In Dear White Christians, Jennifer Harvey argues for a fundamental change in how justice dedicated white Americans view race. Harvey reviews the reconcialtion process as faulty and wants to shift from it to a system that embraces a reparations example. The author then presents several knowledgeable historical events within the American Christian realm to analyze the short comings among Christian activists near the tail end of the Civil Rights movement in the United States in order to show how necessary it is of conveying white racial identity onto a clearer basis for countering society’s repressive social structures. The book pokes at reconciliation, saying after many decades of exasperating the outdated ways of reconciliation always falling short of the goal to dismantle racism, a new approach is needed. She constantly tells the reader to say that the problem is still the white American racial identity that confuses the goal of having diverse and reconciled church communities. Harvey’s book uses respected analyses of anti-racism programs in evangelical church communities to bolster her argument of dismantling racism within churches across the United States and to have Christians outside the church to contribute in anti-racism work in their own lives. Jennifer Harvey’s book relates to the class material on several levels such as the ethnic paradox, symbolic ethnicity, and discusses how people downplay the importance of “whiteness” in the United States.
Firstly Harvey speaks on how race is very much real even though it is a socially created construct, it helps us understand that our physical distinctiveness can alter what treatment, social accesses, and other institutional freedoms or lack thereof depending on the construct of r...
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...o lead the lives they lived.
Jennifer Harvey’s book, Dear White Christians was a difficult book to read, but held valuable information on how the racism and prejudices among church communities in evangelical and episcopal churches across America still have strong view on race and possibly stronger than those who aren’t particularly a part of a church. The book contained many topics and problems that the class studied daily such as the view on “whiteness” as a race, how race is real and affects the hearts and minds of white dominated congregations and clergy on the idea of diverseness in their churches. Therefore the book not only clarified many terms and ideas for myself but it applied them to a certain proportion of the population which in this case were those who debate which solution fares better for racial equality in the church; reconciliation or reparations.
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