I Thought I Was Opposing Racism–It Turns Out I Was Part Of The Problem

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In the sad, painful wake of more deaths of unarmed black people, I feel compelled to share about some of my own blind spots about, as well as my own unwitting contribution to, certain forms of racial injustice, inequality, ignorance, and callousness. The following words represent my own sometimes humbling, yet also continually sanctifying, journey with race.

If you are a man or woman of color, I thank you for your patience with me and others like me. We have made our share of mistakes, sometimes knowingly and other times in ignorance, that have caused you pain. We want to do and be better. We want to do right by all our friends and neighbors of color.

If you are part of the white majority like me, please consider joining me to listen carefully and empathetically to our black brothers and sisters. May we all continue learning and growing as we limp along, that we may love better. As one Nashville musician has sung, “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, and I still am.”

The humble recognition of our own blind spots is a good first step toward neighbor-love. Listening carefully to the pain of our neighbors of color, whom Jesus invites us to love as we love our own selves, is the next step after that. The final and ongoing step is to actually do the loving.


Several years ago when I was a preaching pastor at NYC’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, I gave a sermon about racial diversity. At the time, Redeemer was equally Caucasian and Asian…plus a smaller percentage of other races. In my sermon, I said something that I thought would connect with my non-white brothers and sisters and maybe even cause them to stand up and cheer. I said:

“The kingdom of God is as diverse as humanity is diverse. God has called people to himself, and into his Church, from every nation, tribe and tongue. He has called us to be one body, with one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. Therefore, there should be no white church and no black church and no Asian church and no Latino church…because there is only one Church.”

As I spoke these words, I had no idea how much hurt they would cause.

Afterwards, a black colleague approached me to give feedback. Looking at me with sorrow in his eyes, he said, “Brother, you don’t get it.” This felt jarring and left me wondering what I had done wrong. But sometimes, a simple and very direct statement of fact is what’s needed to get us listening.

Soon after this, an Asian colleague approached me, also with an urgency to provide me with feedback. He humbly offered the following (this is a paraphrase):

“Scott, since your sermon yesterday, I have heard from several friends who, like me, are ethnic minorities. All of them, to one degree or another, felt hurt by your words. Many of them grew up in minority-specific churches and felt that you de-legitimized those churches in your sermon. It felt like you were saying that those churches shouldn’t even exist. Scott, I really believe that you meant well, and that you sincerely value the diversity God desires for his Church. But I’m afraid your sermon moved us backward instead of forward. In a mostly white-led society, sometimes the only place that minorities can freely celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of their cultures, the only place that people of color are free to fully be themselves, is in churches where their culture is the majority. Your words about blended churches may be helpful for a white audience. But for minorities, your words reinforced the alienation that many of us feel in a white-led world and also in white-led churches. I’m afraid that your sermon added to, rather than taking away from, that feeling of alienation.”

As this colleague spoke these things, I felt thankful and sorrowful. I felt thankful because he had exposed a blind spot in me. He gave me a glimpse of my inability to understand the minority experience, and of how much growing I have to do in the area of race.

I felt sorrowful because, in an attempt to build some bridges, I had burned bridges instead.

Not long ago, I was naïve enough to believe that electing a black president would be the tipping point that solved our society’s problem with race. And yet, fifty years post-civil rights era, it is quite clear that we are not ready to call ourselves a post-racial people. I was painfully reminded of this when I came across a New York Times essay over Christmas written by George Yancy, a black philosophy professor at Emory, called “Dear White America.”

In his essay, Dr. Yancy laments the state of things for people of color in Western society. As he sees it, because the history books, the evening news, entertainment, business, education, politics, theology and church cultures are shaped predominantly by the white perspective, people of color have little choice but to live under what he calls “the yoke of whiteness.”

To white Americans, Dr. Yancey’s phrase, “the yoke of whiteness,” may seem unfair. The word “yoke” feels inflammatory, because it hearkens back to the days of slavery. And we in the modern West are against slavery and the racism that supported it, right? The public schools are racially integrated now. Lynching and mobs and deadly violence, these are all now punishable by law (most of the time). White pastors like me quote black thinkers such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bryan Stevenson, and Michelle Higgins in our sermons.

