The Middle Ground of Racism
Telling me to lay off of calling out racism within white American Christianity would be like telling someone to lay off the Nazi party shortly before the actual start of their genocide. I mean I’m sure some of them were decent people; just trying to make Germany great again right?
In my recent article, The Racist God of America, I caught a lot of drama from white people in regards to two things. The first was my calling out racist tendencies in American Christianity… because of course not every American Christian is racist.
The other was this statement I made, "What about the video after video we see of flagrant police brutality and murder of our black neighbors? In those cases, we see white Christians actually defending the murder while crying their “all lives matter” crap in complete ignorance of their own racist mentality."
Somewhat surprisingly, it was this short paragraph that caused the most outrage as multiple white folks literally tried to justify police brutality stating, "black people commit crime at a higher level." What the hell?
So, I can understand some snowflaking tendencies when a group you identify with employs some major racist ideologies. It makes sense to become defensive and give your input that not every member of this group thinks this way. However, attempts to justify murders cannot be accepted.
Here’s the deal, I believe that many of these people who are essentially justifying racism are probably decent people - not all of them are raging bigots. But seriously white people, in a country that was literally founded on racism - arguing that racism isn’t a real issue while we could produce a feature-length film based on the footage we have all seen of “legal” police brutality and murders of our black neighbors – is borderline delusional.
Seriously, why won’t so many even admit that there is a problem? Why is the first reaction that many white people have to footage of blatant murder - not compassion - but vibrant defensiveness?
Is it because if we admit the problem we would have to face the monster of segregated oppression that we – in our white privilege - are immune to while it costs others their life?
On top of those who straight up deny the reality of oppression, another major obstacle comes from those who clearly see systemic racism but refuse to speak out. Those who see it but believe we need to take a more moderate approach, not be so harsh when calling out the issue. I find an overwhelming amount of criticism from this group as they are upset by the candor of those of us vocally and unapologetically fighting against oppression.
In a Letter From Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most amazing humans, a man who truly and boldly followed the ways of Jesus, said the following:
“Shallow understandings from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will… we who engage in nonviolent direct action and not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of the human conscience and the air of natural opinion before it can be cured.”
My fellow white people, to sit back quietly in our white privilege knowing there is a major injustice of oppression and not vocally speak out makes us almost worse than the completely ignorant bigot. And for those of us who try to follow the ways of Jesus, the lukewarm approach is that of pure cowardice. A complete dismissal of the greatest command of Jesus – love others. Without love, we are nothing.
And in all seriousness - those who don’t feel the urgency to speak out - are you really cool with sitting silent through modern day lynching?
We desperately need to back away from our ingrained arrogance and learn the reality of our nation. We need to learn from our neighbors who are Black, Muslim, Latinx, or part of any other minority group facing oppression. What if we tried to learn with the desire to understand and not the desire to express our white washed views of distortion? And when you see the truth, which I hope you do, join your brothers and sisters facing hate and fight alongside them - fight for bold love.
In the world we live in, if we don’t fight against the bigotry that surrounds us, then we are part of the problem. We can’t ignore racism and we can’t sit neutral, scared to speak out. This is a war in which whether we like it or not, we are all a part of. This is a war where we can and need to see love win.