Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
By: Nichola Torbett
A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for this website that called for a confessing movement. Consider this my first confession, inspired largely by my participation in Occupy Oakland.
Until recently, I have been what one of friends calls a “nonviolence fundamentalist.” Inspired by the movements of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others, I have had a deep intuitive sense that our means of social change must be consonant with the ends we wish to achieve. If it is not just a reversal of oppressions that we seek to achieve but a real reign of love, then we must get there without straying from love.
I believe this is also the message of the gospel, in which Jesus of Nazareth maintained his commitment to love, manifest in nonviolence, all the way to the cross and beyond, initiating a Reign of Love that is somehow both “at hand” now and yet not fully here, and by the tenants of which I am, as a disciple of Jesus, called to live now, no matter the cost.
In an attempt to live out that discipleship, I have chosen to engage in justice struggles only when those struggles have been predicated on a strong commitment to nonviolence; as a result, there have been many movements with which I have not engaged and which I have sometimes even critiqued. These include many led by low-income communities of color.
As woman with white-skin privilege and middle-class connections, I must repent of that now.
By: Eda Ruhiye Uca
Some of us who watch in awe and delight at the incredible well of energy, perseverance, and hope of the Occupy Wall Street movement are getting word of anti-racist critiques of the language and organizing strategies, particularly around declarative statements released on the Occupy Wall Street website and dispersed to media outlets. It is important to note- as the organizers do- that “demand is a process” and the new day voice of the community-in-process emerges continually without necessarily being pinned down by the bulletin board messages of the passing day. The voices of people of color, it seems, are being heard and integrated, though not without the fearless contributions of people of color sometimes in the face of serious resistance. I want to highlight some of the discussion as it is occurring mainly through articles and online forums not, as some might fear, to disparage the movement but rather to learn from the anti-racism discussion in progress.
For the sake of utmost transparency: I am a woman of color who approaches movement work predominantly led by white people with a hermeneutic of suspicion and, while I have gotten some word on the happenings in Occupy Boston, I have not gone to see what’s happening on the ground there since it officially started this past Friday. (I do plan to go down there with a faith community of which I’m a part sometime in October.)
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Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
Liza Minno Bloom
Eda Ruhiye Uca