Stop Redefining White Supremacy If You Want To Be Taken Seriously

Jacob Brunton
For the New Christian Intellectual
2 min readMay 1, 2019


If you want people to take you seriously when you denounce things like “white supremacy” and “racism,” the first thing you should do is denounce those who have manipulatively redefined those terms.

Anyone worth listening to in the public sphere today knows that those terms have been wildly re-defined in such a way as to include relatively innocent (and sometimes *righteous*) beliefs and actions. This isn’t a secret. It’s everywhere. In the culture AND in the Church.

If you’re genuinely concerned about actual white supremacy (i.e., beliefs that white people are superior to others), you should be eager to distance yourself from those who abuse that term to refer to something as (comparatively) innocent as voting against welfare.

If you’re genuinely concerned about actual racism (i.e., believing and acting as though skin color or lineage carries any moral significance), you should be eager to distance yourself from those who abuse that term to refer to something as (comparatively) innocent as voting Republican.

Given the current context, anyone who claims to care about fighting white supremacy and racism without explicitly distancing themselves from the gross redefinitions of those terms is going to be viewed with suspicion. And rightfully so.

The willingness to morally equate race-based hatred with comparatively innocent things like “conservative values” under the common terms of “racism” or “white supremacy” reveals that you don’t think racism and white supremacy are really all that bad. Likewise with the unwillingness to denounce those who make such a moral equivocation.

Have you ever considered that maybe those who reject and fight against the redefinitions are doing so because they want to safeguard the moral weight of the sins of actual racism and actual white supremacy? It’s shameful that anyone would discourage such an effort.

If the entire culture around you is manipulating the meaning of terms, don’t clutch your pearls when someone asks what you mean by one of those terms. You know why they’re asking. And they ought to ask. A refusal to answer as clearly as possible likely reveals bad motives.

This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t complex. This is basic human decency applied to conversation.

Honesty abhors equivocations. The honest ask for clarification. And the honest eagerly give it.

Not so the deceitful.

Which are you?

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