OnRamp 001: Two Christians Talking About Race

Hi Friend, welcome to On-Ramp.


Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart


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One thought on “OnRamp 001: Two Christians Talking About Race

  1. I am all in on discussing prejudices and power. I do think these two concepts set the table for a fruitful conversation between people from varying backgrounds. My main point of quandary has to do with how you have defined racism. I would be for that definition except for one important aspect that I rarely hear discussed. That is this, as a white male myself I have become gravely aware of the inequity we are born into, with no say of our own. I am not a fan of terms like “white privilege” (as I believe they heighten divides instead of healing them), but agree with the basic argument behind them. However, the term racism carries so much baggage, both historically and semantically, that even your attempt to (re-)define the term here doesn’t resolve the issue that in my life growing up, the term “racist” meant two simple truths: (1) you hate black people and/or (2) you thought that a black person’s humanity was somehow less than that of a white person’s. It is so much more loaded than the context described in this episode that “racist” equates to being a bad person. That is why we speak past each other, with this context in mind if you were to call me a racist I would have to vehemently rebut your assertion and say, “no, I neither hate black people nor do I think anyone is less than anyone else in God’s eyes!” Within your definition I would easily say, “yes, I have some prejudices in my life and/or social structures that may not positively impact the way I interact with everyone and I now recognize as a white male I do have a level of power I was previously unaware of simply due to my sex and ethnicity. And I want to work to empower others and heal divides!” We can define racism and discuss on the terms mentioned in your podcast, but I fear such definition is not transferable to society as a whole, weighed down by historical and pop culture influences that heavily impact the way we understand and interact with terminology. That leads me to ponder; should we do as you have done and (re-)define racism? Or do we need to start using a term that doesn’t have the same baggage and insight so much hostility? I can make an argument either way; however in the former we may continue to speak past each other, perhaps even increasing divides as well meaning dialog is side tracked by loaded language, and in the latter we remove a word that at its heart does speak to a very real truth impacting millions of people and could be viewed as a way to dodge the hurt inflicted over hundreds of years (misuse of power?). IDK, either way I am excited to see where this podcast goes. We do need to talk about reconciliation in the context of the cross and resurrection. I haven’t listened past the first episode but am hopeful you address the unique ways the church can build bridges and heal wounds caused from racial prejudices that have weaved their way through the tapestry of the American life, God bless!

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