We read books and essays by John Perkins and Jemar Tisby and Soong-Chan Rah, and we speak out and tweet for racial equality. It is not uncommon for a white person to marry a person of color these days, or to adopt a child of another race. Most white people would say that they deplore racism and are sickened by the shedding of black blood by racists. Our hearts hurt over black casualties in Selma, Ferguson, Charleston, New York City, Tulsa, Charlotte, Minneapolis, and all other places where black casualties have occurred. Where there is injustice, most white Americans would say that they stand with the victims and against the perpetrators. But do people of color feel that these things are all true?

Though many of these things are true, we still have a race problem. How do we know this? We know this because the subject of race still hurts for many people of color. Dr. Yancey writes:

“Don’t tell me about how many black friends you have. Don’t tell me that you are married to someone of color. Don’t tell me that you voted for Obama. Don’t tell me that I’m the racist. Don’t tell me that you don’t see color. Don’t tell me that I’m blaming whites for everything. To do so is to hide yet again. You may have never used the N-word in your life, you may hate the KKK, but that does not mean that you don’t harbor racism and benefit from racism. After all, you are part of a system that allows you to walk into stores where you are not followed, where you get to go for a bank loan and your skin does not count against you, where you don’t need to engage in “the talk” that black people and people of color must tell their children when they are confronted by white police officers…As you reap comfort from being white, we suffer for being black and people of color.”

“…we suffer…”

That’s what he said. …we suffer… Whenever these two words are uttered, the gospel demands open ears and open hearts. The gospel demands careful, humble, non-defensive listening to the history and wounds beneath the words. If we refuse to listen, then we become culpable of not loving our neighbors as we love ourselves…because we want to be heard and understood. We also become culpable of not doing unto others as we would have done unto us…because we refuse to allow our own cries to go ignored. When we are hurting, we will fight to be heard in our pain. Neighbor-love demands that we fight also for others to be heard in theirs.

Can I make a confession to you? Ten years ago, Dr. Yancy’s words would have bothered me. I might have even dismissed them as unfair and unreasonable. I would have assumed, wrongly, that his chief goal was to make white people feel guilty for being white.

But over time, and because of the courage and truthfulness of friends whose skin hue is different than mine, my perspective has changed. These days, I find myself more sympathetic toward, and not at all provoked by, words like the ones written by Dr. Yancy. Largely through friendship and a lot of personal mistakes along the way, I hope that I am growing in my understanding of the black experience in the modern West.

The love, patience, and candor offered by people of color in my life has given me a new set of ears for Dr. Yancy’s outcry. When I listen to him, I do not see a chip on the shoulder, unfounded anger, guilt mongering or some sort of “reverse racism” happening. Rather, I see a man representing the minority voice, appropriately fatigued from feeling unseen, unheard, misunderstood, misjudged, and injured by a world that is set up for some races to thrive and lead, and other races to languish and submit.

Recently, a friend who is black shared an insight with me about people who riot (which, by the way, is not something unique to people of color). He said that oftentimes, rioting comes from a place of feeling helpless in a system that dooms you, by virtue of your situation and the color of your skin, to be disadvantaged and overlooked.

“Rioting,” my friend said from a place of tenderness and concern, “is a terrible and destructive and hurtful thing. And? It is also a desperate cry. Rioting, as awful as it is, is helplessness acted out. It is trying to give a voice to wounds that have no voice.”

In describing rioting this way, my friend put his finger on a widely known truth: Hurting people hurt people. Ugly behavior can stem from a place of feeling treated as ugly. Destructive behavior can stem from a place of feeling destroyed. Dismissive behavior can stem from a place of feeling dismissed.

Pause here. Go back and re-read the statement from Dr. Yancy. Whether his words make you say “Yes!” or make you feel upset, can you hear the pain in them? Are you listening carefully to the alienation and “otherness” that he feels?

Am I?

This essay is a modified excerpt from the second edition of Scott’s book, Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who are Tired of Taking Sides. Used by permission from Tyndale House.

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19 responses to “I Thought I Was Opposing Racism–It Turns Out I Was Part Of The Problem”

  1. Chad says:

    Scott,

    Thanks for your challenging post. Here is my candid response.

    The sentiment expressed in Dr. Yancy’s quote does not necessarily bother me not do I feel him to be unfair or reasonable. And yes, I do hear his pain. I hear his feelings of otherness and alienation. That and more begs the question for me – as a white American, who desires to see racial reconciliation and love, “What do I do?” My answer up to this point is that I really don’t know. Statements like Dr. Yancy’s, in all honesty, make me feel frustrated and even defeated. That I, as a white American, will never get it right in his eyes. No matter how much I try to understand, listen, and reconcile it’s never enough. I’m white, and because of that I don’t “get it”. I am told that I need to change but that whatever attempts I am making toward that change is tainted by my whiteness. It’s not good enough. That’s the message that I keep hearing, over and over again, from black America. I suspect that I am not alone in feeling the way I do. Once again, just being honest.

