Then the King will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and when I tried to buy food you gave me nothing to eat. You accused me of stealing and called the police. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; you assumed I was a drunk and threw me out.

I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. You thought I was threatening because I looked different and you reported me to uniformed men who beat me. I needed clothes and not only did you not clothe me, you stood by and watched while others took me away where I would be someone else’s “problem.”

I was sick and in prison and you were happy and called for longer prison terms.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these, you did to me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

5 thoughts on “#blacklivesmatter

  1. Dear Dr. Cooper, thank you for your post in solidarity with the black community in the US. While I recognize your attempt at addressing racial violence, I would urge you to also consider the bias that was rooted in the action. In particular, I would urge you to seriously consider the bias that exists in theological education, conscious or unconscious, towards faculty and students of colour.

    According to the ATS Annual Data Tables 2019-2020, the proportion of White Non-Hispanic faculty is disproportionately high at 74.06% (M:1849,F:561) as compared to Black Non-Hispanic faculty which only amounts to 8.3% (M:168, F: 105). Furthermore, there were a total of 38,602 white students enrolled in ATS seminaries as opposed to 9,571 black students.

    There may not be systemic racism in our ATS accredited seminaries but I am confident there exists a culture of bias. Please reflect on this equation within your context before posting your support for #BLACKLIVESMATTER because I don’t think they really do within our academic halls of graduate theological education.

    1. Sherman, thanks for your comment. I agree that theological educational institutions have a way to go to address issues of racial bias, both active and passive bias. I wonder if your comment indicates a belief that a seminary needs to get its house in order before it can speak to an issue such as this. I believe rather that it is important to shine a light on issues of racial inequality, realizing not only that I am speaking to myself as well as others, but also that highlighting the problem is the first step toward addressing it. How would you suggest addressing the problem of racial inequality?

  2. I hear your interest on shining light on the issue, and commend you for that. My sincere hope is that this will open doors for conversation surrounding the issue. As per your question, I think it begins with awareness, speaking from one’s context (addressing the blind spots) and being transparent about the issue. It seems that current responses are reactions to the violence, however can also come across disingenuous. I do not wish for your response to ever be disingenuous.

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