America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America

America s Original Sin Racism White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America America s problem with race has deep roots with the country s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another Racism is truly our nation s original sin

  • Title: America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
  • Author: Jim Wallis Bryan Stevenson
  • ISBN: 9781587433429
  • Page: 304
  • Format: Hardcover
  • America s problem with race has deep roots, with the country s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another Racism is truly our nation s original sin It s time we right this unacceptable wrong, says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a wAmerica s problem with race has deep roots, with the country s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another Racism is truly our nation s original sin It s time we right this unacceptable wrong, says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week.In America s Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society He speaks candidly to Christians particularly white Christians urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.

    One thought on “America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America”

    1. This book tied me up in knots, like the question, When did you stop beating your wife? The book is heart-felt and seems to accord well with liberal values. Then why do I have misgivings? If it's all so right and true (and some of it may be), why must it work through guilt (if guilt even works)? He says not but I think so. Then there's the question of whether people really do give up power voluntarily--a question I recently confronted in another review (/review/show). Likely not, I think. If you' [...]

    2. My present-day dream dinner party guest list would now include Bryan Stevenson, Michelle Alexander, Shaka Senghor, Cornel West, Rebecca Traister and Jim Wallis. What an amazing experience that would be!My favorite books are those that challenge me, make me uncomfortable, make me rethink things I'd always assumed to be true, and help me understand things from a new perspective. This book definitely did all of that and more. After reading "Just Mercy", "Between the World and Me", and "The New Jim [...]

    3. Excellent read and the need for our faith communities to become more vocal about the prejudices we support by saying or being bystanders. We need to take the mountain!

    4. Racism is America's original sin. Racism has been deeply embedded in the American psyche since the first European settlers stepped foot on the shores of North America. The Civil War brought an end to slavery, but not racism. The Civil Rights Movement and the legislation that it pursued put an end to most overt forms of segregation, but it did not rid us of racism. The election of the first Black President was a move forward, but it didn't end racism. Indeed, nearly fifty years after the death of [...]

    5. A call to action and a message of hope. If you are white, this book was written for you. If not, read it anyway.

    6. Reviewed for THC ReviewsI’ve been following Jim Wallis for a number of years now, mostly through his work with the religious organization, Sojourners. He’s been an inspiring figure to me who has helped me to see my own faith in a different way. Years ago, I picked up his book God’s Politics, although I admittedly never finished it due to not having a lot of time to read back then. When I saw this new book had just been released, I was eager to read it. I’m intrigued by social issues and [...]

    7. Do white Christians play a role in perpetuating racism in America and, if so, what can be done about it? These are the questions Jim Wallis explores in his latest book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. In it, he explains why racism is incompatible with Christianity and that it’s time for white Christians to work to end racism in America. It’s clear in the first few pages that this is not a book about a post-racial society because we don’ [...]

    8. This book was a real eye-opener for me. Terms such as "white privilege" have always caused me to have a knee jerk, negative reaction. Wallis helped me to see what that term really means and how racial injustice is a continuing plague in our nation. The book is well researched and well written. I especially benefitted from his chapter, "A Segregated Church or a Beloved Community?". There is much about inequality that I feel powerless to change, however, in this area I believe I can make some mean [...]

    9. Good read. Ordinarily I would not have read this book due to its religious overtones; however a friend invited me to attend a book club that was discussing the book and the subject matter included an interest we had in common. We all know we are on the cusp of becoming a minority majority country and this book provides a good roadmap for people, especially White people come to grips with the situation and join the movement to make our society a more just society.

    10. Some really good stuff here, very in-line with the sentiments of others things that I have been readingoks and news articles. A few reminders and reinforcements for changes I would like to make personally. I would also like to discuss this with some of the folks at church and see how we can move into conversation and listening with others as a congregation.

    11. It's a good primer, and a bit of a slog to read - but if you're only going to read one book on race in America this covers the ground for the most part. The chapter on "whiteness" is particularly good. Wallis tends to be too self-referential for me - but maybe you need that kind of ego to do the work he's done in his life.

    12. The greatest strengths of this book were its hopeful tone and the amount of data it compiled into one place. The data is convicting, and Wallis makes healing and progress seem possible if we all get on board. But sometimes I felt like things were repeated a few too many times in order to make the book long enough to actually be a book. I certainly learned a lot and have a lot to ponder now.

    13. I didn't finish it, I stopped about 25% into it. The people who should read this book never will, the people who will read it already know the info it contains

    14. Summary: Explores our nation's deeply ingrained history of racism and particularly the challenges facing white Christians in bridging these racial divides."The United States of America was established as a white society, founded upon the near genocide of another race and then the enslavement of yet another."The author of this book contends that this sentence, in a 1987 issue of Sojourners, was the most controversial sentence he ever wrote. The controversy behind that statement supports the thesi [...]

