Last week, six Southern Baptist seminary presidents released a statement claiming that Critical Race Theory was incompatible with Christian teaching. CRT is essentially the belief that systemic racism is real and consequential, and that people of color continue to be at a disadvantage in our society.
Now, expounding even further on the subject — even though no one was asking him to — Nathan Skates of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center (which is still a thing) says that if CRT is legitimate, then no Black person would be able to succeed in the United States.
Apparently the success of some Black people means there are no real barriers to success for everyone else. It’s the same mindset that says having a Black friend means you’re not racist.
Skates wrote this in response to criticism from Jemar Tisby, a Black Christian author who has written about Christianity’s racist history in America:
Tisby went on to criticize the Council’s lack of action on racial issues and defended CRT. Tisby stated that the real threat to the Church is “Christian nationalism,” claiming that America is “not so exceptional” and lobbed charges of racism at evangelicals who support the Republican party.
This author would like to add that if America were not exceptional and were indeed irredeemably and systemically racist, Tisby would not be able to have achieved such success nor be allowed to make such claims without consequence.
This is Exhibit A as to why CRT is necessary: It doesn’t teach that it’s impossible for Black people to succeed in America, only that there are more obstacles to overcome that don’t typically affect white people. Furthermore, we don’t know that Tisby made those claims “without consequence.” Sometimes the consequences are lost business contracts — not public lynchings or whatever Skates sees as a worst case scenario. But there are consequences nonetheless.
The leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention should be deeply concerned by the fact that someone this ignorant is defending them while intelligent critics are being demonized by their supporters.
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