Social media is fraught with challenges not the least of which is racism.
I admit that over the last few years, I have become less active on social media—part of the reason is the growth in unreasoning vitriol. Sadly, much of this vitriol is from those who claim to follow Christ.
I do still stay involved in several groups on Facebook. Several of those groups are theology groups. In one of those groups I shared the article “Less than picture perfect- Christianity’s race reckoning“. It is a thoughtful and personal reflection, however, the response to this article in this theology group caught me by surprise.
A group member responded:
Enough with the white guilt. White People brought Christianity to the World. Now they get brow beat for it. There will always be bad apples in any race. Find the Good …. stop pointing out the Bad. Slavery — blacks enslaved themselves. White People fought a war and killed each other to end slavery. Is that not enough?
In response, I wrote:
White people also fought a war to keep slavery. Slavery has existed for a long time but let’s not pretend that the race-based trans-Atlantic slave trade didn’t make the situation worse. This piece isn’t advocating white guilt but is a personal reflection. Near the end, the author writes, “As a Christian, I have a responsibility to continue the critical evaluation of my faith and to recognize the moments my exercise of true religion has failed those closest to me”. That is something every Christian should do.
I also have to say that the argument, “White People brought Christianity to the World.” Is really problematic. There was a massive spread of the Gospel in the centuries after Christ that didn’t require the oppression of other peoples. God is not so impotent that He needs our injustice to spread His truth.
Then the discussion went further off the deep end with his reply:
How come no one says anything about the Ottoman Empire enslaving Whites? Especially white women — Rape. Only white people get all the blame. Whites have done more for the world than any other race. In hindsight, maybe White people simply should have ignored them. They would be still stuck in the stone age.
Muhammed Ali famously said, “… I’m glad my granddaddy got on that boat…”. Ali understood what a privilege it was to be brought into the Western World
There is so much that is problematic here. But let me highlight this part, “Whites have done more for the world than any other race. In hindsight, maybe White people simply should have ignored them. They would be still stuck in the stone age.” This is textbook White Supremacy. But let me remind you, this isn’t publicly accessible Twitter… I mean X, nor is it in a political group. This was posted in a Facebook theology group. Further, there was no pushback. No one called out this person for his blatant racism. There was zero pushback.
I guess I could also be blamed for not pushing back again. Maybe it would have been better for me to continue the argument. I don’t know. At the time I felt that my saying anything more wouldn’t help and I honestly thought there would be some pushback. After all, there are 2,200 people in this group. I know not everyone would see it but certainly, there would be some will to push back against White Supremacy. Apparently not.
I don’t have a big takeaway from this experience. I don’t have some great moral to pass on. All I can say is that I am concerned. We are entering a time when hate is becoming omnipresent. A space set aside to discuss the God who is love spews hate and prejudice and no one bats an eye. That is frightening.
I see so many people concerned about the deconstruction trend. But this kind of vitriolic religion needs to be deconstructed. And, I do believe, that is at least part of what is happening. We need to repent. We need to do better.
Maybe I need to go back to that thread and call the White Supremacy what it is…
Photo credit Adam Fagan on Flicker.