Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
By: Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
Editor's Note: This article is Part Two of a three-part series of Jesus Radicals contributors responding to the 2016 election. Part One, "White Supremacy: Insecurity with Lethal Consequences" and Part Three, "Despair Is Not A Weapon"
On the day after the election, I woke up to find White supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, ableism and other oppressive energies in full force. Which is to say that I woke up to the same reality as the morning before and the mornings that proceeded it. It was an ordinary day.
That what many of us have known to be true and have been saying—that White rage and discontent, and White male dissatisfaction in particular, is deeply entrenched and widespread; that these sentiments could actually result in this outcome; that White progressives needed to confront, challenge and deal with the festering sores within White communities, yes even among the “rednecks” and “hillbillies” that they disregard and disparage—finally came into sharp relief for some does not make it a wake-up call for all. As I watched the results roll in and got out of bed hours after, I was not surprised. I did not grieve. I did not despair. I did not mourn. I felt vindicated. I felt a tad more resolve than the day before. And I wanted to yell from the top of the tallest building with the biggest bullhorn, “I fucking told you so.” We. Fucking. Told you so.
And I felt rage. The kind of rage that lodges tight in your sternum and threatens to bring hot tears to your face. Except what you really want to do is scream the kind of scream that does not give out until your body does or someone calls the police. Because it did not have to be this way. We did not need a Trump presidency just to witness the obvious, just to acknowledge what people have been saying from Black Lives Matter to Standing Rock to the other liberation struggles of our day and before us.
It did not have to get this far. But it has. And our response, but especially the response of those who were so self-assured, who remained silent, who shied away from conflict, who gave into fear and/or preached moderation, will help determine whether we are facing catastrophe or a catalyst for good.
By: Jesus Radicals
Last Saturday, November 19, Iconocast Canvas teamed up with the Eco-Pax and Social Reform clubs at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana to host Standing with Standing Rock: A Benefit Event. Today, on #NoBlackSnakeFriday, we are glad to announce that the arts and awareness-raising event, raised more than $2,300 dollars to support water protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Cannonball, North Dakota. All the proceeds will be donated to their legal defense fund.
The benefit, which was emceed by Canvas originators Nekeisha Alayna Alexis and Seth Martin, brought together a variety of local creatives and activists, including spoken word poets Mimi Salvador Lucero and Antonius Northern; musicians Nayla Jimenez, Josh Kinder of Good Edgar Oak, Abe Medellin and Nayo Ulloa; dancers Philip Chan and Nimoy Vaidya, and song leader Nicole Bauman. Nekeisha and Seth also performed, with Nekeisha offering poetry and song; and Seth playing guitar and singing alongside bassist Evra Tshisola. The video “Standing Strong,” the short film produced by the Indigenous Environmental Network, provided context for the months-long struggle.
The highlight of the evening was featured speaker Michelle Sky Walker, member of the Omaha tribe from the Buffalo Clan, who has been supporting the Standing Rock movement with her presence at the camp and through her organizing efforts among indigenous and other communities in Nebraska. Joining us live via internet connection, she reflected on the necessity of the resistance and the conditions on the ground, and took part in a question and answer session with attendees that was facilitated by Mimi.
By: Joanna Shenk
Editor's Note: This article is Part One of a three-part series of Jesus Radicals contributors responding to the 2016 election. Part Two, "Can You Hear Us Now?" and Part Three, "Despair Is Not A Weapon."
Here we are. It’s been another week. Another normal week in the United States of America. Hate is rearing its ugly head. People committed to justice are resisting and embodying a way of being that honors and protects those most vulnerable.
To this end, caravans are headed to Standing Rock from all over the country. People are making phone calls to elected officials, electoral college voters, and the Army Corp. of Engineers. San Francisco (where I live) passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to being a sanctuary city. Oodles of articles are available, offering analysis of why hate and arrogance now have such a terrifyingly large and loud platform. And many people are woke and willing to act for justice in courageous ways.
There is so much that could be said. And I know that whatever I add could be said better.
On November 20 the lectionary theme was “the reign of Christ” and Psalm 46 was one of the texts.
46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
46:3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
46:6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; at God’s voice, the earth melts.
46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
For some people the last few weeks have felt like the earth changing, mountains falling into the sea and a lot of uproar. For others it has been an unsurprising affirmation of their lived experience.
By: Dan Oudshoorn
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
He has become a dwelling place of 1%ers,
a haunt of every foul spirit,
with waters covered in Corexit,
and the land covered with black snakes.
For all the nations have drunk
of the wine of the wrath of his rapaciousness,
and the kings of the earth have all flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727,
and the bankers of the earth have grown rich from the power of his luxury.”
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come away from him, my people,
so that you do not take part in his sins,
and so that you do not share in his plagues;
for his sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered his iniquities.
Render to him as he himself has rendered,
and repay him double for his deeds;
mix a double draught for him in the cup he mixed.
As he glorified himself and lived luxuriously,
so give him a like measure of torment and grief.
Since in his heart he says,
‘I will build a great wall;
I will grab them by the pussy,
and I will never see grief,’
therefore his plagues will come in a single day--
pestilence and mourning and famine --
and he will be burned with fire (you’re fired);
for mighty is the Lord God who judges him.”
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Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
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