Monday, April 30, 2018

Theologians and White Supremacy: An interview with James H. Cone

From American Magazine-

Are American theologians saying enough about racism?

No, they are not. Both Catholic and Protestant theologians do theology as if they do not have to engage with the problem of white supremacy and racism. Not all of them ignore it completely, but some write as if slavery, colonialism and segregation never existed. In fact, white supremacy is more deeply entrenched now than it was in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, because back then, the country acknowledged its racial problems more directly. The civil rights and black power movements forced the nation—through Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and a host of other courageous people—to confront racism as a cancer in the body politic. The churches did too, both Catholic and Protestant. Fighting for racial justice in the 1960’s was the churches’ finest hour.

But now, having confronted it years ago, they think they have made the racial situation better, whereas in some ways it is worse. It is like a new form of racism, in that it accepts the tokenism of a few blacks in churches, educational institutions and government in order to make people think everything is fine on the racial front. But just look at the statistics about the African-American community with regard to imprisonment, health care, education and employment. We are worse off today in areas like these. So I want to challenge white theologians and their churches to speak out in a sustained and prophetic way about racial injustice.

More here-

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