    How does white America get it right? When do we get it right? What will it take for Dr. Yancy to write favorably about me…about white America? Yes, I am very frustrated, but hoping by God’s grace to always do better in my ambition to please my Lord first (2 Cor. 5:9) as well as those who are hurting. Peace to you.

    • James says:

      That’s the same challenge I’m coming across, Chad. While I know I can always do more to understand, to listen, and to love people of other races, I end up feeling like my best efforts are ineffectual and sometimes even outright despised or unwelcome. I can never understand what life is like for a person of color, but I would like to think my willingness to try, my desire to truly love all people as they are, counts for something. The alternative is giving up and just letting things be as they are, and that’s not acceptable.

      Maybe one day, we can get to that dream Dr. King longed for, the one where “the jangling discords of our nation [are transformed] into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood,” the one where we get “to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

      • Chad says:

        James,
        Thank you for your thoughts. Your comment about the alternative of giving up and just allowing things to be as they are is what I fear is happening in much of the white community, not that we want this, but because we simply don’t know what else to do; what truly is expected of us. May God help us. Peace to you.

    • Jason K says:

      Chad,

      First, I want to say that I learned this truth from listening to two extremely brilliant black men, NFL legend Calvin Hill and his son, NBA great Grant Hill. And I say that because although you may have already realized this, I feel compelled–I don’t think it can be said too often how important it is for us as white men to continually learn our understanding of racism from people of color.

      Of course, it makes perfect sense for you in feeling a frustration that seems uniquely white to put out feelers to other like-minded white people who might have experienced the same thing. I’ve found that helpful as well, but my biggest help in understanding my own problem came from listening to two black men speak on it.*

      Here’s what I learned:

      If I focus all my concerns about racism on what is happening ‘out there,’ then I will be perpetually frustrated, forever feel defeated. Not that I should ignore external expressions of the problem, but they do not represent the the heart of the problem. They are merely symptomatic.

      And focusing on the symptoms, armed with little more than your own remorse, WILL feel, as Elaine Rees notes below, like you’re really only stirring up white guilt to make people think better about you. That would be harmful, to you and to others, really harmful.

      But consider another perspective. Consider how good it feels to have just a little bit of advantage, to be the first around the board on Monopoly, to win the coin toss in a football game, to find the last free parking spot downtown. It’s so nice, and it feels really good. Life is frustrating enough already, so any little bit can, for one small moment, feel like a huge relief, a release, a tiny little rush of comfort. It feels good, and you want that feeling again and again.

      It’s addictive. But those things aren’t like drugs really, because they’re just normal, good things, right? It’s just your lucky moment. It’d be stupid to waste it, and stupid to treat it like a bad thing. Like an addiction.

      But what about when those advantages come at the expense of someone else? Like finding a $100 bill in a busy lobby. What? Are you gonna turn it in? The person at counter is just going to look at you like you’re stupid, then end up taking it for themselves. Better you than them, after all it was YOUR luck to find it.

      But someone else IS missing that $100. Wouldn’t you at least look around? See if you notice anyone frantically checking their pockets? Anyone would do that much.

      The reward of seeing their relief may not line your pockets like a c-note would, but it’s real and good and right. It really does help heal a constantly broken world and they feel that and you feel that. It does do some good.

      White privilege is exactly that–well, a little more really, but it feels just like that–it’s harmless. Innocuous. It only really hurts me if I dwell on it, so why dwell on it? Other people WILL think I’m stupid for feeling bad about what’s really the product of my own hard work. Well, hard work and a little luck, but that just means it’s my turn.

      And that’s what it feels like, but it really is more. It’s not just finally getting a job opportunity, if someone else who’s equally or even more deserving is unfairly denied so that you can have that opportunity.

      It’s not just getting lucky to get a warning instead of a ticket when someone else is getting dragged out of their car, proned out and probed instead of getting a warning.

      It’s not just getting lucky when your kids get to go to the best schools in the district when other people’s kids get subpar facilities, outdated books, and teachers who are burned out and dialing it in. Ignoring the class until they get out of hand and they have to call in campus police to throw a girl across the room (Are we there yet?).

