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Michael Westmoreland-White

I haven't changed my mind about McKissic being right, but I told SelahV that her post was powerful and I meant it. Americans are both obsessed over race and pretend they aren't. We need far more discussions like Selah's.



I simply could not agree more, Michael. Our major difference between us may be in exactly who may be racist. My view is minorities may be just as woefully racist as majorities. If I read you correctly, you seem to believe true racism is possible only for those politically empowered.

Also, I am glad SelahV ministered to you as she did me. Grace. With that, I am...


Michael Westmoreland-White

Almost right. Minorities can be racially prejudiced, but racism is "prejudice plus power," it is institutionalized. So, African-Americans can have prejudices toward whites (or Koreans or whomever), but they can't (in most cases) block them from promotions, etc.

Your response to Mckissic was outrage that he would assume to know what was in the hearts of white trustees at SWBTS. But throughout history, oppressed and marginalized persons have survived by understanding the oppressors better than they understand the oppressed or even their own subconscious motivations. Segregation is over in this country and we may even have come far enough to elect an African-American president, now--maybe. But power and privilege are still firmly in the hands of whites.
This is especially true in the SBC, founded to defend racism, and which, until VERY recently had virtually zero black members. I wouldn't have used the term "lynching," but I am convinced that if McKissic had been a white trustee who defended charismatic gifts, the majority of SBC big-wigs would have issued "we don't agree" statements and dropped the matter in 2-3 days. But they hated a "mere black man" challenging THEIR theology when they were granting him the great privilege of being a trustee in their seminary.

I've taught in 2 African-American institutions, but also in white institutions--I've learned to detect the patronizing tone. It doesn't mean that I don't fall back into it myself. In the U.S. in 2007, the best we white folks can hope for is to be recovering racists. Whenever I meet a white person who says they "don't see color," I assume they are willfully ignorant (and what African American or Asian or Native American wants you to see them as something "neutral" and NOT see their race?). Whenever I meet a white person who says they have no prejudices, I assume they are either lying or so out of touch with themselves as to be literally dangerous.

This is serious business and we have yet to grapple with it seriously as Christians and Americans on a large scale.



i believe you are way off base on this one.



Michael: I wish I could be seen as neutral. However, I too can discern the patronizing tone, the suspicion from another who questions my sincerity. I think blacks, whites, Italians, Jews, Asian, etc. all want to be seen as people. Just people. An individual person. Yet, blacks see themselves as a brotherhood. I don't see my race as a brotherhood and that all believe exactly like I do. I do not feel if a white woman marries a Korean that those Koreans are all stealing our men. That is what Oprah said on TV. That black women don't like white women taking there men. What is that? You seem to dialog more with black folks than I do, why is that a mindset with them in your opinion? selahV



Unfortunately, I do not accept your definition of prejudice--"racism is "prejudice plus power," it is institutionalized." Being so, it would be hard, then, to accept your conclusions.

I do not see racism through the singular "institutionalized" lens. In fact, were I to define racism, it would be much more characterized as a sin of the heart; thus, a personal offense. And, even you grant such when you speak about discerning "patronizing tones."

Laws in out country forbid institutionalized racism, and rightly so. Indeed, from my view, that's about the extent the law itself can go.

Somewhere, Dr. King said something like this (very loose paraphrase): "The Law cannot keep a white man from hating me; but it can keep him from hanging me." Precisely. Like hate, racism is of the heart, an inward frame.

Consequently, to frame solutions based on an institutionalized definition of racism seems to me to be likened to our constitutional law framing solutions to divorce by the federal government forbidding sexual lust.

In essence, Law cannot forbid racism anymore than lust. Both are inward problems which demand inward solutions.

Finally, according to your definition, at least the way I understand it, Michael, the only solution to racism seems, in the end, to be political power--numbers, politics.

I realize you did not say this. But is it not implied in the "plus power" and "Blacks can't block promotions" etc. pertaining to your definition of racism? But, for me, if the only solution--or even a chief part of a solution to a moral atrosity is having equal vote, I'm wondering how that is distinctively Christian at all.

Thanks, Michael, for a great conversation. With that, I am...



Peter: Well said in your description of racism. It IS of the heart. And until we ALL--white and black--recognize it is of the heart, we will simply keep spinning our wheels in an effort to rid ourselves of the bitter root that grows within our hearts, minds, thoughts, words and actions. selahV P.S. Since this discussion thread seems to be more popular over here, I am going to link my post to yours in hopes of creating more dialog on this subject.

Michael Westmoreland-White

Considering our earlier discussions on blogging rules and tones, I am going to not visit here for a few days before trying to reply--because, frankly, I became very angry reading all of your replies even though you intended no insult. So, I need to go away and calm down before I say something regrettable.


