Jesus was not born in a manger in central Pennsylvania. He was a man of color. And the fact that we have represented him for centuries literally as a white man speaks to the entire history of white supremacy.
Old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.
There are lots of research, of course, saying that a vast majority of us have been exposed to racial biases and stereotypes and, to some extent, we’ve internalized them, because that’s so ubiquitous. That’s why I’m so bored with the conversation about who’s a racist and who’s not.
In short, and let us be clear on it: race is not a card. It determines whom the dealer is, and who gets dealt.
If you want to know if racism is a problem in your country, you might not want to ask white people.
Here’s the reality. The image of a white Jesus has been used to justify enslavement, conquest, colonialism, the genocide of indigenous peoples. There are literally millions of human beings whose lives have been snuffed out by people who conquered under the banner of a white god.
Children are free moral agents and have a right to be exposed to a range of beliefs well beyond the rigid doctrinal confines of their parent’s faith, and we have an obligation to insist that they be so exposed, at least in public schools, if not elsewhere.
As a writer, there are times when you have something to say, and yet no particular ‘hook’ upon which to hang the missive you are burning to release.
Precisely because white denial has long trumped claims of racism, people of color tend to underreport their experiences with racial bias rather than exaggerate them.
Only blacks can play the race card, apparently; only they think in racial terms, at least to hear white America tell it.