The Common Good

Blog Posts By Melvin Bray

Posted by Melvin Bray 3 years 8 weeks ago
I don't want to say too much. I don't want to over-explain. I know that leaves lots of room for misinterpretation. I just want to ask you to wrestle with a few questions. I was asked last week what my greatest fear as a father of a black boy is in light of the Trayvon Martin murder. My greatest fear for my children is the cautious regret I see on the many faces that can’t help but leave open the possibility there may be some justification for this tragedy. Rest assured George Zimmerman and his supporters will exploit this deep-seated immutable suspicion, just like Susan Smith did so many years ago.
Posted by Melvin Bray 4 years 4 days ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 4 years 40 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 4 years 42 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 5 years 18 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 5 years 20 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 5 years 43 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 5 years 44 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 6 years 14 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 6 years 29 weeks ago
Posted by Melvin Bray 6 years 44 weeks ago
To presume is human, to reconsider sublime. At least that's what I'm beginning to believe as a father of three. Fatherhood asks one to do a great deal with often incomplete, misleading, and sometimes outright false information -- from arbitrating disputes to meting out appropriate consequences to picking cereal. I am loathe to admit the number of times I've rushed to judgment or totally misunderstood something as a dad. Sometimes the only thing that spares me from acting on dubious [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 6 years 46 weeks ago
The Fourth of July is always a weird holiday for me. It's not that I don't enjoy the nostalgia, picnics, barbeque, fireworks, and romanticizing of history--I do--yet as a student of history I can't help but be reminded of the July 5, 1852, speech of Frederick Douglass, given at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY. If you haven't, you should read it: "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." This was a [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 6 years 51 weeks ago
I have the pleasure of starting us off. Allow me to jump into the future about 24 years. A freelance language artist, Langstyn Huse (one of several figments of my imagination), has a recently syndicated column, the Absurdity of Modernity. In brief, it's political satire related to the issues of the 2032 election. [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 6 years 51 weeks ago
I believe that most of our faith metaphors have either been domesticated, adulterated, appropriated, become insular, or are utterly sedate. They either serve little, serve the wrong, serve ourselves, or serve nothing. All of which is a serious problem, for images move the hearts of humanity. They motivate and [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 7 years 6 weeks ago
It was only a short year ago that "shock jock" Don Imus chose to refer to the accomplished women playing in the NCAA Basketball Finals as "nappy-headed hoes," later billing the match-up for his listeners as the "jiggaboos" versus the "wannabes." Imus' disrespect came as little surprise. He had a long history of slur and slander against Blacks, Africans, Asians, Latinos, Jews, Arabs, women, homosexuals, the poor, and just about anyone he considered unlike himself. And he had been paid [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 7 years 9 weeks ago
So what do we do, my friends, in the face of our undeniably incongruent histories-which give us reason to forever suspect one another, a reason dramatically subverted by the call to embrace one another in the way of Jesus? I believe Diana Butler Bass, again, shows us a way forward. She made the following comment while participating in a panel discussion at the last American Academy of Religion conference. The original context of her thought was the pursuit of [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 7 years 10 weeks ago
If properly understood, Senator Barack Obama's remarks yesterday at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, constitute one of the most significant and honest public addresses ever made on America's 400-year struggle with race. Had we heeded DuBois' 1903 prophetic warning, The Souls of Black Folks, it may have found voice in the 20th century. There is a [...]
Posted by Melvin Bray 7 years 10 weeks ago
The 40th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination - April 4, 1968 - will soon be upon us. As I remember Dr. King against the backdrop of this 2008 presidential election cycle, I reflect on what a brilliant political strategist he was. He was able to bring corporations to the point of acquiescence without resorting to violence or bribery. He was able to pass legislation that [...]