Many places of worship have chosen to speak out about the police brutality perpetrated against Black people and other people of color; however, white churches have been largely absent from the conversation. Kevin Clay recently blogged about his experiences at his majority-white place of worship. Clay points out that there are many black people like him who attend churches that are majority-white, and he feels that as faith communities, these churches have a responsibility to speak out against injustice, no matter who the victim is.
While Clay admits that he has grown spiritually while attending the church, he has experienced a growing sense of frustration about the church’s choice to not address issues of race and racism. White churches not addressing these issues may simply be a result of the racial divide between how white and black people perceive issues that involve race. Faith communities are apparently not immune from racial divisions.
Clay calls on the leaders of white churches to do some introspection about what possible biases they may have that prevent them from directly addressing the fact that the lives of Black people are valued less than the lives of white people. He also points out that not acknowledging this disparity in value is just as damaging as those who are overtly racist in their treatment of Black people. In addition, he highlights the fact that discussing racism as something that black and white people suffer from equally only serves to perpetuate the problem instead of dealing with it realistically.
Clay sums up his suggestion in the following way, “Following the example of Christ, the church should have a commitment to justice, especially for the poor and disenfranchised. Christ challenged oppressive state authority and continually reminded religious leaders to do some introspective housekeeping when they were blinded by privilege and self-righteousness. As members of the church, we have the same obligation.”