The Problem with Silence
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The Problem with Silence

When it comes to social and political issues, I confess that my own impulse is toward public silence. Even in the face of the ongoing, widespread protests against anti-Black racism, part of me preferred silence. Not because I am unconcerned about the reality of racism in our culture (as I have told myself). Rather, a significant part of me has felt I should just get on with faithfully relating to students and colleagues and friends who are people of colour.

Talking about Racism
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Talking about Racism

In White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo, a white anti-racism educator, describes the defensive moves that white people make when their ideas about race and racism are challenged. She terms these defensive moves “white fragility” – reactions characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviours such as argumentation and silence. She argues that our largely segregated society makes these reactions possible, as it’s set up to insulate white people from racial discomfort.

Two Portraits of Power
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Two Portraits of Power

By any descriptor that has been applied to the Trump presidency thus far – unorthodox, theatrical, controversial – his photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in June was particularly shocking given its physical environment of civil unrest. That Trump intended the photo-op to be a justification of his use of brute force against his own citizens, using Christian props and setting to portray himself as a “Christian” leader, seems evident.

Say Their Names
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Say Their Names

My heart broke when I heard that a police officer had killed another Black man. My first response was “Not again!” When I finally saw the video of George Floyd’s death, I was upset and angry. I do not typically curse, but this time I did, and I prayed. It was unbelievable to see a white police officer pressing his foot on the neck of Mr. Floyd with a hand in his pocket in the presence of other police officers and bystanders.

The ‘White’ Talk
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The ‘White’ Talk

The “talk” for adolescents in Black households is not about sex and avoiding teenage pregnancy. It focuses on what to do if the police stop you to avoid being arrested or worse. I have seen a circle of boisterous Black youth at a local bus station in Ottawa be threatened and dispersed by police, while a group of laughing white youth nearby were allowed to stay.

A Tale of Two Runners
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A Tale of Two Runners

You’ve probably never heard of Richard Demsick. On May 9, 2020, Richard Demsick went for a two-and-a-half mile run in his neighbourhood in Vero Beach, Florida. Demsick was running shirtless, with a ball cap on backwards and was carrying a flat-screen television under his arm. Although the neighbourhood had recently had a series of break-ins, no one stopped him to ask what he was doing. You’ve probably heard of Ahmaud Arbery.

New Exchanges
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New Exchanges

541 Eatery and Exchange is a restaurant and Christian ministry located in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. By providing affordable and high-quality food and drink, as well as a place to hang out and socialize, 541 has always connected people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Since COVID-19, those connections look different but the ministry’s focus hasn’t changed. “We talk a lot about family here,” says Danielle Steenwyk-Rowaan, one of the Front of House Managers and a former columnist with Christian Courier.

‘It’s Not About a Pipeline’
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‘It’s Not About a Pipeline’

My name is Sarah Beaubien, I am Wet’suwet’en from the Likhts’amisyu Clan. The last few weeks have had their ups and downs; in 2020 you wouldn’t think that we would still be living in the past of ripping Aboriginal people from their lands, but that is exactly what we are seeing. I also have to stay positive because I know God is a God of Justice and that is exactly what we are fighting for.

Class Prejudice
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Class Prejudice

As Angela Reitsma Bick noted in a recent editorial (“An Other Perspective,” CC Jan. 27), it’s distressingly easy to fall into facile “us vs. them” assumptions; and in our present cultural moment, a lot of these assumptions have to do with class distinctions. During my university years, I worked as an intern for the U.S. federal government in my home state of Alabama, a job which required me to carry an ID card.

Still on the Watchtower
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Still on the Watchtower

The Vietnam War was raging, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had been assassinated, the counter-culture movement was in full swing and Jimi Hendrix had just released his stunning retake on Bob Dylan’s song: “All along the watchtower, princes kept the view […] outside in the distance a wildcat did growl / two riders were approaching, and the wind began to howl.” It was 1968 and I wonder if Morris Greidanus had such an apocalyptic sense of the times as he launched a Christian Reformed (CRC) campus ministry at the University of Toronto.

Called to Account
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Called to Account

In this season of my life, the Lord has granted me a front row seat to what he’s up to in the lives of the “rising generations.” I’d like to serve as an ambassador between the rising generations and our church. Young adults love Jesus. They’re great with Jesus, but they’re much more skeptical when it comes to the church. Their concerns can be roughly gathered into three categories: money, sex and power. These are old gods – Mammon, Eros, Mars. And our young adults are warning us that these old gods are seducing the church in ways that they find deeply troubling. Let’s look in particular at money.