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Ministry for Social Justice and the Earth July News

Frequently, we read or hear that the United States will become a majority minority country by sometime mid-century. This projection has been used frequently by all sides politically for their own purposes. While it might be a source of hope for some for a more diverse and progressive society, others make it the centerpiece of a fear campaign that non-white minorities will exercise control over the white population or, at its most dangerous extreme, replace the white population.

It turns out, however, that the situation is much more complicated. The number of mixed-race marriages has skyrocketed in recent years. While we may speak of discrete “communities of color,” a large proportion of Americans grow up in mixed neighborhoods and go to multi-ethnic schools and colleges. Other shared identities, such as participation on sports teams or friendships among classmates and co-workers, come to eclipse racial, religious, and ethnic identities.

We must not make the mistake of believing that we live in a post-racial society and the long reach of racism and white supremacy culture remains. Nonetheless, when barriers of geography, culture and law are relaxed or erased, populations have a way of coming together through a realization of shared interests and inter-marriage. Race is a social construct, not a biological one.

Spurred by advances in DNA analysis, one of the more stunning discoveries is that even when we met very different populations of humans, our Neanderthal and Denisovan cousins, that did not stop us from sharing genes and culture. Indeed, there is more and more evidence that symbolic thinking expressed through art was evolving in all three groups when they finally encountered each other in Eurasia. If we saw the humanity in Neanderthals when we met, certainly we should be do so with fellow sapiens.

Confronting Our Racism Group and Split-the-Plate

CORG has continued to meet this summer to develop plans for the fall community read of Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. We will be sending out more information on the reading groups as they are organized, so please keep an eye on the E-Cast.

And the first community event is being planned for July 31 at the Brazos Valley African American Museum. This will be a talk on the topic Critical Race Theory: What It Is and Is Not. More information will follow.

To help fund this effort, we will be devoting the Split-the-Plate contribution from July through September to CORG.


The regular session of the Texas Legislature concluded with some bills we opposed passing while others were blocked. Gov. Abbot, however, plans to call a special session this fall to consider redistricting and other legislation, so these are not dead yet.

One of the most draconian anti-abortion laws in the country was passed, while severe anti-transgender bills especially targeting trans youth died in committee in the House and did not make it to the floor before the clock ran out.

Texas Democrats used a procedural move at the last minute on a bill that would place restrictions on voting rights designed to disproportionately disenfranchise or discourage persons of color. The Governor plans, however, to bring it up again in the special session.

Indeed, this was a tough year in the legislature. Covid restrictions largely limited in-person lobbying and citizen testimony. Furthermore, after beating back Democratic challengers in the 2020 election, Republican leadership was able to successfully push through a great deal of legislation with little debate or time for opponents to react.

Look for more opportunities to make your voice heard this fall in the special session. Also, there is a push to stop enforcement of some of these new laws through the courts and by federal congressional action. This is especially true of voting rights protection.

Family Promise

The decision by Texas to refuse supplemental unemployment benefits may cause an uptick in evictions in the near future, so we are standing by to help out at Hope Crossing, the Family Promise shelter for homeless families.

We are looking for someone to schedule members to volunteer for our host rotations at Hope Crossing. Please email Jerry Wagnon for more information if you are interested in this important and fulfilling task.

MSJE Meeting is July 11th

The Ministry for Social Justice and the Earth will meet at noon on Sunday, July 11. All are welcome to attend to discuss how we can promote environmental stewardship and a just and equitable society starting in the Brazos Valley.

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