There is something glorious about some churches -- the buildings I mean. I can remember a little chapel near the Arno River in Florence where I spent a magical, solitary afternoon long ago. By the time I was thirty I was steeped in religion and the church. I was even a reasonably well-known author of books about how to make churches more relevant to the emerging urbanized world.

Racism in the 60s

But this formative period was also marked with the seminal problem of the USA, racism. Let me break that down.

I am talking about the fact that churches populated largely by white Americans, even liberal churches, have been unwilling to bend enough to create a basis for Racial Justice in the US.

I will not try to win what is an impossible argument. I will just say that by the end of the 1960s it was obvious to me that the white denominations were not on the side of anything that would have actually led to racial justice.

Network of complicity

Let me clarify to this point. Racial justice is not the token acceptance of minorities. This is cruel escapism because it makes the oppressed complicit in oppression. I am speaking of justice that would spare us the blatant segregation now dominant in housing, in schools, in incomes.

I offer only the two million in jail as evidence of the success of continued oppression. I offer article after article on cybercommunities as evidence that there are solutions.

Leaving the church

The occasion for this outburst is a bit of evidence that sentiment for justice is not dead. It is the account of a black Southern Baptist minister of his journey out of that large but flawed organization. As usual, these articles demand a careful read to gain full benefit. The comments on the article are also instructive.

Black lives don't matter to most

The truth is that there is no white institution in America where black lives matter. Some individuals in some institutions may say they matter, but are they willing to accept the costs of such an opinion?

The problem is that until we have an electorate that sees integration as the key to America's problem, we will continue to have the same old same old.

Trump leads the way

Trump is a poster boy for white racism. He and his dad started out trying to defend a Brooklyn project where Woodie Guthrie happened to live. Guthrie wrote a song about Old Man Trump giving an early indication of what we can expect from the Donald.

There is no white institution apart from the few that are explicitly devoted to systemic change that is not comfortable with the same hierarchy that continues to remind us of who is on top.