Is America a Racist Country?

I woke up yesterday to this email from a really close friend: “Do you believe there is systemic racism in this country? Do you think we are a racist country? I was just curious about what you thought as I couldn’t tell from what I have listened to and what you’ve written.”

Great question, and an important one for us all to answer.

I hope those are two separate questions. As to the second one, I don’t think any country can be racist any more than it can be Christian. The country is made up of people—some are, some aren’t. As a country, we are  committed to incredibly high ideals—”liberty and justice for all!” Have we ever lived to the fullness of those ideals?  No, not yet! Do most people aspire to that reality? I think they do, but they don’t control the microphones in this country. This great melting pot has some fabulous stories where people of different ethnicities coming together for a greater common good, and some horrible examples of those ideals being betrayed by those who act with hatred against certain groups of people.
The question I’d be more prone to answering is, “Does our country have a race problem?”  I used to think it didn’t. I knew we had a disturbing past of enslaving people, but we’ve been trying to dig our way out of that and extend freedom and rights for all, even if that has often been done grudgingly. I grew up on the West coast where I was not exposed to a lot of overt racism, but I didn’t have a lot of black or hispanic friends, either. I grew up around people like me, for the most part. Over the years I’ve had friendships with people who look different from me, but they never let me in on the inequities they faced in our society. Perhaps they feared it would risk the friendship. Over the last decade or so I’ve had an expanding group of African-American and Latino friends who have let me in on the injustices they and their friends face. Some of it is low-key, but it impacts their opportunity and they definitely get the message that they are looked down on by the bulk of white culture as not-quite-equal. They see their children more at risk, and they don’t think we care.
Now, I’m convinced our society has a race problem and that many of my white friends are blind to its implications. We want to think we have reached equality, that most of these battles are behind us, that we do have equal opportunity and if “they” just worked hard enough they could have what we have.  But, that isn’t true. They don’t have the same opportunities and we have added to their burden.  We didn’t see how lynching replaced slavery as a way to instill fear and keep a culture down. We don’t see how unjust mass incarceration of black youth get them into the system to limit their opportunity and “keep them in their place.”  We think high crime in ethnic neighborhoods justifies our suspicious treatment of all blacks.  We don’t see racism around us, because it doesn’t happen to us or people we love. So, yes I am convinced there is systemic racism woven into the fabric of our culture. Most of it isn’t as overt as a racist cop killing an unarmed black man, and may even be unconscious, but it does exist. It gives people of color more to overcome to have the same opportunity the majority culture enjoys.
The reason there is such an explosion with anger now is not just because George Floyd was tragically murdered by a white cop but because his death provided a visible, undeniable image of the injustices that my friends of color and their children suffer every day in a society that is still white-preferring. This one is on video and even so, we have white people who don’t want to look at it or look for a reason that Mr. Floyd deserved it. They want it to be an isolated incident and ignore the wider issues it exposes. If we didn’t have that video, it’s very likely our justice system would have believed the police and dismissed the testimony of the onlookers. That’s been going on far too long, not only in the deaths of so many black, unarmed young men, but in the systemic racial inequity of a society that can do better.
Most white people I know wouldn’t want any of this to be true, but they have a hard time looking at our disparity and seeing it for what it is. I don’t think acknowledging white privilege is some horrible evil for which we should all feel shamed. It simply expresses the advantages we’ve had in being part of the dominant culture that prevailed in settling this country, often by violent and unjust means. They don’t want us to despise what we have; they want us to create a more level playing field so they can have the same opportunities we do.  That reality has found its way into my heart, and I hurt along with them in ways I did not used to. I want to see more what they see, understand more what they feel, and lend my voice to theirs for more just and equitable solutions. I want to speak out against injustice, against using race as a means to judge another human, against ways they are exploited or looked down upon.  If we could see the suffering our unawareness causes, we would act differently. That may be what is happening now in the protests being so diverse racially and generationally.
It has always been hard to talk about racism because we don’t use the same definitions. I hear African-Americans use the word to describe any attitude, policy, or action that diminishes them and their opportunity. White people, however, only use it to describe the worst examples like the KKK and white supremacists and can’t recognize racist tendencies in themselves or in the mechanisms of our culture. They think our racial issues were solved by the Civil War, or at least by Civil Rights legislation in the 60s.  Most of us want this to be over and believe that all are created equal and have an opportunity to succeed. That’s why when racial conflict comes up they think even mentioning racism is divisive.

