Race is nearly impossible to talk about correctly. It’s such a sensitive subject and yet I believe the fear of the conversation is actually perpetuating the problem. I also believe the fear around this topic is intentionally created—not authentically occurring. First of all, have you ever been afraid of being called something you know you’re not or accused of something you didn’t do? Yet another social norm brought to you by 2020. Before last summer, it was just not on my radar that I could be accused of being racist. Especially just because of my “whiteness.”
Racism is being weaponized in ways it hasn’t ever been before. Why is this happening? Is this guilt? Is it activism? Is it anger? Perhaps the better questions should be: Is it helping? Is what we’re doing right now helping to alleviate racism in this country?
As a white person, I’m almost assured I won’t be capable of saying the right thing about this topic—no matter what it is—but because what I want to propose here is not in alignment with the “woke” narrative, it will likely be attacked as (ironically) racist. This is the second issue I see us running into around the race convo—we get one shot to say something about it and if/when it’s the wrong thing, the cancel culture is fierce, but heaven forbid we say nothing (because that’s also racist). This makes it really challenging to have an open dialog and learn from each other. It’s very hostile. Have you ever heard the saying “To a man with a hammer, everything is a nail?” I think we’re smashing this issue to absolute pieces and with it, any lessons we might stand to learn. Because the reality is the only way forward is through love and compassionate communication.
That’s assuming our goal is to move forward. Personally, I’m seeing more polarization on race and minority topics in recent months, not less. I’m seeing a backwards slide in prejudice. I’ve never heard the word “racist” thrown around more flippantly in my entire life. When the president of our country says voter ID is as racist as “Jim Crow on steroids” I think we have to press the pause button. Is this helping? What is the goal here? Are we really aiming to center every conversation on skin color?
In the very least, I think we have to agree we’re at an impasse—a stalemate in our progress towards race-equality. People seem to be more divided than ever, more angry, more frustrated, and less willing to listen. So, what gives? Where is the hostility around the conversation coming from? (Note: I didn’t say where is the hostility around racism coming from).
Y’all, the hostility is coming from the Marxist movement behind things like Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matters Inc. No question about it. Marxism is about destruction, not resolution. Marxism is about revolting and tearing down, not positive discussion and change. Marxism is about moving everything away from absolutes and into subjectivity. It’s about destroying cultural norms so as to re-establish new ones. And as a fair warning to those of us Christians who are being swept away with this cultural tidal wave, Marxism is inherently anti-God.
BLM’s co-founders are by their own proclamation trained Marxists and their aim is the elimination of cultural norms (and important Christian values) like the nuclear family. Although it’s now been removed, I recently pulled this quote from the BLM official site: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure (two parent home) requirement by supporting each other as extended families and villages that collectively care for one another…”
Now, do not misunderstand me to say that black lives don’t matter because of course they do! That should go without saying. But I’m alarmed at how few people realize Black Lives Matter is not just a hashtag or a sentiment, but an incorporation that is anti-Capitalist, anti-God, and anti-American. And to look at their list of seven demands on their website, or the stewarding of their millions in donations, I have to wonder if it’s really black lives that matter to BLM or just a Marxist political agenda.
To continue on the Marxist exposition, let’s take a closer look at Critical Race Theory. There is just not enough digital paper in the world to write all I want to write about CRT, but it’s imperative that we—especially Christians—understand what this is all about. The crown jewel of a resource on the history, complexities, and dangers of this issue is this podcast from Just Thinking. It’s long, but please take the time to listen and educate yourself about CRT. You may find that you disagree with me about CRT being the worst thing since Communism, but at least you can say that confidently having fully understood it. Most friends I talk to might have heard the term—Critical Race Theory—but certainly can’t articulate what it is. And often times it’s these very friends who are living in alignment with CRT principles because of the massive propaganda machine pushing this agenda at full tilt.
In a very insufficient nutshell, CRT ironically teaches us to focus entirely on race and little else. We’re to recognize what parts of our identity are oppressed and what parts of our identity are oppressing others (i.e. as a white female, I’m oppressed due to my gender but oppressive due to my race). This forces us to focus inward on where we have been victimized. Jesus teaches us to work from victory, not for it. In the chapter I contributed to the book Success Through Failing, I discuss how my worldview from victimhood was exactly what kept me stuck for years. It was only when I was able to break out of the victim mindset that I was able to succeed. I just can’t imagine how teaching anyone of any age or race where and how they are disadvantaged would be helpful, but what do I know?
Side note, assuming a group of people is automatically oppressed or oppressive solely based on skin color is, at its core, racist.
CRT forces us to think first about the color of our skin (although it sounds broader, the theory specifically focuses on the power dynamic between blacks and whites) and second about relationship (if we consider relationship at all). This is so dangerous. CRT claims to want to undo systemic racism while instilling a race-first dynamic in our youth and culture from a very young age. For a child who truly loves their black brother as much as their white brother, why would we introduce the concept that race will always play a role in their thoughts towards each other? CRT suggests a white child will play with their black friend for one of two reasons: First, they will play with their black friend so that everyone around them knows they’re not a racist (aka virtue signaling). Second, they will play with their black friend because they don’t trust them to be alone with their toys. Either way, choosing to play with their black friend isn’t because they simply enjoy their company. That’s no longer an option in CRT.
