The Day I Learned White Christians Hate Me

Dear White American Evangelical Christians,

It’s taken me three years to write this. Oh how I wish you could understand how hard the last few years have been for me, and millions of others. I wish you had the ability to sit with racial discomfort without lashing out at me for more than 30 seconds. I need to tell you a story, but honestly, I don’t know if you have the strength to sit with it. I need to tell you how your racial hatred has driven me away from the God you claim is love.

A mere three years ago, in what seems like a past life, I was attending Mars Hill Church. I was unhappy there but we were leading a community group and bailing wasn’t really an option. Then some tremors started.

To be clear, these rumblings had always been there, but they got pushed to the side (or “under the bus”). This year they bubbled to the surface.

This was August of 2014. My oldest son was about to turn two I was on vacation with little cell service, texting friends every time we got to a town with the newest, ugliest updates. The church was imploding under the weight of a small minded man with a massive ego enriching himself off his flock.

Everyone in my particular faith circle (Reformed Evangelical Christians) was talking about the rumblings. Everyday evangelical Christians inside and outside my faith circle were logging on to Facebook to see their pastors post the latest gossip, respond to criticisms of Driscoll, vote to remove him leadership, or to defend his actions. By their tone, it seemed they all had an opinion that was desperately needed, completely unique, and God-breathed.

And then, like a silent tectonic slip a thousand miles beneath the surface, on August 9th, 2014, at 12:01 pm local time, Darren Wilson executed the alleged petty thief Michael Brown.

Water mysteriously began to pull away from the shore.

The tension — the ugly foundation splitting under the pressure — was rising to the surface at the speed of sound. An orphan tidal wave, the Japanese called it. It appeared from nowhere, was caused by nothing. We didn’t hear a thing. And it still devastated us.

I returned home from vacation with a little tan, a happy heart, and a hyperactive baby boy in my womb. After dinner, bath time, and snuggles with my two year old I sat down with my laptop to check social media.

In the least poetic terms I have available to me, what I saw changed me forever.

WhiteEvaXian

The city of Ferguson, Missouri was on fire. I withheld judgment. After all, I had been the victim of police abuse for no reason. And I had enough empathy to know that Black Americans were not just “carrying on about nothing,” as everyone on the political and cultural right likes to claim.

But then I saw the white Christian responses.

The pastors, the Christians, the evangelicals, the Republicans, and the associated gawkers, turned their godly terror, their white makes right holy war, their righteous indignation, from questioning a pastor’s behavior to questioning the value of allowing black people to exist in America.

Of course he deserved it.

He was a thug.

Good riddance.

I would have shot him too.

The wages of sin is death.

It was the conservative evangelical jihad against the evil of blackness — black people, poor people, black culture, black communities — in America. Literally ALL THEY KNEW ABOUT MICHAEL BROWN WAS HIS SKIN COLOR AND HIS ZIP CODE. And yet they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the country was better off without him.

The unmitigated flow of white racial terror in the form of verbal abuse from the hearts and minds of white Christians was staggering. The firehose of vitriol directly towards people who looked like me, with no regard for empathy, sympathy, understanding, coming directly from white congregations was like nothing I had ever seen before.

They will know we are evangelicals by our racial hatred.

Dear white evangelical Christians,

I sincerely believed you loved me because God loved me. Now I know for a fact that you do not.

I learned that night that white Christians do not love me. Oh, you claim you do. But I am a black woman in America. I am not stupid. I hear what you say. I see what you write. I observe how you behave. What you said and wrote and did in the wake of Ferguson, without a drop of empathy or compassion tells me everything I need to know about how you see me and how you value me. I know better how you feel about black Americans than you do. Your selective racial ignorance and racial “colorblindness” are nothing more than whitewashed self-deception.

How do you hate me? Let me count the ways.

I know you hate me when you jump to defend cops.

I know you hate me when you jump to defend roadside executions.

I know you hate me when you say, “He probably deserved it.”

I know you hate me when you call me a liar because my experiences are different than your own.

I know you hate me when you tell me I am exaggerating when I speak of racist encounters I have had.

I know you hate me when you have to send a white person to vouch for me before you’ll believe me.

