New Year’s top five: The most popular articles of 2014

We’ve been sharing our most-read articles of 2014 on Facebook and Twitter. Here is the full list.

#5 Dear Friend/Good White Person

Regina Renee’s tongue-in-cheek letter to well-meaning “good white Friends” appeared in the October issue on the Experiences of Friends of Color.

safe_imageDear Friend/Good White Person
Regina Renee
Greetings. Thank you for our recent conversation. I understand that it was very important for you to share your story with me so that I would know that you are “a good white person.” You are the first person I know to openly introduce yourself as such. I wasn’t able to share my story at the time so I wanted to write you a letter and in the process share a bit of my story with you.

#4 Sustainable Simplification Shuns “Shoulds” and Sacrifice

Is it ironic that number four in our 2014 top-five comes from a Friend who hand-writes his submissions? Chuck Hosking shared the joy of a simple life that isn’t a sacrifice in the December issue.

Sustainable Simplification Shuns “Shoulds” and Sacrificehoskin
Chuck Hosking
Over the years, many people have expressed to me an intention to simplify their lives. In nearly every case, those intentions appeared to be grounded in either a litany of “shoulds” or a reluctant resignation to making a sacrifice to assuage an untenable level of ethical dissonance. In my experience, neither impetus is sustainable.

#3 A Quaker Argument against Gun Control

Our third most-read online article used the gun control debate to talk about racial profiling and the unintended consequences of campaigns based on criminalization and appeared in August.

gunA Quaker Argument against Gun Control
Matthew Van Meter
In my youth I attended Powell House, a Quaker conference and retreat center near Old Chatham Meeting in upstate New York. Among the posters that covered the entrance hall to the youth center was one that impressed me. It read: “In one year, guns murdered 17 people in Finland, 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States. God Bless America.” I was convinced.

#2 My Experience as an African American Quaker

Avis Wanda McClinton’s first-person story of continuing Quaker divisions on race from the October issue.

mcclinton-bannerMy Experience as an African American Quaker
Avis Wanda McClinton
The concern I have is to express my experiences as an African American Quaker and also to be believed. This story began long, long ago when our country’s policy supported the system of buying and selling Africans for profit. Black, Native American, and white abolitionists worked together on the Underground Railroad.

#1 White Narcissism

Four of our top five online articles of 2014 dealt with Quakers and race. The most-read article ran in September: Ron McDonald looks at the continuing ghosts of slavery as seen through the eyes of a white Friend with a lifelong commitment to recognize and name an inherited culture of defensiveness.

chessWhite Narcissism
Ron McDonald
In the 1940s my white father, who lived in Arkansas, was visiting Michigan for a Methodist conference when he found his assigned roommate was a black man. Outraged, he thought about requesting a different room, asking himself how he could accept and room with a man he perceived as inferior and hang onto his own self-esteem? Despite this inner conflict, he was polite to him and then was surprised to find that he liked the man. At that moment in his life, he faced white narcissism, and I will be ever grateful to him for stepping away from it toward a new way of being.

Catch up on past years’ lists!

Top articles of 2013:

Top articles of 2012:

1 thought on “New Year’s top five: The most popular articles of 2014

  1. Personally, I do not consider the description of Regina Renee’s article “Dear Friend/Good White Person to be facetious; possibly serious satire, but not tongue-in-cheek.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.