Am I Not Radical Enough to be on the Professor Watchlist?

An open letter to the folks at Professor Watchlist:

I am deeply angry, upset, frustrated and irritated with the aggregated list you all compiled of “dangerous professors” with “radical agendas.” Specifically, what deeply disturbs medownload about your list is that my name does not appear. I’m feeling left out, as if all of my hard work is being ignored. Really, am I not that dangerous for you? Is my agenda not that radical? Where is the love (or in your case should I say, the “hate”)?

I would consider it a badge of honor to be on your list, so please accept this letter as my application. Dangerous professors are those who challenge their students to think, forcing them to move beyond pristine bubbles toward uncomfortable spaces where they examine their complicity with oppressive structures grounded in racism, classism, sexism and heterosexism. These profs are dangerous because they challenge students to move beyond ideology, doctrines and truth claims, toward critical thinking. Critical thinkers are dangerous because they cannot be easily manipulated by politicians who use fear of the Other to garner votes, as recently demonstrated.

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The Great White Backlash, Part II

episcopal-church-graffitti_banner-720x400Hatred has won. Violence is the new means of communication. We have gone from a political correctness which masked racism and ethnic discrimination to a full blown demonstration of revenge for the years in which people of color strived to hold this country accountable for concepts like equality, justice and respect for diversity. Rather than focus upward toward the 1 percent responsible for the growing wealth gap which benefits them, white America (and come on, I’m speaking about ontological whiteness and not skin pigmentation as I know several black and Latinx folk who are white) believed their representatives that the real threat was those historically disenfranchised. Make America great again became code language for suppressing the advancement and votes of nonwhites in the belief that white supremacy would lead to greater privilege.

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The Great White Backlash

As I look at the clock I notice it is a little passed three in the morning on the day after thetrump-victory-3 election and I am hopeless. In the midst of deep desperation, I metaphorically turn to paper and ink to make sense of a nation drunk with xenophobic madness. For years I have written of my hopelessness with institutional racism and ethnic discrimination masked by our society as my liberal friends instead spoke about a post-racial America because they voted for a black man. Tonight, that mask was ripped off to reveal, especially to communities of color, the true face of this country, and I am terrified — terrified of what I see, terrified for my economic and physical safety and that of my children.

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Shechem for president: Erasing the voices of the sexually abused

shechemWe know Jacob was not just the father of boys. After the list of all the sons born to Leah, as an afterthought the birth of Dinah is mentioned (Gen. 30:21). We can only wonder how many other daughters who were born to patriarchs have remained invisible or only mentioned in passing (Gen. 46:15).

Throughout the entire biblical story, Dinah remains the object; she is never granted subjectivity. Her voice, her concerns, her pains, her emotions, her frustrations are never articulated. In the midst of her abuse, she never says a word; for we know if the subaltern was to speak, she would be ignored, ridiculed, dismissed and erased. In effect, her testimony remains unheard. No doubt her abusers would insist she would never be their first choice — she is too ugly to even be worthy of sexual assault. You can imagine her abuser saying: “When you look at that horrible woman ….  I don’t think so! I don’t think so!” All that matters, and all we hear throughout the biblical narrative, is how her abused body, as object, prompts the men in the story.

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Human Sexuality and Justice Between the Sheets

sexThe first words God addressed to humans—even before forbidding eating fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil—was to engage in sex. Within the creation story, God, after forming humans in God’s own image, told to them to copulate, the only way to “be fruitful and multiply.” Not only were humans commanded to have sex, God declared it “good” (Genesis 1:31); which frankly is an understatement, for sex is really great! It is great because it fosters intimacy within relationships serving as basis for healthy and just communities. Yes, procreation allows humans to participate and continue in God’s creation, for like God, humans have the ability to create new life; still, to believe the sole purpose of sexual intercourse is reproduction is both problematic and damaging.

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