Letter to the editor

Response to Jan/Feb 2021 issue on racism and the church

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Yes, white Mennonites need to be exposed to when racism occurs. However, it is important to not make global generalizations without systematic evaluations of white Mennonites or other whites to determine whether racism is operating.  Steven Watts in February 20, 2021 on National Review website observes “ but automatically attributing racist expressions, inclinations and creations to all white people by the dint of their skin regardless of their actual opinions, beliefs, characters, histories and actions simply offers racism as a cure for racism.”

I am also deeply concerned and frustrated about the uncritical recommendations of some of the book resources by your contributors. Before I would make a book recommendation for publication about racism I would check with critical reviews as to the potential “blind spots,” the limits of truth or distortions contained in the book.

There have been perceptive reviews that discusses both the strengths as well as weaknesses of some of the books recommended by your contributors. Neil Shenvi at
shenviapologetics.com  has evaluated the following books: “Blind But Now I See: A review of Daniel Hill’s White Awake,” “A short review of Wytsma’s The Myth of Equality,” and
“Comprised: A long review of Tisby’s Color of Compromise.”  A book not recommended by your contributors on racial issues that is excellent in its comprehensiveness and even handedness is by George Yancey, Beyond Racial Gridlock,” who is a Black sociologist. Shenvi also has a review of this book, “A long review of Yancey’s Beyond Racial Gridlock.”

The writings of Black conservative writers including Thomas Sowell, Coleman Hughes,
Larry Elder and Jason Riley provides an alternative view of racial issues compared to your contributors and book recommendations. Riley’s book Please Stop Helping Us—How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed” is worthy of review.

An attitude of humility and discernment is needed in determine the truth and limitations of the contents of this issue “Racism and the church.”

Jim Frantz


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