      White privelege feels lucky. It feels good. And it IS addictive, and worst of all it really seems like it can’t be wrong. Like no one else is getting hurt.

      It’s easy because we’re not taking from someone else. We’re just staying silent while we pocket their $100, while someone else looks at them like they’re a liar trying to pull a con asking if anyone has found what they lost (well, to be fair, a lot of “what they lost” is what our parents and grandparents took from them). Get lost, thug!

      So why would being bothered by it do any better? Because once we start to view white privelege —an elevated status in a social construct that treats us as supreme, not that we think of ourselves as white supremacists, no, supremacy is just our good luck, and they probably don’t work as hard as we do, I mean they’re… lazy?… entitled? …just whining? …black. They would get lucky eventually if they just worked harder and stopped blaming me (for having their $100). Can we see yet that despite what it seems, it’s really indidious?— Once we view this power as an addiction, then we can actually do something to overcome it.

      That’s not wallowing in guilt. It’s just the first step in a 12 step program to stop relishing in the pleasure and power to take without blame, and the power to turn that blame back on those we take from.

      We need that first step. We need the other steps, too. We need to recognize we’re not biggest most worthy power in our own universe. We need to seek help. We need accountability.

      We need to make amends. We need to stop enabling. We need to recognize and tough-lovingly confront other’s with the same problem. We need to offer them help when they’re ready.

      Whether Trump wins or loses, a lot of white power addicts are going to hit rock bottom in the foreseeable future. We need to be ready when the tide rolls in. We can do that one small deed each day. We can turn the tide.

      So yes, when you’re talking about overcoming addiction, admitting every day that you have a problem really does do some good.

      *The interview of the Messrs. Hill was from the Bill Rhoden show. I’ll look for the link or at least a quote.

      • Chad says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree that it is very important for white America to continually learn our understanding of racism from people of color. If we don’t then we can’t honestly say that we understand the problem. I should say however that it is my belief that the black community itself does not always understand the problem. Because they are so close to the problem of racism they often lack objectivity. That belief is in no way intended to downplay the integrity of their perspective but rather to keep some balance.

        I grew up in a predominantly black area of our city and most of my co-workers for much of my career were black. I have always enjoyed hearing their perspective and feel as if I have learned much though I have not always agreed with their take on the problem. These relationships have been very helpful at the personal level but how that translates into success with respect to the larger discussion still creates a great deal of confusion in my mind and emotions. Peace.

  2. Elaine Rees says:

    I appreciate your honesty, your concern about this problem. It is helpful in understanding the race problems more.
    I see people who feel guilty for being white. Some of them have been taken advantage of. They do all sorts of verbal gymnastics to “prove” their guilt and how unracist they are. Their main concern seems to be what others think of them, not what is happening.
    It is important to keep in mind that 70% of the people arrested in the Charolette riots were not from there. They were imported and funded by George Soros (he funds Black Lives Matters) in order to “stir the pot” and intensify the racial problems with the intent to destabilize our country.

  3. Dottie says:

    I, like Chad, have the same question. What do we do? Thank you Scott for pointing out the problem. Truth is, I believe most of us already know this exist … but walking on eggshells is not the cure. Without a direction toward what we “white” people can do … well, I, personally, am feeling frustrated.
    I may be coming across as defensive now … but I must ask: Wasn’t “I” crucified with Christ? Is life about me? I mean this is the most real sense. When I see the posts of people of color who are “Christian” … well, I wonder if they also died with Christ and it is no longer about them, but Him.
    I am a 63-year-old (partially retired) single white mother. So many people have no clue of what it’s like to walk in my skin and to be a white woman in a “mans” world, or in a world who sees me, because of my age and gender, as a “liablilty”. I am getting old, lonely, etc. etc. etc. But that’s a whole another blog.
    But as a Christian, I have to remember (renew my mind) who I am In-Christ and Who I am living for. Yes, I am to Love my neighbor… and Love them as myself. But thank God that since I am unable to do even that (one of the greatest commandments) … Jesus did, yes even that, for me perfectly … and continues to.
    I truly believe we have gone 10 steps backwards in the past 8 years.
    I’m wondering what Christ would say or do about this situation.
    I’ll stop rambling. But I refuse to feel guilty (for too long) about being white.
    “Not I, But Christ”

  4. Namphuyo says:

    I was truly inspired by your words . The first step to understanding the problem is to understand that you don’t understand. We need to be honest with each other about what is going on and speak up when we see injustice . Even if we are afraid we must stand up for what is right. I feel that is what you are doing . Keep spreading tbe good word.

