Revisiting the Racial Divide, Part 2 (#603)

Last week Brad and Wayne began a conversation with Gil Michel about the racial divide in our culture. Gil is along time God Journey listener, and a bi-vocational pastor of an inner city fellowship in South Bend, IN. They continue their conversation with an eye toward what we can practically do to make a difference in the racial tensions that divide us in the world.

Podcast Notes:
First podcast with Gil Michel
Previous Podcasts about Race: Just Mercy and Reaching Across the Racial Divide
NY Times Article by Eric Reid on Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee
Gil Michel hosts a podcast at HisStoriespodcast.com and pastors That Church Downtown
Helping with Agriculture in Pokot
Add your voice to our question/comment line via Skype at "TheGodJourney"

35 Comments

  1. Wayne and Brad –
    Perhaps we could all expand our understanding (and compassion) if folks from other races participated in this excellent discussion. Even with articulate people like you and Gil, the issue all too easily descends into a Black-White issue, which it is absolutely not.
    For example, a good friend of mine who entered this country “illegally” from Honduras 16 years ago is being deported, in spite of his having established a business that benefits young people, raised a family, becoming a pillar in his church – in short, a very productive member of our society.
    And don’t even get me started on Native Americans…
    Please let’s keep this excellent conversation going and involve other groups.

    • (This is Wayne) We are well aware, Alan, that this impacts other groups and we appreciate your feedback. We’ve even talked about the immigrant issue in previous podcasts. The reason we were talking black/white is because of the current controversy involving Charlottesville and the fight between President Trump and the NFL. Those are mostly a black/white issue. Interestingly we have people begging us to do more on this topic and others begging us to get back to talking about more “spiritual things.” We really don’t choose topics for our podcast, they choose us. We talk about what’s currently going on in our hearts and heads, not just find topics we think are controversial or ones that stay in a safe lane. And we don’t regard issues of justice, even at the risk of people being offended at what “side” we did or didn’t take, as less spiritual. The Bible is filled with encouragement to free the oppressed and warns against the dangers of exploiting the poor and powerless.

      • Wayne
        How can things be any more “spiritual” than actual life issues? A perception that life is composed of “spiritual” and “secular” domains is a misperception.
        Just had to throw that in because it’s a bone of contention here in the traditional Carolinas.
        Looking forward to the next podcast.
        Alan

  2. I’ve been listening to this podcast for almost as long as Gil and I can honestly say this has to be one of the top 5 of all time. This topic relates to so many other areas of relationship in our lives and should cause us to “seek to understand before being Understood “. In other words love as Jesus loves. Not easy but essential. Thank you Gil, Wayne and Brad for the thought provoking podcast

  3. Wayne, Brad and Gil, Thank you for this very wonderful necessary conversation. These past podcasts and discussions like them are our only hope of America becoming the nation is was supposed to be. In my opinion this country is the greatest in the world, I’m biased. What you are talking about here is how America evolves.

    I’ve lived in many places around the world, many different cultures but I’m from the “west”…cowboy country. It’s pretty homogenous out here. Very few blacks but issues surrounding the Native American community are every bit as compelling. I’m so thankful you engaged Gil to join this conversation. I’m also thankful that you had Brad there to represent a perspective that I can relate much closer to. I agree with Alan above that it’s too easy for this conversation to become polarized to black and white when its much more complex. Is it my imagination or ? but I felt like Gil and Wayne took lightly Brad’s experience and comments. Not criticizing here but only pointing out how truly difficult it is to listen to a point of view that we think is inadequate. I didn’t hear comments from either Wayne or Gil that bore out their understanding of what Brad was saying. It’s that walking a mile in someone else’s shoes thing.

    I’m only pointing out how difficult it is to get under the words to the guts of understanding. So many excellent points were made from all of you. Especially the one that we can’t solve this on an individual basis. It’s more far reaching that just black and white. Economics, education and intellectual ability (?), we are all responsible for each other’s well being.

    In searching for a better understanding of “white privilege” I came upon a guy by the name of Irami Osei-Frimpong, a philosophy professor. He has a website “The Funky Academic” which really helped me understand how this plays out in our society. The link is to a program that he hosted which isn’t his website but is a video of Irami guest hosting and covers much of his basic philosophy.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/comments/6oz8d3/the_funky_academic_on_fred_hampton_and_the/

    I so appreciated Gil’s understanding and continual reinforcing of how our life in Jesus is what unites us. His life experiences … thank you Gil.

