Not To Speak is to Speak: Volume 2

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: GOD will not hold us innocent. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”— Bonhoeffer


This is my attempt to consolidate some of the things I find on the web.  Of course this is a drop in the bucket of what I read all week, but you have to focus sometimes.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Several things on the UCLA Student’s recent YouTube Video.

A white student rants about Asians and it goes viral, drawing accusations of racism.

“Sadly, what she expressed isn’t that different from what a lot of Americans think, even if we’re not posting it on YouTube  …  In many ways this blonde-haired, exposed push-up bra wearing college student, embodies the popular and prolific image of entitled, image driven, individualistic “Americanness.””

You can read the rest here and see the video it its entirety there.  You should watch it if you are white.  If you’re not white, you’ve likely seen or heard of it already.  If you are white, I think you have a responsibility to SEE things like this.  Before you go there, thinking I’m “over reacting” I’ll acknowledge that I need to spend some time considering all this and being prayerful before God. But in the meantime, I can call racism what it is — wrong.

My initial thought is this.  Although I feel ashamed of being white, many many times.  Today, more than any day in a long time, while I watched this young lady’s strange, egocentric, racist, stupid and ignorant rant about the “hordes of Asians” at her university I was mortified for all of us.

Ching chong? Hordes of Asians? American manners?” A friend I have made because of the internet responds to the student’s video as a Mom and an American and one of the Asians that the young lady at UCLA refers to in her video.  In A Mother’s Rant About Racism & Reconciliation Kathy Khang shares a personal response.   I love her heart and learn so much from her every time she writes.

And still on the topic, here are some things White People with Power should consider.  That would be me.

“However difficult it is for many White Americans to hear, examples like this video clearly show that many (as in a large number, but certainly not all) Whites implicitly think there’s nothing wrong with invoking cultural stereotypes to portray an entire group of color. I have written about this dynamic many times before, but needless to say, this is certainly not the first time that Whites have tried to “make fun” of Asian Americans or other groups of color on college campuses and elsewhere in society…”

Lastly, an incredible response by the InterVarsity’s Asian Staff director, James Choung.  He is godly, kind and wise.  Once again, I learned a lot.  These are things that privileged white people need to hear.

A glimpse into the heart of an incarcerated father.

Dear Son: A Letter from an Incarcerated Father on how a believer behind bars might pass on his faith.  

Statistical studies tell us that roughly 90 percent of incarcerated parents are fathers. Their offspring, approximately 2 million strong, represent the textbook definition of “at risk” children. According to the Princeton University’s Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, the absence of a father—particularly due to incarceration—correlates with a plethora of family dysfunctions, including elevated rates of juvenile crime and incarceration.


Congress Making Themselves and Friends Richer, While Everyone Else Struggles to Make Ends MeetIf you don’t read Jim Hightower you are missing out.

The great majority of Americans make about $30K a year. Incoming lawmakers, however? Extensive personal investments in Wall St. banks, oil giants and drug makers.Change is not the same thing as progress. In fact, change can be the exact opposite. It can be regressive, as we’re now learning from — where else? — Congress.

Feminist Reading.

100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader . Whether you’re already knee-deep in young adult literature or looking to reacquaint yourself with an old favorite we’ve put together a whopping 100 of our favorite young adult novels, featuring kick-ass teens and inspiring feminist themes. These stories will empower teenage and adult readers alike.

[I’m not recommending all of these books because I haven’t read them all.  Simply passing on the list.  Make your own wise choices.]

The Environment.

You have to watch this video by Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean biologist, farmer, soldier, exile, environmentalist.

Winner of the Banksia International Award 2003 and winner of the Buckminster Fuller Award 2010.  He is the originator of the Holistic Management concept that turn deserts into thriving grasslands, restores biodiversity, brings streams and rivers back to life, increases food production and security and stores carbon in ever deeper and healthier soils – all of this while reversing global climate change.

He won a TED award and that’s how I found him.  I’m in love. So sweet. So passionate.  So smart!

Next time perhaps.

Rob Bell.  What I’m learning from reading on feminism and women in the church.  And Libya, going to war? … and my current theological thoughts on Justice.

Here’s the last issue of Not to Speak is to Speak in case you missed it.

There is No Just War

I went to bed a few hours ago and woke with this ringing in my ears:

“There is no just war.”

I’ve no idea where it is coming from; it seems totally out of the blue.  Sometimes things come to us from what we were reading or talking about before we fell asleep.

I was reading Henry Nouwen’s book Lifesigns.   It has nothing about war, but rather is an invitation to Intimacy, Fecundity (which sounds rather like a dirty word to me, but isn’t …) which is openness to a life of change and growth, and Ecstasy, the fullness of joy!

And before that I cleared my email.  I did a little research on “poverty in the US and the world” for my essay written for my church’s blog Advent Conspiracy.  Before that, I was reading about different women’s roles in the development of the early male philosophers. (Don’t ask me why.  I’m sick.  I can read whatever I want.)

I’ve been sick for three days and my bed has been my constant companion; sleep, as well, at times but more often then not I am left with the warm covers and my cold thoughts.  The “I should be doings” ringing in my ears.  It’s good that this doesn’t happen to me too often (getting sick, I mean) because I don’t do sick very well and I have a propensity for getting Pneumonia.  Thankfully this doesn’t feel like Pneumonia just a simple flu.

Anyway, “war” is ringing in my head right now and I don’t know why, but when this happens I can’t help but go to my bookshelves and see what I have.  If I find nothing I go to the web but I was looking for a little book I knew I’ve had for years, but haven’t had the courage to read.  It is titled: WAR: Four Christian Views.* I guess I know what I’ll be doing for the next few hours.

Why does it take courage to read about war?  Well, as a Christ-follower I have to face that the Church doesn’t exactly have the best record on war.  Neither does the Bible.  And, I just hate hearing what some people (Bush/Cheney) say to justify certain wars.  How they justify the Iraq war is beyond me.

But now that my spirit has been nudged.   I am going to read this book once and for all and then see what I am thinking.  I’ll let you know.

* WAR: Four Christian Views.  Edited by Robert G. Clouse with contributions by Herman A Hoyt, Myron S. Augsburger, Arthur F. Holmes, and Harold O.J. Brown.