Hate is not the solution to racism
Critical race theory. You may not have heard the term but you have certainly seen it in action in the modern day. In fact it is a modern approach to social change, developed from the broader critical theory (which I will begin touching on in the next Prison of the Isms video from the 1930’s). Because the video series is about Marxism, you can connect the dots – critical theory and its modern cousin, critical race theory (“CRT”), are derived from Marxist ideas.
CRT approaches issues such as justice, racism and inequality with a specific intent of reforming or reshaping society. In practice, it is almost exclusively applied to the United States, but we are beginning to see subtle signs that it is coming to Australia. CRT is grounded in several key assumptions:-
· The American government, law, culture and society are inherently and inescapably racist;
· Everyone, even those without racist views, perpetuate racism by supporting those structures;
· The personal perception of the oppressed (ie, their “narrative”) outweighs the actions or intents of others;
· Oppressed groups will never overcome disadvantages until the racist structures are replaced;
· Oppressor race or class groups never change out of altruism – they only change for self-benefit;
· Application of laws and fundamental rights should be different based on the race or class group of the individuals involved.
In short, CRT presupposes that everything about American society is thoroughly racist and minority groups will never be equal until society is entirely reformed. Even though CRT is often put forward as a solution to white supremacy or white nationalism, in practice it essentially does nothing other than invert the oppressed and oppressor groups.
Racism is a real and growing problem in our world, but CRT is not the answer to it. Nor are the words of Mercer University theology professor Chanequa Walker-Barnes who recently wrote a prayer in which she asks God to help her “hate white people”. The prayer is entitled, “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman” and she writes:-
Please help me to hate white people. Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.
I am not talking about the white antiracist allies who have taken up this struggle against racism with their whole lives – the ones who stand vigil for weeks outside jails where black women are killed; who show up in Charlottesville and Ferguson and Baltimore and Pasadena to take a public stand against racism and police brutality; who are so committed to fighting white supremacy that their own lives bear the wounds of its scars.
No, there aren’t the people I want to hate. I’m not even talking about the ardent racists either, the strident segregationists who mow down nonviolent antiracist protestors, who open fire on black churchgoers, or who plot acts of racial terrorism hoping to start a race war. Those people are already in hell. There’s no need to waste hatred on them.
My prayer is that you would help me to hate the other white people – you know, the nice ones. The Fox News-loving, Trump-supporting voters who “don’t see colour” but who make thinly veiled racist comments about “those people”.
The people who are happy to have me over for dinner but alert the neighbourhood watch anytime an unrecognised person of colour passes their house. The people who welcome black people in their churches and small groups but brand us as heretics if we suggest that Christianity is concerned with the poor and oppressed. The people who politely tell us that we can leave when we call out the racial microaggressions we experience in their ministries.
She continues by saying:-
Lord, if you can’t make me hate them, at least spare me from their perennial gaslighting [a form of emotional and psychological abuse designed to gain control over the victim], whitemansplaining [when a white person tells a person of colour how to view a particular topic] and white women tears. Grant me a get out of judgement free card if I make white people the exception to your commandment to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
I don’t pretend to know what it feels like to be oppressed, harassed, hated, beaten or marginalised on the basis of skin colour. And I certainly don’t believe the answer to racism is simple, particularly in an increasingly secular society. But I do know this – even though it is obvious the depth of this professor’s pain is exceedingly deep, a prayer asking God to help her hate anyone is not going to be honoured by Him.
Racism is a sin.It is a serious prejudice against another person which God would be most displeased about.Every person that He brings into existence is someone loved by Him – no matter their nationality, no matter their skin colour, no matter their economic status.Professor Walker-Barnes, we are sorry for the pain caused to you because of racism.We condemn it as a serious and ongoing problem that will only be solved by the return of Jesus to this Earth.