    I’m getting too wordy here so will sign off but THANK YOU “God Journey” and THANK YOU for not stopping at part#1.

  4. Outstanding all the way around. Loved the conversation and found ways rif on compassion very helpful

    This looks like the church seeking to be a healing balm for the nation

  5. Absolutely you guys are being very very brave by having these conversations and sharing them with all of us. I am so grateful for the forum, for the God Journey and all the people involved that make this possible. Its just so liberating for all of us when people like you guys take such risks. We get braver.

    I almost stopped listening when Gil equated the NFL thing with plantation life experience. What an insult to all the lives lost and wounded by the system of slavery. I would have been more impressed by the players if they would have taken some of their own loose change and pay for a national advertisement, include any team members who want to participate, that would make clear they are standing with the people in this cause. I know they want to because they have access as professional athletes to make an impact on our national issue with racism because they are famous and they have our attention and the microphone. So take advantage and utilize their opportunity to make a difference.

    In my own little world here in middle earth when I have these kinds of conversations with others I make very clear, I own my racism. When we start sentences with “I am not a racist” we are not telling the truth. And it does not matter what race you are born into for this to be true. It is part of the human condition and exists on a continuum. I may not be a card member of the KKK but I am a privileged middle class white girl so I have prejudices. I have many afflictions common to human kind. And I believe racism is a terrible evil. And our conversations need to be as honest as we can possibly be especially now. We have to be present, open and awake to hear each other into the light. It rapidly escalates into defending positions if we start talking in stereo types and then we get shut down and we shut down each other. Because Vince’s experience was maybe the minority lets not invalidate it. So is Brad’s experience, a minority I think, and Bless his sweet mom. My experience( I’m 60 from Midwest) was very WASP. Being ashamed of that is not helpful. Just holding it and talking to Papa about it and what’s in this moment for me to pour out His Love that is poured into and received by me. So I wrote a letter to my first black friend. The first person of color who actually let me into her life and I let her into mine. I cannot tell you the gratitude I have for her, for her life and what I have learned from her because of our connection and relationship. Which is what I got out of the first podcast. Its like Wayne and Brad have said for years, Live Loved first and then the planet will be changed. Always always pointing me back to relationship and out of religion or rebellion.

    Great podcasts. Thank you so much.

    • I agree with most of what you said. But when it comes to protest, as Gil said, protests are meant to be an irritant. Some, even more than an irritant, but a direct challenge to power. Activism requires peaceful conflict in order to bring about a realization of the experience of “the other”. If the players had taken out a national advertisement, who would read it except those that are interested?
      Colin Kaepernick has put together his “pennies” and started a foundation that is making a difference. Many athletes have joined him in this cause. He has pledged $1 million and has kept his commitment even without a job. That is making a difference.

    • Hi Joni, I appreciate your comments. I think the players are making a real sacrifice by taking a knee … they are risking their jobs. Wouldn’t it be great if the owners came on board and supported this cause and used their money to put out the ads as you say etc ?

  6. Brad and Wayne, I truly love the podcast and have been a devoted listener for years, but…I just don’t understand what the end goal of all this really is. I am that middle class, “I don’t get any of this” guy Brad spoke of. Just so you know, I teach at a school that is predominately Hispanic, and love all my kids. My future son-in-law is Hispanic, and yes, I really love him and his brown skin, which I could care less about. I live in Georgia, an area where racism flourished at one time. I speak with a strong southern redneck sounding draw, and could not care less about what color anyone is. Honestly, I thought we had moved beyond all this race mess. I’ve never felt the need to call my black friends my “black” friends or my brown friends “brown”. Long story short, what do these folks that feel so racially oppressed want from me? A letter of apology? I’m willing to listen and discuss any problem you care to discuss, but where I live, which is among Hispanics, Blacks, and whatever flavor you care for, no one seems to have a problem with this. In fact, it’s a non-issue. There will always be racist people, but I just don’t know how this particular white guy is supposed to fix a problem that just doesn’t seem exist in my sphere of influence. In fact, I’ve NEVER had a single on of my friends of color bring any of this up. This may sound a bit harsh, but I’m not saying sorry, nor do I feel “bad” for something I had nothing to do with. Your guest talked about things like prison being the “new plantation”. Really? I have worked with our local prison ministry, and I can tell you, there are prisoners of every color behind those bars, and they all did stupid stuff to end up there. If you’re in prison, you’re there because you did something illegal. I have yet to run into a guy that’s there because he was a particular color. In short, I really did not enjoy any of this. Your guest spoke of love and coming together, but I “heard” far more finger pointing than anyone cared to call out during the podcast. Lumping all white Christians together and proclaiming all that we’re not doing to heal racial division was not helpful, and that’s pretty much what I heard. PS – My daughter, the one who dates the “Hispanic” guy, was told in college she couldn’t be a part of a tutoring program because she was white. This stuff goes both ways, and it’s up to each person to choose how they will respond. Racism is a human problem, not just a white problem. Sorry if this was overly “snarky”, but I just don’t think we’re having the right conversation. Based on what I heard, your guest just ended up sounding like a bitter person with a chip on his shoulder instead of someone who is genuinely seeking healing for our country.

