After Conference Debacle, Sparrow Women Issue Inappropriate Apology to Hateful Neo-Marxist Ekemini Uwan
What is the above statement?
“So then when we talk about white identity, then we have to talk about what whiteness is. Well, the reality is that whiteness is rooted in plunder, in theft, in slavery, in enslavement of Africans, genocide of Native Americans, we are sitting on stolen land, if you are in America, we are sitting on stolen land, everywhere in America, this is the reality of land that was stolen from Native Americans and we have to recognize and acknowledge that.”
“…we have to understand something — whiteness is wicked. It is wicked. It’s rooted in violence, it’s rooted in theft, it’s rooted in plunder, it’s rooted in power, in privilege…”
You can read the whole transcript of Ekemini Uwan’s talk here.
DeeDee Roe herself has created a stir due to the racially charged language in her article. Some selections:
It was obvious the audience as a group was angry and uncomfortable, but it was their very whiteness that trapped them silent in their seats…
White womanhood trembled and seethed. The woman sitting next to me rose from her seat and angrily whispered, to no one in particular “Someone will hear about this.”
…what happens to whiteness when Black theology confronts its idols and takes up room in its sacred spaces?
Critical Race Theory is entering the mainstream of Christian thought and growing more bold.
How will common sense, Bible-believing Christians respond? Here is how one Gospel Coalition writer responded:
Is Ekemini Uwan the new normal for mainstream evangelicalism? Not likely. But in the meantime, why are major institutional leaders such as Timothy Keller, Russell Moore, Albert Mohler, Don Carson, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, and Danny Akin either silent about — or supportive of — this unbiblical trend?
Those concerned about Critical Race Theory and Neo-Marxism in the church must be ready to fight back. Unfortunately, the Sparrow Conference has done no such thing. Here is the text of their official apology:
We are writing to address the content shared during the testimonial interview at the 2019 Sparrow Conference. We publicly apologize to both Ekemini Uwan and the conference participants for not handling such a complex subject with more care and therefore putting everyone involved in a such a difficult place. That is not the heart or mission of Sparrow Women and we take responsibility for what happened. We want to be peacemakers and see gospel reconciliation and we fell short of our goal here. We will learn from this and are praying for healing and peace for everyone that participated in this year’s conference and those that have been affected by this.
What does this apology accomplish? I believe it is an attempt at making peace. As of April 5th, 2019 the homepage of the Sparrow Conference shows the following:
That said, we should ask more from Sparrow Conference.
The Prophet Jeremiah did well to scold the prophets and priests:
From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:13–14).
The statement of apology from Sparrow Conference is inappropriate for two reasons.
First, it poses as a public apology to the wrongdoer, Ekemini Uwan, as well as to the conference attendees.
We publicly apologize to both Ekemini Uwan and the conference participants for not handling such a complex subject with more care and therefore putting everyone involved in a such a difficult place.
Are they worried about getting sued by Ekemini Uwan? Sparrow Conference does not owe Ekemini Uwan a public apology. She owes a public apology to them. Stop enabling such people.
Perhaps the organizers of Sparrow Conference could have taken additional measures to prepare Uwan for the kind of audience to which she would be speaking. But the responsiblity rests on the speaker. No conference organizer can prepare the general public for the message of vile, racist hatred Ekemini Uwan chose to vomit upon the audience that day.
Second, the public apology is vague, even cowardly.
I say this with sorrow, knowing that I should treat older women in the faith as mothers. But even if it were my own mother who organized the conference and made this public apology, I would need to point out Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s principle:
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
Some of us are only just now figuring out that the foundations of a peaceful society are under attack. Welcome to 2019. By bringing a hateful heretic to speak at a purportedly Christian event, Sparrow Conference misused a sacred trust.
I call on Sparrow Conference to issue a clear apology that names their error. For example:
We apologize for platforming a bitter Neo-Marxist heretic at a Christian conference.
That wasn’t so hard.
But Wait — There’s More
I appreciated this comment from Jay Long on 4.5.19:
I read the article that you linked to on The Witness’s website and was appalled by the grotesque racism that was on display. In working with refugees, I have heard their stories and have studied the root societal conflicts that have lead to modern African genocides. The language Uwan uses and the cheerleading and praise she receives from Roe is dangerously similar to rhetoric used by aggrieved populations in the lead up to the wholesale slaughter of groups they imagine are the source of all that is wrong in their lives. This is honestly frightening, not only that she felt comfortable enough to say these things but also that the response has been so relatively tepid among those with concerns and has been received with praise from other quarters. We are living dangerous times.
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