15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all;
    they do not even know how to blush. (Jer. 6:15, NIV)

In these times, it seems as if our politics are becoming increasingly binary. There are inclusivity goals on one end of the spectrum. Those same goals are held in suspicion by people on the other end of the spectrum as evidenced by the numerous pieces of legislation to dismantle voting rights and other forms of inclusion within America’s body politic.

Hate Crimes on the Rise

Those who appear to prioritize maintaining the status quo either advocate for keeping things as they are or returning them to a less inclusive time. It’s not unusual for us to be divided in our politics though the increase in violence is more than disconcerting. But I have started to wonder about something. Those who seek love, and its adherents of justice, equity, and inclusivity, are often trampled over with various illogical arguments and a ready acceptance of violence. (Think of the murder of Heather Heyer as one example.) Why does it feel that this violence is on the rise?

According to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, this is not merely a US phenomenon. Hate crimes are also on the rise in the UK. This brings me back to the text that I considered in Jeremiah. The text says that these folks, even those who think they are “religious,” are guilty of dressing wounds as though they are not serious (v. 14). In other words, they put a bandaid on a gaping wound.

The Shame Which Turns Around Hate

The text reveals that there are those who speak of “peace” when there is none (v. 14). But the text gives an even more compelling analysis that is helpful “they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” (v. 15).

14 They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace.
15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
    No, they have no shame at all;
    they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
    they will be brought down when I punish them,”
says the Lord. (Jer. 6:14-15, NIV)

There was a time when the world was capable of feeling ashamed. There was a time when watching innocent protestors attacked with dogs and fire hoses was astonishing. There was a time when bombing Black churches, including the deaths of four innocent little Black girls, would bring the world to its knees.

Even the most stalwart person of hate was capable of melting their hatred when considering that they had daughters and sons the same ages as the young people killed. Such an image would even compel the White Evangelical church to leave its favorite side piece – White Supremacy. (See also Anthea Butler’s book, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America.)

Recognizing the Devil When He Comes

The “church girl” deep down within, tries to make sense of this world. I recall those sermons about the “devil” or the “demonic” who tempts us to prioritize those things which do not align with God’s love and grace. Using this hermeneutical lens, I see the efforts to whitewash history as not about feeling “shame,” but about refusing to acknowledge guilt. That is what I find demonic. Similarly, when we advocate for the life of the unborn and literally engage in destruction and death for those women who are already here, that is also demonic.

I choose my words here quite carefully, but I stand by them. The assault on Black intellect and Black dignity is demonic. By denying any references to the pain of our past, we pledge to repeat that past. I think that this is actually the goal of much that we see – malevolence. The fight to stop Black Americans from voting, for example, combined with arguing that White guilt is an unbearable result of teaching our full history, is no coincidence.

ASALH Standing in Solidarity

Whitewashing our history works to allow us a denial of the perniciousness of White Supremacy, a belief that one group is superior to all others based on what is socialized as “White” skin. We are sharing the Association for the Study of African Life and History (ASALH) president’s letter. He makes the argument that they are moving their conference to Florida to stand in solidarity with those under the oppressive rule of Governor Ron DeSantis who has waged a war against African American Studies and whose censorship is poised to harm us all. It is White Supremacy’s, spiritual and demonic energy that requires a true fight.

The walk across the Pettis Bridge – that was a form of taking the fight to the Devil. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in solidarity with sanitation workers and their strike (1968) – that was also a form of taking the fight to the Devil. Now, ASALH is heading to Florida. They are taking the fight to the Devil.

The Bible says to “resist the devil and he will flee from you,” (James 4:7). If the “fleeing” belongs to the Devil, it stands to reason that standing firm belongs to the righteous. We encourage you to also resist the Devil.

How You Can Resist the Devil

When you see a core curriculum which only values one group’s knowledge production; when you see pulpits that are populated only by men when women are also bursting with prophetic gifts; when you see major universities which have no African descended people on staff – these are malevolent behaviors which must be resisted.

Resistance might mean leaving a toxic environment. But moving as a group to take the fight to the very one who seeks your demise has power.

Resist the Devil by taking the fight directly to his doorstep. Who knows? Perhaps as you advocate for what is fair and equitable, you may even accomplish what few others accomplish today.

If you are fortunate, you may see someone blush.

Introductory comments by Dr. CL Nash, Misogynoir to Mishpat (M2M) Research Network (c) 2023


March 2023

Like many of you, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has followed the actions that Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and other conservative lawmakers have taken against teaching Black History and the histories of other historically marginalized communities. We have especially followed the actions taken by DeSantis and the Florida Board of Education on the AP African American Studies course as well as the legislation passed against “woke” curricula in the state. Please see our statement about these actions on our website at http://www.asalh.org. (“ASALH’s Response to Gov. DeSantis and the African American Studies AP Censorship”).

While we have been alarmed by these actions, we see it as an opportunity to defend the teaching of Black History in the state and to support the citizens, teachers and scholars who are on the front line against the laws that hinder the teaching of the truth in the state. So, ASALH is going to Jacksonville, Florida for its annual conference on September 20-24, 2023. We are going to Florida to make a point: that we will follow our mission to promote the study of African American life and history and to demonstrate that we will not be intimidated by the policies of Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature.

ASALH members will converge in Florida to support the educators and scholars who are teaching or want to teach Black History, to buy from Black-owned businesses and vendors who come to the conference, and to provide space for networking and community.

Our campaign for promoting Black History will start in the spring of this year. ASALH will hold a series of workshops about teaching Black History and why it is necessary to present the truth to our children. As a part of ASALH’s Social Justice Initiative, in partnership with Howard University and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, ASALH will also develop and publish a toolkit for teachers tentatively entitled “How to Teach Black History.” When we arrive in Jacksonville in September, we plan to open the conference with a session on the topic of how to challenge draconian laws and to continue to teach the truth about the African American experience. Throughout the conference many of the sessions will focus on teaching Black History and empowering those who want to learn about Black Americans’ contributions, challenges, and successes. Additionally, ASALH plans to provide learning resources for teachers and community members on the pedagogy and content for teaching the African American experience.

As an organization that has confronted the denial and neglect of African American history throughout our nation’s history, we have always asked ourselves the question: “what would Carter G. Woodson (ASALH’s founder) do under these circumstances?” Based on our knowledge and understanding of his goal when he started the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, we know that he would go to Florida to take on the challenge to the teaching of Black History. Thus, we will do the same. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ASALH is going to Florida “because injustice is there, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

So, ASALH is going to Florida with a purpose, and we invite all persons interested in sharing their scholarship, expertise and interest in the field of African American history and culture to join us.


Marvin Dulaney


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