    • Wow, Ken I didn’t see Gil that way at all. This has a lot to do with our own experience. I think in many places race isn’t as much an issue as it used to be. I see people mingling across racial lines all the time, especially for those people of color who have pushed their way into the middle class. What Gil and others are talking about are those still in the underclass, sometimes because of racial oppression and some by the impact of poverty. That’s hard to see if you haven’t been in the south or to urban areas elsewhere and know those people. I think that’s what these podcasts are about. They are not to create white guilt, but to help people realize that not all people have the same access to the culture and can we rightly recognize the problems where they exist and find ways to alleviate them. I don’t believe all white people are racist and want to keep people of color down. As I said on the podcast (This is Wayne by the way), a lot of what people perceive as racism can also be greed–people just grabbing for themselves as much of the American dream as they can without regard for how their choices might impact others. But there’s a lot of research to show that blacks are incarcerated at higher rates and for longer sentences than the people groups. It also shows that more blacks are convicted for crimes they did not commit because of biases inherent in our system.

      That said I don’t think our podcasts here were a comprehensive look at the problems with well-thought out answers. They were just conversations to understand people better and to appreciate our different experiences. And, where God might lead us to make a difference where we are…

    • Ken, I had to take a few days to respond to your comments, and still I find it hard to do. It’s unfortunate to hear what you extrapolated from the extensive conversation that was had but I suppose that your perception is what may be wrong with the kinds of conversation we’re having and why the discourse has, at times, have been so toxic and unproductive.

      I think what was shared numerous times is the theme of “seeking to understand”. Before lashing out with accusations of hurling white guilt, it may be best to look at the world (if just for a short while) through the eyes of those who are screaming that they’re in pain. Sometimes like the young man in the Bible, we make statements and ask questions, “seeking to justify ourselves” instead of seeking to provide answers for the difficult questions we are all grappling with.

      Ken, I don’t want a letter of apology. But telling us all how racially accepting and color-blind you are to refute some very real issues in our country is why this conversation is harder to engage in.

      Blessings.

      • Gil,
        RE: ” It’s unfortunate to hear what you extrapolated from the extensive conversation that was had but I suppose that your perception is what may be wrong with the kinds of conversation we’re having and why the discourse has, at times, have been so toxic and unproductive.”….

        ….”Before lashing out with accusations of hurling white guilt, it may be best to look at the world (if just for a short while) through the eyes of those who are screaming that they’re in pain.”

        Gil, You do understand that Ken is also in pain?

        • Bev, I re-read Ken’s post and I don’t see anywhere in it where he expressed pain.
          But if that is true, it’s important to look at the pain more deeply to understand each perspective. If a white person (like me) experiences pain when this issue comes up, that should be acknowledged. However, a person of color has had to live with this pain for generations. They have to teach thier children about how to handle the pain, both internally and externally. We MUST finally be open to hearing and eventually fighting the elements of our society that have caused this pain.

    • Hi Ken, I didn’t hear any bitterness coming from Gil, makes me sad that’s what you heard. Gil is certainly passionate about the subject and is trying to wake people up from the horrible reality suffered by poor blacks . It also makes me sad that you are a teacher in a predominantly Hispanic school in Georgia who loves his students but claims there is no racism. Really? That’s not what I am hearing out of the news. I’ll spare you the news links … you can look them up yourself. Just makes me wonder if you have really tried to talk to your students or future son in law about the racism they have endured. I have no doubt you love them but you seem to be extremely defensive. The end goal is not white guilt but to be a white ally which means educating yourself and becoming aware of the issues.

