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Kerry Connelly Publishes New Book about Racial Justice


Religion News Service has just published a new article by Kerry: “How white spirituality, religious or not, allows racism to grow.”


Kerry Connelly, MDiv student, recently celebrated the publication of her new book, Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. The book, published by Westminster John Knox, was released on March 17 of this year.

Connelly recalls falling in love with writing at a young age and credits her middle and high school English teachers for their encouragement and support. She has been blogging for nearly a decade – first at the Patheos blog JersyGirl, Jesus and then at her own site kerryconnelly.com – and published her first book, Pause: Making Time to Walk with God, in 2017.

About her new book, she explained, “I never set out to do work in racial justice.” However, as she began blogging about the unjust use of lethal force by police on black men and communities of color generally, she faced increasing resistance from some of her readers. “I was shocked at how visceral and angry white people got at a white person pointing out racial injustice,” she said, “[but] that reaction just made me want to write more. So I did, and the more I wrote, the more I learned. The more I learned, the angrier and more dedicated I became.”

Evident in the title, Connelly’s new book addresses what she calls the phenomenon of the “good white racist,” who she explains is “a white person who truly does hate the idea of racism but has been unwilling to do the work of unpacking their own inherent racist belief systems in order to become truly anti-racist. Because they are unwilling to confront the racism that has been embedded into their own psyches, they are also unable to confront the very real systemic racism that occurs in various institutions in our country.” In the book, Connelly works to unpack this idea and explores the many ways in which good white racists “waste so much time defending our own goodness and maintaining our own comfort levels that it disrupts and discourages the actual work that needs to be done.”

Connelly said that her experiences at CTS have profoundly informed her perspective on racial justice and shaped her faith. Grateful for being exposed to Liberation and Womanist theologies in class, she said that these perspectives have “shifted my paradigm significantly,” and the opportunity to learn in inclusive classrooms and build meaningful friendships with fellow students has been transformative. She recalled that what initially led her on the journey to write the book was a classroom assignment to listen to Krista Tippet’s interview with Ruby Sales. Connelly said, “I was so struck by Ruby’s generosity when she asked, ‘Where is the white theology that liberates white people?’ that I got stuck on that question. I started a podcast, and wrote a book, and I still don’t have the answer.”

Learn more about Connelly and check out her blog here.



Also included in the June 2020 Christian Theological Seminary Connection

 

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  • Kerry Connelly Publishes New Book about Racial Justice - Religion News Service has just published a new article by Kerry: “How white spirituality, religious or not, allows racism to grow.” Kerry Connelly, MDiv student, recently celebrated the publication of her new book, Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. The book, published by Westminster John Knox, was released on March 17 of […]
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