Cascade Books is pleased to reintroduce readers to Joel Goza’s America’s Unholy Ghosts: The Racist Roots of Our Faith and Politics. Ghosts is a carefully articulated dissection of America’s soul, exposing the cancerous origins of its pernicious racism. Written as a response to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s challenge to investigate the “ideational roots of race hate,” the book indeed issues a thorough and disturbing response, a historical rendering of the intentional shaping of a young nation’s politics, economics and religion that not only required the cheap labor of slavery, but enabled economic inequality and racism to thrive as institutionalized and internalized realities long after colonies, slavery, and segregation legally ended. Goza tells us, by means of his scholarship and his passion, that “white folks”, and especially those of us sitting in church pews, are largely ignorant (but not innocent) of our own history, and are in fact desperately addicted to the sweet taste of privilege that coats the deadly pill of systemic racism. The author concludes his response with a call: a prophetic demand that the white, Western philosophically-crafted soul he has dissected repent and walk toward the radical newness of racially transformed life that the Prophetic Black Church has been imagining for centuries.
Goza invites readers beyond mere understanding into participation in a revolution. The many positive responses to Ghosts include a starred review by industry giant Publishers Weekly, reviews and endorsements by leaders in religion, academics and activism, and established civil rights leaders. His op-eds have appeared in Salon.com and are frequently featured in the Houston Chronicle and The North Star.
In his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King elaborates on his lament that he has “almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate…”:
We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.
The time, as it happens, remains “ripe to do right.”
America’s Unholy Ghosts
978-1-5326-5143-4 / paper / orders