  7. Guys, THANK YOU for having this follow up conversation. When I listened to the first episode covering the racial divide, I (like Gil) felt like it was just a poor reflection of what many black people in America feel.

    I am black but was born and raised in the Carribean. Moved to America at the age of 17 and have been living here for the last 20 years.

    I generally don’t look at racial issues the way many African Americans do. I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage for being black in America. However, that’s mostly because I’m a pretty stubborn guy who has determined to never let others determine what I’m able to do, ESPECIALLY if I feel like God has called me to do something specific.

    Honestly, when Brad was talking about his frustration with being white and not understanding these racial issues, I feel for him. I’ve always thought – man, it sucks to be a non-racist white male in America who feels as if he’s being blamed for the racial inequalities. You probably feel like you can’t talk about the way you feel without being judged as being racist and that can get VERY frustrating.

    I may not agree with everything that was said in these podcast episodes, but I do appreciate the fact that you are having the conversation.

    Your proposed action of getting outside your comfort zones and trying to connect with people who aren’t like you and understanding where they are coming from is one that I’ve been preaching for years (and I think it applies to both sides).

    However, there’s a part of the discussion that I believe is often overlooked – specifically on what to do regarding these issues and moving forward.

    Whenever you have a group that feels oppressed, or inadequately represented, there will be an uprising if it continues on for a long period of time. If the situation doesn’t change, it WILL happen. We’ve seen this time and time again throughout history.

    But I strongly believe that there are ways to improve this. Here is one example of ways this can be improved in education…

    If you look through our history book, you will see a very skewed perspective of American history. A lot of the egregious acts that were involved in the building of America is presented in a way that minimizes the negative parts. Slaves were brought over to America and treated badly until their liberation.

    Native Americans were here, were captured, caught diseases and eventually, their numbers dwindled.

    That’s not an accurate reflection of what happened. And as a result of this incomplete telling of history, we don’t understand why Native Americans make such a big deal at painting a bad picture of Christopher Columbus.

    Instead, if we actually shared what happened as accurately as we can, take in other perspectives and share REALITY, we would have a much better appreciation and understanding for those different perspectives.

    So if historians pushed to write more thorough history books and lawmakers pushed for old books to be retired and the new, more accurate books take their place, all of a sudden it becomes easier for us to empathize with those who were oppressed.

    There are many other examples of ways that similar principles can be applied to different aspects of our society, from history to education, politics to even Christianity and beyond.

    But in order for this to work, we have to have these kinds of discussions openly and not in quick soundbites. Thank you for being a part of the discussion.

  8. Sigh.

    Not much traction exchanged, in my view. Complaints are directed at the wrong people, the church that does so much for all kinds of disadvantaged people. So much.

    Stat narratives are peppered that misinform. So, who is speaking the truth? It’s a fact that 99.6 of African American males are NOT incarcerated. The fatherless issue is not incarcerated issues.

    The government policies are being fought constantly. There is nothing people can do about that, they have done their part.–

    People are not indifferent.
    People, especially those of the faith do so much.

    Sad to hear the dialogue tonight. I wished for more–

    Gil was right about siomething though, “hold the banner of Christ higher than all things, especially political parties.”

    Many issues are government issues, not even of the people. Bad government programs. Bad city management. Poor state laws etc. Most problems are rooted in ugly corruption.

    We all see it over and over again. I voted. I’ve served. I’m engaged. But still, we suffer this.

    Our children should not have to pay for these sins. That’s my take. And God’s Word says the same thing. We do not pay for the sins of our forefathers, each person is held responsible. It’s not collective or generational according to God’s words.

    Jesus is the only answer.

