America’s Race Problem

During the Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park here in Boston last night. This is true — even if you are color blind. Party for Socialism and Liberation page stated, “Today, the United States is an example of this kind of “prison house of nations. Since its origins, racism has been a characteristic of U.S. society. This racism has often disguised the fact that the Black population within the United States has emerged with all the main features of a nation within the borders of the United States. Racism against African Americans is a manifestation of national oppression.”

Advertisements

Confederate Symbols

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 10.32.39 AM

Please stop teaching how the “farmers” were god-fearing men who believed all men were created equal. I am not a history buff; I am not a walking fact machine. I am a historian who is critical of the past and suspicious of the present, but teaches hope for the future. There is no glamour or story telling in my classes. There is, however, an incisive surgical procedure of deep-rooted and intentional teaching. White supremacy is on trial in my classes. There is an implementation of skills taught to condemn the past, while drawing from it the uncommitted sins that once shed a piece of life on the wrong. I will let the history buffs tell the stories. We discuss why those statues should be placed in a museum to be judged once one has had the proper information. If you have been taught to praise a flag and statue due to a disingenuous notion of “history,” you might check the white supremacist education you received.

Black Politics

In an essay I wrote published by the Christian Century Magazine, I noted: Some black Americans have been waiting for a black messiah—the savior of their race…. Eight years later, many are still asking: is Obama the end of black politics? A friend shared an insightful article here that states “….I’ve labeled this phenomenon: Post-Civil Rights Era Progressive Activist Privilege. It is the false belief, in electoral politics, that black Americans have the luxury of choosing individual beliefs over what’s best for the group as a whole. My argument to black progressive activists has been simple: we are not in a position as a black community to vote our individual preferences over our group interests. We are definitely not in a position to not vote and then claim to care about our people. If you claim to be about improving black lives over anything else, you can’t possibly argue Trump’s election helps the cause.”

Detroit

Last night was the first time I walked out on a movie. I struggled watching “Detroit” in the theater. In part, not that it is a bad movie, but that it is too good. At one point in the movie, I became aware that my fist caused my hand to hurt; I felt my blood pressure elevating due to anger. A strange emotion had taken hold of my soul. Few movies have caused me any sense of real emotion; but this one did. “Detroit” is an indictment on the complicit nature of white people’s comfort, as many all but too often turn a blind eye to police brutality and the constant killing of unarmed Black men. Many talk about All Lives Matter as they sit and watch video recordings of cops murdering Us. Too many Americans make excuses for their privileges, while dismissing Our daily exertion. We did not make it through the movie. After a while I was just too mad. I checked out and drifted to a mental place of pure frustration and anger. After a while the only thing I saw was white Americans’ silence. I saw a white supremacist in the White House who speaks about Black and Brown folk in a condescending way. A man and his majority white supporters who support white nationalism over shared values and mutual means. “Detroit” was nothing but a trigger warning for me. I saw Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Emmet Till, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Andeson, and more.

D.C. European History Conf. 2017

My friend and colleague shared this with me on social media. Coming from her this compliment is a big deal.

“Edward Carson did an amazing talk on Marxism and Urban Centers. I miss our time together on the AP Euro test development committee. I always wondered what he’d be like as a teacher. All I can say is his kids are very lucky to have him.”

Thank You, My Students

Dear Houston Christian students, the number of letters I have received in the mail this summer from you, my former students, is unreal. The emails and private messages are so comprehensible and thoughtful. In checking my mail today and reading what another former student wrote is humbling. Hey students from Houston Christian –thank you. It means the world to read your thoughts and appreciation for our time together. To see and read about what you are doing or about to do now that many of you are out of college motivates me. Having you share your freedom to be you is gratifying. Some of you are now able to live in your identity: gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. Others are motivated to use your faith to do what is right for others. For some, our beliefs in religion and many other things are so vastly different, and yet reading your thoughtful notes is profound. I am really moved by you. I am glad we were able to spend time together…in and out of the classroom. Please know that I keep a rainy day file in my office. I have kept everything. Some of you have traveled to stay with me, dine and drink with me, and yes, continue to make fun of me. There are so many graduating classes I admire. In the end — I admire all of you. I hate weddings and rarely attend them, but I will be honored if you desire to travel to yours as I have done in the past. Having you dedicate your thesis to me and ask me to be in your wedding has been an honor. You are loved and missed.