This theory is being taught in corporations, in our military, and in our government, which is bad enough. But perhaps the most damaging and dangerous thing for the future of humanity is that this is now being written into law in certain states as a method of teaching and form of curriculum. A very aggressive bill was recently passed in Illinois deploying this theory into things as inherently un-racist as math. (But seriously, read the linked article). This bill does not teach us about black culture or advantage minorities, it does not unify, it does not give anyone a leg up, and most importantly, it absolutely does not eliminate or even partially eliminate racism. It creates and perpetuates it. Probably because the elimination of racism is not the goal of any Marxist agenda. Racism is the weapon.
CRT pitches a negative motivation: White people are supposed to feel ashamed of our “whiteness”—something we can no more choose or un-choose as someone can their “blackness,”—and from that shame, as Coca-Cola’s mandatory employee training puts it, we’re meant to “try to be less white.” This is only switching the harmful narrative and not eliminating it. In this way, CRT is able to repurpose racism.
Brene Brown so eloquently tells us in her research about shame and vulnerability that an identity of shame is very detrimental. Guilt says, “You did something wrong.” Shame says, “You are wrong.” The teaching of shame around our skin color is never going to help anyone move away from a focus on skin color. To be truly anti-racist would be to move us all away from identifying in or judging anyone by skin color. Martin Luther King Jr. said it himself, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Character is leaving the building, folks.
Second, to further the point, our identity should not be steered towards anything but Christ. Period. Anything outside of that truth is deception and shouldn’t be encouraged or participated in. The more awareness I give to my “white privilege,” the more I’m steering my thoughts inward, when in reality we should be aiming to steer our thoughts upwards. Not just white people or black people, but all people.
As a Christian, I have to oppose these movements because they fly in the face of what the Bible teaches and what would be helpful to move us closer together as humans of all colors.
This summer, as we were all encouraged to pick up a book to better understand how we’re knowingly or unknowingly oppressing our brothers and sisters, I think we rushed to the wrong books. I, for one, read two—one written by a black man that I loved (Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson) which helped me understand where there is massive work to be done in rectifying elements of our society, and the other book I read I don’t care to recommend. The point being, we raced to read fallen and flawed human perspectives—I’m well aware that’s what I’m offering you now—and I wonder how many of us raced to the Word of God.
I know I didn’t. At least not right away. That was a mistake.
There is relevance on the issue of racism in the Bible that we need not miss, friends. I’d even go so far as to say there is an action plan in the Bible. We’re called to love our neighbor—regardless of the color of their skin—and our enemies—regardless of how much they may have accidentally or intentionally offended us. This is truly the crux of the continued issue of racism in America: our collective failure to love—to be the body of Christ in this world, a light on the hill. Jesus was our example and Jesus offered abundant grace and forgiveness—even to the man who sold Him out and to the soldiers who killed Him (Luke 23:34: Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”) Anything outside of this heart posture I fear will only move us away from unity and peace and further into deception.
Racism is sin. Sin started in the garden and will continue until He returns, and only He redeems and forgives sin. We can’t work our way out of our sin. We can’t talk or signal our way out of our sin. No yard sign or reparation undoes our sin. And on that note, we most certainly can’t undo or take on the sin of those who have gone before us. But looking ahead, the Bible reminds us our role is forgiveness and grace. Our role is to love.
And although the Bible absolutely teaches us to stand up for others, treat others well, and be a voice for the oppressed, it doesn’t teach us that we’ve been created—black, white, or otherwise—for any reason other than it was God’s perfect plan and for His glory. It’s who we’re meant and destined to be—Children of God. We’re all privileged—all of us—not because of what we look like, but because of Who created us.
As we look into the issue of oppression, which is very real for a multitude of people groups throughout history, the Bible reminds me we’re all oppressed because there is an enemy of our soul and he lives on earth. There is a Great Deceiver well at work pitting brother against brother in this conversation (among others). Humans are fallen. We are flawed. We may not get it right on this side of eternity—and that’s not an excuse not to try—but it’s possible we will move even further in the wrong direction if we allow ourselves to be swayed by lies, shame, and destructive ideologies.
The Bible tells me that oppression is a human condition—a human experience. God’s people have been enslaved, mistreated, and killed en masse since the beginning of time. This doesn’t make it right, but when you look at it through the lens of God’s Word, it does give it purpose and meaning. God is sovereign, and He can redeem any and all suffering. He can use it for His glory. To quote from Jesus Calling, “In the darkness of adversity, you are able to more clearly see the radiance of My face.”
Most importantly, the Bible teaches that it’s wildly important we fight to find our identity solely in Christ. Not in race, not in gender, not in class, not in status, not in accomplishments, not in degrees, not in oppression, not in victimhood, not in experience.
I write all this, not because I have a full-proof solution to racism, but because I see where we are going wildly off track. I sense in my spirit that the enemy is at work on us, and it’s working.
I’ve said before that it’s so hard to see where the good is in the world today—where God is. But often, I can see more clearly where He isn’t. And that helps me know what to stand against. God’s not in racism—against black people OR against white people. He’s not in chaos and confusion (but you know who is?). God isn’t in the Marxist movement because it doesn’t align with His word (and actually requires His removal). God isn’t in division. He’s not in our skin color. And God’s not in hate—He’s in love.
God IS love. Without God, there is no heart change. Without heart change, where will we find reconciliation?
In regard to the question: Is what we’re doing right now helping to alleviate racism? I’d say that’s a no. Is there a better way? I believe there is.
His name’s Jesus.