A call to racial justice took center stage during the opening session of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s first-ever virtual General Assembly June 25.
For far, far too long, white people in the United States have pretended to understand more than we understand, pretended that the problem is not as bad as it is, and pretended that it is not about us. Now we are lost and do not even know the language to get home.
As commonly used, the term “Southern pride” is shorthand for a stubborn refusal to admit that the South, as a concept, is hopelessly enmeshed in the canons of white supremacy.
We white Christians still have a lot to learn and a reprehensible past to lament. After 400 years, we’d better pray that black churches are still willing to teach us. And that we’ve got conscience enough to act on what we learn.
I preached on the poor in spirit, because when I listened carefully it sounded like God saying we have to do better – as the church, as communities and as a nation.
My son is now raising black sons of his own. He fears for them, as I feared for him when he was a child and now fear for my grandchildren.
Just as Trump has not risen to the stature of the presidency, religious leaders who have blindly supported and defended him have not risen to the stature of their prophetic calling. A country cannot afford to have both king (president, in America’s case) and prophets fail all at once.
What the eruption of protests – and subsequent riots – across the nation shows is that for too long black bodies have been harmed and victimized by the past and present values of white supremacy.
White people can be exhausting partly because there is so much that they are ignorant of or unequivocally wrong about on crucial, literally life-and-death issues. And that gets old.