Michael: I truly hope I have not been a spark to heat your emotions. If I have, I certainly didn't intend to do so. I have just entered this frey of conversation on racism, although I've sat on the back bench for years in observation and brokenness. Perhaps I'm not wording something as I should. Help me out here. selahV

Michael Westmoreland-White

I understand that no one wanted to offend. I will reply and politely. Just give me time, please.


The Bible says that all evil has at it's root the love of money. Racism is no more about color than sexism is about gender. It is instead about power. That "brotherhood" mentioned above is a self-defense mechanism that people adopt when they know from experience that they will be rejected. White people lost their privileged place in the 1960's, thankfully, and for the most part they have been trying to get it back. They need to "get over" it. No wonder African Americans are suspicious of us. I am greatly encouraged by what is going on in places like Virginia and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where statements are being drafted to apologize for the racial sins of the past, not only slavery but also segregation. Bro. McKissic may have been wrong in using words such as "lynching", but I simply can't get too upset about that. After all, we all view life through the prism of our own experience. God is working and moving among state and federal leaders to effect great things, although they may not be aware of it.


Kat: not to disagree with you, but what version of the scriptures are you using? I have several and mine read that "the love of money is 'A' root of all 'kinds' of evil. 'Some' people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with 'many' griefs." (NIV) I Tim.6:10
(NKJV) "For the love of money is 'a' root of all 'kinds' of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

I read some others, too, but as I read the passage, I don't see that all people are pulled away from faith by the lure of money, nor the love of it. Just "some" people. And those "some" are greedy which spells a self-centered self-satifying nature in them. We all have desires which we must control in order to resist sin. But again, I don't see money as the cause nor the effect of all ills in society. Power has its place too. Power doesn't necessarily have to have any money to exhibit racism. Nor does the lack of power. It can be one dynamic in play, but not necessarily the all-to-end-all.

Racism is a learned response to a difference in individuals. It is a belief that one person is superior to the other. One inferior to the other.

I wonder if God had made Adam black and Eve white if we'd even be talking about this. Barak Obama was born of a black father and a white mother. He was told he'd be hated by the blacks because he was white and hated by the whites because he was black. He said he chose to differ and believe he would be loved by both. And hopefully, people will come to a place in their lives where they can do just that.

We had a really wonderful Native American speak in our church last summer. He shared how we are very fast becoming a world of brown. And in time the white people would be gone. Black would be black. But brown would be black, too. And in time all would be brown. He made a lot of sense, because most white people are choosing not to have very many children. While other races have several.

Anyway, apart from that, I go down to the eleventh verse of I Tim:6: "But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness--that is, right standing with God and true goodness; godliness 9which is the loving fear of God and Christlikeness), faith, love, steadfastness (patience) and gentleheartedness." God calls we Christians to be set apart from the base sins which separate and segregate. He calls us to mediate and be peacemakers. I don't feel pointing fingers at either race solves anything. Truly. I think listening, hearing and sharing are the factors to change bigotry.

I agree the insatiable desire for money and power breeds reactions to blacks, but those things are colorblind to everyone's race when they are in the forefront of a person's mind. Some people would sell their mother, child and Jesus Christ, Himself, for thirty pieces of silver and to attain a position in life.

Well, I've said enough for the moment. I hope I've made some sense. If not, please feel free to ask what I meant. selahV


I use the King James Version. If you do not believe that racism is about power not color, that is okay. After all, Jews and Catholics were lynched too in the South, although not as many. Anyone presenting a real or perceived threat to the power structure was fair game. It was an African American T. V. minister by the name of Dr. Frederick K. C. Price who pointed out in a letter to me that racism is not really about color at all, but is instead about power (his words). He preached a series of sermons on racism. I think we have not been able to rid ourselves of it because we are still dealing with it as a "color" issue. Color difference is really the way such power is made manifest, as are gender differences, or religious differences. Social conservatives who long for the 1950's past haven't helped either. In my above posting I mentioned that Virginia and Tulsa, OK had passed resolutions apologizing for the sins of the past. It is not limited to America, nor is it limited to any race. Nor is it limited to racial issues. This is part of a worldwide story that has been going on for over 10 years now. All races are susceptible to the sin of prejudice. That is why I say it is about empowerment, not pigment. If it were about color, white people could be excused. After all, they can't help being white. Even with medical aids, they would eventually return to their white color when those wore off. They cannot be held accountable for being white. Their targets can't help being black, brown, yellow or red either. If, however, it is about power, now I've become accountable for myself. Racism then becomes a character issue, indeed a heart issue, and with the Holy Spirit's help, my heart can be changed even though my color can't be. Racism can be cured when we know the truth about it. These are exciting times in which we live!


I should add that we are apologizing only because the people who did these injustices never said "I'm sorry. What we did was wrong."