Don’t make the ‘racist’ term so evil, that you can’t look for it in your own heart and mind. Racism doesn’t have to be intentional or overt; it can simply result from not seeing beyond your own interests to incorporate the interests of others as well.  Don’t take your definition of ‘racist’ by its most extreme examples. You can have friends whose skin tones are different than yours and still be blind to the racial issues our society has yet to confront and in doing so you help perpetuate a problem that needs to be fixed.

But you may have racial issues, or at least racial blindness…

  • …if you’ve never offered safe space for your black or brown friends to discuss discrimination and bias without arguing with or dismissing their experience.
  • …if you think you are “color blind” and treat all people equally.
  • …if you see a group of white kids walking through your neighborhood you smile, and see a group of black kids and wonder if they are up to no good.
  • …if you think everyone has the same opportunities you did; they only need to work harder.
  • …if you take offense to the term “white privilege” or see it as a source of guilt or shame. White privilege is the recognition that as part of a dominant culture you have had significant advantage in navigating society—white more than black, male more than female. Since you’ve always had them it is easy to understand why you don’t recognize them. Watching how people of color are treated in public environments, or how you tend to look down on people who don’t achieve as much as you do, may help you recognize it.  I don’t think people want your guilt; they are hoping you’ll learn to share those advantages with all others.
  • …if you prefer not to talk (or read) about racism because it makes you uncomfortable.
  • …if you think there are no bad cops because they are racist, afraid, or unnecessarily violent. Or, if you think all cops are racist.
  • …if you see the destructive looters or rioters as an excuse to dismiss the concerns of so many law-abiding protesters.
  • …if you tend to want to blame the victims when they are black or excuse the perpetrators if they are white.
  • …if you still believe the narrative that Colin Kaepernick was out to denigrate our flag or our military.
  • …if you get angrier when someone from a different culture cuts you off in traffic or gets the job you wanted.
  • …if you have convinced yourself that President Trump cares equally for all Americans.

And if you find vestiges of racism in your heart, what can you do?

First, learning to recognize it is a big step.  Now learn more about it, especially from those who’ve suffered from it.

Second, if you’re a person of faith, talk to God about it. Ask him to show you where it is in your heart and how he can untangle it. It will take time, but progress is a great thing.

Third, make time for relationships with people who look different than you do.  Get to know them as friends and when you do, ask them to tell you their story. You can only discriminate against people you dehumanize. Humanizing them will change you and the way you live in society.

Fourth, explore with other people ways to make our society more equitable. The challenges are huge and finding the policies to fix them won’t be easy in our polarized culture. You can however, simply start with asking, “How can I become a more generous person in the world outside my own in-group? If you need some ideas here and some concrete ways to do that, see our book, A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation. It contains specific exercises for you to engage conversations about race, as well as politics, religion, and sexuality that can close the gap on the divisiveness of our media and political leaders.

Don’t let this upheaval pass without taking stock within.  Philip, a friend of mine, posted this scene from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is one of my favorites and so appropriate in the face of the pandemic and the racial concerns that now confront us:

Frodo tells Gandalf of his regret that the ring had come to him. “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”

“So do I,” Gandalf responds, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

We have not chosen to live in this time, but God has chosen us to live in it. Let’s respond in a way that puts more of Father’s glory in the world.

 

30 thoughts on “Is America a Racist Country?”

  1. I’m sorry but when did discrimination stop at skin color? I live in small town that is 80 to 85% Mormon but I am not. I am short and chubby and probably have lost job opportunities due to that fact. And when does an individual take on a whole society of wrongs? Discrimination comes in many forms. I can relate to feeling “not enough” for a lot of things. But my concern is what do you do with it when you are the victimized. I, personally, run to my Savior for comfort and then for guidance. He has not failed me yet. Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:4-23 clearly says I get to choose and what I choose will be on me and me alone. I also live in a forest area and only one match can start a forest fire; whether it be for a control burn or a wildfire. When has rioting and looting been justification for solving a social issue?

