When President Donald Trump chose Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA to deliver a graduation speech, the school’s leaders were elated.
According to University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., President Trump is a “dream president” for evangelicals.
Not all of the 65,000 “distance learners” would agree, including Ivan Herrán, a church deacon and facilitator for incoming community college students. Ivan has not found the Trumpian message or agenda particularly helpful to the Hispanic community.
In addition to working full-time, Ivan has earned a Biblical studies and counseling degree from Liberty, and will attend the 2017 graduation. The irony of having President Trump as his graduation speaker has not gone unnoticed.
Washington Post contributor Daniel W. Drezner may have gotten well over his skis when tweeting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had referred to immigrants entering from Mexico as “filth”, in the prepared transcript for his border speech.
Drezner later retracted his statement with an apology for not correctly noting the context in which the phrase was originally intended. Sessions, for whatever reason, did not give voice to what he had written, and dropped the “filth” reference from his public proclamation.
When speaking before white folk, our black citizenry often feel forced to de-emphasize the fact and effects of our history regarding the “slave caste” upon which our new nation rested.
Their concern — that white folks are often in denial and just don’t want to hear about it — has validity. However, it is possible for one to be too accommodating.
Dr. Ben Carson, our new African American Secretary of HUD, shocked our country this week with his assertion that his ancestors were somehow inconvenienced immigrants nonetheless motivated by the American Dream.
We all would like for the immigration issue to have a simple solution. Must literally millions of people live in fear? Dare we throw away an entire generation of US citizens, who in the minds of many are worth-less and therefore disposable?
Larry doesn’t have all the answers, but he in committed to allow the teachings of Jesus to inform his viewpoint, as he daily seeks to embrace the immigrant communities that he has come to love, and invest in the young US born bilinguals — citizens who have so much to offer.
For years now Larry has been writing about the increasing negative sentiment directed at our Latino residents. In 2012 he wrote:
“We can say what we will about immigration law, but that doesn’t do much to free me from a haunting fear that I cannot dispel. With every new immigration effort targeting Hispanic immigrants, I feel it a little more. It’s like a noose slowly tightening.”
Larry was once taught that the institutional church and the kingdom of God were the same. Experience, however, has taught him differently. Larry grew up during racial segregation. Being a church leader involved in Hispanic outreach has resurfaced old questions about social responsibility.
No doubt, you have experienced that moment of TV or movie suspense when the camera angle leaves the potential victim vulnerable to some unseen threat lingering just off-screen. Yet the music and framing make clear that you should be afraid. … Continue reading →
The 2016 presidential election results were not only surprising, but seemed to defy logic.
Larry Eppley is a 68 year old white male — raised Republican and an evangelical Christian. 80% of his demographic voted for Donald Trump.
In this post-election reflection, Larry tries to understand the apparent willingness of white Christian evangelicals to ignore obvious signs of racism and xenophobia, with little regard to the destructive impact to our immigrant communities.
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The sight of unaccompanied children waiting just inside the border for the border patrol is, to say the least, surreal. We view this wave of migrants, at best, as a humanitarian crisis– and at worst, as an invasion of disease carrying third-world latinos. … Continue reading →
It was with a sense of “historic awareness” that I witnessed the combination of anger and fear present in the faces of those protesting the Hispanic women and children who were seeking refuge in my country. With USAmerican flags flying, they … Continue reading →
The decision to speak his heart about immigration reform was more than a testing of the waters for a possible Jeb Bush presidential candidacy. It was a test of the Republican party itself. So far the outlook is not positive. … Continue reading →
Jeb Bush shook the political landscape in April, 2014 when he drew a distinction between illegal immigration and serious crimes (misdemeanor versus felony). The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come … Continue reading →
I do not presume to be an expert on all things Hispanic. And when I speak of this community, I am actually referring to multiple Hispanic communities, representing diverse backgrounds and many countries. Furthermore, I am a 64 year old … Continue reading →