Kat: Okay, I will definitely give you the point that for some people racisim is about power and greed even. But racism is not always in every instance born of another's need for power over the individual. It may come from personal experience and dealing with seeds implanted from a racist parent or grandparent. Or a community of thought--as in the 50's. Although I never heard Dr. Price speak, I am certain his understanding of racism is spot-on in many spheres today and yesterday. I just don't think we can put racism in a box and say it stems from just power.

I may be wrong, but I see racism as a sin. And sin is the submission to temptation that stems from the ungodly desires of the heart. And we must yield our desires to Christ's and put to death those things which cause us to follow after satan and not the Lord. satan colors black white all the time. We shade our sins and call them rights and freedoms.

While I find the apologies adopted by some legislators admiral, apologies from a second party cannot erased the sin of the first party, no more than I can apologize for a rapist and murderer who destroys a family when he takes a child and dumps it beneath a trailer in garbage bags. My apology for that sick and evil man's act will not change the past, nor right any wrong.

I must be accountable for me. And I cannot be held accountable for any other race of people. I am held accountable for my actions...not my brothers or my fathers or my great grandparents. I am not responsible for those sins of the past. Today is all I have to right any wrongs and I am trying to do that with the conversation on racism. I would like to build more bridges.

Animosity towards either side solves nothing in my view of controversial issues. The meek shall inherit the earth after all. But those meek need to be submitted to God. Until we are all submitted to God, our hearts are ruled by our own desires, our own views of right and wrong. We must view rightness by His Word. And I agree that all men were created in God's image. Some of we Christians have distorted that image beyond recognition.

I find your take on things one of the factors to help in eliminating racism...but it is just one side of a very complex mindset, in my view. selahV

Mac McFatter

Lately I have had discussions with several people who are expressing racism against people who are not fluent in English, especially Spanish speaking workers. The movement to make English the official language of America is nothing if not racist. Some would even like ban the speaking of foreign languages in public. (Then how could I order my favorite Mexican food?

My last discussion (argument) with my Dad was as to whether people of different skin color were intended by our creator to be treated as equals.

But, because I did not make special allowances as to who did what hard part of the task because of his dark skin color, a co-worker thought I was extremely predudiced.

Some people of all races and backgrounds seem to work at proving my Dad was right,even today some 40+ years after his death.

Even though it seems to be a losing battle, we must do our part to show God's love for all people. Do not give up or in and continue to fight for other's rights and freedoms

Mac McFatter
Semmes, Al


Mac: I pray it is okay to call you that. I have some of the dearest friends in all the world who are Mexicans. One is a young man who worked side-by-side with my son in my son's tile business. My son helped him study to pass his citizenship test to become an American. My son died before Adri was sworn in as an American. Adri doesn't like to speak any language other than English because he says English is the language of his country now. He even wants his family who live here in America to speak English when they converse at home. I don't think he is racist for encouraging this among his Mexican brothers and sisters.

While my son was living, he was continually trying to learn the Spanish language. I, too, want to learn their language...why? because there may be an opportunity for communicating in a way I cannot do without it as more and more immigrants come into our country. Adri's brother is not an American citizen. He is here on a work visa. Been here for years that way. His reason for not becoming a citizen is fear of not being able to pass the tests for citizenship. I adore Migui and hold no ill toward him or any other person who is legally in this country and legally accepting the benefits offered to them.

I think we'd all do well to begin to embrace all races with the Christian love we are commanded to give to others in the name of our Lord. All races--even our own. selahV


I should explain that the love of money really refers to the love of this natural world. Another way of saying it is the love of power.


I read on another blog that the state of Georgia is considering a bill to set the month of April aside to honor the Confederacy. This is an example of what I mean when I say white people need to let go of the power and privilege of yesterday whether slavery or segregation, the time when white people had all the political, economic, and social power. The Confederacy was a terrible, tragic mistake. We-Americans and Southerners-should all thank God on bended knee that the South lost the war and the Confederacy died. We should bury it and let it stay dead. There are several reasons for that. A comment on a blog is not big enough to cover all the ins and outs of history, but simplified the reasons are: the end of slavery. That would be enough right there. World Wars I and II lay ahead. America played a decisive role in turning back the Axis powers. Humanitarian efforts: Is there a place on earth that suffers natural tragedies and Americans are not on the scene to help? For Christians, there is world evangelism. All of these things would be hampered or even impossible had the South succeeded in withdrawing from the Union. I believe God had a hand in defeating this tragic mistake. Segregation is another example. As we know, racism didn't die because slavery died, although I've seen people who thought it did. Kids learn it from the grown-ups. If racism had color at it's roots, only the people in that color would be guilty of it. These are issues of power combined with sin-nature, brutal as it is. There are signs of change. God is moving. I never would have thought to see the state of Virginia moving to apologize for slavery and segregation in their legislature. Other places have also begun the process of apologizing.

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