    15. This is a tough one to review. Seriously, it is so political that no matter what I say, someone is bound to be offended.So let me say this, that the author's aim seems to be to get Evangelicals to wake up, realize that by 2045, whites will no longer be a majority in the US, to get used to that and to build bridges for race relations that usher in the second half of this century in a way that benefits all that live in America.How he does it, and the philosophical foundation he justifies his metho [...]

    16. Jim Wallis’ courageous work addresses America’s original sins and how the past still echoes through today in the form of mass incarceration and broken immigration policies among other issues. From the perspective of a devout Christian, Wallis convincingly pleads his case to walk across the bridge to a new, increasingly diverse America. His compelling viewpoint highlighting that "we are all children of God" exemplifies the need to unite as one to achieve a more prosperous and just nation for [...]

    17. Honestly, as I seek to learn more about racial healing and history, I was a little skeptical here when I realized that the author was white. But then I increasingly came to see that this is a great perspective from a white person to others who think of themselves as "white". A painful but oh, so important perspective on the things we have yet to learn and that we fail to understand well. Perhaps the most challenging book I've read this year, and exactly what America needs to learn about right no [...]

    18. America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis, president of the Christian social justice group Sojourners, is not just about Christian living but a book that will raise the heckle of quite some as the social issues he raised in it are quite shocking, and may not go down well with many. Though a man not prone to making controversial remarks, the Reverend Jim Wallis stated that America as a nation was founded by the near genocide of one people and t [...]

    19. "Can we find our way to a genuinely diverse society, racially and culturally, where diversity is seen as a strength rather than as a threat?" (page 189)This question captures my hope for this book at it might play a role in helping to move our society forward in important ways. By the time my son is the age I've now reached, it is expected that America will be nation of minorities, with no single racial group representing a majority. God willing, between now and then, we'll be able to accomplish [...]

    20. I think this book is well-written, passionate, and provides arguments that we are better together and must address this issue now, with a sense of urgency. He takes a sincere faith-based approach to his thesis and offers many proposed solutions to tackle this very systemic and terrible issue. Sadly, I agree with one of the comments written below that people who need to read this book won't. I also found this study guide that's filled with video, articles, and more: americasoriginalsin/wp-con For [...]

    21. This was a great, Gospel centered, book explaining the evil of racism and the part white Americans often play in it. Jim Wallis is a white evangelical leader is has dedicated his life to eradicating racism and oppression, specifically within the walls of the church. This book was an eye opener in many ways and is especially important considering the racial and political climate of America today. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.

    22. This is a great book for ANYONE that picks it up. The message it conveys is eloquently and intelligently presented. Specifically for Christians, this is a must read.My request is that you go in prayerfully and with an open heart/mind. The tendency some may have is to be defensive, but see how it aligns with scripture, pray on it, and then come to your conclusion.

    23. This book presents an informative review of the Civil Rights Movement period in U.S. history. The author, Jim Wallis, has been in the thick of it. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. This book is a moving testimony to the power of living a good life. Kudos to Jim Wallis.

    24. I should start out with a disclaimer that I have mixed feelings about Jim Wallishe's a bit too conservative for my tastebut he does some good work in this book. As someone who has wrestled with these issues for many years now. some of what he shares was a little bit basic for my taste; however, it would be a good introduction for people (especially white folks) who are new to the concept of the systemic and institutional nature of racism.Wallis is annoyingly self-congratulatory at times, and it [...]

    25. Our church book study group read this book after reading Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy. We were a mixed-race group and we used the resources in the discussion guide, which is available online - such as taking the racial preference survey. It provoked a healthy discussion among us. We tried to keep it politics-free.The one thing that annoys me about most of Wallis' books is his tendency to spend a lot of time rehashing letters he and other faith leaders have published, or speeches/sermons he has g [...]

    26. This is an important and up to the minute challenge to the white church to get off their pews and act to become partners in bringing and end to structural racism in America. Wallis convincingly makes that case that the white church has been both complicit and silent. He urges confession and repentance; repentance means turning from that complicity and silence and engaging the work. I'm going to buy a few copies of this book and start circulating it among members of my congregation as one more pi [...]

    27. This is a very important book. Every church member should read it, and the textual context requires a response. The church has to respond to social conditions - what does God call us to do and be? And what conditions have to be ameliorated, what do we have to do. This book makes a call that can only be refused if ignored.It drags even those who don't wish to go, to the altar call.It is important.

    28. This has been a very tough, but very timely book to read. It has challenged me to look deep within myself and the assumptions regarding racism & white privileges I may hold. It has helped me to renew my commitment to welcoming & understanding the stranger and to opening my heart, mind and soul to all who are in my world, my community, and my place of worship.

    29. Terrible book. What could have been an opportunity to truly use biblical truths when dealing with racism turned into what felt like another CNN or NYT article on why white people are bad and everyone else is good. This was literally a struggle to read.

    30. I think this is my favorite Jim Wallis book. I do not know who is changing but I found myself agreeing with most everything in this book. In fact I insisted that several staff read it. I think it is fairly comprehensive about important topics to think about and discuss concerning race.

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