White Supremacy in religion has a long history — but let White church folks keep their White Jesus portraits.
Now, how you gonna get a European White Jesus in Palestine? You can’t get that! But with White theologians, you can get almost anything out of Jesus.Dr. James Cone, in conversation at Trinity Church in NYC, Jan, 2008
Let me set up this post by telling you straightaway that I was raised to believe Jesus was born an African descendant in a Middle Eastern ghetto, who not only helped others discover that “Jesus is Lord”, but he also advocated for poor folks. There’s enough evidence in scripture and genealogy of the people in the region to prove this point.
(Laughing) But I still think journo activist Shaun King is a tactical idiot for telling his Twitter audience that statues and stained-glass renderings of White Jesus should be taken down.
I’ll come back to King later. But who knows, I always say my writing is a stream of consciousness thang, so …
Anyway, White people should feel free to worship Jesus in a way that makes them feel good about themselves.
If Koreans want a Korean Jesus in their church, they should feel free to rock that Korean Jesus until the Rapture.
But they all should know the truth: Jesus is a Black man. Same for Moses.
When thinking about White supremacy, there’s a deeper point to be made about worshipping a deity who may not look like you: self-esteem and your perspective on the people you interact with every day.
Even if White folks knew in 1619 that Jesus is the bushy-headed savior of all, How could they convincingly maintain Africans in chains who look like the Son of God?
That’s why — for centuries, and with the goal of maintaining White supremacy — European-American slave owners pushed the White Jesus narrative so that slaves can only see ivory heavens and serve earthly forms who looked like the White God above. The curse of Ham was another one of the various ways Christianity was used to program slaves to deserve their oppression.
Combine those tricks with removing the slaves’ native language, history, and access to education — plus inserting White people as the only access point to everything slaves can ever learn, acquire or achieve — and you have a long-aged mental conditioning scheme that portrays Blackness as inferior and Whiteness being closer to God.
I’ll place this another way: maintaining White Supremacy during slavery meant Africans in chains had to be convinced that they are serving the descendants of God on Earth.
And deprogramming over 200 years of such conditioning is nothing less than a mutha …
Even today, there are plenty of Black churches who still have photos, flyers, social media properties, T-shirts, mugs, stained-glass windows, ceremonial dinner plates, photos, paintings, and hand fans with White Jesus affixed throughout.
This may be one of the reasons why I could be first-in-line at the cheese counter, but the Black employee will point over my head to White person behind me and say “Next!”
I couldn’t summon even the thought of possibly being angry at Cheese Brother’s self-colonization. Dude didn’t know any better. He’s only seeking his blessing for the day. And was probably late …
So, I guess Shaun King’s name needs to resurface.
I have no clue what was on that dude’s mind when he made the take-down-White-Jesus comment.
The Black folks I know, who are fully aware of Black Jesus, don’t care a single bit about what White folks stain their glass with.
But you wouldn’t know that when you saw some of those pearl-clutching-in-an-election-year comments in response to King.
That’s why King’s comment is dumb.
Again, for the hard-headed ones standing outside in the hallway: Black Lives Matter couldn’t care any less about how White folks want to worship.
But BLM’s endgame remains: unravel the multiple, interconnected White-supremacist systems that suppress Black folks’ ability to achieve their dreams peacefully, and without racially-motivated disruption.
That includes worshipping a Black Jesus in a church without an offering of Blood …
song currently stuck in my head: “olha eu aqui” – evinhad
One thought on “Shaun King — tear down White Jesus? Whachu saying?”
Very well said! But BLM’s endgame remains: unravel the multiple, interconnected White-supremacist systems that suppress Black folks’ ability to achieve their dreams peacefully, and without racially-motivated disruption.