I know you have chosen ignorance when you ask from your suburban sofas and rural pickup trucks, “Why would they destroy their own town?”

I know you hate me when you are more concerned with broken windows than black lives.

I know you hate me when you post blogs condemning black Americans’ behavior while failing to take into account anything but skin color and “culture”.

I know you hate me when you’re indifferent to my experiences.

I know you hate me when you assume my behavior coupled with my melanin count means I deserve to be shot over a broken tail light.

I know you hate me when you are indifferent to my increased health risks.

I know you hate me when you speak over me because your opinion is more valid than my experience.

I know you hate me when you scream at black mothers heading into abortion clinics but are silent about black mothers dying in childbirth.

I know you hate me when you devote time, money, and energy to shutting down Planned Parenthood but do absolutely nothing for underfunded schools.

I know you hate me when you try to keep me from voting.

I know you hate me when you tell me I’m too loud, angry, or black.

I know you hate me when when you claim you’re entirely innocent of your grandparents’ efforts to halt desegregation.

I know you don’t love me because you’re already writing a comment to tell me about how this doesn’t apply to you and #NotAllWhiteChristians

I am a black woman in America: your white Christian hatred is as plain as the day you donned white hoods.

I tell you the truth, Whatever you did to the least of these you did to me.

Can I let you in on a little secret? However you feel about Michael Brown, alleged thief, alleged thug, alleged “Black Life Doesn’t Matter”, that’s how you feel about Jesus.

You see, Dear White Christian, your love for the Lord is permanently capped at the amount of love you have for the people in society who you like the very least.

For you, Dear White Christian? Your love for the Lord is capped at the amount of love you have for Michael Brown.

You can never love God more than you love your black brother or sister. It’s simply impossible. You can’t put two gallons of water in a one gallon bucket, and in the same way you can’t love God more than you love Michael Brown. It doesn’t work that way. The dimensions of your love for God are only as big as the dimensions of your love for Michael Brown. Alleged thief. Alleged thug. Alleged Black Life Doesn’t Matter.

When someone tells you you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.

Dear White evangelical Christians,

I see your sheer disdain for my existence as you force a smile across your face on Sunday morning. I am a constant reminder that that past is never fully in the past. The white-on-black wrongs of the past and the present must be corrected before America gets the right to move on. That the shame you claim you don’t feel because you’ve “never owned any slaves” is a rot in the gut of this nation that you refuse to remedy.

The hand cannot say to the foot, I don’t need you.

I hear you constantly telling me how I need to behave if I want to be allowed to exist. White mainline Christians mostly silent in the face of racism, much as you were when the police turned a blind eye to the weekly lynchings across this “great” country.

Good intentions do not negate harm caused.

Evangelical Christians, I learned this lesson from you as you scorned the poor and castigated the single mother while Democrats were (sometimes) trying (and often failing) to help. Your intentions are meaningless because they don’t negate harm caused.

If I meant to back out of your driveway safely, and I accidentally ran over your child in the process, my intentions are meaningless in the face of your suffering.

Yet this callous indifference and outright disdain is how I see white Christians respond America’s racial history. I see you attempt this every day.

“I didn’t mean to run over you child, therefore the pain you feel is irrelevant.”

Dear White Christians,

That is not how this works. The fact that you don’t know this makes me think you’re not the ones who should be driving the conversation on this topic.

They will know we are evangelicals by our racial hatred. By indifference to suffering. By our refusal to examine systemic causes. By our fragility and constant projection.

You put your ignorance on full display with your insistence that your knowledge of race relations, most of which originates from movies, oral tradition, and talk radio, and none of which originates from actual experiences with black people in black spaces away from your airtight white bubble, is more valuable than people who have lived the very experiences you condemn.

I have more to say on this topic, but for now I will stop here. If what I said makes you uncomfortable, please sit with that discomfort for a while. Do some self-examination. Ask yourself how many people who are directly affected by your opinions about race and racism in the United States have ever invited you into their homes for dinner.