    1. I’m truly sorry, Rhonda, for the discrimination you have suffered. I’m sure it gives you some perspective for what other people groups have suffered over a long historical arc. There are lots of reasons people feel like they don’t have equal opportunity, but this season is about an innocent man being choked to death on the street simply because he was black. And, that’s not just a one-off. It has happened before. I think we are taking other forms of discrimination seriously, but this season it is truly about trying to get enough conversation to right some racial disparities. Let’s let this be about them, because as far as I know cops are not murdering nonMormons in Utah in significant numbers. And please, understand he rioters and looters are criminals. They are using this time to wreck havoc and steal stuff. But that is not even most of the protestors who are trying to raise awareness and promote change. They hate it just as much as you do and how it is blurring their message.

      1. First off, I’m not looking for sympathy. I was trying to express that life is just not fair in many situations. We all experience that. The police officers involved with George Floyd have been arrested and are being charged. The justice system has responded very quickly to the situation. In order not to violate our rights, it must take its course through the courts. At this point, the individuals are being held responsible. What more is there to do? Two nights ago the news was covering the statistics that showed in 2019 only 10 unarmed black men and 20 unarmed white men were killed by police. The numbers don’t match the fear. And the fact that they use Black Lives Matter yet no discussion is made for black on black killings. I have seen Martin Luther King Jr quotes and I respect those fully. This current chaos has lost its message and their idea of change is to get rid of police. Wow, what a world that would be….I think they call it anarchy.

        1. The media has a way of amplifying the most extreme voices instead of the more reasonable ones. Reasonableness does not get you market share. Don’t judge any group by the most extreme examples of it. I don’t like it when liberals did it with all Christians who bombed abortion clinics, when conservatives did it to all Muslims with terrorists, or when we do it to all cops with racist ones. I am an avid supporter of law enforcement. One of my best friends is a cop. But because I’m such an avid supporter I also want to call out the outlier who will use their racist anger with the power of law enforcement. That’s got to be called out, not protected, but at the same time we dare not think that all or even most cops are like him.

      2. Hi.0

        Using a fake name for what i have to say.
        First let me say that i strongly disagree with what that officer did and am heartbroken when i think of it. The video is terribly sad.

        Second, i am a minority that has been confronted with racism since moving to the south as a child. It does exist in all its ugliness, to put it mildly.

        That said, I’ve also worked closely with officers for many years. Theyve aided me in making arrests.

        So we’ve established what happened was terribly wrong. That said, it’s an incredibly challenging job where you know you are continuously stepping into situations where your life is in jeopardy.

        Many times people dont notice what is going on until an officer has to use force and the one being arrested is screaming that they are pregnant or have heart problem and can fake attacks, etc. It can often be an excuse to get you to respond out of fear so they can then turn around and hurt you or run away. Someone on drugs are also alot more challenging to control for obvious reasons.

        Generally, as a minority that has been dealt with racism more the majority of my life, i like to hear both sides of the story.

        In this case the video shows enough evidence, imo, that what happened was criminal and unnecessary.

        If you are in law enforcement you have to know dealing with difficult people, to put it mildly, is part of the job. Sometimes they will strike you or kick and bite you. You should be given permission to defend your life, even if that means punch back if deemed necessary, but someone lying on the floor no longer agressive did not warrant what was done and for so long. Once an individual is under control there is no need for force.
        If an officer has personal issues with disruptive people, they dont need to be doing the job.

        I heard this officer had been under i ternal i vestigation several times. That needs to be reviewed too and why the system failed.

        For sure there is racism. For sure an officer’s job is physically, and especially mentally challenging, and on each side there is the natural inclination to come together and back those that are in the same situation you are in. Unfortunately good judgement can get lost, especially in the heat of the moment.

        I was just talking to a friend about the fine line between what we have come to know as a pattern in certain aspects, and profiling and racism. Would make a great conversation

        I apologize if you had no intention of getting into all that.

