"The Wealth Gap" - an Atlantic article on systemic racism

I doubt this will generate a lot of discussion, but this article does a good job of using the writer’s family history to illustrate the societal problem of systemic racism. It’s a good primer to the overall issue, and I also have a personal connection to the story.

The author’s father, NBA Hall of Fame guard Maurice Cheeks, played college basketball in my hometown, and every summer he worked in a jr. high school gym for the parks and rec dept. His “job” was to practice. My high school buddies and I played ball with him every day after he was drafted by the 76ers. Nicest man ever, even though he killed my own NBA dreams on that court. haha. Google Mo Cheeks national anthem sometime. That’s who he is.

My grandfather’s story is one of success (this year his business turns 50) that also illustrates why black success is used to claim that the playing field in America is more level than it actually is. My grandfather made it, but does his success against all odds mean that it’s okay when everyone else faces those same odds and fails? A black family’s success story is reassuring proof that the system works. If my family could successfully climb upward, the argument goes, then the ones who can’t aren’t trying hard enough. They don’t have enough grit.

My family, despite their struggles, gave me the means to choose differently. Even so, my initial choices highlight the complicated nature of black success: It’s knowing that as you rise, you have a responsibility to make sure your family and community rise with you. For better or worse, American wealth is a family affair.


This is a discussion that needs to take place. Often, we’re not aware of how much institutional racism has occurred. Discussion makes us aware, and perhaps able to right some of these wrongs. Many of us have benefited from racist institutions, though we never knew it. other minorities have suffered, and we need to know that, particularly as Christians.



This podcast by Skye Jethani and Theon Hill from Wheaton College made me think. It had very interesting arguments for reparations. Whatever our eventual conclusion about this very controversial topic, it’s quite an informative discussion. However, it’s a long podcast, so be warned

Reparations don’t make sense to me, but I’ll listen this weekend. Isn’t there an app or something that will transcribe these things? I read much faster than anyone can talk. Either way, many of the problems stem from governmental policies and things that can be changed. We can’t get into political discussions here, but we can discuss other aspects of the problem.

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On Randy’s link, you can find the little link shown toward the bottom labeled:

direct download: HP360.mp3 and get the file straight onto your computer. Then if you have any kind of decent media player like the free VLC media player, you can listen to it at whatever speed you want.

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Good thinking, Gilligan. haha

Same here, plus I also get interrupted about 9283793847 times by my kids asking for a snack before I can finish listening to a podcast, so reading means I can skim over it to remind myself where I’m at. That’s harder to do with audio, so I appreciate ones that have transcriptions. Videos are even less likely to work out.

But anyway, I recently read “With” by Skye Jethani and really liked it, so I would be interested to read his views on this topic too.


Many white people seem to think that God create Life as a zero sum game, meaning that if someone else gains, I must have lost. or if I have benefited then some one else must have lost. That is not true ands this is why the survival of the fittest is not good science.

If justice benefits someone, then everyone benefits. If injustice harms someone, then we are all harmed. The sad truth today is that those who think that they are being hurt by minorities and immigrants are not being hurt by them, but by their fellow white males who are using their economic power to game the system and destroy our nation.

As Christians we need to tell others that wealth and power though important are not most important. If we sell our souls to the Devil for a prosperous economy and/or the “prestige” of being white, we will end up in Hell.


withdrawn by myself–maybe off topic

I was musing the other day as to why the Israelites spent 400 years in slavery in Egypt, and think it is related to the same concept. Jacob and company were in Canaan when the famine came, were saved by God’s provision through Joseph, but elected to remain in the safety and prosperity of Egypt rather than returning to the Promised Land and relied on Joseph as a benefactor, eventually leading to their enslavement.