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Friday, September 9, 2011

Kindly collectin' my thoughts 09/09/2011

Apart from teaching English and Social Studies. The following is a bit of my lately.

Currently Reading:

King A Biography by David Levering Lewis

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on non-violence

"We've come to see that this method is not a weak method. For it's the strong man who can stand up amid opposition . . . . You see, this method has a way of disarming the opponent. It exposes his moral defenses . . . and he just doesn't know what to do."

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

"People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they dont deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things. I dont recall that I ever give the good Lord all that much cause to smile on me. But he did."

La Violencia del Amor by Oscar Romero

"Esa violencia no es la de la espada,
la del odio.
Es la violencia del amor,
la de la fraternidad,
la que quiere convertir las armas
en hoces para el trabajo."

"This violence is not of the sword,
nor is it of hate.
It is the violence of love,
it is the love of brotherhood (community),
It's the love that wants to turn weapons
into sickles for work."

Currently listening to:

Clams Casino (thanks to Bryce for the recomendation)

"Quimey Nequén" by José Larralde

or listen to Chancha Vía Circuito's remix to hear José Larralde mixed with cumbia.

New AA Bondy album, Believers. My favorite track so far is "Drmz"

Some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head lately:

Upon watching a movie on Oscar Romero 5 months ago I have been on a kick, a non-violent kick. Reading more about Archbishop Romero led me to read more about Martin Luther King Jr.

In an initiative to satiate this new kick I began to listen to more speeches, read articles on King and the Civil Rights movement. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to visit the King Center in Atlanta. During my visit I began to ask a question, "Why wasn't this taught in any of my churches or schools growing up?" I mean seriously! I went to evangelical churches and private schools of the same.

I was overwhelmed with feelings of bitterness, deception, frustration, and ignorance. I realized that I had been kept in the dark and also had been guided down a path to search for comfort and to fight to maintain my privilege.  Yes, I am blessed to have the education and up-bringing that I had. I am not ungrateful. But it is important to look back and challenge it. Ask questions. Hence, my "lately."

Technically, I am from the South, or should I say Texas (Although I was born in the land where true cowboys come from, Wyoming). I am still not 100% sure why my interest in the Civil Rights has peaked this year, but it may have a lot to do with growing up in the South and even more to do with my awesome parents that were able to expose me to multi-cultural environments when I was younger.

Although I have those multi-cultural experiences to look back on, I still struggle with many barriers that are engrained in me because of my class, race, and human nature. I can count on one hand (maybe 3 fingers) the times I have been the only white guy in a church, bus, or room.

One of the latest of these experiences was during my time back in the states this year in South Atlanta. As I rode the bus from downtown Atlanta to the south. I could feel it. The barriers. The history. The brokenness. The racism seething from inside. The depravity of the human. I felt the realness as my uncomfortable situation exposed my own depravity shared with the collective in that bus. The vulnerability distinguished my comfort and disintegrated my privilege. It was overwhelming.

Today, I find myself continuing to wonder.  Wondering why would I want more interactions like that? I am confident that it is because in those moments Jesus' true love for me is so vivid as he reveals himself as superior to the evilness of segregation, guilt, accusations, racism, bitterness, and ignorance. I have been able to eliminate the idea that it is because I fully understand love. Rather, it is because the one who created me has invited me to walk in this love solely by recognizing that I am not able to comprehend or recognize it. We must be open and ready to submerse ourselves in the tensions of our reality in this life.