Saturday, September 15, 2018

Notes from Racial Injustice Forum

9月15日在Emmanuel Church討論種族歧視問題,由浸信會和福音機構聯合主辦。這裏記下一些講員發言的要點。

Our Purpose Together – Mike Stewart Executive Director of Missions (Great Commission Association)
1. Racial discrimination claims by African-American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in its allocation of farm loans and assistance between 1981 and 1996. (The lawsuit was settled on April 14, 1999, the largest civil rights settlement to date.) --The system specifically denied black farmers prompt loans and opportunities to prosper.
2. Mike as a black couple live in a white neighborhood for 40 years since 1977, 5 times walking on the street stopped by a neighbor, assuming they do not belong there. – We don’t like a strong black man walking on our street. – conscious or unconscious bias.

Letting the Gospel Shake the Church toward Racial Justice -- Filipe Santos (Echo Church Pastor from Brazil)
Gospel tears down what divides, and unites what was divided. If we ignore this truth, the consequence is serious. Hebrews 10:19-20, 26: So then, my brothers, being able to go into the holy place without fear, because of the blood of Jesus, By the new and living way which he made open for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;… For if we do evil on purpose after we have had the knowledge of what is true, there is no more offering for sins.
Among sin of commission and sin of omission, we might be guilt of omission. Now every time we do something uniting – stand up and speak up when see injustice, we are doing gospel. Let the power of gospel shake up the church!

Racial Inequalities in Education: A closer look at our neighbors – Dr. Hilaria Bauer (Superintendent of Alum Rock School District)
Jesus is an amazing teacher; USA is the only nation that educates everybody; but “my kids will not be with those kids”, black kids don’t have access to preschools, they start behind, immigrant kids' school experience are different, they don’t have connections, don’t play golf, much less chance to become CEO’s. (Zero-tolerance is not in the Bible.)

Law Enforcement Initiatives for Building Trust – Eddie Garcia (Chief of Police, SJ department)
US law enforcement has original sins. Law students do not learn dark side of American society. Uniform do not automatically earn you trust, we need to see ourselves as partner.
No trust Fearnot knownot talk. We need to communicate with mutual respect, when patrol midnight, you see a parent working multiple jobs and exhausted, who may needs help, not assume a criminal activity. Coffee with a cop, ice cream social with cop etc, to build relation and trust.

Racial Injustice in the Criminal Justice System—Brendon Woods (Public Defender, Alameda County) A PD is a lawyer who defend those poor and cannot afford a lawyer. Need to teach “know your constitution rights”. The system treat black people wrong, many blacks commit crimes. – When you put people in cage, they probably will act like an animal. Hurt people probably would hurt people.
Lynching do not get punished or sued ever since slavery. The system is doing exactly what it designed to do. 60% police stops were on blacks. They can’t pay bail to get out. Same to the situation of probation etc.

Community Panel Discussion: What can we be hopeful as we address racial injustice issue for future generation of American? Is it still possible to build a fair society at this moment in time?
Educator: Yes, we are creating the future. Law Enforcement: Yes, but everybody has a part. Public Defender: If you look at our young people, look at new technology, it brings hope. But it takes a lot of energy, a lot of conversation, a lot of action, and perseverance.

Go vote! Take jury duty! (right now our jury qualifications exclude many blacks because they had been in prison.) Watch our neighborhood talks for bias... Churches, go to schools, invite public defenders to share...

The Pastor's Heart -- Rev. Curtis B. Flemming (Bay Community Fellowship)
Human body is designed to balance itself any imbalance. For black people, their blackness is an extra stress to fight the imbalance, beside all other regular stress. No wonder they are sicker, live shorter life. Our shalom is on God, but bad theology makes people crazy.

Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy and Reconciliation -- Justin Giboney (&) Christian witness should allow others to repeat our belief. Conservatism(promote traditional social institution) & social justice(fairly distribute wealth, opportunities etc), they are not mutually exclusive.
"Hard truth is divisive" is not biblical, everybody agree that "Love neighbour as yourself" is a good value. We don't have to choose between gospel and justice.
Pray only, but not go out fighting injustice, that is to assume that God doesn't use people. Give charity, as well as give justice. Justice is disruptive, inconvenient, but it is outworking of our faith.

The Holy Spirit and Social Witness -- CJ Rhodes, Chris Butler (&)
Too many people are happy to hear the Word, but not allowed to be led anywhere. This is a spiritual warfare. You can't do justice without righteousness.
Direct action seek to change power, and it is redemptive, it is to build and heal the community. Good organizers using issues to build institution and to build people, we want to take actions to build.

Where Do We Go from Here -- Rev. Jason C. Reynold (Emmanuel Baptist Church)
Who is our neighbor? Jeroco man and Samaritan man may see the world differently, with different culture and laws, but justice is communal.
From history, many black church existed because blacks were kick out of the churches. We have to learn the lesson, so this would not happen again. After this conference, we can't just keep fishing out children, we know we have to fix the system.

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