Saturday, May 7, 2016

Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race. Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (November 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496413296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496413291
Can it ever get better? This is the question Benjamin Watson is asking. In a country aflame with the fallout from the racial divide―in which Ferguson, Charleston, and the Confederate flag dominate the national news, daily seeming to rip the wounds open ever wider―is there hope for honest and healing conversation? For finally coming to understand each other on issues that are ultimately about so much more than black and white?

An NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints and a widely read and followed commentator on social media, Watson has taken the Internet by storm with his remarkable insights about some of the most sensitive and charged topics of our day. Now, in Under Our Skin, Watson draws from his own life, his family legacy, and his role as a husband and father to sensitively and honestly examine both sides of the race debate and appeal to the power and possibility of faith as a step toward healing.

My Impressions:

This is a thought provoking book that deals with racism from a different perspective than what we are use to hearing about in main stream media. Watson takes the stance that what we are dealing with in society is not  just racism, but instead sin that is running rampant in our culture. Honestly, I agree 100%. We of course have your flat out racist that , but the issues runs so much deeper that our skin color, its a heart issues that only a relationship with Christ can cure. The part of this book that resignated with me the most is the issue of a fatherless society and the ripple effect of consequences that fall from that. Its an epidemic of mass proportions that creates this horrid cycle.I grew up in a fatherless home. My children are growing up in a fatherless home. The majority of their friends are living in fatherless homes.  This epidemic does not give any credence to religion, socio-economic standing, or race. Men are being raised without dads and then turn around have kids . These are men that have no clue what it is to be a  father, husband or leader, because no one was around to teach them, for them to model after or to reach out to in times of struggle. Some get scared and leave, others fall captive to drugs and alcohol, fathers end up in jail, or are just selfish and walk away only looking out for themselves. As much as mothers try to step up and be both parents, we are designed by our Maker differently then men are. We handle situations different, we give different advise, we treat their pain and male experiences differently then a father would. So the epidemic continues. Hope is not lost though for the fatherless. There are mentoring programs such as Generation Outdoors, Big Brother/Big Sister and the like that attempt to step up and fill those slots as much as possible, but there is still a huge gap that needs men to come and fill it.

The sad fact remains that single parent homes often become low income, poverty stricken homes. These homes become homes were a parent is often never around because she has to work 2 jobs to support her family. They often have to live in lower income, poverty stricken neighborhoods were theft, crime, and drugs run rampant due to easy income opportunities and a hope for a way out of poverty. These fatherless neighborhoods are where most of the crime takes place. These are the neighborhoods that have the large police presents and the areas that end up filling up our prison systems. We are a broken people, living in a broken system. Poverty is not a race issue, its a people issue, it knows no color. We all have people within our own race that we are ashamed to be associated with. We all those people that bring a bad reputation to our race that we wish would grow up and become productive members of society instead of being deadbeats that commit illegal acts to get by in life.

It is a horrible cycle, but it is also one that can be dealt with and repaired. We need to become a society that bands together with our fellow communities and reaches out to help with job training, resources, affordable child care, counseling, rehabilitation/family counseling while offenders are still in prison to prepare them for release, we need jobs to open up their hearts and doors to hire these young men that are being release into jobs that are not just construction related, but white collar jobs that can offer them a way out of poverty. We need to pull resources so ALL schools get the same amount of highly educated teachers and resources at their disposal. We need to allow children in lower income neighborhoods to be able to bring their children to schools with better education systems, in safer neighborhoods to help break the cycle. We expect these young men to fail. We should expect them to succeed and equip them to do so.  In short we need to be a society that care about other fellow human beings and not just those we feel are worthy or who we can profit from in some way.   We need to pour resources into our men that teach them how to break the cycle of abuse, addiction and equip them to be men, husbands and fathers of God.

About the Author

Benjamin Watson was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. As a Patriot, Benjamin received a Super Bowl ring in his rookie year. He now plays for the New Orleans Saints. He lives with his wife, Kirsten, and their five children in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ken Petersen is a veteran in the book publishing industry. He has written numerous books in the categories of memoir, motivation, self-help, and theology, and he's coached a number of authors in writing and publishing. He lives with his wife, Rita, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale Publishing. 
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