While reading The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby, I realized that it bears some striking similarities to going through physical therapy: facing reality about one’s limitations, pushing through pain, perhaps doubting the process, but also—the joy of incremental progress and knowing that Jesus is our true source of strength.
If Christians wish to pursue justice in the nation, then they must be prepared to face professional costs just like Colin Kaepernick.
Like many of you, I felt sick on August 12 after scrolling through line after line about the protests that were happening in Charlottesville. And if I felt sick on Saturday, I can’t imagine what my fellow beach compatriots must have felt.
In the wake of the Charlottesville rally — and the country’s ongoing racial tension — we look to the church and ask, “White pastors, will you now work to end white supremacy?”
The reality is that there is nothing true or right or important about the message of white supremacy. It is antithetical to the Gospel and the church must meet it with a full throated renouncement. What happened in Charlottesville was not caused by many sides, it was caused by the ignorant and evil views of white people who believe they are better because they are white.
This is exactly what hurts so much right now, the willful ignorance of everything that is happening around us. The quiet, arrogant assurance that racism doesn’t really exist anymore and that none of this would be happening if “they” could just “get over it.”
The CRC’s stance on race mirrors that of the larger society: most people say that they oppose racial discrimination—and yet when the costs of racial integration might actually start costing something, they tend to get indifferent.
There are intentional forms of racism, but race also works as a social force that structures our perceptions, values, practices, institutions, etc. We need to distinguish between the intentional and structural varieties.
Here I am, remembering my slavery as a confession for you. It is uncomfortable to admit. It is an act of vulnerability. In my social justice circles, it looks dirty and embarrassing and unintelligent. But if I truly care about justice, freedom, and loving my neighbor, I must start with myself. I must remember. Will you consider doing the same?
Many people in the U.S. seem to think there is some magical date when the nation achieved victory over racism. Maybe they trace this social V-day back to 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. Maybe the date is 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Acts. No matter the date, we have not crossed any historical line into a society where race is no longer a salient category.
Between the World and Me is in some ways dire. But in a world rife with sin and misery, why is that surprising? We should be asking questions about how we can imagine better, how we can empathize better. What can we do as Christians to support each other across racial lines? What can we do to identify deeply with human beings—like Michael Brown—who have been made in the image of God?
I am a white mother of a beautifully multiracial family, with four kids from four different countries and a fifth on the way. And though I have spent the last decade of my life believing that my sweet children (black and white) were equal and beloved in the eyes of my community, my country, and beyond, the past few years have eroded that belief—and broken my heart.
What if the problem of racism is not primarily a problem between different groups of people? What if it isn’t primarily about white people and black people? What if racism is not about one group versus another, but rather about all people versus the effects of sin?
SpokenWord poetry reflecting on experiences of being a racial minority as a college student.
If I live in a small town, and all the people there are white, and I look around at my church and see that we’re all white—is that really a bad thing? Scripture’s vision from creation through Pentecost to the New Jerusalem is a diverse vision—it includes all tribes, nations, and languages and that inclusion is by design. But what do we do in small town Midwest churches about diversity?
Today on MLK Day people are invited to not only remember the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., but to also join the movement of working to end racism and racial discrimination in the United States. Here are a few links and videos that highlight the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as resources on African American history in the United States.
I confess I have not always chosen to understand or embrace the white privilege I hold as a female of Northern European-Dutch descent. I confess as a child I was taught to fear those different than myself.