You don’t have to be my Facebook friend

I was asked a brilliant question the other day. The questioner explained that they have friends on social media who they really struggle with, they find their regular comments about immigration hard to stomach and often there is an undercurrent of racism.  For balance, they observed that they find some of the Black Lives MatterContinue reading “You don’t have to be my Facebook friend”

Refugees – Blessing or burden?

Thinking back to a conversation I had with two other Christians about the Home Office’s approach to processing asylum claims, I was struck again by how much our perception of the asylum system is shaped by our view of asylum seekers themselves. If I think that asylum seekers are very likely to be fake, justContinue reading “Refugees – Blessing or burden?”

Dog whistle racism is still racism

In the early hours of Sunday morning a major incident unfolded in Birmingham city centre. A man stabbed a number of people resulting in several critical injuries and one death. A manhunt followed and police circulated CCTV footage of him. He was caught and arrested. As is not unusual the suspect has not yet beenContinue reading “Dog whistle racism is still racism”

Woke?

How did the term “woke” become the insult of choice in 2020? The word is simply an African-Americanism meaning to be awake.  It has been around for many years. It came to describe those who had become awake to their subjugation. Woke people were awake to racial injustice, the historical effects of the slave tradeContinue reading “Woke?”

How do we allow others to help us remove our logs and specks?

In a previous post I began to build on Steve Kneale’s post on the challenges of “logs and specks” in the eye of the church.  Steve said that the challenge is that we often cannot see our own logs to remove them. Here are some further thoughts. First of all, whilst I may not beContinue reading “How do we allow others to help us remove our logs and specks?”

Racism is a sin of omission not just comission

One of the things that has been concerning for white church pastors like me in response to some of the discussion about racism has been the level of defensiveness. We want to say that we are not racist and so we get very defensive when people talk about systemic racism going on in our churchesContinue reading “Racism is a sin of omission not just comission”

When a community has a blind spot

I want to pick up on a brilliant question that was raised by one of our church family on the Zoom discussion last Sunday. We had listened to James preach on Matthew 7:1-6 and then one of the members asked “is it possible for these verses to talk about a whole community, church or institution?”Continue reading “When a community has a blind spot”

If we are going to see racial justice we will need to escape the monster/angel narrative

It did not take long did it.  Fairly soon after George Floyd’s murder and the outpouring of grief, anger and protest, the stories were circulating. Floyd was high on meth, Floyd was a serial, violent criminal so why was he being celebrated as a martyr. Of course those stories started with the socially required statementsContinue reading “If we are going to see racial justice we will need to escape the monster/angel narrative”

Grooming Gang ideology

Here is a link to an interview with Dr Ella Hill, a survivor of the Rotherham grooming gang scandal. Some headline comments The Home Office needs to urgently move to publish the report that was commissioned into grooming gang culture by Sajid Javid when he was in office. We need to acknowledge the shocking levelContinue reading “Grooming Gang ideology”

Antisemitism is racist – no ifs no buts

Once again, antisemitism is in the news.  A celebrity has been sounding off on his twitter account, threatening to take on the whole Jewish community, comparing Jews to the KKK, encouraging the usual tropes about Jews controlling the world’s money. If we thought that antisemitism had gone away with the change of Labour Party leadership,Continue reading “Antisemitism is racist – no ifs no buts”