In REL 370: Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion, I gave a talk called “Are We Really Just One Human Race?” I began the talk by asking the class whether there’s a difference between saying #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter. For our purposes, the issue was why this is such a contested debate.
In (WCH) REL 226: The New Testament, I gave a talk called “The Gospel According to America- Black Demons and The Original Sin of Slavery?” Our conversation began with a twist on the debate, “Is America a Christian Nation?” Instead, students paired up and named reasons why people argue “yes” and “no.”
In REL 170: Signifying Religion: An African American Worldview, I gave a talk called “Beatdowns and Downbeats: America as a Hip Hop Nation.” We began with a free association exercise about what could be signified by call America a “Hip Hop nation.”
This is about fear and how humans choose to deal with it. And it's a problem when individuals and institutions and corporations can designate some persons as collateral damage. It's a scary thing when the expense of human life can be factored in, or even worse, considered negligible.