        1. The travesty in all of this is that you felt you had to use a false name while sharing your balanced experience. What does that say?? What does it say that on a web discussion site of a world renowned author with a global following, there are less than 10 people who would discuss a major crisis such as this? I said the same thing as you have communicated on day 1 on my social media account, in an attempt to calm a situation by encouraging people to look at ALL perspectives from all positions, and I was shamed publicly by the black community…and supported privately by a small minority who truly want change and discussion. What does that say?? Very few are truly looking for balanced thoughts and balanced resolution, they don’t want to hear it. They only want their way and will shout as loud as possible to shut up and shame any perspective which is not 100% supportive of their view. So what happens to the balanced thinkers and doers who want to discuss and find a way forward together?? We delete our social media accounts, turn off the news, withdraw from the discussion, and retreat back to our peaceful lives in the country with our peaceful friends…there is no problem here. And this is what has been and is happening in America today, and this is the core problem, period. While the latest current events are tangible and contain merit, It isn’t covid, and it isn’t racism; it is strongly opinionated SIDES, regardless of biological facts, or real statistics, who have successfully squeezed out the moderate voice of peace and calm and listen/hearing and resolution. The bridges have been destroyed by big mouth/ego’s vying to be the “pillars”.

          1. Think i lost my 1st response so going to try again.

            I can certainly relate kevin. I think the concern is that it will undermine the injustices and feelings of those protesting.

            I don’t think that is the case if done properly. You can validate one side while helping understand the hardship others face.

            Although, as you said, some will never be satisfied.

            I agree to give them their time to vent, but when the situation grows to extremes that do seem off, i believe it is beneficial to bring in those other perspectives. Ill take it a step further and say i believe it is harmful not to bring it in.

            I would be interested in reading Wayne’s new book because i wonder if it touches on something I’ve advocated for sometime, the need to see our commonality at a deeper level.

            On surface people of color and police may seem different, but at that deeper level they are both dealing with violence, fear, and discrimination. And for officers it, in some aspects, is more prominent because their job is to walk into the fire, not away from it. Believe me they all deal with fear, many probably on a regular basis, you just learn to live with it and move despite of it.

            So when the dust begins to settle some, i hope officers and people of color can come together and share at that deeper level to see how they have more in common than they may realize, and hopefully that will bring some understanding, empathy, and change.

          2. That is my hope, too Dwayne. Our society wants to polarize us and we dare not let them. To care about injustice for African Americans does not require you to distrust or hate the police. And supporting the police does not mean you have to turn a blind eye to the police who act like bullies or who ware racist. We need both sides to come together to reach mutual understanding and find their common ground. We have many fair and honest police men and women, but we’ve also had an impenetrable blue wall in some jurisdictions that protected bad cops at the expense of the citizenry. That needs to stop without despising those men and women who protect our society from destructive individuals.

        2. Hey Dwayne, no reply option was given for your last reply so I’m replying to it via your initial posting.

          Yes I agree that many feel like a balanced discussion would somehow undermine feelings and injustices of those protesting, but this I do not understand at all, and I really can’t see how it is healthy in a legit and honest conversation/relationship resolution. To me, this approach looks to be “pandering” or even humoring, to neglect one half or more of a situation or problem, temporarily, in order to appear nice and huggy, so that with a bit of initial “grease” on the wheels, things will get moving. But maybe the plan is to never address everything as a whole and just create an illusion of something in order to delay the real pain of honesty leading to resolution. Honestly I can’t envision true resolution with a one sided approach when there are many sides operating and feeding off of each other simultaneously.
          In my family we follow an unwritten code, “if we aren’t talking about everything, we aren’t talking about anything”. Maybe this is an incorrect approach when it comes to speaking of matters, but I’ll tell you, we sure don’t have a lot of one sided complaining or gossip going on here. Venting is allowed but we don’t call it “truth” we call it “venting”, the release of top pressure so that an honest conversation can ensue minus the emotional top pressure.
          Your comment, “…the need to see our commonality at a deeper level.” I could not agree more, for the entire population and not just the black/white discussion, but a great place to start. Unfortunately this particular topic is very ugly and the enormous elephant in the room, goes by the name of “violence”. This is what many are trying to ignore during “huggy time” and won’t be looked at as part of the equation, yet it is easily the largest factor to the debate in my opinion.
          If you follow the Israeli/Palestinian situation it too always comes back to the violence. “OK, OK fresh start today, clean slate, everyone gets treated fairly and generously”, but if violence at any level begins it will be met with a strong reaction. Every time it happens it is met with a stronger reaction, resulting in another reaction, etc, until it escalates to all out war. The bottom line is that as long as there is violence, law enforcement/military is obligated to put up a wall between the violence and the non-violent, that is their job. And when I say “wall”, I’m not talking about just a physical barrier, I’m talking about mental/emotional walls that a man or woman MUST put up in order to do this job of being a violent protector who stares the threat of death in the face every day. Add to that, cynicism, and what a twisted cocktail we have mixed. Yet people simply see it as black and white, and of white people having an unfair distaste for black people which we call racism, which can be marched and protested and knelt, out of our systems. If it were only that easy.

