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Messy Discourse

by Nicholas Mitchell, Ph.D. JustSouth Quarterly Fall 2018

There is no discourse in American life more fraught with danger than what happens around race relations in the popular culture. But what is the goal of these conversations? Is it the apparent “one-upmanship” reliant on “whataboutism” and cherry-picking data that abounds across social media and the opinion sections of many publications while ignoring history? If you look at the current state of discourse in popular culture, you would not be faulted for thinking this is the case, but it should not be this way. The stakes are too high. The goal of any discourse on race relations should be to bring about interracial justice in the United States.


Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism

The document Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism was developed by the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved by the full body of bishops as a formal statement of the same at its November 2018 General Meeting and has been authorized for publication by the undersigned.

Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield General Secretary, USCCB

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Remembering the Past

by Nicholas Mitchell, Ph.D. JustSouth Quarterly Summer 2018

Deuteronomy 4:9 states, “However, be on your guar d and be very careful not to forget the things your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip fr om your heart as long as you live; but make them known to your childr en and to your children’s children.” This verse is written on the walls of the sanctuary inside the National Holocaust Museum and serves both as a plea to remember the horrors of the past and, I feel, as an admonition because we, as a country, have not. Racism has so infected the collective social consciousness that people lie about the oppression they saw with their own eyes and have denied their childr en and grandchildren the truth in favor of a fiction.




An Introduction to Race, Racism, and Whiteness

By Dr. Alex Mikulich

Over 100 years ago, in his introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, W.E. B. Du Bois wrote: “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” Despite claims that we live in a “post-racial” society after the historic election of Barack Obama, the fact remains that the color line and racial hierarchy endures in the 21st century.  At issue for the Jesuit Social Research Institute, from the perspective of Roman Catholic social teaching and thought, is the persistence of disproportionate advantage for white Americans in relationship to pervasive and persistent disproportionate disadvantage for people of color in every sphere of life including health, wealth, income, education, housing, and the criminal justice system.  More than one issue among others, the contradiction between Gospel values and practices of racial inequality is scandalous. The contradiction between Roman Catholic and American claims for universal human dignity and equality, and the reality of social, political, and economic advantage that white Americans consciously and unconsciously accept and assume, betrays this scandal.  This article continues here

ARCHIVED Articles on Racism:

The Fear of a Black Ballot-- Mitchell

Confederate Ghosts: The Clash of Civilizations-- Mitchell

The Public Space: Confrontations and Controls-- Mitchell 

In Defiance of Hidden Deaths: Black Lives Matter as a Living Philosophy-- Mitchell 

Stop Locking Up Our Future: End the School-to-Prison Pipeline-- Mikulich 

Get Smart Louisiana: Reforms open way for smarter, comprehensive sentencing in the future-- Mikulich 

Honoring Our Sacred Obligations -- Mikulich

Smart Criminal Justice Reform: Mississippi and Texas Leading Gulf South States -- Mikulich

A Last Will and Testament: The Freedom Riders' enduring legacy -- Mikulich

The Monstrous Elegance of White Supremacy -- Mikulich

Six Myths of Payday Lending -- Mikulich

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Becoming Maladjusted for the Beloved Community-- Mikulich 

Marching for Racial Justice in Contemplation and Protest-- Mikulich

The Gift of W.E.B. Du Bois and Double-Consciousness--Mikulich

Thomas Merton’s “Letters to a White Liberal”--Mikulich

A Victory for Democracy: Americans repudiate voter suppression, racism--Mikulich

Race and the 2012 Presidential Election--Mikulich

The Real Fraud in “Voter Fraud”: How so-called reform laws aim to disenfranchise voters -- Mikulich

The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich

Changing the Script: A Starting Point for Reducing Gun Violence--Mikulich

Stop Casting Stones: The Failure of Punitive Crime Policy--Mikulich

No Relief in Sight: Persistent High Unemployment for African Americans and Latinos in Gulf South States -- Mikulich

View all Racism articles »