Tag Archives: American Christianity

RE: White Supremacy And Beauty Pageants: Cyber racism & Nina Davuluri

Anti-Racist Action banner from Art Against Racism

Anti-Racist Action banner from Art Against Racism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Right now, you’re probably like, oh no, not another POC whining on the interwebz because of a few racist tweets. They are just “tweets” after all, nothing more. #amiright? Rather than “whining,” POC in the USA should be celebrating and not give into the “negativity!”

First of all, it must be grand to never have had to encounter racism for yourself. Why don’t you take multiple seats, and check your privilege. Victories when it comes to representation (winning pageants, etc) are always ambivalent at best, so there should both be joy and critique to go along with it.  Representation is not enough.  The challenges to white supremacy must be ever vigilant in the struggle to debunk white supremacy where-ever it rings its ugly head, and in this case, it’s both in the definition of what it means to be an American, and white supremacist definitions of beauty that have been readily embraced by the general populace and the media.

I believe that an engagement with Cornel West’s Prophesy Deliverance would be fruitful here, particularly his first chapter outlining a genealogy of white supremacy.  From the Renaissance Era on, European pseudo-scientists and phrenologists appealed for a return to the Greek ideal body of blue eyes, round chin, horizontal forehead, and Graeco-Roman noses defined the faces of white people as the faces of conquerors.  White supremacy starts with hierarchal classifications of bodies that are first catalogued as fact, and then put into practice by way of conquest and discriminatory public policies.

Fast forward to today, with the white supremacist media, where talking heads can get away with promoting racist views of what it means to be an American like CNN’s Todd Starnes. What makes a white woman from Kansas more American than an Indian-American woman? Oh, that’s right, the color of her skin! Miss Davuluri is a USA citizen, which is a requirement for this “scholarship” program, so what exactly is a real American? Am I missing something here? Or did I already say it [white supremacy]? It is not the tweets of individuals who just happened to be bigots that are the problem. Bigotry by persons is not the problem. Systems, institutions, and racist mythologies that justify them are.

I leave you with a quote from a post I did on Pageants and US American politics from almost four years ago, pretty relevant today eerily:

“What is more disturbing than Palin’s or Prejean’s involvement in an ambiguously moral event that parades as a scholarship contest is the Church’s views on the value of human bodies, and which human bodies are valued. Are American temples of God’s Breathe more valuable than Afghani or Iraqi temples of God’s Breathe? Are there certain human bodies we are more likely to execute via the electric chair or go to war with simply because of the color of their skin? American politics, sadly enough, has become not about what a person stands for or has voted for, but what a person looks like, who that person appeals to. Do we trust governors who claim to be conservative because he looks the part, but has never once voted that way in his career? Do we elect a progressive politician who promises to rule from the “center” when in reality he nominates radicals to her administration? This is the real tragedy that the pageantry in North American politics has become. Because looks can be deceiving.”

The Pageantry of North American Politics: Palin, Prejean, and Priesthood

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The Black Church: An Obituary?

Last week,  Eddie Glaude, Jr., Ph.D. announce that  the Black Church Is dead. Whenever someone fallaciously announces the “death” of an institution, it usually means the end of an institution as we currently know it.  Our knowledge of an institution changes with different insights and historical realities.  It’s really not  big deal as it seems.  It is not a “death” per se (still, I object to death as a metaphor), but our ideas do change with different revelations being revealed to us.  As a Black Church Studies scholar,  Glaude’s article is a consequence of what happens when a group of intellectuals sharing a similar religious tradition (the Black Church) repeat the same metanarrative over and over again, that Black religion (really, they mean Black Christianity) has always been about first,  liberation from slavery, segregation, and economic injustice; and second, healing from these brutalities.  Homogeneity is the source of death.  The discovery of heterogeneity, diversity within black churches, is what will bring life.  There has never been a liberal progressive construct known as THE  black church.  There has always been Black Churches, with our evangelicals, our conservatives, our moderates, our liberals, our progressive, our orthodox and our heretics.  The problem is exacerbated by Black-controlled media; when we get carictures of African-American Christianity on the silver screen such as Tyler Perry movies which I absolutely loathe more than Disney films, the Black church tradition falls into stereotypes and becomes nothing more than a joke. I will reserve the rest of my commentary for my paper presentation for the regional AAR in Dallas Sunday morning.

Here is a response from ReligionDispatches: The Black Church is Dead—Long Live the Black Church | Religion & Theology

Truth and Peace,


Awesome Christian Entertainment: Bibleman

Okay, I have to admit something.

I like Bibleman. Yes. I do. Despite the Magical Black side kick that changes with each episode that Bible Man has. Or the cheesy story lines. Or the comic relief in between the pretend fight scenes.  Or the awful dialogue. Or the extreme position on Sola Scriptura that the theology of Bible Man implies, with statements that suggest that ONLY reading the Bible transforms an entire person, as if the text itself is responsible for conversion (that is not correct theology, it would be the Holy Spirit who converts and sanctifies).

I do love the emphasis on reading the Bible in community, with subtle references to small groups and overcoming things such as peer pressure.

I still love it. No matter how much I try to deconstruct Bibleman, it is still a great learning tool for children…. and adults.