          1. Kevin, first, appreciate the thoroughness of your points. I share many of them, although not all.

            I can’t speak for all, but it isnt necessarily about being nice and huggy, there are just times where people need to be heard, their pain and grief, without us making excuses, no matter how much merit our excuses may have. Emotions aren’t well served with reasoning. Emotions need to be met with the heart for it is the language of the heart. Sometimes people want to know that you feel their pain, or at least hear it.
            Balance, as much as i love it, i feel is just another side. Wanted to say more but short on time. Hopefully i can return soon and find a reply option.

          2. Think this is going to post in the wrong order, but I have more time now.

            As the saying goes, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

            I agree, the release of the top pressure can be necessary, but when it is met with more steam violence can result. That’s why it can often be beneficial to walk away from a conversation like that until emotions have run their course.

            There will come a time when one can meet more amicably at a table and share without all that pressure, and hopefully find understanding and resolution, but we need to be able to also recognize the injustices that minorities are facing otherwise we will be met with a wall.

            Some will cry out racism everytime a minority is met with force. Those will lose their validity. Likewise for those that always claim police brutality when necessary force is used.

        3. This one is certainly out of order now as no reply option was given to your recent comments. Really appreciate your points of perspective Dwayne and I have appreciated the discussion. Perspective is a funny thing, mine has been mostly developed from a fighters mentality which can be both healthy and unhealthy I’m sure. I spent a lot of years working with troubled, abused, and mostly minority youth and what I have come to realize and what I taught and emphasized is: “don’t count on a system, don’t count on your neighbor, don’t count on the government; stop counting, start doing! And if you have expectations, expect that no one’s coming to help, you are the help. This is your opportunity for life, this is up to you to wade through the trash, earn respect, and buy your freedom if you truly want to own it!” Now, I didn’t and don’t just blurt that out with zero sensitivity, but I probably could improve in that area if one were to ask my wife. I think I may now be about 80% toughness and about 20% tenderness, and 0% about cute lol. But that is me, that’s how I survived being a throw-away baby, that’s what got me out of the messes I found myself more often than not, and develop the tools to become as independent as I am today, “we aren’t waiting for help, we are the help.” And I know this is not how it always works, and I know that help can come from all different directions and persons and sometimes sensitive is the best thing we can be at times, but I believe mostly in being mentally tough, and I truly believe that if people TRULY want to succeed, a push goes further than a hug; we can hug later on the podium! lol So anyway my brother, thanks for this random conversation, I wish you the very best, and the best for all of our neighbors from all race and tribe. God be with us all together as one, His Kingdom come!

          1. Thanks kevin. I have thoroughly enjoyed the exchanges and it was refreshing to find another brother in the Lord that is big on all perspectives and balance.

            I suspect we would have talked for hours if we would have met. I like the way you think. My wife has had me in training for some time so i hear you.

            And thank you Wayne. I wanted to say, “Amen” to your comment about not letting them divide us, etc, but didn’t see the response option under your comment. Now we know why.

  2. Wayne,
    Can you explain why I might have racial issues or racial blindness if I still believe the narrative that Colin Kaepernick was out to denigrate our flag or our military? I can take to heart all your other questions to ponder but I can’t see it in this one. To me, Colin Kaepernick’s actions speaks of disrespect for our country and for the men and women who have died to defend our country.

