CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: "Making Rochester White Again in Pittsford and Brighton"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle addressed the distribution of racist literature in two affluent Rochester, NY suburbs in his most recent Democrat and Chronicle Unite Rochester blog post. Read the post here:

"It has been two weeks since a group of white supremacists began passing out leaflets in the middle of the night in Pittsford and then in Brighton announcing their desire to make Rochester great again. When you go to their web site you find out how they plan to make their wish come true; they will make Rochester great again by making Rochester white again. There can be little doubt that this group is a local expression of the sentiments unleashed in the broader American society by Donald Trump’s announced intention to Make America Great Again. I will leave until another time the absolutely unfocused nature of what Trump means by make America great again. The assumption is that the greatness he has in mind resides somewhere in a past where women and minorities had not yet achieved the opportunities they now enjoy.. It is amazing how some people’s glorious past was somebody else’s terrible memory of oppression, exploitation, and suffering. I don’t want to make America great again as much as I hope to see America finally become the land of equal opportunity that has been its promise since its founding in 1776. Meanwhile, here in Rochester I am intrigued by the fact that the leaflets about making Rochester white again are being passed out in two predominantly white suburban communities. One would think that if there was some concern about making Rochester white again that those leaflets would be passed out somewhere in Rochester where most of the African Americans reside. Of course, that is the problem isn’t it? If those midnight messengers came into Rochester they might actually run into some Acrican Americans who might take great offense at the message on those leaflets. To the credit of the people of Pittsford and Brighton, they have expressed outrage over someone targeting their communities for this kind of message. I wonder why those who advocate this idea of making Rochester white again are only willing to spread their message in the middle of the night when there is less chance of them being identified? That was the practice of such hate groups as the KKK who did most of their hate-mongering in the dead of night. It is probably because, like most bigots, their ignorance is exceeded only by their cowardice. My address is 1100 S. Goodman Street in Rochester. Let’s see if the people behind these leaflets has the nerve to come to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School at any time of day with their message of hate and intolerance. I will let the whole community know about it if they do."

Click here to view the blog online:



Listen to the Podcast: WXXI's Evan Dawson interviews CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

connections-evan-dawsonCRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle was interviewed by  WXXI's radio host Evan Dawson on Friday, September 30, 2016. The one-hour call-in radio show focused on the African American vote in the 2016 Presidential election.

To hear WXXI's broadcast, click here:



"Using the Good Book for Bad Thoughts" by Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

On September 7, 2016, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle published a "Unite Rochester" blog in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle entitled, "Using the Good Book for Bad Thoughts." Read the full text of Dr. McMickle's blog here:

As the LGBTQ community in this country continues to seek and oft times receive full acceptance in all areas of our society, I am shocked and ashamed of the fact that many people within the Christian church remain closed-minded and unwelcoming of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

What is especially troubling to me as a long-time pastor and now as a theological educator is how some people attempt to use the Bible to justify their bigotry on this topic. I repeatedly hear such persons quoting from Leviticus 18:22 that refers to same-gender sexual contact as an abomination.

There are two things about this approach that trouble me. First, there is the simple fact that Leviticus is a 10th century BCE document that reflects a culture and a communal life that has largely disappeared in the modern world; even in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv! More importantly, there is so much more in Leviticus that these Bible quoters seem free to ignore. In Leviticus 19 it says we should not place tattoos on our bodies. I have heard no preacher condemn tattoos. It says that men should not cut the hair at the side of their heads or trim their beards, but I hear no preaching against going to the barber shop.

That same chapter also forbids wearing clothing made of two different types of fabric; hence silk and wool, or polyester clothing should be condemned. Leviticus 19 states that we should be kind to any foreigners living among us (immigrants and refugees). Yet, the anti-immigrant rhetoric in our society is harsh and visceral. Leviticus 19 also urges us not to hold grudges against one another.  Why are the people who are so quick to quote Leviticus 18:22 and the evils of homosexuality so mute about what is found in the very next chapter, let alone the rest of the entire book?

Some Christians want to be able to embrace one favorite verse while ignoring all the rest. It does not and it cannot work that way. If there is one verse that all Christians should embrace perhaps it should be Leviticus 19: 18 that says, "love your neighbor as yourself." I would encourage every preacher to make this one verse the center of their theology.

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: Thoughts on Walter Rauschenbusch's Six Societal Ills, Yesterday and Today

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle says, in a recent Unite Rochester blog published in yesterday’s  Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY), "In describing the things that endangered society at the turn of the 20th century, Walter Rauschenbusch (RTS, 1886) identified six social sins; bigotry, the arrogance of power, the corruption of justice for personal ends, the madness of the mob, militarism, and class contempt. Even a cursory look at contemporary trends in the United States reveals that all six of these societal ills remain with us 100 years later."

To read Dr. McMickle's complete article, click here:

Similarities & Differences: Black Lives Matter & The Civil Rights Movement

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle was interviewed recently by Hélène Biandudi Hofer, host and producer of WXXI's "Need To Know" (Rochester, NY) in conjunction with the third anniversary of the founding of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

"Similarities & Differences: Black Lives Matter & The Civil Rights Movement" aired on Thursday, August 4, 2016 and incorporated many of the questions and challenges that Dr. McMickle addresses as an integral member of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Unite Rochester board.

To view the broadcast, click here: