Jolted by Deaths, Obama Found His Voice on Race

Only weeks after 70 million Americans chose a black man for president, shattering a racial barrier that had stood for the entirety of the nation’s 232-year history, no one in the White House, especially the man in the Oval Office, wanted to talk about race. President Obama had made a pragmatic calculation in January 2009, as the financial crisis drove communities across the United States toward economic collapse. Whatever he did for African-Americans, whose neighborhoods were suffering more … [Read more...]

Join WeSayEnough Week of Solidarity

2017 has begun and I'm reaching out to see if you'd be willing to join together as the Interfaith Organizing Iniative's WeSayEnough Campaign in a week of solidarity organized around the principle of fasting. We've realized that as we get closer to the inauguration of Trump as our next president the tension, fear, anxiety and rage of our people has been reaching palpable proportions. Many folks are gearing up for actions around the country and systems of sanctuary, particularly for our … [Read more...]

Praying for a Successful Presidency

This must be said without equivocation, “I am praying for the success of President-Elect Donald H. Trump’s tenure in office.” Unlike the Republican Congressional leaders who announced publicly on his first Inauguration Day their singular intention to stymie President Barack Obama’s Administration and to stifle each and every initiative he presented, I want to see Mr. Trump perform at the highest level of civility with wise counsel and above average leadership quality. The success of the … [Read more...]

Rev. Barber: Will a “Moral Center,” Not a “Religioius Left,” Save Us in 2017?

While many Americans partied at their local watering hole or watched Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin clown around at the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C.’s historic Metropolitan AME Church for a Watch Night service led by the Rev. William Barber, other clergy, and activists. He and his colleagues are calling for a new Poor People’s Campaign, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King announced plans for the original. Barber, head of the North … [Read more...]

In Times Like These

Sometimes it seems the world has flipped upside down and is spinning out of control. After taking a few days off to recalibrate my life and set a compass to move forward, I realize the world is no larger than the sphere I can influence. That is, there are very few things I can really manage well and there is almost nothing I can control. As the saying goes, “In life stuff happens.” The recent elections put a lot people in an emotional tailspin. Wednesday following the minority vote that will … [Read more...]

Knowing Someone Who Faced Discrimination May Affect Blood Pressure

Doctors have long known that black people are more likely than white people to suffer from diseases such as high blood pressure. A study suggests that racial discrimination may be playing a role in a surprising way. The study, which involved 150 African-Americans living in Tallahassee, Fla., found that knowing someone who had experienced racial discrimination was associated with genetic markers that may affect risk for high blood pressure. The genetic markers "seem to interact with" being … [Read more...]

Standing with Standing Rock

Personal Reflections From The Cannon Ball River The following is not a comprehensive history of the story that is being told along the Cannon Ball. It is my witness – a partial witness – of that story. It isn’t even my whole experience. It highlights our call as the Church to Stand With Standing Rock against racism and prejudice and our vigil to see Treaty Obligations met fully and completely. In August the Standing Rock Nation changed. For years it had been known as a place of athletic … [Read more...]

In Trump’s America: How Much Will Blacks Lives Matter Now?

Roosevelt Institute Fellow, MSNBC pundit, Columbia University professor, author (the upcoming The Three Faces of Unions) – Dorian Warren is or has been all these things, along with chairing the Center for Community Change, and serving as Research Associate at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. Often called to television roundtables and policy conferences to speak about race, economic inequality and labor, Warren talked to us last week on the coming Trump years. Erin Aubry … [Read more...]

Lessons from Internment: Racial and Religious Profiling Are Never Warranted

  My mother was seven years old when she and her family were evacuated from the West Coast and forced to live in an Army barrack behind barbed wire in an internment camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Born in Los Angeles, she had been taught in school to be a proud and loyal American citizen, so the wholesale exclusion and relocation of her community was both terrifying and confusing. On the journey to Wyoming, the prisoners were ordered to keep their shades down when the train passed through … [Read more...]

The Black Church in Trump’s America: Refuge and Resistance

In the weeks since November 8th, I have repeatedly recalled the words from the Appendix to the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) in which he affirms that there is “no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.” Recognizing that a majority of Christians—mainline Protestant, Catholic, and especially evangelical—cast their ballots for a president whose rhetoric, conduct, history, and platform exemplify bigotry undermined any sense … [Read more...]