From Ferguson, Missouri, to Charleston, South Carolina, communities are suffering the lethal consequences of our collective silence about racial injustice. The church should be a source of truth in a nation that has lost its way. As the dominant religion in the United States, Christianity is directly implicated when we Christians fail to speak more honestly about the legacy of racial inequality.
State officials in New York are reforming their policy of keeping people convicted of non-violent offenses in solitary confinement. Some hail the decision; others, including corrections officers, object, saying that solitary confinement is necessary to maintain control, and they say that keeping an individual in solitary confinement is not inhumane.
The punitive reactions against a few individuals or an isolated fraternity chapter are no more effective than any other punitive measures taken against scapegoats. They shut the door on something unpleasant, in the process heaping blame on isolated individuals that ought to be borne, or at least processed, collectively.