    • Sandra,
      Your sigh is part of the issue this podcast was meant to address.
      When we tire of the discussion, we give up on seeking the resolution. We can’t and must not give up bringing this issue to light.
      The church does some work for disadvantaged people individuals but it rarely addresses large scale social inequities.
      I’m not sure where you got your “fact” that 99.6% of African American males are not incarcerated. If you would like to post your source, I would be happy to read it. But, even that statistic is a misnomer. When you look at one statistic it is meaningless unless compared to another statistic. (I’m trained as a social researcher) . You must compare your 99.6% statistic as compared to the statistic of white males that are not incarcerated. You must also do a comparison over time. At any one point the numbers are going to fluctuate meaning that you must investigate how many people of color have been incarcerated at one time in their lives, how long the were incarcerated and what the charges were that the incarceration involved.
      As far as fatherlessness goes, it is an incarceration issue to the level that I described above, but you are correct instating that it is not only an incarceration issue. It’s a cultural issue that is derived from the existing structural racism endured bu people of color.
      Yes, your children should not have to pay for the sins or their fathers. Yet, it is also true the other way. Children of people of color also should not be paying for the subjugation of the generations before. Listen to what Gil said about the recentness of addressing these issues. Slavery was abolished in 1865, yet it was only 60 years ago that black people earned the right to vote. They endured subjugation of their voting power for about 100 years! Subjugation is still happening in almost every area of life for people of color. In order for this to end white people MUST stand up and tell the truth to racism in any way possible.

  9. I am white middle America was raised in Montana. I never had any friends that were not white because everyone was white. Just like you Gil every one was my color. I college I was around native Americans and I became friends with them. When I got out in the work place I was around Blacks and had Black friends. I had a job in Alaska in a remote native village were there were about 300 natives and 8 white. There I made native friends. I did homeless ministry in New York City for 15 years. Sometimes our team would be the only whites in a all black church or mission. Why do I tell you all this because I have a point I would like to make. In all this where did I see prejudiced? I n the native village in Alaska. Why because there were some in leadership that disliked whites. That dislike filtered done through the community. I think the prejudice in America come the the top. Like people like George Soros He hate America so he fund Black lives matters . The hate comes right down to the people on the street. The new media hates President Trump 95 % of there coverage is anti Trump and it filter right down to cause divide among people. Wayne i think you are being influenced by this. The protests a football games is caused by the leadership at the NFL. When they let Collin Kirkpatrick wear socks that said cops were pigs , then would not let player wear something supporting the cops that were killed in Dallas. The leadership is showing are anti america and apposed to what america stands for and you are seeing that on the field today.

    • I’m sorry, Ronald, that you experienced hatred for being white, but I think you would know that your experience is not the norm in America. NFL execs would love to get this controversy out of their brand and the American they cover it with. And while the media is decidedly anti-Trump, he gives them plenty of material to work with since he seems like a childish bully, even to people who voted for him and like many of his policy stands. Our podcasts, however have not been about the NFL issue. That’s the current news item that started our conversation, but it wasn’t the focal point of our discussion.

      Everyone you disagree with is not a hater hired by rich guys. Many believe there are real racial inequities in our culture that have not yet been adequately addressed. You can disagree with that if you want, but you don’t have to muddy the waters by casting aspersions on people who see it differently. I have been surprised by the reaction of many white people when you simply talk about having compassion for those who are oppressed by the way our culture works. Many of those who uphold the American dream for themselves, deny it to significant numbers of Americans who don’t look like they do. It may not be overt, but in this area refusing to look and refusing to care produces the same results.

      I’m not a bleeding heart liberal that thinks government has all the answers, and I’m not a Trump-can-do-no-wrong promoter. I am well aware that the fortuitous circumstances of my birth provided advantages for me that others don’t have. I am not overwhelmed with white guilt about that, but if I can mitigate the mistakes of our forefathers by lending a hand to those who have been oppressed, why wouldn’t I?

      Can’t someone show compassion for a marginalized community without typecast politically and have their intelligence questioned? I spent a couple of hours yesterday with someone who is struggling against the very things we’re talking about here. I love them and that engages me with their concerns. It’s not something I feel compelled to do; it’s what love invites me to joyfully do.

  10. Gil,
    I have committed myself to be a white person that battles for racial justice. I think that you have carried on this battle admirably, intelligently and peacefully. I admire that. You are not responsible for changing the minds and hearts of white people. That is my job, and a battle I’ll continue to fight. I’ve studied, done research, and most of all maintained honest, open and loving relationships with people of color from many different ethnic backgrounds.
    I’m happy to help you in any way that I can. Email me if you want my help.
    I don’t know if you have seen this Facebook page, but I refer white people to it all the time.
    White Nonsense Roundup:
    https://www.facebook.com/whitenonsenseroundup/
    Thanks for you heart.

