Saturday, June 27, 2009

River City Saturday, Part 1

Just had a lovely speech from Eugene Robinson - journalist, author, pulitzer prize winner - following our Worship. He spoke on Black Identity in America, which is the subject of the book he is currently writing.

I found the speech interesting after our talk this morning with Yvette Flounder, who is self-described as being on the edge of multiple minority groups. Mr. Robinson was saying that, although, blessedly, the gap between white americans and black americans has narrowed, the gap within the black community between the haves and the have-nots has widened.

We are asked this Synod to think a lot about representation and trusting those who are asked to speak on our behalf, even if they themselves are not strict representatives of our demographic(s). I thought of this when Mr. Robinson spoke about the unknowing assumptions that were made regarding supreme court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's past comments on race and the law.

He said that the conscious assumption is that there is a screen she, and other marginalized people, have to look through, and that it clouds their judgement; the unconscious assumption is that some people *cough straight white men cough* don't have a screen, and therefore have unclouded judgement.

I think you can see the problem there without my spelling it out.

So, some interesting stuff to think about!

We have the fun of River City Saturday now, but I am taking a little break before getting into that to take a nap, so that I'm ready to face the interesting workshops of the afternoon. I'm thinking.. Jim Wallis and the West Michigan Gay Men's Chorus, for now, and maybe some more in between!

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