U.S. Christians need to reckon with white supremacy, and other articles

In this blog:

  • NPR: Author: American Christianity must reckon with legacy of white supremacy
  • The Intercept: Acting head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management wants to subvert, end treaty rights
  • LittleSis: Fossil Fuel Industry Pollutes Black & Brown Communities While Propping Up Racist Policing

American Christianity must reckon with legacy of white supremacy

In his recent book “White Too Long,” author Robert P. Jones examines white supremacy’s legacy in Christian denominations.

NRP interviewed Jones about his book. White Christians’ worldviews and practices can hide issues of justice, he said. For instance, in evangelical churches, they focus on parishioners’ personal relationship with Jesus.

One way it functions is to make salvation and, really, the core religiosity hyper-individualistic. It really is about an individual and their interior relationship with God and Jesus … It essentially screens out questions of social justice.”

And while denominations have issued pronouncements and apologies about racism over the decades, things really haven’t changed. “So you literally have 150 years of resistance to the abolition of slavery, resistance to the building up of Jim Crow, resistance to Reconstruction, resistance to integration. And all of that is seemingly swept away in 15 minutes” of a ceremonial apology. “… [T]hat shouldn’t be the closing of the book. That should be the opening.”

Minneapolis police fire tear gas at those protesting George Floyd’s murder.

Jones also talked about a survey he developed to gauge people’s view on race. In 2018, one of the questions asked was “whether the killing of unarmed Black men by police are isolated incidents or whether they are part of a pattern of how police treat African Americans.”

The findings: “white Christians are nearly twice as likely as religiously unaffiliated whites to say the killing of unarmed Black men by police are isolated incidents.”

Click on the link above for the audio. Here is a full transcript of the interview.

Acting head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management opposes treaty rights

William Perry Pendley, the acting head of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, has actively opposed treaty rights, according to an article in The Intercept. President Trump has nominated Pendley for the full-time position.

According to the story, when Pendley was acting assistant secretary for energy and minerals under President Reagan, he “sought to delay oil and gas industry royalty payments owed to Indigenous people,” the story said.

Pendley dismisses the Native American genocide that included boarding schools, the Trail of Tears, land theft, and Indian children adoption policies. In his 2006 book “Warriors for the West,” he wrote there wasn’t any “overt, intentional racial hatred,” towards Indigenous people, “but instead an attempt to achieve a Jeffersonian ideal of a United States of America in which all adopted the English language, Christian religion, and Anglo/American culture and lived side by side.”

That’s pretty much defines Manifest Destiny.

Pendley has worked to reverse a U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming U.S constitutional obligations to Native people. “Pendley has repeatedly and inaccurately argued that the decision supports unconstitutional racial preferences,” the story said.

Click here for the full story.

Fossil fuel industry pollutes Black & Brown communities while propping up racist policing

“Oil and gas companies, private utilities, and financial institutions that bankroll fossil fuels are all big backers of police foundations, which privately raise money to buy weapons, equipment, and surveillance technology for police departments” according to the blog LittleSis. “… These companies, which rely on extraction and exploitation to secure their profits, have an incentive to form tight bonds with police forces, which function to uphold and protect their interests in the face of community opposition.”

This symbiotic relationship between the fossil fuel industry and police often means that the companies that are polluting Black and Brown communities – like Marathon Petroleum in Detroit, Valero in Corpus Christi, or Shell in Louisiana – are the same ones that are aligned with and propping up police forces in these same cities. This is why divesting from fossil fuels and fighting to end environmental racism goes hand in hand with defunding the police in the fight for racial justice and reinvestment in Black and Brown communities.

(“LittleSis is a free database detailing the connections between powerful people and organizations,” it’s website says.

The blog details the connections between police foundations and large financial and fossil fuel corporations. Here’s one example:

[Marathon] operates 16 refineries around the country, including a notorious 250-acre refinery in a Detroit, Michigan community that is 71% Black. Since 2013 Marathon’s Detroit refinery has received 15 violations from the state environmental regulator for surpassing state and federal emissions limits. …

Marathon’s Security Coordinator sits on the board of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, the city’s police foundation. Marathon is also listed as a “Commanding Sponsor” of the foundation’s fundraising event “Above & Beyond” and a “Bronze Sponsor” of their “Women in Blue” event.

Click here for the full story.

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