    Lynda

    1. Hi Lynda. Remember, I said MAYBE at the top of this list. I’m not a Colin Kaepernick fan, not as a football player and not of the socks he wore mocking policeman. He has made his mistakes and in the beginning I didn’t like what he was doing. But the more I listened to him and to others around him I became convinced his passion was legitimate and that he was genuinely trying to raise awareness about a problem many whites would rather stay ignorant about. He hasn’t done or said anything to denigrate our flag or our military. He has said many times this was not about the anthem, the flag or the military. Those who wanted to find a way to diminish his protest created the narrative so it was no longer about unarmed black men dying in police custody, but about ruining their Sundays with a political statement during a football game. What has the military to do with football anyway. It is my view that in the absence of direct evidence to the contrary we have to not substitute someone else’s motives for the ones we’d like them to have. Assigning fake motives to someone we don’t like is the first way people get unfairly discredited. The issue he was raising is a real one and I wish more people had listened then. You’re welcome to disagree, but that is where I have landed on this. I hope that helps you at least understand what I was thinking.

  3. This is perfect Wayne! You have been instrumental in helping me to see my white privilege and in motivating me to educate myself. I began posting about racial issues when the Ahmaud Arbery case became public and immediately had “friends” private messaging me that he was “no saint out for a jog” and including clips of Candace Owens.

    Here’s another “if” statement:
    . . . if you feel compelled to counter BlackLivesMatter with All Lives Matter.

    I was never in the camp that was outraged about Kaepernick or who felt compelled to respond to the BLM slogan defensively. I think I’ve always known deep down that systemic racism exists. Probably because I resist the conforming nature of White Evangelicalism.

    BUT I was never secure enough to step out and make a statement myself. I did that this week and made a #BlackLivesMatter post. It sort of blew up in a good way, and I know it was the right thing to do.

    Keep on speaking up and being open and honest about your journey. It is making a difference!

  4. Oh hey wayne. I see in your comments you want to let it be about them. You dont have to post my post.

    My personal opinion is that from time to time that other perspective needs to be brought in otherwise the picture can be horribly distort ed and the results can be worse than the illness we are looking to cure.

    But that’s my perspective. It’s your blog and i respect that so know I’m truly ok with you not posting my post.

  5. Thank you for your blog on racism! It was very well said. I appreciate the kind yet direct approach to this very sensitive subject to help expose white prejudice and white privilege. It is very difficult for white people to look honestly at themselves and to acknowledge prejudicial attitudes But that is what each of us need to do for real change to start. This is especially incumbent for Christians to do, as the Scriptures are very clear. And all Americans have the Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of Independence as their guiding principle.

    I am a white middle-class American who likes to believe that I am “color blind”. I rent a room in my house to a black man, and I have several black friends. But among your listing of red flags to identify prejudice I may hold, there was one I knew to be true: when I see a black person walking through my neighborhood, I am suspicious! There is always a need to be cautious, but I realize that for all my “color blindness”, I still have “blind spots”!

    Thank you for taking a stand in this most crucial concern. Thank you for being open and honest about your journey from not understanding the issues to becoming educated and proactive for this cause, so that black and brown people may live free of fear and with liberty and justice for all.

  6. I have learned so much from you over the years. I would like to share a poem I wrote years ago that I think is applicable today:
    Precious Blood

    Today I walked in the ‘hood.
    I was surprised to see God
    sitting on the curb.

    Beside Him was a large pool of blood.
    I watched Him dip fine linen cloths
    to soak up the blood.
    He folded each stained cloth reverently.

    I asked God: “What are you doing?”

    “This is the blood of My son,” He replied.

    “Oh no,” I said, “Yesterday I saw
    an old Black man stumbling from a bar.
    He had a gunshot wound to his head.
    This is his blood.”

    “That’s right,” God told me.
    “This is the blood of My son
    and it is precious to Me.

    © Jan Ross MSW

    1. How good to discover you here in this conversation, my friend!
      I hope others will read and re-read your poem.
      At the heart of all of this is how God loves every single one of us, His little boys and girls–each precious in His sight.
      Here’s another poem, one I called Eyes of Love.
      My Eyes of love
      My heart shows through;
      My hands reach out,
      I reach through you.
      My Ears hear words
      That are not said,
      My Arms reach to
      The soul that’s dead.
      The one you see,
      I see him, too.
      I see with love,
      I see through you.
      You see with light
      When you see with Me.
      My Eyes of love
      Need your eyes to see.

