Tuesday, January 07, 2020

A Question About Racism that Deserves an Answer in ACNA (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Dr. McCaulley has given a good answer to my question.


About a month ago, Dr. Esau McCaulley tweeted:
One day people will look back on 2010s and wonder how some decided that theologically traditional people who care about justice were such a threat to the church that silencing and/or policing us was more important than resisting the actual racism and sexism that we opposed.
I decided to leave aside the questions of whether the social justice “evangelical” crowd is “theologically traditional” and of whether this was a fair statement to make about those who oppose a social justice agenda. Instead, I decided to be charitable, find common ground, and ask a needful question:
I agree resisting actual racism is important. So tell me: can a U. S. person of color commit “actual racism” against a white person?

I’ve yet to receive an answer from Dr. McCaulley.  The closest I’ve seen to an answer is the following, and I am not completely sure he was addressing me.

I will leave it to the reader to decide whether that was an appropriate response.  But it does concern me that he did not answer my question very easily with a yes.
As you can see I then asked, “Is that your response to my simple question – ‘can a U. S. person of color commit 'actual racism' against a white person?’"

And I received no answer to that question.
At this point a fair question to turn around and ask me is why don’t I just drop this and let sleeping dogs lie?
First, given how Critical Race Theory (CRT) and related ideologies have redefined and abused “racism,” genuine discussion of racism requires defining just what we are talking about.  Are we talking about bigotry based on race that people of all ethnicities are capable of?  Or are we talking about something more or less only white people and Western society are guilty of?
Second, the CRT view that (at least in the Western context) racism is something only white people, not people of color, are capable of is itself racist and toxic.  To blame one ethnicity for a type of sinfulness, but exempt other ethnicities from it is inherently racist and virtually contradicts the Bible’s teaching that all have sinned.  As Dr. McCaulley himself says, “Racism … implies a heretical soteriology because if certain races are inherently more sinful than others then Christ's redemptive work brings them from farther away [from] God, and Paul argues that all are equally sinful and in need of redemption.”

Yet the CRT view that whites have a virtual monopoly on racism in the West has infiltrated the church.  But there is no sin that is monopolized by any one ethnicity – to say otherwise is unscriptural and racist.  So this is not just a secondary issue we can agree to disagree on; at least I cannot.  Therefore, we should know if our church leaders hold this CRT viewpoint of racism or not. Yes, McCaulley is far from the only one in ACNA who should be asked my question. 
Third, Dr. McCaulley through his actions and comments seems at least sympathetic to Critical Race Theory.  For one thing, he is an open fan of Jamar Tisby.  He certainly seems to share CRT’s obsession with race at times.  He has rather famously asked that unhelpful question, “If all translation is interpretation and interpretation is influenced by social location, what does it mean that most of our English bibles were translated with very few Black or other Christians of color or women involved?”  That he chooses not to answer my question also is odd. So does he share CRT’s view of racism? I do not presume he does, but it is past time for us in ACNA to know.
In short, given his statements and his leadership positions in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), namely head of the Next Generation Initiative and one of the Canon Theologians of the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others, McCaulley is among those who should clear the air and state whether they consider racism something all ethnicities everywhere are capable of or whether it is pretty much only a White Thing as Holy Critical Race Theory teaches.
Really he should welcome the opportunity to clear the air and give a straightforward answer to my question.  A correct answer would help clear up concerns about him and create more common ground.  He wants ACNA to resist “actual racism.”  To do that together we need to know what sort of racism we are talking about. Are we together resisting racial bigotry regardless of the ethnicity of the people it comes from?  We can do that!  Or are we talking about a CRT construct that is “an analytical tool”* to exempt people of color and to smear white people and Western society? 
A “yes” or “no” to my original question will do.
*I’m quoting the Southern Baptist Convention’s infamous Resolution 9, of course.

1 comment:

PatriotForce said...

Thank you for tackling these issues.