Dear Michael Brown,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry we as a country are so invested in protecting the feelings and spaces of white people that we can’t even have a conversation on how to improve this country. I’m sorry that the American dream wasn’t designed for people who look like you. I’m sorry that this country says one thing and does the complete opposite to black people. This country doesn’t deserve to call itself the greatest when it treats you with disdain.

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69 thoughts on “The Day I Learned White Christians Hate Me

  1. slowbutsureblog August 9, 2017 at 6:35 am Reply

    Hard, good, prophetic words. I hope we hear them.

  2. pamelaaugust August 9, 2017 at 7:36 am Reply

    As a white evangelical, I won’t write and say this doesn’t apply to me. I will say that I’m listening, reading, and learning. “When you know better, you do better” (Maya Angelou). I’m trying to know. Thank you for your words and sharing your experience.

  3. rockhorsepark August 9, 2017 at 8:57 am Reply

    Thank you. I love you. Your voice is pure and your words…. power.
    Come over for dinner anytime, for you are clearly of my family.

  4. matichuk August 9, 2017 at 9:26 am Reply

    Reblogged this on thoughts, prayers & songs: my journey from self-absorption to doxology and commented:
    This is an important post!

  5. David Collins August 9, 2017 at 9:57 am Reply

    As a white man, born in Selma, Alabama, I want to thank you — for contributing to our world and country being a more heart-feeling and mind-awakened place.

  6. notoriousegb August 9, 2017 at 11:25 am Reply

    “I know you hate me when you speak over me because your opinion is more valid than my experience.” The lack of empathy from white evangelicals is astounding. Maybe white evangelicals should be labeled “Fake Christians”.

  7. Lew August 9, 2017 at 11:53 am Reply

    Reading this post makes you see how White christians really are and that they can’t hind with the negative words towards Africans Americans.

  8. Carlos Hoyer August 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm Reply

    Thank you, so much, for writing this. You’re a gift to the church and you’re greater community. I’m lucky to have had a shred of your influence in my life. Thank you for speaking up without shame.

  9. Carlos Hoyer August 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm Reply

    Ugh, I don’t know if you can edit comment, but I hit publish before rereading it and correcting my grammar snafu. Your* ugh, how embarrassing.

  10. Ann August 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm Reply

    Sounds like.youre dealing with basic racial.issues based on personnal anger .True acceptance in and of Christian behavior EXPECTS NO ..NADA -ZERO-Return of your love. Care and beart..THATS the difference in what you say and what Must happen for real.change to occur..It s NOT TRUMP IT’S NOT OBAMA IT’S YOU AND ME AND OUR FAMILIES AND ALL FAMILIES ..who act with out return …otherwise it’s simply control or ego or power and usually a combination of all that’s stated in different words

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 7:01 am Reply

      Except Jesus explicitly commanded his followers to love their enemies. So even if White American evangelicals consider me their enemy, they’re still required by the creator of the universe to love. I can *absolutely* expect love from fellow Christians because it’s the fundamental tenet of Christianity.

  11. stephenpgrantgmailcom August 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm Reply

    I’m sorry. We are wrong.

  12. Maria Suarez August 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Thank you for this. All I can do is apologize for any of my actions in these heinous deeds and say I am truly trying to excise the part of me that “thinks white”

  13. jerkstoreblog August 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm Reply

    This is why black people and white people need to separate forever. I believe that this woman is being truthful about her feelings. However, white people will never want to live in a country like the one this woman aspires to. Black people think it’s clear as day that Darren Wilson was the bad guy. White people think it’s clear as day that Michael Brown was the bad guy. Whites and blacks are simply too different for both to ever be happy under within the same country.

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:59 am Reply

      As a black mom of white sons, fuck no to this suggestion. Not here for tearing families apart. How about let’s be adults and learn how to deal with conflict instead of running away from criticism and conflict. Sounds good to me!

  14. Elaina August 9, 2017 at 4:10 pm Reply

    Beautifully written and spot on with how we are treated. I choose to believe in God, but I have long given up on the US version of “Christianity”. This so called Christian nation has robbed and deprived natives of their land, murdered, raped, lynched, and suppressed the growth and advancement of POC all under the guise of religion. It’s time to call it out. Thank you for sharing this, Tori.