  11. Thanks for the conversations. I am going to take a stab at an observation about this topic that might be clarifying for some. This all started from buying a home in a mostly white suburb of Columbus, OH and finding out, naively, many years later that there had been a restrictive deed covenant when the house was built in the 1940’s. It excluded people to live there who were “in whole or in part of the Negro race or blood” unless, even more appallingly if possible, they were “domestic servants”. We had title insurance so we had never seen any of this nonsense, but had been told in the 90’s by a neighbor that it existed and was incredibly wide spread. This set me off on a search of the original documents and then a search of the history of when it was actually overturned. My findings are not those of a historian, but revealed something shocking to me. Yes, indeed, overturned and overturned and overturned had this type of thing been, but racist and otherwise financially motivated people had found a way around it again and again. Initial overturn was by 14th amendment (think equal protection under the law circa Civil War). Then cities decided they would legislate neighborhoods for different races which was overturned by Supreme Court in 1920’s (details escape me right now). THEN, restrictive deed covenants were invented and when these were drug to court in 1940’s (I think), they upheld the contract clauses as “free speech”, but said that 14th amendment would prohibit using the courts to uphold these clauses. So basically, unenforceable, but continued to be written into documents until Civil Rights Act of 1968 (think equality in housing, hotels, etc.) which probably only passed because MLK was assassinated. Over 100 years of squeezing the racist balloon from one side to have it just show up in another guise somewhere else. Then I began to see the same pattern in voting rights, jobs, education, literally ad nauseam.
    So what did I learn? I learned that if I were black, I would not believe that white people were “innocent until proven guilty”, but more reasonably “guilty until proven innocent”. And every black person I told about this told me stories of trusting someone or government, or churches (see MLK “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”) or even Supreme Court, just to be cruelly disappointed again and again. And that made me wonder, what have I done to prove myself innocent? Although mostly unknowingly, I have taken advantage of “white privilege” as much as the next white person here. I have studied and tried to understand, but mostly have made numerous horrible mistakes that lacked insight and have been misunderstood by everyone. Right now, what my heart says is to seek to be “present, open and awake” (love to you, Joni Menard). My mission right now is to be able to look every precious person in front of me (hospital work in a neighborhood that is mostly black) and say “YOUR life matters”, sometimes with words. If someone asks me how I know, I would say, “LOVE, who has taken up residence in my heart, can see you and your worth plainly, and we want to be part of seeing you, personally, thrive.”
    A few observations from one woman’s journey about this so far….

  12. I’m again thankful to hear Christian voices here on the podcast to recognize the original protest was about inequality but then turned by Trump and others to mean being against America and veterans. I love that someone chose his platform to bring attention to this issue…And I get where someone would not want to sing a song about America if the America they experience is tax paid officials abusing their authority against their color.

    Of course there are race issues other than just inequalities of blacks but to attack someone for trying to tackle the black/white issues it’s like someone tackling the issue of poverty in Africa and then others saying “well what about poverty in Mexico?!?” Also let’s not take it so personal if we happen to be white. Just because we have a system that is oppressive to blacks and advantageous to whites doesn’t mean it’s an attack on you personally because you are white…let’s stop wasting time with being defensive and just look at the issue at hand and be a voice for truth. The media and others may try to make this a division issue but we need to be the Christian voice as here on this podcast to validate the issue and not write it off just because it’s not our experience. We follow Christ and if He leads us to change the government policies fine but if not it’s also fine to simply be a voice of truth wherever you’re at and if He leads you to reach out to minoritites awesome.

    I grew up with family and relatives that said “it’s up to the person to have the American dream discrimination is of the past and welfare is horrible blah blah” I met some African American friends who have fled inner city Chicago to start a better life for their kids in small town IA, they are on welfare and medicaid but it’s not all what the anti welfare people think…they can’t get a dentist to take Medicaid:(, the mom has eighth grade level passing and works at local grocery store to provide for her 5 kids…she has a couple family members left who came with her…the rest are dead or in jail and she said she would have been next…other families like hers have come and I give her so much credit to want to make a better future for her kids which can be hard coming from inner city culture to all white small town IA. I met these beautiful families after taking Wayne’s advise after being shunned by religiosity…”love the next person in front of you and see where it leads”. By helping these families who came from an enormously hard background with gangs that is also one way to break the system. And I want to read that one book mentioned on the podcast about how government systems have purposely oppressed the black population…I completely believe that.

