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To Be White and Christian

by Daniel Hill 04-25-2018
An excerpt from White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White by Daniel Hill.


Think about it like this: From the time I opened my eyes, I have been told that as a white person, I am superior to people of color ... We are born into a racial hierarchy, and every interaction with media and culture confirms it—our sense that, at a fundamental level, we are superior. And the thing is, it feels good. Even though it contradicts our most basic principles and values. So we know it, but we can never admit it. ... We have set the world up to preserve that internal sense of superiority and also resist challenges to it.

Becoming a Christian who is also white should mean rejecting the ideology of white superiority. Our allegiance to Jesus should enable us to recognize that this ideology is antithetical to the Bible, as is any system, ideology, or narrative that attempts to position one group of people as superior. The gospel should instead position us to draw our identity from a different source.

The thrust of this book is to strengthen our ability to live from our identity in Christ while rejecting the ideology of white superiority. So how do we manage the disorientation that comes with the internal civil war sparked by this struggle? In the same way that it would be naïve for new Christians to presume that conversion comprehensively and immediately removes sin from their lives, so it is naïve to assume that conversion keeps us from drawing our sense of identity from the ideology of white superiority. A good way to think of it is that conversion gives us the ability to begin divesting ourselves from the grips of white superiority.