Further, I maintain that those of us who insist on adjudicating the Christianity of others in the public sphere are only serving to reinforce the Christian supremacism that is so baked into American society that too often we don’t even notice it.
This Christian supremacism, however, which is very much white Protestant inflected, overlaps heavily with white supremacism. Inasmuch as the two are intertwined, it’s impossible to dismantle the one without tackling the other. It may seem like an innocent reaction on the part of progressive Christians to denounce their authoritarian coreligionists as “fake Christians” or “not following the teachings of Jesus,” but it’s neither innocent nor accurate, as I have previously discussed on my blog and at Playboy.
The Jesus portrayed in the Bible is a complex and contradictory figure, and there’s nothing resembling a universal consensus among Christians about how to interpret the teachings attributed to him. Christianity has, since the fourth century, frequently gone hand in hand with imperial power, and the existence of liberationist strains of the faith does not negate the existence of these punitive, power-grabbing strains.
Finally, when Christians deflect from addressing the bad behavior of other Christian individuals and groups by writing them out of “true” Christianity, they’re essentially equating Christianity with goodness at the direct expense of nonbelievers and religious minorities who are afforded no equivalent deference. Christians are as capable of atrocities as members of any group and adherents of any ideology, and so long as polite American society proceeds as if this isn’t the case, polite American society is complicit in the normalization of Christian extremism.
This series is framed for “fellow White Christians” but is a good survey of Critical Race Theory for everyone. It’s full of great quotes and links.
- The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 1: A Survey of the “Traditional Civil Rights Discourse” : The Front Porch “Traditional Civil Rights discourse predates and dispels allegations of cultural Marxism.”
- The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 2: The Segregationist Discourse and Civil Rights Retrenchment : The Front Porch “To tell the story of the rise of critical race theory historically, we have to consider the segregationist and anti-Civil Rights context that spawned it.”
- The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 3: A Bridge: Dr. Derrick Bell : The Front Porch “Bell’s work signaled a return to the more “radical” elements of W.E.B. Du Bois, Oliver C. Cox, Stokely Carmichael, and even Dr. King.”
- The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 4: Alan Freeman and the Contribution of CLS : The Front Porch “Laws reflect dominant social morality and power distribution. That’s why our laws are more likely to legitimize racism and racist systems than remedy them.”
It seems to be a fact of life that human beings cannot continue to do wrong without eventually reaching out for some rationalization to clothe their acts in the garments of righteousness. And so, with the growth of slavery, men had to convince themselves that a system which was so economically profitable was morally justifiable. The attempt to give moral sanction to a profitable system gave birth to the doctrine of white supremacy. (Where Do We Go From Here?, p. 76-77)
Racism is a doctrine of the congenital inferiority and worthlessness of a people. (Where Do We Go From Here?, p. 49)
If we had to put our finger upon the year which marked the beginning of modern race relations we should select 1493-94. This is the time when total disregard for the human rights and physical power of the non-Christian peoples of the world, the colored peoples, was officially assumed by the first two great colonizing European nations. Pope Alexander bull of demarcation issued under Spanish pressure on May 3, 1493, and its revision by the Treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494), arrived at through diplomatic negotiations between Spain and Portugal, put all the heathen peoples and their resources-that is to say, especially the colored peoples of the world-at the disposal of Spain and Portugal.
This, then, is the beginning of modern race relations. It was not an abstract, natural, immemorial feeling of mutual antipathy between groups, but rather a practical exploitative relationship with its socio-attitudinal facilitation-at that time only nascent race prejudice. (Loc. 8548)
[S]ocial intolerance, which attitude may be defined as an unwillingness on the part of a dominant group to tolerate the beliefs or practices of a subordinate group because it considers these beliefs and practices to be either inimical to group solidarity or a threat to the continuity of the status quo. Race prejudice, on the other hand, is a social attitude propagated among the public by an exploiting class for the purpose of stigmatizing some group as inferior so that the exploitation of either the group itself or its resources or both may be justified. (Loc. 10083)
Source: Caste, Class, and Race
[W]hile color blindness may be a sound goal ultimately, we must realize that race is an overwhelming fact of life in this historical period. There is no black man in this country who can live “simply as a man.” His blackness is an ever-present fact of this racist society, whether he recognizes it or not. It is unlikely that this or the next generation will witness the time when race will no longer be relevant in the conduct of public affairs and in public policy decision-making. To realize this and to attempt to deal with it does not make one a racist or overly preoccupied with race; it puts one in the forefront of a significant struggle. (Black Power, p. 54).
Great thread on ADHD, rumination, emotional dysregulation, and reactivity:
In our family, exposure anxiety and rejection sensitive dysphoria are sources of rumination leading to reactivity.
Disability solidarity means that we are all advancing intersectional justice - that Disabled folks are working hard to achieve racial justice, economic justice, gender justice; and Black folks are holding ourselves accountable for disability justice, immigrant justice, indigenous justice, etc. Disability solidarity means the folks fighting for racial justice and disability justice are one and the same. In this way, no one is left behind.
Disability solidarity encapsulates the lived experience of Emmett Till and millions of Disabled youth of color living at the intersection he once occupied. These are the youth who continue to be profiled, criminalized, and killed for existing. They deserve to have their whole humanity affirmed. Disability solidarity saves lives and makes room for laughter, love and freedom at an intersection that does not have to continue to be the most dangerous intersection that we’ve ever held.
Disabled people already have to give up our privacy just to access basic services, support, and accommodations. We have to deal with consistent, lingering beliefs about fraud and deceit that lead to implementation of policies like Electronic Visit Verification, which subjects disabled people receiving publicly funded support to increased scrutiny.
This is forced intimacy. It’s the opposite of inclusion, and it is exhausting.
So intertwined are these oppressions that any attempt to rid the nation of racism without doing away with ableism yields practically nothing. The same is true in reverse. Disabled communities attempting to rid the nation of ableism find themselves having made very little headway because they are still practicing racism.
There’s a lot of inspiration porn going around in response to Chadwick Boseman’s death. This primer collects writing from disabled people on inspiration porn and “supercrip” narratives: