In 2017, White nationalism has roared into the public square, commandeering the American flag to fly alongside the Confederate flag as symbols of the real—white—America. The concerted efforts at black voter suppression continue, now at the national level led by the President’s own executive action. The Attorney General is dismantling the checks on abuses in the criminal justice system and rescinding the previous administration’s directive that the Justice Department begin to disengage from the for-profit prison industrial complex. He is ramping up the war on drugs with its racially discriminatory laws. His Justice Department will begin suing colleges and universities, on behalf of white (and Asian) people, over affirmative-action admissions policies. This is what making America great again looks like to my tribe.
Yesterday, up the road from my hometown, in Charlottesville, VA, Richard Spencer led a crowd of white nationalists who carried torches and chanted Nazi slogans. They were protesting the slated removal of a Confederate statue—or maybe it was the Festival of Cultures happening in the same park, which celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the city. It looked for all the world as if they were trying to take the United States back to the time when Richard Wright wrote of not being able to walk in a white neighborhood without fear. Then again, maybe less has changed than I want to believe. Read “My White Tribe”
The new neighbor from across the street–the one with the Trump sign in his yard, rebel flag across his garage windows, and Nazi flag on his son’s basketball backboard–walked into the party wearing a shirt that said on the back, “Better a wolf of Odin than a Lamb of God.”
The Will to Devolution, up now at Eclectica.
I have two equality stickers on the back of my car, one pasted right on top of the other so it looks like only one. The reason? Not long ago, after I finished classes and office hours, I walked out to the faculty parking lot and discovered someone had taken their ballpoint pen and dug a deep X through the equality sticker on my back window. I had no way of knowing who did it, so I simply waited for the Human Rights Campaign, which I support, to send me another one. Until I covered the defiled sticker with an intact new one, the angry X reminded me why the sticker needs to be there in the first place.
When you have some free time, please spend a little of it with my essay The Gay Worm Turns. It is another from my collection about leaving Fundamentalist Christianity, up now at Atticus Review.
“Rae”, is published in Drunken Boat. It is an excerpt from my novel Eternity Rowboat, which once had the working title The Calling. Other excerpts from this novel are published in Connecticut Review, Portland Review, Prick of the Spindle, Burrow Press Review, Pithead Chapel, Letters, Rock & Sling, and Relief. If you like this excerpt, you can find most of the rest here on my blog as Calling excerpts.
Some thoughts on Wheaton, Professor Larycia Hawkins, and fundamentalist colleges vis-à-vis the purpose of a liberal arts education: The Case against Evangelical Higher Education