Most Christians would agree that white supremacy is a sin. But what many Christians fail to consider is how white supremacy has shaped their perception of the one they believe to have the power to forgive sin. White supremacy is more than mere forgivable sin. It is a form of idolatry. As such, it has infected the very worship and reverence of the Most High in the Christian church. Whiteness is a cloak of power worn by those privileged by an oppression that is predicated on the wholesale slaughter of people of color all over the world.
White supremacy necessitates a white deity. According to its false logic, God can only be white. Therefore, Christ – as God’s only begotten Son – must also be white. The dark-hued Jesus of history disrupts white supremacy’s central premise – that white people are better, are the best, and, as such, are the only people fit to rule.
A whitified Christ has wrought havoc in the minds and spirits of people of color and white people worldwide for centuries. Indeed, it has upended the very nature of the Gospel message. For what can possibly be the meaning of a white Christ crucified? By distorting the image of Christ, white Christians have usurped the social location of Jesus and deemed themselves the world’s savior and have placed themselves above reproach. More than that, they have also claimed the space of perennial sufferer, giving the idea of the “White Man’s Burden” a morality it cannot in truth hold …
[Read the rest of this essay along with many other prophetic contributions in Resipiscence: A Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy, edited by Vahisha Hasan and Nichola Torbett.]