What's Tony Thinking

A Response to my Blog on the Atlanta Murders


I got the following response to my most recent blog from one of my best readers, my daughter, Laura. With her permission I share it with you.

Hey Dad,
Just to start off by saying, I’m grateful for you – for your presence in my life, for the wisdom you’ve shared, for your emphasis on the grace we’re all in need of.
That said, I read your blog this morning and was pretty disheartened. I think I understand your point about not overlooking the man’s stated sex addiction (and his youth pastor’s apparent explanation of it) and its role in this tragedy.
But I’m clear if we’re going to ever heal from the soul-affliction that is whiteness, it is so important to me that we’re clear about how all these things intersect.
Purity culture in Christianity, historic fetishism and sexualization of Asian women, AND racism (racism deeply rooted in our country, but absolutely stoked and validated by the rhetoric of this last year) are all at play here.
The more and more, we, as white people, want to make racism one side issue, as opposed to a pillar fully entangled with all the other issues of sexism, misogyny and xenophobia, the more we are resisting listening to our neighbors.
It’s possible I may have misread your point, but I’m writing because I can’t believe I’m the only one. Viewing this as the porn industry’s fault or the over-sexualization of our culture, again, lets white men off the hook of accountability as though they aren’t the dominant creators of culture in this country.
I guess all this to say, your words hold weight with me and others. I know you know how much our words matter. Please don’t give your readers or yourself an excuse to look away and not grapple with the deeply rooted racism apparent here. It is racism and white supremacy that let this man (and many others) believe he has a right to objectify, use and murder other human beings.
Happy to talk anytime. With love,

Laura Robinson


Bethel United Church of Christ

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