Mark Charles: Decolonize Racist American Exceptionalism

Juicy Ecumenism | 6/30/2017 | Daniella Royer
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Mark Charles was back at Peace Fellowship Church for his lecture series on the Doctrine of Discovery. He followed his first and second talks by offering some more diverse reflections on white Christian racism and his notions of racial reconciliation.

He prefaced his comments with highlighting national holidays our society views as holy. These “civic religious holidays” are nearly impossible to celebrate because of their racist, bigoted roots. Challenging the audience to lament these celebrations, he began his reflections with criticizing the “mythological potluck” of what some Americans think of as Thanksgiving and lamented the celebration of Columbus Day. “When you believe in your own exceptionalism, the only thing you can do is celebrate,” Charles said.

Tendencies - President - Lincoln - Involvement - Dakota

Further, the allegedly “deeply racist tendencies” of President Lincoln, specifically his controversial involvement with the Dakota 38, should lead us to ask the question, “What are so great about these presidents?” He sustained this disapproval by portraying Americans’ skewed perspective because “we’ve never lost a war that matters.”

Continuing this criticism, Charles movingly described a traumatic personal accident that reveals his perspective of Veterans’ day. He was the driver in a horrific car accident that killed his brother, but Charles’ life was spared due to doctors on the scene. Despite many assuring him of his innocence, he powerfully claimed, “I didn’t find any peace until I came to terms with the fact that it was my fault.” In his mind, the challenge with Veterans’ Day is “we have these people coming home from war, and we treat them as heroes…Because of our mythology as a nation that all of our wars are good, all of our wars are holy, we’re always the good guys.” He also suggested that “churches begin to hold services of lament on the Third of July” so that we do not overlook the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Juicy Ecumenism
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