    Always thankful for the Christian voice expressed here.

  13. Have been blessed by Wayne and Brad for the past 7 years when a critic had me listen to a podcast she strongly objected too. Been listening ever since? Now that the discussion has drifted towards the cultural /political division currently causing no small amount of anguish among us, I wanted to say how anguished I am at the division that has occurred among professing believers in this country and beyond. Simply stated I am offended at the sanctimonious judgementalism of the Never Trump crowd. I have never felt more judged. I recently told a well known Christian recording artist who continued posting provocative anti Trump posts they needed a pharisectomy. I never felt more
    “should” upon than I did by that echo chamber crowd on the persons FB page. In all honesty it’s a constant struggle to not be perpetually irritated , even straight up pissed off on a daily basis dating back to a year ago when I began being chastened and preached down to by this pious Never Trumper crowd. I’m a big boy and will handle it with the Lords help but this is an issue I have not heard discussed in any kind of productive way since the election. Perhaps such a podcast will take place Lord willing. The wedge is there and growing. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!

    PS-Thanks Wayne and Brad for the edifying conversation over the years. I’ve still never read the shack or seen the movie One of these days!!

  14. Since my Mom always taught me to try and put myself in the other’s shoes and ponder their point of view, I appreciated these podcasts on this racial issue. As much as possible, I try to research all sides of any issue before coming to any conclusion….and then I’m still aware that I may not have all the information, so I try and hold my views open to further discovery. In my research on the topic of white priviledge, I haven’t heard much discussion about poor whites in America. This is very frustrating to me, having parents that were raised in very poor, rural communities during the Great Depression. Both lost their fathers at very young ages, leaving their mothers to raise lots of kids alone. One of my grandmothers was even pregnant when her husband died! As a result, my Dad had to drop out of school in the 8th grade to go to work and help put food on the table….not getting his GED until many years (20?) later. Neither of my parents could afford college, but went from job to job, working hard to just put a roof over their heads while surviving divorces, single parenting, and finally making it into a middle class neighborhood after joining their livelihoods late in life. I could share many stories of their humble beginnings, but you get the idea that their “white priviledge” didn’t hand them much. And what about the forgotten poor of Appalachia? I have Irish ancestry and was shocked to recently learn about Irish slavery and indentured servants. Why was I never taught this is history class? Let us be intellectually honest …poverty, tragedy and oppression knows no bounds in the human existence. Should we have compassion for each other’s plight? Of course! Should we help lift the burden off another’s back when possible? Yes! Should we demand that others acknowledge our plight and pay us back somehow? Not unless we have personally been harmed and can take someone to court, or confront someone personally about a grievance. Should we become bitter and paint whole races as responsible for our suffering? No! Should we protest our cause? Yes, peacefully. Is this discussion important? YES, and I’m glad you’re having it…..but by leaving out the experience of poor American whites, you lose credibility on the white priviledge issue. (I apologize if I missed it in your discussions somehow.)

    • Lisa, no we didn’t discuss this. There just isn’t room in any podcast to cover all the bases of any topic, most of all this one. I don’t think the point is that ALL whites had an advantage, nor that no blacks did. Vince’s point of view in an earlier podcast made some of the points you’re making here. We realize there are exceptions to everything. The concern for black, urban America is that they have been intentionally disadvantaged by government policies and underserved by capitalistic opportunities. Having compassion for any one group, does not negate compassion for any other group.

  15. Thank you so much, Mark. It’s an honor that you read my ramblings until the end. To clarify, I was referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which is also called the Fair Housing Act. It was the one that conclusively overturned the deed restriction I had researched. I have read several sources that suggest that Dr King’s assassination was the impetus for passage. I agree with you about the Civil Rights act of 1964. However, as I tried to illustrate in just one area of life, things have a way of drifting backward as people find “respectable” ways to discriminate when one option is closed, rather than dealing with fears and the heart. My journey in studying just this one aspect of discrimination opened my eyes so much that I thought I would share it. But, as Brad and Wayne have said in lots of ways over time, “It’s all about relationship.” May we live to see Love as the rule rather than the exception in the public square. Thanks again.

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