  15. Gendou August 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Back in the mid-eighties, my family ended up leaving our Baptist church in no small part due to ranking members of the church quietly asking any black families attending to instead go to their black-majority ‘sister church’ on the other side of town.

    When my late father confronted the pastor about it, bible verses in hand, he was told, “Sometimes we have to do things that aren’t biblical.” We went to the car, pulled out of the parking lot, and never returned.

    That church never grew – it only shrank. Its congregation grew old and died.
    Eventually they were too small to support themselves and were absorbed by another church sometime in the late nineties. The property was sold, the buildings knocked down, and now it’s a parking lot for a children’s hospital.

    My father said, “I’m not saying they were cursed – but they sure weren’t blessed.”

    That’s the white Christianity I grew up with.

  16. Ruth A Olson August 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm Reply

    You just are in the wrong state! There is a church here in Minneapolis that Prince grew up in as he lived in the ‘hood’. It’s been called ‘The Miracle on 34th Street'” because it has been a ‘mixed-up family’ since the middle 1950’s. The Pastor who came said he would not allow a racially divided church. He separated the ‘sheep from the goats’ as people left. What happened was that more people came in who believed the same. It is a mix between a bit of traditional and Black Gospel Jazz in music style. The Benediction is a chant style of “I can do all things”…scripture verse and then ‘We Can Do.etc”. I’ve been there since 1981 and play the pipe organ for one hymn….Can always be found. I have never heard any racial comments among us except to learn from each other. The altar is full at prayer time every Sunday. I love the place and am met with hugs, acceptance each time I’m there . . Take a trip up to Minneapolis and check it out for yourself. 3400 Park Avenue South
    Missouri is not the US and there are plenty of churches and evangelical denominations that are not like that, in spite of the many that are. You cannot judge Evangelicals based on some in certain areas of the country that think like that. If you want to get away from it, check out Minneapolis as a start. My daughter attends one near Waxahachie, TX that is like here in attitude concepts. Also, please note that so many of these attitudes are not Biblical but filled with cultural attitudes from the past. The Bible does not teach us to be racial as God is not a respector of persons. We aren’t to be either and that is being Christ-like. Blessings as I sign out……You can do … all things….through Jesus Christ…who strengthens you!

    • Lynda August 10, 2017 at 12:19 pm Reply

      Ruth, I know you mean well–however, please reread the article. What you speak of does not include the real work of healing the separation caused by racial harm. Consider again the following when you say “not all of us” and use YOUR experiences to negate hers.

      “I know you hate me when you call me a liar because my experiences are different than your own.

      I know you hate me when you tell me I am exaggerating when I speak of racist encounters I have had.”

  17. Mama Pris August 9, 2017 at 5:14 pm Reply

    I’m a 60 yr old white mama. I just wanna cry. I’m so so sorry we don’t get it. I’m trying to, but I don’t think I ever will. Not really. But I’ll keep trying. I have a dear friend who is half black. We’ve had some good conversations. Wish I could give you a big hug…

    • Tori Glass August 9, 2017 at 6:32 pm Reply

      Thank you! It’s a lifelong process. For both sides. Forgiveness, learning, growing, listening. It doesn’t ever change.

  18. Neo August 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm Reply

    Blanket judgments

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:57 am Reply

      Based on literally tens of thousands of comments I read in the wake of Ferguson, sure.

  19. […] blog (the original, titled “The Day I Learned White Christians Hate Me,” is here). Tori is pictured above. I got to have a number of excellent in-person conversations with her […]

  20. ShaneR August 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm Reply

    I’m a white non-Christian, and if you ask me, belief in unseen supernatural beings belongs in the top 5 problems with humanity. The thrust of your expression leans heavily on the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, so the rationale reads as pretty absurd to someone who regards your moral high ground as a foolish wager in the first place.

    From the comfort of my lower middle class couch, I perceive racially charged events on a case by case basis. Eric Garner’s death was captured on film, and it’s easy to see the mistakes that were made. He should never have been arrested, shouldn’t have been injured how they did, and should have been treated quickly. It’s understandable why he was argumentative. Trayvon Martin should not have died, obviously. The facts there and the character of his assailant make that conclusion pretty simple. I won’t pretend to know all the facts of the case with Michael Brown, but the circumstances of his death didn’t paint as clear a picture to me. That’s not to say he wasn’t essentially executed, nor does it mean I think he didn’t present a mortal threat, himself. I’m not sure why his case in particular caused you all this turmoil.

