Casper the Friendly Ghost

The issue of “whiteness” has jumped to the fore in the Christian community for those concerned about racial matters. The impetus was the Sparrow Women’s conference in March, and an interview with Ekemini Uwan, a prominent writer and host of the podcast Truth’s Table who describes herself as an “anti-racist public theologian.”

During the interview, Uwan said much that was controversial, discussing her belief in how “whiteness” harms African-Americans. I’ve written about the conference and its fallout several times, including a series of questions that I had for the conference, Uwan and the general community, and a call for a more charitable spirit among the Twitter crowd.

Much has been written about the conference, including an eyewitness account of the Uwan interview by Deedee Roe. Now comes the latest salvo in response, and it’s a doozy.

Darrell B. Harrison and Virgil Walker host a podcast called Just Thinking, and they took on the subject of whiteness in a no-holds-barred podcast. The hosts, who are black, laid out their case for why the very concept of whiteness is itself a myth, and their belief that the way it’s used is unbiblical.

It’s a long podcast — nearly two hours — but worth listening to until the very end. They make a strong case for their position, and Harrison goes into detail unpacking such complex topics as critical race theory and black liberation theology. I’d call it required listening for those who don’t know much about those concepts.

Now, I’m not saying I agree or disagree with their take. On this site, what I hope to do is get people talking about issues of race and religion in America (it’s the tagline for this website, in fact), without inserting my opinion too much in the dialogue. That’s why you should watch the entire interview with Uwan, read what others are writing (and Tweeting), and listen to the Just Thinking podcast episode.

Above all, make up your own mind after digesting the information. Don’t take a side based on “I’m in the liberal camp” or “I’m in the conservative camp.” Try, as much as you can, to evaluate the arguments being made, rather than letting your emotional response to a particular speaker persuade you. Avoid preconceived notions and confirmation bias, which can lead to bad conclusions.

The conversation about whiteness is a discussion worth having. But let’s do it with respect for all sides and all opinions. Treat those who disagree with you honorably, the way you want them to treat you. Let’s be brothers and sisters in the Lord.