Four Points of Reorientation for White Christians Committing to Anti-Racist Solidarity, By Rev. Smash
1. When people are wailing in the streets, God is there. As people of God,
we should be there too. The incarnation was a demonstration of embodied
solidarity. God’s new way of creating covenant required that God relinquish
power in order to show to complete and utter solidarity with humans. God
took on the vulnerability of human skin to be with us and to experience
what we experience. Incarnation, relinquishing power for the sake of love,
is a model for us. Incarnation is literally embodied, vulnerable solidarity.
How must we be vulnerable to show solidarity with those who are
harmed and hurting? How can white folks relinquish power for the sake of
2. Civility is not a christian value. It is a value of empire, utilized by those in
power to squash any sort of resistance and/or radical transformation. Jesus
was not civil. If he were, he would not have been executed by the state for
acts of sedition. Jesus was a threat to civility and status quo.
Calls for civility are typically pointed at people of color as they
demand respect and resourced. In our society, white folks are not
mandated to be civil. In our current context, white folks are allowed to
display incivility due to hurt feelings, while black folks are called uncivil for
demanding that their lives matter.
We mustn’t forget that Jesus’ 12 disciples were beheaded, skinned
alive, speared and crucified. If only they’d been a bit more civil, perhaps the
authorities would have spared them their lives. “Civil" societies have always
been violent to minorities, political dissidents, and resistors of the status
quo. We must squash the idea that justice-making must be civil and polite.
Civility does not equal peace, nor justice. Without justice, there will be no
How have we harmed black folks and other people of color with our
calls for civility? Who have we silenced with our demands for politeness
(whiteness)? What tenets of white supremacy culture cause us to worship
civility? How can we resist civility and demand justice?
3. Jesus absorbed violence so that others would not have to. The crux of
the gospel is that our savior literally took on violence and death for our
redemption and our thriving. Jesus absorbed the violence of empire, was
brutally executed, and rose again, proclaiming victory over the state death
What does it mean to follow a savior who was willing to absorb
violence? What can we learn from a God who became the poor and
suffering servant? How do we use our resources, our power, and our
influence to absorb the violence directed at people of color?
4. Radical activism is good eschatology. The kin-dom of God, God’s
dream of a mended, whole, and peace-filled creation, is our hope beyond
hope. The capital C Church is supposed to point toward that dream. It’s
supposed to be a placeholder for the kin-dom. However, activists,
anti-racists, anti-fascists and anarchists actually have the most robust
vision of God’s kin-dom, where there is justice and abundance and joy.
When I hear people shout, “We are unstoppable, another world is
possible!” I know they are working for something new and revelatory.
We say we want to reform reform reform, and we forget that it is
actually death that brings new life. We can’t reform our way to the kin-dom.
Are we actually dreaming of and co-creating a new world, or just
perpetuating the status quo that harms so many of our siblings? While the
Church often points toward a future we know and have already
experienced, radical activists point toward a new reality where love reigns.
What in our society literally needs to die? What systems need to be
demolished so we can imagine something entirely new? How can we
imagine a hope beyond hope and how can we help co-create a world that
is mended and made new?
We are white cultural workers who believe our own freedom is intertwined with the struggle against white supremacy.