  7. Thanks, Wayne. These questions are really helpful and have aided me in doing some soul-searching of my own. It’s not an issue I’ve thought about very much before, and that is part of the problem, I think. Looking forward to reading the new book when it comes out!

  8. Dear Wayne,
    I am reading “He Loves Me” and have found it full of insight and encouragement. In fact, among all of the current teachers whose writing and speaking emphasize the grace of God, I have found your works to represent the best combination (that I can recognize with my limited understanding) of both the truth of God’s grace and adherence to mainstream interpretations of scripture.

    Because of the respect I have for you, I felt that, even at this time when I have felt castigated for two weeks for my privilege and ignorance as a white person, I wanted to read what you had to say on the matter. When I got to the section headed “But you may have racial issues, or at least racial blindness…” I felt that there were some points I should ponder there, too, but I was deeply disappointed that you chose to single out President Trump for reproach on this issue, without knowing with certainty what is in his heart. Surely you are familiar with at least some of the comments of his opponent that have demonstrated over many years the racial insensitivity of his opponent?

    I know you are used to getting heat for speaking from your convictions, but I believe that with this type of one-sided comment, you also risk alienating many people who need to hear the rest of your message. I probably would not have written if you had spoken of flaws in the rhetoric of both candidates, but then I would have missed out on telling you how much my wife and I have benefitted from “He Loves Me” and your “Transitions” Youtube series.

    1. Thank you for your kind words about my writings and recordings that have been helpful on your journey. It is greatly appreciated and encouraging.

      Let me just try to respond to your concern about mentioning Trump without mentioning the Democratic nominee. Believe me, I don’t have a lot of love for the Democrats, they are just as caustic to this dialogue as Republicans are. The reason I think mentioning Trump only there was because it would make people pause and think. President Trump doesn’t even pretend to care about ALL people. He doesn’t even care about people on his own staff who dare to express a different opinion than his. For people to think he cares as much for the marginalized ethnic groups in this country as he does his white, upper middle-class evangelicals and business cronies is absurd. You can like Trump’s policies, and even the young conservative judges he’s stacking our courts with, but if someone thinks he is working for ALL Americans, they are deluded. That’s according to own campaign rhetoric and tweet streams. I’m not assigning motives to him that he doesn’t freely admit and share. He is demeaning, dismissive, and destructive to anyone who does not share his views that he is “the greatest President of all time.” It’s nauseating and I wish people who love his policies would at least challenge his narcissistic demeanor that alienates many fellow-citizens in this country. He’s the President. He is supposed to be looking out for ALL the people, not just HIS people. That’s why I called him out specifically. People who can’t see that are really blinded to the racial disparity in this nation.

      1. Thank you for replying – your points are well taken. More than just rough around the edges, he is often childish and undignified (I’ve felt his best moments were when presenting medals). He started in the 2016 Republican debates, in which he chased all of my preferred candidates (i.e. any of his opponents) off the stage, but he has been ruthlessly attacked and delegitimized since before taking the oath of office and has reacted as if in a knife fight.
        On the other hand, I would say that we haven’t had a president who really embraced the whole country for many decades, and it’s a shame. Other recent presidents have just chosen to reveal their disdain for people unlike them only at fundraisers or other occasions where they thought they could speak their minds “safely”.

  9. I just realized there is a difference between a “blog” and a “discussion forum”. Great job balancing the two Wayne. You post up some thoughtful topics and still make room for discussion and allow people to get some things off their chest and even to vent a little. Also thankful for the typical contributor on this site who tend to be gracious and who allow others to share their points of view without personal attack. This is a helping to create a thoughtful, honest, and diverse culture. This is what America needs more of.

  10. Michelle Campbell

    Because of the protests; the other 3 officers involved were charged and Chauvin’s initial charges were increased! There is SO much more to do!! Protests are the hallmark of American History. It’s how we have gotten things done! We are so fortunate that we have the right to assemble and protest. The looting and rioting that is going on – was not done by protestors! They are criminals who are using the time & opportunity to do their crimes. I don’t think the message is lost. Your life matters. It’s just we need to help out black lives a little more right now. We’re not saying other groups don’t matter. I’m praying for you in Utah.

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