  5. David says:

    Yancy’s response to the sermon was a change of subject. The sermon comments were absolutely correct, as they applied to Body of Christ. Yancy changed the definition of “Church” to the one on the street corner, the one he happened to have attended. The change in definitions necessarily causes a misapplication of the sermon’s point, which Yancy extrapolated into a generalized complaint about racism.

    I am not going to argue with any specific point Yancy might have wanted to make – I am sure he has valid ones – but if sincere comments and attempts at understanding are highjacked into indignation, no common ground can be found. One should have the courage to accept another’s offered open hand, and to clearly state where an injustice exists, rather than manufacturing a slight by disingenuous use of another’s sincerity.

    I am fully on board with the notion that clear injustices have been ignored for generations, and I am happy to discuss those. However, no one can quarrel with the observation that the work of all reconciliation, racial included, was accomplished nowhere but on the cross, and that to look elsewhere is futile.

  6. Keri says:

    Dear Scott,

    Thank you for again yet another beautiful post, I have always loved how sympathetic and humble you are. And I find myself echoing with you a lot — that people who riot often do so out of a sense of hopelessness. I am from Hong Kong and lots of the young people who turned protests into “riots” really did so too out of a sense of hopelessness against systematic injustice. Of course it doesn’t mean I am justifying everything, but my heart hurts and hurts even more when people merely criticise instead of try to understand them.

    I’d like to however also share a bit on my take on your sermon and my response…as a Chinese (I don’t want to emphasise this but it seems helpful to put it in context here). When I heard you preaching those lines on how there’s only one Church, I thought it’s a beautiful thing. In fact, it was when years ago I went to another church who constantly preached how the Church is one and breaks down racial barriers that I learned to love the Church more. Growing up, I was always frustrated about the idea of a Chinese-only church. Lot of us (in my experience) in Chinese churches were never really open to the idea of embracing both black and white Christians. It’s based on an unwillingness to break out of our own spiritual bubbles and a heart of suspicion, a fear of not trusting the Lord and how He also speaks through other ethnic groups. Sure, we would read books by non-Chinese Christians, but we would not want to interact with them to grow together. So when I hear what you said, I didn’t hear it as if you don’t celebrate the diversity of the church, but that you are exalting Christ who unites us together even though we are different (I mean, you did also say there shouldn’t be a “white church). So I guess, things are not always black and white? The speaker has a responsibility to communicate well but the listener also can choose to hear through a lens that assumes the best of the speaker, and our experiences often shape how we listen more than we are aware of. Sometimes I wonder if our culture has made us too easily offended by words? I can speak too on half of my friends in China who are often forbidden to meet with “non-Western” Christians, that if they hear what you said on being one Church, they would be incredibly encouraged rather than be troubled. In the end, you are one of the American pastors that I respect the most because of you gracious voice and I want to thank you and the Lord for that. May He overflow you with His peace

  7. Keri says:

    Oops sorry for the typo! Correction for the last few sentences: I meant to type “…forbidden to meet with ‘Western’ Christians” rather than “…forbidden to meet with ‘non-Western’ Christians.”

  8. Roy says:

    David, June 8, 2020 at 10:02 pm is right. As I read through Scott’s message and the comments (all apparently provided in good faith and with an eye toward reckoning and reconciliation), I was struck again at how important, even vital, it is to not shy away from truth and honesty in discussing these issues. What one like Yancey may “feel” about an essential truth (that Christ’s Church is not one of race but instead universal), while wholly understandable, should never hinder the expression of that core truth within the Church. That does not mean that those feelings about a truth cannot be addressed in love and with utter compassion. Difficult truths pervaded Christ’s teaching. We will never have reconciliation without a work of the Holy Spirit in which love, courage and expressions of essential biblical truth define our interactions with those in and beyond the Church who are different from us in skin color, culture and socialization, among other things. And we must humbly recognize on both sides of the current divide that latent racism does need to be confronted within ourselves by the power of the Holy Spirit and pray that God will cleanse us of the unrighteousness and sin that causes both racism and the temptation to assign racism to others in a way that is not honest. Truth as revealed in the Word must always trump feelings about and perceptions of that truth.

