Excerpt from the chapter "A Revival of Racism":
We may not agree on parties and politics, but why can’t the Church of the living God agree that racism is wrong, deadly, and should be condemned? Why can’t leaders from every denomination that names Jesus as Lord agree that the only thing powerful enough to tear this country apart is being fanned into a flame?
I feel like the “small boy” yelling. I feel the frustration in Dr. King’s letter. As it pertains to today, I feel like the Church has sacrificed the civil and human rights of African Americans on the altar of the promised end of abortion, fewer troublesome immigrants, and safety in my zip code.
As a person that has voted republican in every election but 2016, I don’t believe the Church’s embrace of the Republican Party was a bad thing in and of itself because of our two-party system. But when the Republican Party started embracing racist ideologies, instead of offering up a rebuke, Christian leaders offered up a wink and turned a blind eye. Instead of using their considerable ballot power to force the party to change its platform, it abdicated its leadership role in America and acquiesced and allowed racism to become associated with the Christian platform.
We have had a history of compromise in America with racism, and it has never worked. We kept compromising with the racism of relocating the indigenous people until we got so far west that there was no place left for them to go but the ocean, so forced relocation became genocide.
I learned that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850 and that the Missouri Compromise and the Nebraska Act were compromises that America tried to make with slavery. But slavery just spread further and further west and north until a Civil War was needed to stop it.
President Eisenhower tried to compromise with Governor Orval Faubus on the integration of Arkansas’ public schools (the Little Rock Nine). President John F. Kennedy tried to compromise with Governor Ross Barnet on integrating the University of Mississippi. In both cases, federal troops had to be called in because racism doesn’t easily relinquish the ground it has gained.
Now President Trump is trying to compromise with racism in 2020 by:
Advocating the keeping of the historic symbols of racism, the rebel flags, and monuments, and calling them “part of our great heritage”
Railing on Antifa and Black Lives Matter movements and calling them a threat while encouraging armed white nationalist groups to go to cities like Kenosha and Portland
Encouraging white people to take up arms against peaceful protesters as the McCloskey’s did in St. Louis
Doubling down on the most racist lie in American history that America can only be great again by becoming white again and getting rid of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants (DACA)
Giving lip service to ending the police brutality and deaths suffered by African Americans, by saying that they are the result of a “few bad apples” vs. the negative consequence of the remnants of the war on drugs and the systemic racism that is built into the search for drugs
Planning a rally in Tulsa, OK, the site of one of the largest post-slavery massacres of black people in U.S. history, and originally scheduling "Juneteenth" as the rally date
Following that up with plans for a rally in Jacksonville on Aug 27th, the anniversary of the largest attack on black people in Jacksonville history, known as "Ax Handle Saturday." Only COVID could stop the rally
Continuing to hijack the narrative on police brutality by diverting attention to kneeling during the anthem but not doing more to change policing practices that result in the shooting of unarmed black men
Hijacking the narrative of the initially peaceful protests by exaggerating the scope of Antifa involvement and by minimizing the role of counter-protesters in the escalation of their armed violence
Being part of the problem with peaceful protests: using tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters to support a brief, unscheduled, photo op
Being America’s Chief Racism Marketing Executive, spending more time sending divisive tweets, making divisive remarks on Fox news than on trying to bring healing along racial lines.
Trying to take America’s great melting pot and pour all the immigrants out of it
Echoing the racist yet familiar “law and order narrative” of the 1960s while letting white mobs run unchecked alongside law enforcement as they did in the 1960s resulting in loss of life then and now
I shared in MGA (Vol I) that I believed there would be consequences for America choosing Donald Trump as president and why I felt that way:
“If there were consequences for Israel's choosing a leader whose external portrayal of strength was greater than the strength of his character, what makes us think America will be any different? God told Israel, ‘And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day’ I believe the cries of regret have already begun to ring out in America over the choice that has been made in President Trump, and his term is not over yet.”
(Thompson, The Making of a Great America: Where the Founding Fathers and the Church Fell Short (Vol I), 2020)
I believe this revival of racism is one of the consequences of the Church abdicating its leadership role in not challenging President Trump sooner. Even if the Church supported him as the republican candidate, it still could have blasted his early racist overtones disguised as immigration reform and respect for the flag.
I understand the appeal of racism to non-Christians. This book isn’t written for them. The devil knows that you can’t beat racism in America while embracing racism in the Church. But the Church will never learn that lesson if we take the same failed stances against racism that have been taken in the past.
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