Within the past few months, I think it’s safe to say that we have all been forced to think about racism and our own attitudes towards it more than we have in a long time. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s important to be shaken up so we can look at what we actually believe about moral and social issues. We need to be wary of becoming complacent about topics that cause division without us being aware.
And yet the way our culture was “shaken up” about the issue of racism was sudden and volatile and sometimes a bit overwhelming. New phrases and definitions came to the surface – including ones such as antiracist, white privilege, white guilt, white fragility, systemic racism, silence is violence, and more. To say that I was confused was an understatement. And I really wanted to become better educated about all of it before jumping on board with things that I might disagree with.
There are some things that I agree with and always have agreed with my entire life:
- Racism and discrimination are wrong
- Historically speaking in America, Blacks, Native Americans, and most other immigrant groups have faced horrific injustices, oppression, and discrimination
- Every life is valuable because God created each person in His own image
- We should always stand up for justice, equality, and love when we personally see injustice, inequality, and hatred happening (although that might look different for each situation)
- We all have pride because we are sinners who are bound to think we are better than someone else at any given point in our lives
I believe these things because my parents raised me well, teaching me these values from a young age. And also because I’ve learned to be a well-educated adult citizen who wants to shine the light of Christ wherever she goes.
So when I saw the protests, slogans, and statements start popping up everywhere in the weeks immediately following George Floyd’s death, I had to ask myself if I agreed with them. I knew I agreed with some of their core values. But I needed to become more educated about some of the other things that were being said – because I just couldn’t bring myself to agree that every white person is inherently racist or that America is systemically racist in every way. Broad statements like these should always make a person pause and question them because rarely can we apply a blanket statement like that to “all people” (unless we’re saying all people are sinful).
As I began my journey to educate myself, I followed what I said in my earlier blog post:
First, I looked for trustworthy sources – and in this case, I wanted to hear from people of color themselves. The one social media campaign that said “we’re listening” was important – so long as we do actually listen to people who are directly affected by the issue of racism and not just assume that we know what they think based on the popularity of social media posts.
Another sign of trustworthiness was how well-educated the people were who were speaking. Do they have the authority to make the claims they do? Have they done the research and study on the topics about which they are speaking? I’m getting tired of “woke millennials” claiming that they learned more about issues of race from Tik Tok and Twitter than they did from school. If this is the kind of education our future leaders are getting, I’m very concerned about our future.
I also looked for a variety of perspectives. Some of the resources I’m sharing are from Christians and some are from non-Christians. Some are younger, some are older. Some are male, some are female. But most of them are people of color – because that’s what this whole issue centers around.
I looked for sources that aligned with my values and that applied logic and reason to the claims that are being made – because frankly, many of the claims being made don’t have the evidence to support them or they end up contradicting themselves.
And I found a lot of answers to my questions. And a lot more depth and understanding than I had before. That doesn’t mean I’m an expert by any means. I still have a lot of learning to do – and I probably need to go back and listen to/read these videos and articles again to internalize the points that resonated with me. There are more resources out there to find and more perspectives to hear.
But this is the starting point – a place where I’ve begun to understand more about the race issues and how I can approach them. It takes so much love and grace to discuss these topics because they are emotionally triggering. We’ve all had experiences that made us feel less than someone else to certain degrees (some more than others), and hence we get defensive around issues that touch on those experiences.
I pray that we would be loving and sensitive as we seek to understand each other and the deeper issues better. But I also pray that we would be bold in looking for truth and speaking it out instead of wearing the “socially-acceptable” mask of phrases and ideologies that we might not agree with.
So if you want to know more on these topics, then I encourage you to explore the resources I’ve collected so far – because they will speak the truth with far more eloquence than I could. Mind you, I’ve been listening to and reading these sources for a couple of months now – so you might want to bookmark these sites and come back to them when you’re able to give them more thought. I like to listen to the videos and podcasts while I’m getting ready in the morning, driving, or doing something creative like painting or a puzzle.
Also, I included links to specific videos/podcasts that I’ve listened to that really spoke to me, but some of these people have many other videos that I would recommend as well.
Dr. Voddie Baucham – Ethnic Gnosticism
Thomas Sowell – Myths of Economic Inequality
Tim Challies – Is White Fragility a Helpful Resource for Christians?
Dennis Prager & Prager U
5-Minute Videos and Fireside Chats
Courage & Critical Thinking with Brandon Tatum
Dr. Neil Shenvi
Critical Theory and Other Topics – https://shenviapologetics.com/intro-to-critical-theory/
Critical Race Theory Interview on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFjK3BLDLr4
Candace Owens – The Candace Owens Show: Kingface
Faith Bible Church – “Hearing Our Brothers” series on Family of Faith Podcast
This is my church – and I love that they took the time to interview Black members of our own congregation to hear their stories more clearly.
The Ben Shapiro Show – On Any Podcast Server
Note: I don’t always agree with everything Ben Shapiro says or the way in which he says it, but he does have some pretty great truth bombs!
Most of these resources were shared with me by friends and family members (and there are even more that I didn’t post links to) – and I so appreciate that they passed them on to me. If you have more to share with me, too, I’d love to hear them.
Let’s keep spreading the wealth of wisdom, critical thinking, and love for the deepest issues in our culture right now. And let’s keep having conversations instead of cancellations. This is the only way we’ll continue to grow and solve problems.