  9. Shirley Wratten says:

    Thank you for this timely message. As Keri said so well, I too heard…..unity. We are all one in Christ as the scriptures tell us if we have submitted ourselves and belong to Him. Our sense of belonging and love and purpose come from Him. Without this active foundation, what does anyone have to share that is not tainted with selfish desire? God is the source of love and acceptance that allows us to be color blind and not self-seeking. Isn’t this what we desperately need? In God’s mercy, may the Holy Spirit grant us true repentant hearts and bring revival to transform our hearts and lives and free us to see, hear and then walk in humility with our Father who sent His son that we might be one with Him and each other. Thank you for your excellent expressions of truth as you have received it and lived it. We are all growing in understanding and will be lacking until we go to be with Him. Lord, change our hearts starting with me.

  10. Greg says:

    I, a caucasian male, was raised in a racially mixed community where my best friends were black kids. I had to grow up into adulthood to learn racism. Isnt that sad? I spoke to a 90 plus year old man raised in this same community who attended the local school here where black kids were upstairs and white kids were down. He explained to me that the kids were upset w this setup as it was confusing. Where all these kids were best friends across racial lines outside of school, they were forced to separate at school. Their confusion and anger about this caused the school to mix across racial lines soonafter and well before Martin Luther King was even recognized.

    Additionally, this same man told me that in this community where most of the black and white communities were poor at the time, people were so busy surviving-working 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet and Also relying on each other in order to do so to bother about silly things like skin color.

    Today yes there is racism. My black neighbors in this same community i mention where i still reside tell me about it. Instances where cops would pull them over for no reason were common. Sad. And you know what? Im in construction and drive an old truck. I work very hard and my clothes are many times tattered and soiled. When i walk into places like Lowes w nice clothes vs that construction garb i sense the difference in service quality. It is real. I was judged based on my appearance. And it wont get better as our country becomes more godless. But if you would ask if this bothers me i would answer w a resounding NO! I feel sorry for those sad people an know that inside the shabby clothes is a blood bought man of God who works hard to make a good living. Likewise, my advise most particularly to black Christians is to ignore the progressive politicians who want to keep folks of racial minority in low status and clinging to mommy government to instead work hard, starting businesses, working hard w love and respect towards managers in companies they may not own, and worship God at a non prosperity driven, gospel driven church. And if the stupid people out there judge them from the outside, laugh them off as immature and go on working hard and loving God and people. I have told folks that black churches have an opportunity to illuminate the power of their Savior Jesus in them more than any. I promise you that as i would see black leaders of churches lead their congregation to rise to the challenge of loving their neighbor w the gospel even amidst persecution, and additionally choose to stiffarm the likes of Benny Hinn or Creflo Dollar for choosing instead solid Biblical theology, i would follow them right into a potential revival much needed in this land! I believe God has an extra measure of grace and power upon those who are in positions of weakness. God revive us.

  11. Thomas says:

    About 30 years ago I had a conversation with a Christian co-worker who is black. He said something like, “all our problems would be solved if we got rid of white people.” I then blurted out something I never expected to hear myself saying. I don’t remember exactly word for word, but something like . . .

    “Willy (not his real name), you’re forgetting something. We all have a sin nature. We will manage to find somebody to hate. Get rid of us white folks and you might find yourself going after Hispanics, or Asians, or someone else – blacks who are not black enough or too black, those who have not resenting those who have, the uneducated against the educated, tall people looking down at short people, fat people going after skinny people. We can find all kinds of reasons to hate each other. There’s bad in of all of us.

    He looked at me. He didn’t say a word. He just walked away.

