Friday, April 01, 2016


I am a white male which means I am a villain in the country of my birth.  I served this country in the United States Army from 1967-1969 as a Army Medic.  I didn’t try to dodge the draft by running off to Canada or pretend to have some medical condition.  However, I have a two conditions that make me suspect.  It is not any of  my medical conditions of mental illness, kidney disease, neuropathy or vascular disease.  They are the color of my skin and my gender.

I picked up the April issue of Christianity Today this morning at the breakfast table and the first article I read was by Christena Cleveland, Associate Professor of the Practice of Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School.  She wanted the reader to know that Jesus was not a white man.  It surprised me that such an educated woman thought we needed to be told that Jesus was not a European.  I think most of us know that tradition says Jesus was a Jew born and raised in Galilee which means he was most likely olive-colored and well sun-tanned.

Jesus is not pleased with all this race business.  He associated with folks others shunned while he was on earth.  He taught us to love our neighbors.  He did not say love your neighbor if they are the same color or gender as you.  However, let me be quick to point out that the people that keep bringing race and gender up are not white males.  We are in hiding.  We fear for our very existence.  We are considered the root of all evil.

Jesus said “You cannot serve God and money.”  1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.”  I suggest to you that it was not the color of the skin that created the evil, but rather the power of the money held by the white males.  Poor white males in places like Appalachia have more in common with people of color than they do rich white males.  Folks should be talking about economic and social justice.  About human rights for all including those of us with a mental illness.  Instead we cannot get past this talk about skin color.  The more rhetoric about it the more separation is created.  There has been so much chatter lately that we now have a Grand Canyon.

The root of all evil begins when the greed for money and power becomes more powerful than the well being of the community and the planet we need to survive.  You can blame white males and keep blaming us until there isn’t even a shred of community spirit left and the planet is in too bad a shape to possibly recover.  You will have won nothing.  You lose. We all lose.

© Ed Cooper, March 31, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
   All rights reserved

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