Racial Violence & Our Masculinity Crisis

We are undergoing a crisis in masculinity that shows itself in abject murder in the streets (one can only imagine what is going on in dark places where there are no i-phones to video what occurs in the light of day).  And in calls to Domination.

Troop of para-military police armed with batons. Photo by Donovan Valdivia on Unsplash.

Isn’t Racism an ultimate expression of Dominance?  Of power-over, not power-with?  Of power defined by skin color and not by the sharing of our big hearts?

I draw a direct link between the sick display of toxic masculinity on display in the streets of Minneapolis and elsewhere and the sick display of toxic masculinity that was on display in the Vatican of the last 40 years.  There is a very fine line between covering up for a brother murderer and covering up for a brother pedophile.  In each case bullying is at the fore and cover up by a select pack is in the background.  The goal is the same: Keep the power structure in tact, no matter the cost to human life or soul.  Keep Dominance alive!  Patriarchy is patriarchy whether we find it in religion or politics or police.  We all need to be alert about its presence.  Pedophilia itself, like racism, is an extreme example of Dominance in action.

Multi-colored flames burning bright at night. Photo by Chris Rhoads on Unsplash.

All the elements that need to be burned out of the souls of men—and women—who have been imbibing a toxic masculinity for decades were and are there for all to see.  Dominance is a big part of that, a big part of patriarchy’s modus vivendi, a big part of our society unfortunately.

What shall we do about it?  How will police academies rid themselves of this toxic masculinity buttressed by the energy of racism?  What about police unions that so often become dens of iniquity that foster bullying and dominance?  This situation is not that different from the curia in the Vatican that Pope Francis has excoriated, same dynamic, patriarchal dominating shadows that take over small and frightened souls to become more powerful and hide their frightened egos.

A digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly organized by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

While we are at it—How do other educational institutions including law schools and schools of education and seminaries and art schools and business schools and schools of economics and courts and legislatures rid themselves of this toxic masculinity that is killing the planet and the future?  

One thing we are doing about it is raising consciousness and looking into ourselves for our deeper values, for that which makes us feel most alive and most in love.  One thing we are doing about it is marching and organizing and protesting.  People are gathering to put their bodies on the line to say, collectively, No!  This is not who we are.  This is not acceptable.  This racism and domination complex of the past 500 years in America is over.  The prophetic “NO” is being heard and seen in numerous cities live and on our televisions.

See Matthew Fox, Prayer: A Radical Response to Life, pp. 97-116; 135-151.

Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 257-276.

Banner Image: Night time standoff between demonstrators and riot police in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

How do you resist temptations to dominance? 

How do you take on forces and structures that perpetuate dominance?

Recommended Reading

Prayer: A Radical Response to Life
How do prayer and mysticism relate to the struggle for social and ecological justice? Fox defines prayer as a radical response to life that includes our “Yes” to life (mysticism) and our “No” to forces that combat life (prophecy). How do we define adult prayer? And how—if at all—do prayer and mysticism relate to the struggle for social and ecological justice? One of Matthew Fox’s earliest books, originally published under the title On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear: Spirituality American StylePrayer introduces a mystical/prophetic spirituality and a mature conception of how to pray. Called a “classic” when it first appeared, it lays out the difference between the creation spirituality tradition and the fall/redemption tradition that has so dominated Western theology since Augustine. A practical and theoretical book, it lays the groundwork for Fox’s later works.
“One of the finest books I have read on contemporary spirituality.” – Rabbi Sholom A. Singer

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1 thought on “Racial Violence & Our Masculinity Crisis”

  1. Avatar

    I find all of the above very true. This is also true of families where in home violence harms children and can be perpetuated by both male and female / either/or together. It happens when dominance is what is used to control rather than when love is.

    This sign was held up by a protester in the Walk/Stand Up for George event in Rapid City, SD.
    When the POWER OF LOVE Overcomes the LOVE OF POWER The World will know Peace.

    Although I find your words all true it is not only men who can use Power to their advantage Women also do it. They are just more sneaky about it.

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