  12. Bonnie says:

    I find your messages thought provoking. It was the same with this one too and as I read others responses, I felt as if I would like to share mine. I am Scottish and Cherokee. On the inside, my bone structure is 100% Cherokee, as verified both by pictures that my family has and by my orthopaedic surgeons. On the outside, I look Scottish… much like the character in the old movie Brigadoon that I was named for … Bonnie Jean Campbell. My Cherokee bone structure allowed me to run fast, be a graceful dancer, and do some occasional modeling because of my long, lean legs and my high cheekbones. I am thankful for and relish in my heritage. I grew up in a home where there was no prejudice. My grandmother had a black pediatrician for her two daughters. He came to the house and they went to his office, but he was not allowed to practice in the hospital nearby which was very hard for my mother who had appendicitis at a very young age. She could not have her doctor with her and it was traumatic. As a child, because my parents never treated anyone differently and we lived in a neighborhood that was multi-ethnic and went to a school that was not segregated… I thought that black and brown people just had better tans than I did. My kindergarten teacher, one of my favorites, was a young black woman. My cousin was friends with her daughter. So, I was, in effect, color blind. My church, however, was mainly white. We did have many men from the local military and as the chaplain there was an African-American (as we now refer to them I guess) and he brought men of all colors and ethnicities with him, who became part of our church family… It all seemed very normal to me and the way God meant it to be. As I went into my teen years, we started worshiping and celebrating holidays with the other Baptist Churches in town, which were African American. (I can remember asking my parents, what is the difference between a First and Second Baptist). I thought that was just plain stupid. I loved to sing hymns with the members of all of the churches together because they brought so much life and joy to our singing. I wasn’t a person who liked to clap or raise hands… but I didn’t care that anyone else did. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, there were riots in two communities in our area. Both my mother and I, on separate occasions, had groups of young African Americans try to break into our car. We both got away unharmed, without hurting them, thankfully. But, it was hard not to be afraid going forward, when I saw groups of African-Americans hanging around town. I was terrified. It was worse walking through what is referred to as Black Harlem and Spanish Harlem when I was older and had friends in those areas. The disgusting things that they said, or the things I couldn’t understand because I didn’t speak Spanish, were terrifying to me. As individuals in the workplace or the grocery store… or anywhere else pretty much… I talked to whomever I met… just being my normal and friendly self. So my fears were not of individuals, but groups. So I know a little bit of what it is like to be judged by my appearance… obviously in a different way, but feeling like you are a piece of meat ready to be devoured is not much different from being watched in a store (by someone who may have had a bad experience… so we have to look with justice and fairness at all points of view). I understand what one person remarked about feeling a loss of their culture in a White Church. Perhaps they could alternate with two churches so they get what they might need from both ways of worshipping. God is everywhere. I also identify with the woman who liked hearing the words about us all being One Faith, One Church, One Lord… as it seems that God too wants it to be one day. I also know it can be hard. But I believe it begins with two things… forgiveness on both sides. As there are faults with everyone. Yes, slavery was horrible and so is racism. But violence just begets violence, so riots may temporarily provide a lessening of hopelessness… in much the same way that sex may provide a temporary relief for some … or drugs for others. I know what it is like to feel hopeless… as a victim and now survivor of Domestic Violence… to the point of being beaten and stabbed about 30 times almost to the point of death… it is a divine miracle that I am alive. He only stopped because he thought I was dead. I faced possibly 60 surgical procedures when I woke up the next morning. I have had 48 over the last 17 years. I wondered how I could ever take care of my sons…. how I could take care of myself. I felt hopeless for a time and terrified. I had no money other than for the next week. I already lived in a rental over a garage in a somewhat scary neighborhood. I grew up in what was referred to as middle of the middle class ? I had what I needed, but not all that I wanted. Many of the kids in the neighborhood were in the same situation, but many were struggling. None of us cared a bit about color or money or any of that. We played baseball in the street and played dolls when it rained (the girls did). We had one TV and it was black and white with 5 or 6 channels and a transistor radio. We did not get a color TV in our home until I had moved out and gone to college. So while I wasn’t in abject poverty, I wasn’t able to go to college without a scholarship and I made my own clothes and wore hand me downs from my cousins. I would not say I had “white privilege”. I had two jobs while I was in college. So all that I am trying to say is that all of this is individual points of view. I ache for the family of George Floyd. It angers me that no one there had the courage to try and stop the cop from killing him. When I was in college we had to deal with the local KKK. I was young and fearless and I used to pull off their hoods and tell them that if they were going to burn a cross on someone’s lawn they ought to be man enough to show their evil faces, not be such cowards. Yes, I got hit a few times, but it didn’t stop me from doing what I thought was right. I know that I am far from perfect and have a long, long way to go to be what I believe Jesus wants me to be… but riots do not help anyone but for a few seconds they may feel powerful. But when there are no jobs because the buildings are unfit for use… or when friends families lose all that they fought hard for… who does that help ? Also, George Soros and his buddies are the financiers of Black Lives Matter and Antifa. And they don’t care about African Americans. He is a former Nazi who made his fortune on stolen art and gold and personal effects that he stole from the Jews and others he helped to their death. He hates Jews, Blacks, Gypsies, the elderly, the infirm, anyone with any mental or physical defect as he sees it. He is evil personified. Peaceful Protest will be hard to have when he is running the show from behind. I think in my heart, that one to one is the best way for racial or spiritual or almost any kind of healing to take place. And then it spreads from there in waves of kindness. I wish you could have seen the faces of some of my old neighbors as I recently moved to the midwest…. the day before I left and the day that I left… my mail man and I hugged. No mask and no fear. Just two people who have had many conversations and love each other in the way that only God can create. I will miss him. The funny thing is that as I looked at their faces, I just wondered if I had a rip in my skirt or something like that… it never occurred to me that it could be us being black and white. Until afterwards someone said, weren’t you afraid to get sick ? And another walking by… why did you hug the mailman ? I simply replied “because I will miss him dearly… and I am not afraid of any virus.” I hope this makes some sense to someone.

