An Open Letter to My Black Friends About My Own Racism

At some point in my life, I drank the Kool Aide, and grew up with the belief that “there must be something wrong with black people.”  When I see a black person, or a large group of black people, something in my soul whispers things about them simply because of the color of their skin.

I’ve also bought in to the popular belief that our system is on your side, and that if things aren’t working out for your people, it’s because you just can’t get your act together.

My camp has tried to call it different names – “implicit bias,” “prejudice,” etc.  Best to call it what it is.

Racism.

I’m sure you’ve noticed, and been victim of it on multiple occasions.

I’ve repented before God and now I’m taking my repentance to you. I ask for your forgiveness, and I pledge to continue my journey of personal emancipation from this unholy spirit.

There’s some freedom that’s come out of this – and it’s changing my life.  I realize that you and I are the same – It’s like breathing fresh air.  I’m also free to reconsider typically white narratives about you so that I might have my reality reoriented to something closer to the truth.

I’ve done my homework, and it’s left me angry.  Our system is skewed against you.  It isn’t fair.  Some of you will rise above it, and my people – white evangelicals especially – will cry out with righteous indignation, “see – the problem is with blacks, not with the system.”

I’ve begun to use my ears for hearing, and come to understand that my country was built on the backs of slaves.  Our modern system, and by extension, my power, wealth, and influence as a white christian man is at your expense, and will continue to be at the expense of your children.

You’ve tried to tell me about all of this, but I haven’t listened.  White Evangelicals typically don’t listen to blacks, and have taken to responding to your cries for equity with “All Lives Matter,” which is our way of perpetuating the ages-old white tradition of telling blacks to shut the hell up.

I can’t believe our country is still here.  We transitioned out of slavery, into something far more equitable, only to have that obliterated by the following administration who took us back into something that differed from slavery in name only.

Then, after continued years of torture, rape, murder, chains, etc. we transitioned into Jim Crow, then the Civil Rights Era, where us whites convinced ourselves that the slate was cleaned, that we were starting over.

“We’ve given you so much” we like to say.

There has NEVER been justice for what has been perpetrated against blacks in the US.  And our country continues to find new and creative ways to ensure that you don’t threaten my power and privilege.  There’s only one way to do that.  I can’t imagine you’ll ever see justice in our time, unless God does what He’s so often done to nations who refuse to stop perpetrating injustice on this scale.

Maybe He hasn’t done that yet because you would suffer too.  And you’ve suffered enough.

As for my personal racism, It’ll take a ton of work to dig out of the hole that I’m in.  This particular brand of spiritual brokenness doesn’t stop on a dime.

But while I journey through this, I’m thinking of ways that I might spread this freedom to others like me.  Racism hurts everyone.  My new found freedom has bred a desire for the freedom of others.

Pray for me as I stretch my legs into this new reality.

And please , again, forgive me.

8 Replies to “An Open Letter to My Black Friends About My Own Racism”

  1. Sounds like what I’ve experienced since this past August. (I wrote a post about it.). Also, you might greatly enjoy and benefit from John Piper’s book Bloodlines. I’m currently reading it.

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