How did white people justify racism for so long in this country? Heather McGhee, the co-chair of Color of Change, the country’s largest online racial justice organization, talks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the legacy of racism in the United States and the lies that allow America’s original sin to be perpetuated to this day.

Brian Hamilton 7-01-2020

Credit: Shutterstock

The moral question is not what we meant to do. 

Lyndsey Medford 6-30-2020

Photo by Ben Neale on Unsplash

Before I learned my town’s true history, I cared about racial justice.

Brittini L. Palmer 6-30-2020

Men wearing protective face masks hold a photograph of Rayshard Brooks, the Black man shot dead by an Atlanta police officer, following his funeral, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. June 23, 2020. REUTERS/Lynsey Weatherspoon

Whether their blood cries out from Valdosta Ga., or the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, their cries cannot go unanswered.

John Lewis with fellow protestors at Edmund Pettus Bridge, in JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. © Alabama Department of Archies and History. Donated by Alabama Media Group. Photo by Tom Lankford, Birmingham News. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Good Trouble is a timely and deeply moving film, particularly in this moment of national awakening and reckoning around police violence and systemic racism, and as we approach what feels like the most consequential election in my lifetime.

Christina Colón 6-24-2020

The Reverend Eboni Marshall Turman preaches at High Point University in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of www.marshallturman.com. 

On the 155th observance of Juneteenth, a collective of Black church pastors and theologians released a theological statement to “emphatically repudiate the evil beast of white racism, white supremacy, white superiority and its concomitant and abiding anti-Black violence.”

Aaron E. Sanchez 6-24-2020

'We Serve White's Only No Spanish or Mexicans' sign outside a Texas restaurant. 1949. Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

This history runs through, into, and over my interracial children.

Amos C. Brown 6-16-2020

A man recites spoken word poetry at a makeshift memorial honoring George Floyd in Minneapolis,  June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

In July 1952, when I was 11 years old, some of my relatives took me to witness the Billy Graham Crusade in Jackson, Miss. Ropes were strung across the athletic field and stands where more than 300,000 people would gather to hear him preach during those hot summer nights. The ropes had one purpose: to keep the crowd segregated by the color of their skin.

I am tired of white colleagues who have ignored the reports of microagressions and outright racism but are now posting black boxes on social media or reaching out to me with an “I love you.” They may mean well but it often feels so little and too late.

White churches need to enter conversations of racial justice with sobriety. 

Michael Rothbaum 6-04-2020

Terrence Floyd visits the site near where his brother George was taken in Minneapolis police custody and later killed, in Minneapolis, Minn. June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller/File Photo

In Exodus, the Egyptians shed innocent blood. Then God made this blood visible for all to see. 

Meredith Brasher 6-03-2020

A protester holds a sign near near the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct in Seattle, Wash. June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Looting is not the story. Murder is the story.


Whitney Parnell, Founder and CEO of Service Never Sleeps, talks with Rev. Jim Wallis in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd about systemic racism, white privilege, and the hope for our collective future.

Kierra Jackson 6-01-2020

Illustration by Michael George Haddad

PRESIDENT TRUMP “DISCOVERED” this spring that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. “Why is it three or four times more so for the black community as opposed to other people?” he asked during a live coronavirus task force briefing in April. Black social media erupted.

One friend wrote, “The white man said it, but we have been screaming this for years.” Another person posted, “Blackness is not a risk factor. Anti-blackness is the comorbidity.”

I began to seriously consider the impact of race on health while becoming a registered nurse. Combating health disparities in the black community eventually brought me to midwifery. As a health care provider, the language of “comorbidity” (two or more chronic health conditions) and “modifiable health risk” (a risk factor for illness that can be lowered by taking an action) has become part of my vocabulary.

Following Trump’s question at the press briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded, “When you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus ... they are just those very comorbidities that are unfortunately disproportionately prevalent in the African American population.” A few days later, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams noted that minorities are not more predisposed to infection “biologically or genetically,” but rather they are “socially predisposed” to it.

Robert P. Jones 5-29-2020

Volunteers hand out hand sanitizer and masks at Christ the King United Church of Christ, where five members of its 180-member congregation had gotten sick from coronavirus disease and two have died, in Florissant, Mo., May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant

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.

Danté Stewart 5-29-2020

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

I can remember when it first happened — when my dungeon shook and my chains fell off. I had recently gone through a horrible experience and felt there was nowhere to turn, no one who could give voice to my ache, my pain, and my rage.

Jim Wallis 5-21-2020

Image via Shutterstock/Michael Scott Milner

The COVID-19 pandemic has now laid bare what is still “acceptable” to white America, including many white churches. The unequal suffering of this plague has been verified by the statistics. 

Fragment of the face of a terracotta statue of Apollo Roman beginning of 3rd century BCE. Original image courtesy of Mary Harrsch. Edited by Candace Sanders. 

Burton and Dreher share similar aesthetic views about Christianity and the past. 

A voter fills out a provisional ballot authorisation form for the presidential primary elections at the Franklin County Board of Election office in Columbus, Ohio. April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Vernon

We believe all human beings are made in the “imago dei,” the image and likeness of God — it’s a core tenet of ours and many other faiths. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how injustices in our health care and safety net systems stand in stark contrast to that core ideal, so too does any strategy that would negate a people’s votes because of the color of their skin. It is not just a partisan tactic, but rather a denial of their imago dei, a theological, biblical, and spiritual offense to God. Protecting the right to vote affirms the divine imprint and inherent value of all of God’s children.

Amber Neal 5-13-2020

A man stands next to the memorial for Ahmaud Arbery, at the place where he was shot and killed in Feb. after being chased by two white men in Brunswick, Ga. May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Dustin Chambers

When will the lives of black people ever matter to America? Black people are tired.