    I am sorry that you saw some ugliness from some white people. Still, I can’t even begin to get into your frame of mind. You should question white Christians–that I agree with completely but for different reasons. Anyone who can’t figure out right and wrong without the invisible sky daddy should be questioned at every opportunity. Use your own mind and pull free from the trap of ancient sacred words that human beings imagined and human beings wrote down. The oppression goes well beyond skin color; malignant beliefs meant to shame and subdue you have taken root in your thinking. Free yourself from that, and you’ll find a vast and exciting world in the here and now, not the imaginary eternity.

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:56 am Reply

      Some days I’m a Christian. Some days I’m an agnostic. Most days I have no idea what I am. It’s hard to consider yourself part of a group when that group doesn’t even try to hide their disdain for you.

  21. bastardsonofscotchandbacon August 10, 2017 at 4:57 am Reply

    Wow. This post I’d absolutely amazing. Thank you for writing it. I’m an atheist so, I’ve never been fooled by the idea that some people love me because they believe in a higher deity but, I understand how the tenets and principles of Christianity…all good things…would lead a believer to think that all members of a faith would love all others. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to work?

    Unfortunately, we have seen that, in these times we live in, it does not,

  22. Melis August 10, 2017 at 5:34 am Reply

    Thank you (white mom to adopted Ethiopian children). I am here, I am listening, I am sorry. I am learning for my children, for our community and for our faith. Thank you.

    • Ruth Ann Logue August 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm Reply

      Melis, Me too. We have 5 biological white children and an adopted Ethiopian son, and I am learning that the things he’s learning to be afraid of as he grows up are so different from the issues his white siblings faced. I am trying to learn alongside him, to be open, to take responsibility for the fact that white people in America (that’s me) have created a country that he can feel unsafe in. It’s heartbreaking.

      • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:46 am

        Thanks for doing the work Ruth Ann. Our experience in America is legitimately different than white folks.

  23. Some white guy August 10, 2017 at 8:18 am Reply

    Nevermind the fact that even the Obama justice department couldn’t find a shred of evidence to prove the debunked false meme of “hands up don’t shoot.”

    Nevermind the fact that every witness that said they saw it was proven to have lied and not even been at the scene.

    Nevermind the forensic evidence that showed his blood was inside the police cruiser and that bullet entry wounds showed that he wasn’t in a surrender posture but rather a charging posture.

    Nevermind that there is video evidence that he wasn’t a gentle giant, and that he did actually commit the strong-arm burglary that the officer was asking him about, rather than the “walking while black” scenario put forth.

    You’d rather cling to your worldview and point the blame first. There is hatred and unforgiveness in your heart and your bias betrays you. When you say that the white community assumed Michaels guilt immediately, you immediately assumed his innocence and no amount of facts otherwise could sway you. We are told daily that there is no greater sin than to generalize and stereotype an entire group. Yet you do it so easily against 90 Million Americans you never met.

    Has there been injustices made in America against blacks from cops. Absolutely. Is it the rule or the exception? Data suggests the latter. What happened to Philando Castile was an example of a tragedy. His fatal error was to ignore an already worried (Asian, as if that mattered) cop’s order to not open the glove box, but a tragedy no less… he didn’t need to die, nor did he deserve to, and that officer deserves punishment.

    I agree with idea that confederate statues should come down. They are a memorial to failure and error and murder. Built solely as propaganda to the fallen extralegal measures to enslave blacks.

    What you interpret from the white community as hatred is in fact a cynicism growing from the narrative we’ve been fed. We’re tired of being told we’re evil from birth just because of the color of our skin. We’re tired that it’s socially acceptable to hate us for what we look like rather than who we are. MLK jr said he had a dream that his children would play with ours. But your generation rejects that message. You’re busy looking for micro-aggressions and other the specters of racism, instead of snuffing out actual, true hate-filled racism. You define cultural ignorance and petty slights as racism. But the Left has cried wolf too many times, and the struggle has been cheapened and diluted.

