Biko, I do know about that.
Susan Gillespie


This conversation has been productive.

Daniel’s conclusion is correct, in my opinion. I’m not sure he went so far as to write the church off, but rather to underscore the fact that the price for Christian unity is too high too pay for the kind of hell many black people experience on a daily basis. Sometimes, that means rejecting community in favor of survival and protection — retreating to a place of comfort and stability that white churches rarely offer.

I’d be interested to hear more about what you think is untrue. The lack of explicit attention to structural evils — one of which is racism — by white churches is problematic. And I think any reconciliatory efforts must start with an acknowledgement of white churches’ implication in white supremacy. That’s a start.

As it relates to the “silence” piece, you’re right; for white justice workers, the job is to listen, and then take that knowledge to their own communities. So your silence is a gesture of justice; what you do after you’ve listened — how you turn that silence into action within the context of your own racial community — is the question. And, quite frankly, your wrestling seems to demonstrate that you’re trying.

That’s a start.

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