Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.
Posts By This Author
It’s the Most ‘Anger-Filled’ Time of the Year?
This new survey found a remarkable number of Americans reporting serious family conflict over COVID-19 vaccinations. Fully one in five Americans (19 percent) say that disagreements over COVID-19 vaccinations have caused “major conflict” in their families. Similarly, earlier this fall, PRRI found that 22 percent of Americans reported that their extended family relationships have been “strained to the breaking point” over the issue of getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
Why We Need to See Beyond White Baby Jesus
On white Christian mantels and white Christian church lawns across the country, nativity scenes continue to depict, in illuminated plastic and with robed volunteers, a white holy family surrounded by a throng of other white folks. If there is anyone in the scene with brown skin — and there wasn’t until the 15th century — it is one of the three “wise men” or kings (specifically Balthasar, the one bringing the gift of myrrh).
How White Supremacy Has Disfigured American Christianity
Every nonfiction book is personal, often arising from some faint but persistent insight, a kernel of awareness that blossoms into a story that demands to be told. White Too Long began with a growing consciousness of the abiding presence of white supremacy within the faith we white Christians have inherited and live within.
White Supremacy Is a Threat to Public Health
I was never concerned that there could be consequences for crossing a main road that separated our immediate neighborhood from the adjacent one, or that the Confederate flags I passed along my route might be intended as a “no trespassing” sign for people who looked like me. I wasn’t Ahmaud. Scores of childhood friends donned camo and lugged military-style toy rifles from yard to yard as we replayed World War II battles. No one worried a police officer, or a neighborhood vigilante, patrolling our streets would mistake us for a real threat. We weren’t Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin.
Flattening the Curve of Xenophobia
It’s easy to think a wave of post-virus racial violence like this couldn’t occur today. We’re not coming out of a major world war. And the modern civil rights movement, which traces its roots to actions of resistance during Red Summer, has secured more equal rights and protections for racial minorities. But we are facing official unemployment levels of nearly 20 percent, levels not seen since the Great Depression. Our civic ties have been fraying over the last few decades. And President Trump’s victory in the 2016 campaign laid bare the reality that our greatest divisions are marked not by policy disagreements but by the deeper fault lines of partisan, racial, and religious identity. Even before the pandemic, white supremacy and racial resentment resurfaced as visible features of our culture, religions, and politics.