    Last month, Google had a doodle that outlined the history of Lynching in America. It was heartbreaking. It 100% resonated with me, I empathized with the the black community; for the first time in a long time my heart broke for what they had to endure, and craved justice. So please don’t tell me I hate you. I weep for actual justice. I grew up in an area that had a larger than average black population. The elementary school I attended was a 45%/45% split (10% other). As a child I rode the bus that was 29 out of 30 kids black. I was the 1. And I would be harassed and beaten and called slurs at the age of 7. I would ask my parents why they hate me and they said it was because I was white. Those children were taught to hate by their parents, handed to them like a baton to carry to the next generation. I couldn’t understand why on earth the color of my skin mattered. There is hatred on each side. But the progressive left says that I deserved the treatment I got. It’s just a tiny fraction of payback for hundreds of years of abuse someone I never met received. A 7 year old had the power of society, thus their hate was neutralized, even justified. It was those bus rides I swore I’d never treat another human the way I was treated.

    I have long associated the Black diaspora in America to the plight of the biblical Jews, and so did your ancestors. The analogy is a powerful one. But the New Testament is about God forgiving the gentiles who enslaved and occupied Israel, and bringing salvation to them as well, and the early Jewish Christian church preaching to them and accepting them. I pray for a great awakening in America where the Black church and the White Church merge, like two parallel streams becoming a mighty rushing water. There needs to be forgiveness and repentance from everyone for our history.

    I am truly sorry your experiences makes you feel this way against the white community as a monolith. I feel sorry that you hold bitterness and prejudice in your heart, and the pain that you hold turns you into the very thing you hate. But that doesn’t make it true, or right. I pray that you find freedom.

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:53 am Reply

      Hi Some White Guy! So this post was specifically about white evangelicals — people who call themselves Christians and attend church on a regular basis — and their blatantly anti-black response in the wake of Ferguson.

      This is NOT about whether Michael Brown was the good guy, the rampant anti-black legislation this country used to create modern day policing, or the fact that police officers can use “I felt afraid” as a legal excuse to execute any American citizen who crosses their path. It’s about the fact that Christians, who are explicitly told by Jesus in Scripture to “love your enemies,” refuse to love people they consider their enemies.

      Sure, what Wilson did was completely legal. Lynching was also legal for a century. So was chattel slavery. Legality and morality are not even close to the same thing, and I don’t give passes to people who try to conflate them. Sorry.

  24. Gabby August 10, 2017 at 8:36 am Reply

    My heart breaks reading this. I am so sorry for what we have done, for what I have done. I pray that we will come to realize the injustice and sin we have committed towards the black community and POC in general. I am so sorry

    • Tori Glass August 10, 2017 at 9:35 am Reply

      Thanks Gabby. Keep having hard conversations about race with your friends, family, and coworkers. You can make a difference. 💛

  25. Marilyn Johnson August 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm Reply

    So full of sadness. So sorry for the evil and hatred. Wanting it to be better. Thank you for your honesty, Sending love and the hope for joy.

  26. Maria August 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm Reply

    I’m proud of you! You spoke out! You spoke the truth! You shared your side so those of us who care can participate in how you feel. You’re correct. I’ve never had the privilege of being immersed in a black community but I would welcome it. If more people spoke out like you it would make this a better world. Legally we’re de-segregated as a country but many hearts remain segregated. It breaks my heart. You’re right! As Christians we should be leading others towards true love that transcends color, race, money, status, and more. I personally feel that many so called churches are just cults in their own right. Some are benign but most are malignant stains on our society, culturing bias at every turn, and creating man-made ladders to heaven. But Jesus said there is only one way to heaven and that’s through him. He didn’t ask us to tithe or dress up or or even get together on Sundays to parade around. He asked us to love one another as he loves us. That’s our one task: Demonstrate true love and let others know about his free gift of salvation. It can’t be earned. It doesn’t matter what church you belong to or if you go to church at all. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what race you are, what country you live in, or whether you think you like boys or girls…all that matters is your acceptance. It is shameful that Christians of any color would speak ugliness towards others regardless of whether or not it’s done on social media or otherwise. I hope you continue to speak out, to encourage everyone to self examine and hopefully correct their paths of error. Don’t back down and don’t let anyone shut you down.
    Love in Christ,
    One White Girl Who Loves Jesus ❤️

  27. Sue August 10, 2017 at 6:31 pm Reply

    I can only speak from my experience. I also ache for your hurt and sense of betrayal. In our city, it would be difficult to find someone who hasn’t felt as you do. I don’t ask that you forgive us, but perhaps be patient as we listen and learn.

