Today in 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”
I am by no means a Constitutional scholar; I think back to my courses, teachings, and readings and often ponder the political dimensions of those who are self-serving. As I watch the confirmation hearings and listen to Sean Spicer (not a credible person) articulate the notion of a White House seeking original intent protection, my thoughts jog back to the 18th century justification for the protection of white male supremacy, under the notion of wealth, capitalism, and white supremacy. Yet I recall those same white men stating the Constitution “is” a living-breathing document with mechanism for change. Who sets those changes? Who benefits from them? Moreover, if the right believes in original intent – what does this mean for the biological reproductive measures of women who have historically been suppressed, silenced, and exploited by white male hegemony? American Indians? Asians? How about Black folks who were deemed property (1857)? “They had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” How about blacks as second-class citizens via Jim Crow laws by the Court? LGBTQ folk?
The argument of original intent is one manifested by straight, white, male, Christian hegemony since the dawn of the modern culture war. It is a white male ruling-class argument to manifest their interest. Yes I have read the Constitution. I have read it and the Declaration of Independence. I have challenged my students through various periodization studies to be suspicious and guarded against the American lie of American democracy and Constitutionalism. But I would love to hear from others.
…and it is cold here in the Boston area. Welcome to my 2017 spring break.
Trump and others can hate, but my friends and I will keep fighting for the rights of all people to be treated with dignity, love, and respect. I am fortunate to be on a campus and with colleagues who share my values.
I am pumped to be delivering the Annual W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture at Community Church of Boston on February 26 2017. Yep — the year is incorrect below. My lecture, “W.E.B. Du Bois: A Radical Savior of His People” brings Du Bois’s political and faith-based critique of suffering and the human condition to life, as it draws from his biblical interpretations and ideological framing of the color-line thesis. See more here
In a very early draft, I noted the church — both the Negro church and the white church cannot fully reconcile their racial differences because at the heart of their differences exist capitalism. It was capitalism that transformed the Negro church after 1970 from an agent seeking radical change to one procuring materialism. And because churches love capitalism, they continue to fall short of being revolutionary change agents. Capitalism promotes racism and divides the black and white working class from an achievable world. The white church fails at transforming the weak, poor, and oppressed in their space. While “some” provide food and shelter, they have yet to challenge the status of oppression that keeps the soup lines open. Others have conformed to blaming those who struggle, giving in to the solution of liberalism, as a measure in which capitalism favors them and their paternalism.
The 21st century church must disavow its complacency and promulgate equality through radical preachers who love people more than capitalism, and who will subscribe to what Psalm 82: 3-4 notes: “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Black academic and radical organizer Melvin Tolson once noted, “Jesus didn’t believe in economic, racial, and social distinctions…. You talk about Karl Marx, the Communist! Why, don’t you know Jesus was preaching about leveling society 1,800 years before the Jewish Red was born?”
Melvin Tolson above discussing Jesus as a radical.