Exploring Racial Justice Reflection of the Week

WASHINGTON, DC AUGUST 15: Ruby Sales, a veteran of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s, is photographed in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, August 15, 2015. Sales was almost killed 50 years ago, August 20, 1965, when a segregationist part time sheriff fired a shotgun at unarmed protesters who had just gotten out of jail. At the last moment, Sales was pushed out of the line of fire by an Episcopal seminarian, who was killed in her place. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

[T]here’s a spiritual crisis in white America. It’s a crisis of meaning, and I don’t hear — we talk a lot about black theologies, but I want a liberating white theology. I want a theology that speaks to Appalachia. I want a theology that begins to deepen people’s understanding about their capacity to live fully human lives and to touch the goodness inside of them rather than call upon the part of themselves that’s not relational. Because there’s nothing wrong with being European American. That’s not the problem. It’s how you actualize that history and how you actualize that reality. It’s almost like white people don’t believe that other white people are worthy of being redeemed.

And I don’t quite understand that. It must be more sexy to deal with black folk than it is to deal with white folk if you’re a white person. So as a black person, I want a theology that gives hope and meaning to people who are struggling to have meaning in a world where they no longer are as essential to whiteness as they once were.

Ruby Sales, On Being Interview with Krista Tippett, “Where Does It Hurt?” Sales, a veteran of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s, was almost killed 50 years ago, August 20, 1965, when a segregationist part time sheriff fired a shotgun at unarmed protesters who had just gotten out of jail. At the last moment, Sales was pushed out of the line of fire by an Episcopal seminarian, Jonathan Daniels, who was killed in her place. She founded The SpiritHouse Project in Atlanta in his honor.