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This Week In Minnesota


WWJD: White Nationalism and State-Sanctioned Violence


Ashley M. Blanco

Hello Amazing People!

I hope your April is getting off to a happy start. This month, I will focus all newsletters on addressing social issues from the lens of WWJD, “What Would Jesus Do?” Remember that from the 90s? I'm bringing it into April 2021. 😊

My intention for the WWJD series is to offer truth and inspiration for our engagement with one another. Even as we do our best to be the people God made us to be, we will fall short. And that’s okay. Failure is part of God’s equation for our success.

Repentance of wrong doing and remembrance of God's mercy and grace are key. My call is to encourage us to shift into what God is already setting in motion.
Photo Courtesy of Reuters

The Truth About Jesus

Centuries of debate and division over the appearance of Jesus has created speculation that a colorless Jesus will help humanity find its light in its darkest hours of race-based inequities and injustice. The problem with a colorless Jesus is that the idea comforts those who are in denial about what is happening in the nation. Even a White Jesus comforts those who are anti-Black in their psychological conditioning and associate “White” with “right.”

The Spirit of God, which animates all of creation, is full of color and vibrancy while it is colorless, without form, and ethereal. Jesus, Himself, was an African of the Hebrew Israelite ethnicity. He was born into what we know today as Israel, but is referred to as Judea (see Matthew 2:22), Bethlehem (Luke 2:15), and Nazareth (Luke 2:39). Additionally, Judea was under the oppression of the Romans (Mark 12:13 – 17).

In the Old Testament, Israel, before it was established as a nation in 1948, is in Canaan. Canaan is/was in Africa. It was north of Kemet, known today as Egypt; and Kush, known today as Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia (Genesis 12, 13).  The dynasties of Kush and Kemet predate the Israelite kingdoms of the Old Testament and Greek and Roman Empires of the New Testament.

Is Ashley Causing Division?

I say this not to cause division but to shed light on the conditioning of our minds as people born into an imperialist, capitalist, and racist nation. Jesus critiqued and shunned the systemic oppression and injustice of His day. And what He critiqued does not differ vastly from what we experience today.

If we continue to associate being with Jesus as being on the Whiter Side of History or the Righter Side of History which is centered in Whiteness, we are complicit in a self-perpetuating system that creates more victims and casualties than it does success stories.

Again, I speak not to isolate, uplift, diminish, or glorify any people group over another. I say these things for us to examine how we have referred to Christ in our unconscious centering of Whiteness or egocentric rightness.

The conditioning of slavery and colonialism has impacted all people – not just the descendants of the slave owners and the descendants of the enslaved.
Photo Credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters for The Nation Magazine

What Would Jesus Do?

If Jesus were alive today, what would He say and do? Would He condone or commend the American taxation system? What would be his critique of the prison system, education system, health care system, food and drug administration, and the national housing crisis?

What would Jesus say as a Brown-skin man born to a teen-aged mother and a family that was displaced because of state-sanctioned violence (Matthew 2:16 – 23)? Like Moses, Jesus represented the babies who grew into men that came from a lost generation.

How would He respond to the executions of our Black Sisters and Brothers; the silencing of our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers; the caging of Latinx Children and separation of Latinx families; the brutality of our Asian Sisters and Brothers; and the indifference of our White Sisters and Brothers?
Photo Credit Lucas Jackson/Reuters for The Council on Foreign Relations

There’s so much to consider.

Here are 3 tips to shift your focus to what Jesus would do about White Nationalism and state-sanctioned violence.
  1. Read Jesus’s response to how the different people groups in the New Testament responded to events that happened to other people groups. One example is found in Luke 13.
  2. Repent of the ways in which your practice of following Christ centered Whiteness and promoted Anti-Blackness.
  3. Ask for God’s wisdom and do what God tells you to do after you repent.
Know that in all you are, you are loved. Also, know that regardless of how much information we have on who Jesus is and where He was born, He is not in our vision, as the scholars of faith say. Our vision is in Him.

Be blessed and encouraged.
You are loved!
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