Recently Read: Dallas Will Be Different

Photo by Union Coffee.

Photo by Union Coffee.

By Michael Baughman

I’ve suspected for a while that we live at the cliff’s edge of a new society. Growing up, I learned the names of cities important to the civil rights movement: Little Rock, Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, Memphis. Their names evokes stories that changed our collective American identity.

In recent years, there’s been a new list: Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, McKinney, Baton Rogue, St. Paul. Today my city. My. City. Dallas. Dallas just joined a list. I am mad as hell at these snipers who wrote Dallas into history books with bullets, but I refuse to let them determine how the story ends.

Dallas will be different from the snipers’ dreams.

Let’s be clear: Dallas has a lot of race problems. Our school district is among the most segregated in the nation. The ethnographic map of Dallas has such clear divisions between White, Black, Hispanic and “other” that it looks like it was designed that way—because in many ways it was. We have some of the greatest wealth disparity in the United States and the gap between rich and poor in Dallas is widening. Other major cities have similar problems, but Dallas will be different.

Dallas will be different. Although we are broken by race, I have yet to hear city leadership deny the problems. Our city council members, Chief of Police and Mayor know that there are problems. They talk about them frequently and are honestly struggling to find solutions. This is true of the general public as well. When we fight, we fight over how to help—not whether or not help is needed, called for or expected. The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. Dallas admits its problems. That gives me hope.

Dallas will be different. When I listen to the more innovative and well-known leaders across Dallas, I hear a refrain of “collaboration over competition.” True Dallas change agents know how to work across the boundaries our society assumes. Dallasites understand our problems are too great for any one person or any one sector to overcome. I admire leaders who are more concerned about collective benefit than personal credit. I am grateful to say that I have a lot of Dallas leaders to admire.

Read the rest at Union Coffee’s Web Site.

Read more on UMR about Union Coffee:

Brewing to Perfection – Pastor tries coffee shop to reach young adults

Life in a new “church”… from the barista’s chair

Help Support Union Coffee Here

Michael+BaughmanRev. Mike Baughman is our founding pastor and Community Curator of Union Coffee in Dallas, Texas. Just as a curator in a museum takes different works of art and puts them together in ways that strengthen the museum’s collection, Mike seeks to do the same work at Union–pulling together different parts of our community to strengthen Dallas. A New Jersey native, Mike attended Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary but has now well-embedded himself into Dallas culture. Mike has presented at TEDxSMU, Dallas Startup Week and served on the 2014-2015 Mayor’s Star Council. He’s written, edited or contributed to a long list of books / curricula for Sparkhouse, Cokesbury and more. He is always eager to share Union’s story with those interested in Union’s unique community and model.

Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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