Eddie Glaude: The Danger of White Innocence

Eddie Glaude, the chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, speaks to American culture, racism in 2019 and how President Trump is the “manifestation of the ugliness that’s inside us.”

This excerpt from MSNBC aired on Aug. 5, 2019. In a three minute speech, Glaude diagnoses what every American – especially those of primarily European descent – needs to hear if we are to move forward toward a multiracial democracy, rather than a white apartheid state. This clip is especially important for American Christians to watch together and discuss together. America’s secular Christian-ish civil religion upholds and promotes “white” innocence. However, the radical liberating message of Jesus unmasks false innocence, breaks down superiority based on a false construction of whiteness, and demands that followers of Jesus find their true face in Christ and recognize that face in one another. It both dismantles the lie and incarnates the truth.

Here is a draft list of resources for further study. Please send me your own suggestions, especially non-book resources.

Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes by Justo L Gonzalez. “Claiming that a particular perspective cannot be avoided, Justo Gonzalez proudly reads the Bible through Hispanic eyes. Gonzalez insists that theological contextualization is not divisive but that, because it challenges ‘mainline’ denominations to change, it is the only thing that will keep them from becoming ‘oldline’ demonimations. … With graceful ease born of his vast knowledge and deep engagement with Hispanics, Gonzalez asserts that a Hispanic biblical hermeneutic is relevant to all Christians precisely so as not to introduce divisions in the name of a hegemonic reading that distorts the Bible because it opposes those who are not in control.” — Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter and White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and The Heresy of White Christianity by Gloria H. Albrecht (CrossCurrents, Volume 64, Issue 3, September 2014)

The Cross and the Lynching Tree and Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian by James H. Cone. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

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