By now, I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen the video of the two Black Men being arrested in the Philly Starbucks; if not, may I suggest coming out from that rock. The video and arrest, caused an uproar on Social Media with the video being shared by millions of people. While this event was horrid, and people need to be held in account, it opened the door to some amazing conversations about White Privilege and what White’s can do in the face of a justice system that assumes people of color, and people in poverty, are presume guilty without the possibility of being proved innocents.
Kevin Johnson, the CEO of Starbucks, called the events of that day, “reprehensible.” He added, “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution.” Which caused me to ask an important question:
What’s the White Evangelical Church doing to be part of the solution?
Sadly, I would have to say – Not much. Now, before you get your panties in a twist and start telling me there is not such thing of a “White” or “Black” or “Brown” or “Any Color” Church, let me call bullshit on that right off the bat, because we all know what I’m talking about. Let me also add this, I’m not picking on the White Evangelical Church. If we’re denying this reality, we’re taking five steps back from understanding race relations.
Which leads me to ask some questions:
How many White Evangelical Pastors speak on race relations, racism, poverty, immigration or abuse?
How many White Evangelical Pastors stand and call out White Privilege?
How many Evangelical denominations require race relation training?
How many White Evangelical Church Leaders are speaking out against racial issues facing their community?
How many White Evangelical Pastors simply hide their heads in the sand and remain silent?
Don’t get me wrong, I get it. For many in the Evangelical Church speaking out on race, racial issues, poverty and immigration are thing only those “Liberal” or “Progressive” Pastors do, after all ‘We Evangelicals speak of Jesus during our services.’ I once had a conversation with one of my White Evangelical Pastor friends concerning this topic, when I did, one of the first things our of his mouth was, “All Live Matter.” I thought for a moment sand replied, “You’re right, all lives matter. But, would that not include Black Lives?” He answered, “Yeah, it includes Black Lives.” So, I added, “Then why are you not speaking out when a Black man is killed by police?” He changed the subject.
It’s not that White Evangelicals don’t see the issue, they do – they just don’t care, it doesn’t affect their church [or so they think]. When White Evangelicals Pastors look over their congregations and see a sea of white, conservative, old faces and they realize if they speak out on certain issues their donor base will accuse them of preaching on “political issue” and not the gospel. Which has always blown me away; how can White Conservative Evangelical Christians claim racism, poverty, race, abuse and immigration are political, while justifying the voice of the Republican Party?
The reality is, if you’re not speaking on race, racism, poverty, abuse and immigrations you’re not speaking the words of Jesus. You’re either standing against the status quo, or you’re the status quo.