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Monday, June 16, 2014


After a fantastic panel discussion this week, #MennoNerdsOnRace is continuing our conversation on the blogosphere. Below, I've linked to specific parts of the webcast that I found particularly interesting, but it's well worth watching the whole thing if you get the chance.

Drew Hart began by framing race as being both a social construct, as well as a lived reality. April Yamasaki spoke about race as too broad of a category, challenging the idea that both she (third-generation Canadian, from a Chinese background) and her husband (third-generation Canadian, from a Japanese background) should be lumped into the same racial group despite wildly different cultural histories and identities. Drew also expounded on how white cultural defaults manifests themselves within church worship contexts.

Tim Nafziger talked about how racial justice work should flow from the center of the church, and not simply be an add on. He also talked about the stroy of the cyrprinician women, and how Jesus listened to her and responds to what he heard from her.

Osheta Moore shared generously about some of her experiences with race, and encouraged white people to ask the awkward questions, the ones that make us feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, because they will lead to deeper understanding. She also explained "I don't talk about white privilege because I want my white friends to feel bad, I talk about white privilege because I want them to understand my experience, because I want them to know me better. Because as a black person in a relationship with them, if I have to hold that part of me back, I don't really truly feel known."

Osheta later continued to explains what it means to be an 'agent of Shalom' when it comes to race and privilege, echoing Drew's thoughts on whether the Church should get involved in politics on these issues. Tim encouraged us to engage with the aspects of our history that are problematic and to learn from them. And then, Drew Hart brings it home! So powerful. You'll just have to watch that part for yourself!

I was thoroughly impressed with Tyler Tully's moderation. He took such care in preparing to lead the discussion, researching all of the topics and panelists, making sure everyone felt at ease. I appreciated his attention to detail when it came to each aspect of the evening. Even his oh-so-offical moderator voice was impressive!

I also want to mention Chris LenshynRyan Robinson, and Robert Martin as great examples of white folk taking action responsibly for racial justice.  All three were central to making this event happen, working faithfully in the background, and doing much of the heavy lifting. They helped make a great webcast, and exemplified how white folk can take participate without recapitulating racialized structural norms. 

All this to say, this is an impressive group of panelists with much wisdom to share. What an honor to listen and participate with them!

-Osheta Moore


  1. For a comically *bad* example, check out this portion of video where, in talking about the importance of "speaking up, without speaking over" I *literally* speak over Osheta due to some technical hiccups. *doh*

  2. Brett FISH AndersonJune 16, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Ah, so great - get really excited to see people having conversations on topics/issues like this - as a South African about to head home after 3 years of working with non-profits in Americaland, i have felt burdened bt the need to have wider and deeper conversations around race and have started hosting some posts and conversation on my blog over here:

    So hoping to get to look at this more deeply and open to anyone on here who is up for a guest post on an aspect of race, especially 'White Privilege' which i am about to tackle soon...

    keep on
    love brett fish

  3. Thanks for sharing your series!

  4. Are mennoNerds mennonites? This is interesting i want to learn more about them.

  5. Anabaptist that's a new one for me also. Will be reading and studying about this also. Something new to read.

  6. Yeah, for the most part MennoNerds is comprised of Mennonites, though I myself am not. More about the group here:

  7. Excellent! Some good articles on Anabaptism can be found here:

  8. truthseeker2436577@yahoo.comJune 17, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I heard of Anabaptists before. They are cousins theologically to Baptists. Anabaptists are a very autonomous religious group and they believe in the separation of church and state. You have the right to study about the Anabaptists. Back in 2002 and 2003, I began to study a lot on the Anabaptists, Memmonites, Baptists, Calvinists, the Reformation, Lutherans, etc.

  9. SO WHAT!!! YOU have the right to remain silent. We sure wish the hell you'd use it

  10. Indeed! Drew made some interesting points with regard to separation of Church and State in one of his responses:

  11. There is a book by Dr. Fred K.C.Price on "Race Religion,and Racism" That i have ordered on Amazon. I think it will be beneficial to me in helping me understand how one can still be a born again christian and still be a bigot. During slavery some of the most religious people were racist and supported white supremacy, and white privilege. Any thoughts?

  12. truthseeker2436577@yahoo.comJune 18, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    You have made a great point.

    First, we have to start at white supremacy. White supremacy is an evil philosophy that views white people as superior to others. Also, that system of white supremacy has contributed to imperialism, the Maafa, Jim Crow, and other injustices against black people (including others). The white supremacists use religion (including the manipulation of religion via the usage of false theology) as a means to try to justify their evil, but their evil has no justification at all. White privilege is about racists believing that they have the right to dominate non-whites. I don't agree with that evil either.

    If someone is a bigot or a racist, then that person lacks true morality and in my view is not truly a follower of God at all. The fruits of the Spirit deals with humbleness, strength, compassion, love, and truth. Folks who think that non-white people are inferior or deserve mistreatment embrace a distorted philosophy. The ruling class also have aided many religious people in advancing racism and white supremacy too. One example is how the Monarchs and the big bankers centuries ago funded colonialism in the four corners of the world (and they have funded some religious people as agent to advance imperial interests). It is fair to point out that many religious and non-religious people opposed slavery and fought slavery with bravery including courage. We have every right to condemn white supremacy and to do constructive actions as a means to build up our communities.


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By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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