This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Through the static

Occasionally an author comes along who is not afraid to tell the truth. Tobin Miller Shearer’s “White Mennonite Static” clearly spells out our cunning defense mechanisms.

I was taught to avoid conflict by my kind, unassuming mother. What she did not teach me was how to have difficult conversations. The idea was to just back away from the conflict and it would go away. Not true.

As I dig into our systemic racism, both in our Mennonite denomination and broader society, and the more I attempt to start conversations on justice issues, it becomes apparent I am treading on threatening ground. Now I have some idea of why this is true. It is enlightening to have Miller Shearer’s elucidation of our channels that can so easily cause static. Now we can face them head on and work on them.

Jep Hostetler
Goshen, Ind.

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