We Should all Be Terrified

We Should all Be Terrified

brianbantum: theology, culture, teaching and life in-between

Brian Bantum, Assistant Professor of Theology
Seattle Pacific University

Today, do not speak to me of peace. Do not speak to me of reconciliation or “turn the other cheek.” Today we must confess. We must confess to what our nation was and is continuing to be. We must open our eyes to the way the cancer of race in America not only persists but has mutated, calibrated itself to the supposed inoculations of “multiculturalism” and “post-racialism.”

This morning we need to face a terrifying fact. George Zimmerman is a product of the “multicultural.” A mixed-race man, the son of a Latina mother and a white father, a man who identifies himself as Hispanic, killed a black boy who he identified as dangerous and followed as a suspect. The “not guilty” verdict in this case means quite simply that the [white] jury in this case deemed his actions “reasonable.” Race permeated this case, but in new ways that we cannot lose sight of.

To lose sight of Zimmerman’s racial self-identification is to lose sight of how race has worked in this country, how whiteness was never about biology. Whiteness has always been about a presumption of innocence, a power to judge, the freedom to exist and to be who you declare yourself to be…

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