment” to give whites an advantage.  In posing suggestions for a political and legal fix, she uses the example of the government saying Microsoft was a monopoly and needed to be split up so that fair competition can occur.  “Restoring competition in the operating systems market required significant and dramatic legal intervention, in order to eliminate the barrier to entry created by increasing returns.”  I would add that fair competition leads to greater diversity and creativity and benefits everyone.  When we don’t diversify, we don’t expand our thinking, actions or products; whether those products are tangible or intangible.  Roithmayr also recognizes that there needs to be work done in our social networks and interactions as well as more integration in a variety of ways.

My final thoughts about her work is something I will try to incorporate in the work I do.  She resets racial discrimination as anticompetitive and antidiscrimination as antitrust.

Anticompetitive – emphasis on the economic costs and historical benefits of racial discrimination

Antitrust – emphasis on the unfairness of white advantage

Let’s all do what we can in the areas we are in to level the field.                                          Blessings

Pam

Do Something

Benjamin Franklin said thatJustice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.’ This could apply not only to justice but also discrimination, racial targeting, and oppression. This past year and moving through the next four years, we will be seeing more and more unaffected people become outraged. For America, this is a bad time not only for all Americans but also for the world. However, we cannot afford to allow this time of grief, pain and sorrow to be in vain. We must take advantage during these times to regroup, re-gather and remobilize so that we can usher in healing, relationship building, renewed and comprehensive strategizing, and reenergized and informed mobilization. There are many groups, some already formed and some forming, already working in one or more of these areas.

Now is the time to get involved. Do something to truly make America great and to help make the world great. This is only possible with collective effort. Make sure your organization is talking with, partnering with and/or collaborating with other organizations. This is not a time for territorial/kingdom building fighting. Let’s all come together. If you are a philanthropist, give money to those organizations who are not working in silos, who realize ‘it takes a village’ or in this instance several communities.

God bless and see you in the trenches.

Pam

A Concerted Movement

As we prepare to brace for impact and then move forward in the next several years, I pray we can begin to develop a more concerted movement.  A concerted movement as opposed to individual groups and organizations doing a variety of things is preferable and will have more impact.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines the adjective “concerted” as meaning “arranged by mutual agreement; agreed upon, pre-arranged; planned, contrived; done in concert.” Let’s meet, talk, plan and then do.

  • As suggestions, I believe we need at least:
  • An Active front
  • A Peaceful Protest front
  • A Political front
  • A Relationship Building front
  • An Education front

No one front is more valuable or necessary than the other but collectively will yield a truly transformed society not merely just outward changes.  A truly transformed society will benefit everyone and our country will thrive and grow.

If you’re not involved in any of these fronts, I suggest you:

  • Figure out what fits best with your personality, skills and status
  • Know it will be challenging no matter which one you choose
  • Get off the sidelines, quit just praying and do the work you feel called to perform

Figure out what fits – Pray about it.  Also,  you will want to consult with those who know you personally and professionally.  They can help you assess personality, skills and especially status.  We often undervalue our status in relation to our ability to influence others and connect with others.

Know it will be challenging – We are not just talking about making things better, we are talking about transformation.  Transformation is a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. The processes for this to occur will necessarily be challenging and depending upon your previous experiences, the challenges will increase or decrease. You will want to surround yourself with a support system that will be encouraging, sympathetic, affirming and relentless in not allowing you to quit.

Get off the sidelines – Too many people (in particular religious people) hide behind their religious veil rather than being and doing. I am not saying that we don’t need people to be in prayer. We need more people earnestly praying now more than ever. However, your prayer needs to be coupled with work. Faith in action or as the title of a book suggests – Faith is a Verb[1] – is required. Pray about where you fit, who you fit with (which organization) and then start the work.

Visible Unity, Inc. (the organization I started) does relationship building and just a little bit of education.  Contact me if this is where you fit.  If you just want direction, support or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I am trying to connect with other organizations in the Dallas area working on a variety of these fronts.  I am already connected with several but any names of organizations, groups or churches you know of would be great.

Blessings

Pam

[1]Stokes, Kenneth, 1989

What to Do?

I could spout out all kinds of words, scriptures, etc. today but I choose instead to quote from an older, white, Christian man who offers two suggestions on how we move forward.

“Where must we start as Christians and faithful churches after such a devastating election that brings the most dangerous man to the White House that we have seen in our lifetimes?

 First, we must reach out in solidarity and protection to those who feel and are most vulnerable — undocumented immigrants, young black and brown Americans, and Muslims.

 Second, we must make very public and very clear: Honest and prophetic truth-telling about race in America will be needed as never before in our time — especially from white Christians, who must call for the replacement of white identity politics with faith identity politics. Whiteness is an idol that has separated white Christians from God. Nothing less than biblical repentance from the white identity politics that dominated this election, and even most white churches, is now required from all of us white people in America who call ourselves Christian.

Solidarity must be very practical: Churches may need to open themselves up as sanctuaries taking in the undocumented immigrants whom Donald Trump has pledged to deport. Massive civil disobedience may be called for. And if the federal government and its agencies will not protect young people of color from the violence of racial profiling, religious communities, denominational leaders, local pastors, and congregations will have to. Meetings that insist on dialogue and accountability with local sheriffs and law enforcement officials will be necessary. And Christians in particular will have to defend and protect the religious liberty of Muslims in America.