  13. Guardian Angel of Hope says:

    To me it sounds like both are saying the same thing. I Agee that there should not be segregated churches. I feel you should be able to attend the church where you feel most comfortable whether a mixed Church or church at home on your computer.

  14. Patrick McClarty says:

    Going to be difficult to be brief, but will do the best I can. I respect Scott, but appears he has gone totally against what he says a lot, which is listening to a variety of opinions. All of his quotes, stories, repeating of what others write is now all pro-BLM. I certainly don’t hope he thinks Yancy is a neutral voice in race relations. Yancy believes everything wrong with society is white men. There is no redemption, none, in what he says. Nothing a white man will ever do will satisfy him. Bend a knee and ask forgiveness, he will laugh at you.
    I happen to listen to several black conservatives, some Christian based, some political. They believe great strides have been made. They are successful people, received opportunities, they took advantage, and God has blessed them. Have they suffered from racism? Of course, they know it’s out there, they chose to not let it affect them, decided some racism in our society would not keep them from achieving what they wanted. It worked, they are successful.
    If you spend all your efforts regarding race totally immersed on those who tell you race relations have not improved in 400 years, guess what? That is what you believe to be truth. For some reason mainstream media, Hollywood, liberal elite and certain politicians want a race war. And, they hate Christianity even more. I personally believe if they had to pick between ridding country of racial tension or getting rid of Christianity, they would take Christianity.
    My advice to whites and blacks. Treat all the same. Respect the police, vast, vast majority great people. Please hate with a passion what happen to Mr. Floyd. Also, Mr. Dorn and the other 20 murdered during rioting. Despise abortion which murders more black babies in NYC than are born. Mourn for the murders of innocent blacks in Chicago every week. Pray for Trump, Congress, justices, governors, mayors that they would be anointed with wisdom from God to make decisions that help all people. Pray that all racial oppression would be broken, that Christians would be one, and that Jesus, only Jesus, would be exalted.

  15. drew says:

    Thomas – after your black co-worker said “all our problems would be solved if we got rid of white people,” you reply to him and then write that “He looked at me. He didn’t say a word. He just walked away.” Do you wonder why he did this?

    I wasn’t there, so I can’t say. My guess is that he did this because your response indicates that you did not hear him. Perhaps you heard his words, but your response was not of concern for his pain. Your reply was defensive, it seems to me, and dismissive of the pain he was feeling (whether or not you believe his reasoning was right or wrong.) I would imagine he walked away because he realized you didn’t hear or see him and his pain, moreover chose to take the opportunity to educate him about how discrimination will not be eliminated simply by eliminating white people. Though those were his words, that is not what he was saying. He was saying that in he was feeling hurt, possibly abused, or crushed in spirit, or angry, or dismissed, or oppressed, or any combination these or other like things. Instead of inquiring, “Friend, what makes you say something so strongly? What’s going on for you? I’m concerned about you–tell me more,” you chose to “educate” him about the nature of discrimination–a subject he quite probably knew more about than you. So, I’m concerned that you may have missed an incredible opportunity to show him love to him and instead appeared insensitive, unaware, or even condescending as you “schooled” him about prejudice.

    I may be completely wrong about all of this–if so, disregard my thoughts as needed. Though I speaking a little forcefully, I certainly don’t mean to offend you. However, if you should be blessed by another opportunity to be with a person of color when they are saying something that seems hyperbolic or mistaken in your opinion, please remember that the words are probably not borne of ignorance but more probably from deep emotion–frustration, anger, pain. Hear that emotion, explore that, and you may advance a bit in addressing that person’s woundedness, take a small step toward healing, and maybe learning something important for yourself.

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