This past week there was a convergence of demonic activity in Michigan. With an alt-right conference taking place in Detroit and the notorious alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer speaking at Michigan State University, hundreds of organizers and anti-fascists gathered and stood up against fascism. Hundreds of police showed up as well, with clubs and pepper spray, ready to not just protect fascists but beat down anti-fascists.
The opposition forced Spencer’s event to be pushed back, but in the meantime, Matthew Heimbach and his nazi cronies from the Traditionalist Workers Party came out to the protests in a line. Fighting began between the nazis and the protestors, and police became violent. A comrade of ours reported that in her affinity group alone, there were several badly beaten by cops.
Soon after, the police began arresting protesters. At least three folks, two of which are Quakers, laid their bodies down behind an armored personnel carrier. A banner of the Friendly Fire Collective laid on top of their bodies, boldly proclaiming “Whiteness is Anti-Christ.” These Friends also prophesied to the police, speaking the word of God: All cops are apostates.
These two bold statements tend to deeply bother folks – even left-leaning liberals. But they need to be said.
The police force was not on the side of anti-fascism. As they so often do, they took the side of fascists, in their protection of them, and in their violent force against anti-fascists. Cops, though able to be forgiven by our God of generous grace, have chosen to make a living off the violent oppression of the poor, and of black and brown people. They are tools of empire and they need to hear their graveness of their sin.
And whiteness is anti-Christ. As Frances Henry put it in “The colour of democracy: Racism in Canadian society”: ‘”Whiteness,’ like ‘colour’ and ‘Blackness,’ are essentially social constructs applied to human beings rather than veritable truths that have universal validity. The power of Whiteness, however, is manifested by the ways in which racialized Whiteness becomes transformed into social, political, economic, and cultural behaviour. White culture, norms, and values in all these areas become normative natural. They become the standard against which all other cultures, groups, and individuals are measured and usually found to be inferior.”
Whiteness is oppressive. Whiteness is violent. Whiteness is demonic. Whiteness is completely contrary the person of Christ. And whiteness has long been corroding the Religious Society of Friends in the so-called United States. We need to prophesy these words to the world, but also to ourselves. White folks desperately need to repent of living in the power of whiteness, and to choose instead to live in a way that exorcizes this demonic force from their lives and communities.
These words may not reach many. And these children of God who protested and spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost – they will be counted as fools by many. But to Christ, they are his beloved holy fools. Those with ears shall hear.
Only a few dozen people were able to make it to the Spencer talk. This is a victory.
As I write this, I am thankful for my siblings in the Spirit who non-violently proclaimed the word of God, who laid their bodies down for their comrades, and I am thankful for the two dozen comrades who were arrested, standing up for the dignity of their fellow child of God. Standing up against the violent forces of whiteness. This is a witness. And this work needs to be done.
Michael Hurwitz, a Lansing resident, spoke to Visu News about the need for anti-fascist work. “A lot of people say stay away and it won’t be an event if everyone ignores it. I don’t think so – that’s just letting them organize and do their thing and who knows what the next thing they’re gonna do after that’s going to be. We have to stand up and face them.”
Friends, Christians, fellow sojourners in the Spirit: it is time to build a Religious Left. It is time to live into an apocalyptic faith. We know another world is possible, and we know this one is doomed. May we embody the anti-fascism of Christ: whipping out the corrupt from God’s temple, cursing all fig trees that bear no fruit, and building up a Body that can meet the needs of the world. As we tear down the world as we know it, may we build a new one in its rubble.
I ask that you hold the two dozen arrested comrades in the Light. Pray for them. We know at least one of them is facing a felony charge. And, if you are able, donate to their bail fund: https://www.fundedjustice.com/stopspencermsu?ref=ab_f7ARsc_ab_2Oq5utbucLW2Oq5utbucLW
In the Light,