All this will be risky and costly. Thus, it will be important that our first call is to go deeper into our faith, to find the courage to act, stand alongside our brothers and sisters under attack, and to confront the “principalities and powers.” Perhaps the most encouraging calls to me since the election results last night have come from young people of all ethnicities — many of whom I know well and have mentored. Several have independently said, “I just wanted you to know that I AM IN for whatever this will require of us.””

(Jim Wallis is president of Sojourners. His book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, is available now. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.)

For his full article and a very quick and good read, click here.

If you’re not sure how to do this, contact me.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, contact me.  If you’re not sure you understand all the issues, contact me.  If you just want to complain and say you feel bad but don’t want to do anything, then don’t contact me.  I’ll pray for you.

Lord God, please bless all of the people in America.

Pam

A Problem and A Solution

A Problem

I was reading a Facebook post of an African American veteran explaining why he was protesting in Charlotte. There were things they were not allowed to do in the country we were at war with (shooting unarmed people) but those things were being done here in the US against US citizens.

It got me to thinking, there is a war. Racism is so imbedded in our structure as a country that it’s akin to white people being at war with black people.  That’s why with all the different “War on” – black people were targeted.  War on Crime, War on Drugs, War on Terrorism, etc.

A Solution

I was also just reading an article about the UN being concerned about the plight of African Americans here in the US. The UN committee visited the US and suggests some reparations are in order for African Americans.  They recommend this because of the history but also because the present escalation of police killings of African Americans is reminiscent of the history.

Suggestions include reparations to African-American descendants of slavery (better education, prison reform, better job opportunities and yes even, money), establish a national human rights commission and publicly acknowledge that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity.

America, we have other countries looking at our atrocities.  Isn’t it time to do something about all of this.  Please feel free to contact me about joining a Unity Process group and work to begin getting to know diverse people, having healthy conversations about race, and joining in the fight.

Blessings

Pam

Excerpts from some Articles

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States should consider reparations to African-American descendants of slavery, establish a national human rights commission and publicly acknowledge that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity, a United Nations working group said Friday.

The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent released its preliminary recommendations after more than a week of meetings with black Americans and others from around the country, including Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, the District of Columbia and Jackson, Mississippi.

After finishing their fact-finding mission, the working group was “extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African-Americans,” chair Mireille Fanon Mendes-France of France said in the report. “The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent.”

For example, Mendes-France compared the recent deaths of unarmed black men like Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police to the lynchings of black men in the South from the post-Civil War days through the Civil Rights era. Those deaths, and others, have inspired protests around the country under the Black Lives Matter moniker.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Same Responses on Reparations

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders caused a stir when he stated he does not support reparations for slavery on the grounds that such a program would be “very divisive” and would never pass Congress. Hillary Clinton when asked never gave a straight answer instead suggest that money be invested in funding under privileged neighborhoods . However both have a history in reparations for a certain group. Holocaust survivors. Sanders-sponsored a bill but never came up for a vote. Clinton is also on the same page as Sanders. During her husband’s administration, she was given an award by the World Jewish Congress for helping obtain reparations from the Swiss and German governments.

“Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynchings in the past,” she told reporters. “Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Some of the working group’s members, none of whom are from the United States, said they were shocked by some of the things they found and were told.

For example, “it’s very easy in the United States for African-Americans to be imprisoned, and that was very concerning,” said Sabelo Gumedze of South Africa.

Federal officials say 37 percent of the state and federal prison populations were black males in 2014. The working group suggests the U.S. implement several reforms, including reducing the use of mandatory minimum laws, ending racial profiling, ending excessive bail and banning solitary confinement.

“What stands out for me is the lack of acknowledgement of the slave trade,” said Ricardo A. Sunga III, who lives in the Philippines.

The working group suggests monuments, markers and memorials be erected in the United States to facilitate dialogue, and “past injustices and crimes against African-Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice.”

The group will suggest several U.S. changes to improve human rights for African-Americans, which also include establishing a national human rights commission, ratifying international human rights treaties, asking Congress to study slavery and its aftereffects and considering reparations .

The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was established in 2002 by the then-Commission on Human Rights, following the World Conference against Racism in 2001.

It also visited the United States in 2010, where its final report found similar problems, including blacks facing disproportionately high unemployment, lower income levels, less access to education, “problematic access to quality health-care services and the high incidence of certain health conditions, electoral disenfranchisement and structural issues in the administration of justice (in particular incarceration rates).”

The current panel will give its final findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva in September.

U.N. Experts Recommend US Reparations For Slavery

After 14 years, and 20 days of speaking with U.S. officials, activists, and families of people killed by police in major American cities, a United Nations working group is getting into the fray on U.S. racial discrimination.The group has reached the conclusion the slave trade was a crime against humanity and the U.S. government should pay reparations. A French member of the working group of U.N. experts, Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, said after their meetings in the U.S., “Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynching in the past.” The U.N. experts traveled to major cities including: Washington D.C., Baltimore, Jackson, Mississippi, Chicago, and New York City. Several years ago, both the U.S. Senate and House, in separate bills apologized for slavery and Jim Crow legislation, but were divided over the issue of reparations. the bills were never passed as law.

 

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