Open House with Brandi Miller

Brandi Miller is a writer, speaker and the host/creator of the “Reclaiming My Theology” podcast. She talks with David de Leon, CSA’s social media manager, about, among other things, the freedom that white people experience when they begin to confront the reality of white supremacy, what she learned by growing up as the only black person in a white family, and her deep commitment to being in relationship with people who differ from her in a variety of ways.

Miller is a contributor to the new book Keeping the Faith, an anthology of dissent that unites the voices of believers across America who are re-imagining how the Gospel should intersect our politics.

Here’s a snippet of Miller’s wisdom on how true change and growth must go beyond far beyond critique, but be sure to watch the full conversation below:

“Deconstruction is just another form of fundamentalism. It uses the same tools of white supremacy and patriarchy and academia—just a different form—to critique why other people are wrong and why we are right, and I think there’s void spirituality on both ends, because if you spend all of your time arguing for why you’re right, there’s no way that you an actually love the people that you say you want to love—it is that clanging gong image of you just yelling over noise … The metaphor that I’ve been using lately is the deconstruction movement of the last five years: It’s as though someone went into your house that you’ve been living in your whole life—and it’s falling apart. It’s not good, but then they destroy the whole house around you and just tell you over and over again to observe and  talk about how bad that house is. But you’re still standing in the middle of the house that’s destroyed. What you need to do is not stand there and analyze everything that was bad about the house: You need to take stock of why that house fell apart and then go find a different house and make sure that house doesn’t have the same foundational issues that caused you to have to deconstruct [your first house]. Deconstruction … is just an academic idea that makes us seem way better than we are, that makes us feel like we have the right to dehumanize others or think we’re better than other people because we think the right thing and we used to think the wrong things, so we’re enlightened.”

Open House with Brandi Miller from Christians for Social Action on Vimeo.

 

You may also want to read

Nonviolent Action Method Method #6: Group or Mass Petitions

From Gene Sharp

One example is the petition organized by United We Dream, urging people to protect immigrant youth by protecting the DREAM Act.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.