#Ferguson and Western-Christian Civilization // Leon Ferarri

Ferrari1

“Western-Christian Civilization”, Leon Ferrari, 1965.

The deification of Whiteness generates a religion that demands the sacrifice of all that is not White. When power is worshiped, all that resists is subjugated. Constantine envisioned the Cross as a sword. America’s dominant religion imagines Christ as a weapon in the service of White power. Christianity is consistently invoked by White Christians to justify the atrocities committed by its government abroad while White Christians remain silent about atrocities committed by this same government against people of color at home. This is a religion that understands clearly that Christ is for Whites, and serves their interests exclusively. 

Ferrari’s piece captures this relationship between Western-Christian Civilization and power, but his skill as an artist allows him to tell the truth of power in such a way that the truth of crucifixion may also be seen. Those who worship power may see Christ as a payload to be deployed against (non-White) enemies. Those who do not worship power can see Christ crucified by power.

Christ is shot six times in Ferguson.
Christ is grieving the loss of her son in Ferguson.
A son who has no tomb, whose body is left to go cold on the pavement.
Christ’s hands are raised, pleading.
“Don’t Shoot.”
Christ is tear-gassed and under curfew in Ferguson, crying out to be heard.

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Two Poems // Langston Hughes

Who But The Lord?

I looked and I saw
That man they call the Law.
He was coming
Down the street at me!
I had visions in my head
Of being laid out cold and dead,
Or else murdered
By the third degree.

I said, O, Lord, if you can,

Save me from that man!

Don’t let him make a pulp out of me!

But the Lord he was not quick.
The Law raised up his stick
And beat the living hell
Out of me!

Now, I do not understand
Why God don’t protect a man
From police brutality.
Being poor and black,
I’ve no weapon to strike back
So who but the Lord
Can protect me?

We’ll see.


Question and Answer

Durban, Birmingham,
Cape Town, Alabama,
Johannesburg, Watts,
The earth around
Struggling, fighting,
Dying–for what?

A world to gain.

Groping, hoping,
Waiting–for what?

A world to gain.

Dreams kicked asunder,
Why not go under?

There’s a world to gain.

But suppose I don’t want it,
Why take it?

To remake it.