Vital reading

‘It’s impossible to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus and not care about the evil in our day and age. The ideology of white supremacy is, if not the premier form of evil, it’s at least one of the clearest forms of evil on a large scale in our day and age.’

Pastor Daniel Hill, quoted in Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, One World, 2021, 248.

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‘As long as white people – even, you know, good-hearted, well-meaning, progressive white people – think that the issue of race is mostly about people of color and minorities and what has happened to them and what happens to them that we could help with – as long as that’s the mindset, they’re still stuck,’ … and … will remain stuck ‘until we understand as white people that the problem of racism is about us.’

Rev. Jim Wallis, quoted in Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, One World, 2021, 249.

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Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy – and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From financial crises to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policy making that costs us all. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the dysfunction in our democracy, and the spiritual and moral dilemmas that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

McGhee embarks on a journey across the country, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm – the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others.

But McGhee also finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own.

the back matter

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Image: “Empty swimming pool in front of demolished Western Motel, Valdosta,” Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2 responses to “Vital reading”

  1. Full inclusion is a long agreed upon economic model. I recall studying it in college (long ago). Thick heads and hardened hearts are hard to penetrate. Though you think the almighty $$ might get through. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. This book is really good, and the genuinely sad thing about it is that she shows, over and over, with specific sector after specific sector, how the costs of legally-constructed racial disparities fall most heavily on white Americans. Not disproportionately heavily, but most heavily, if that makes sense. It is heartbreaking, and maddening, and horribly eye opening. All in all, it makes me feel that I have not been doing nearly enough to make a difference in my fairly long life, so far. So, I will need to be finding some ways to change that.

      Liked by 1 person

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