  28. messyjoyfull August 10, 2017 at 6:37 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear these words, experiences, your story. I’m sorry for my blindness and that of white “christians”. I’m just going to let your words sink in and pray that God does His work in me and among the diseased hearts and minds of the white churches s land. ❤️

  29. Scottie Mitchell August 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm Reply

    Thank you for writing this. You are absolutely right. The Church has turned its back on many in recent years. I don’t know how it has happened but fear has become the center it seems. As a white person I am sorry. I hope we can find a road to walk together.

  30. Jacob Fisher August 10, 2017 at 8:23 pm Reply

    While other people are here reaching for the words to praise you — praise your words, praise your attitude — I am sitting here disgusted. You are the pot, and as a white Christian, I am the kettle. Your words of condemning all white Christians is just what you claim to be rallying against. All white people should feel shamed because of the past? The son must bear the sins of the father? That, more than anything, speaks volumes. Volumes loud enough to drown out your own words.

    From your bold and unfounded claim, “I know you don’t love me because you’re already writing a comment to tell me about how this doesn’t apply to you and #NotAllWhiteChristians,” to this irrational logic, “For you, Dear White Christian? Your love for the Lord is capped at the amount of love you have for Michael Brown.” This is absolute madness! You anger is misdirected.

    #NotAllWhiteChristians? That itself is clear and true. I never knew Michael Brown. Does that mean I never knew our Lord? Do you dare tell me that I, as a white Christian, hate someone because of your experience? I do not know you and in all probability will never know you. Does that mean I am incapable or not allowed to love you as a fellow Christian?

    This, above all else, is the actual problem. Gross over-generalization, mass condemnation, shaming those you do not know. A society divided by perceived threats cannot be brought together. Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

    I was deeply moved by your words. Moved so much that I have spent the past half hour trying to put my thoughts into words, which is often a lesson in futility. I will proclaim boldly and even in the very presence of our almighty Lord, I am white. I am Christian. I will not be tossed into the bin with all of the ignorant self-serving pseudo-Christians. This is me. This is who I am. And this is the truth.

    You can negate my words. You can negate my faith. You can negate my very existence. It is your choice. For your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, you can fill your heart with anger or you can fill your heart with love.

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:46 am Reply

      Odd how you negate my experiences while telling me to negate my own?

      I read tens of thousands of responses from white Christians in the wake of Ferguson. Most of them (far more than 9 in 10) were anti-black. You don’t have to apologize for your misplaced indignation and I don’t have to apologize for being brutally honest about the ugly anti-blackness (or complete silence in the face of anti-blackness from friends and family) I saw from thousands upon thousands of white American evangelicals. Thanks though.

      • Jacob Fisher August 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm

        I am not Evangelical. I pledge nothing to any denomination. You scream the ugliness of so many people being anti-black and I fully support you. Racism against black people is pathetically alive and it is sickening every time I see a white supremacist rally mentioned in the news. But what are you doing to white Christians? I am white. I am Christian. Do you consider me the same as those who are anti-black? If you do, you are as guilty as those you rally against. That, more than anything, is the brutal honesty that I felt as I read your words. You are grouping all white Christians together and telling them what they are and what they feel. You are telling them because of X, then you must be Y and Z. It is not that simple! Must we all act according to what you think we should? Must we all be as outspoken as you are towards racism? If we fail to meet your expectations, what would be our punishment? You do not know all white Christians! You cannot say how much we love Jesus!

        After reading some other comments it seems like I am not alone. Do not judge us lest you be judged the same. You are basically saying all white Christians are racist hypocrites. I am not racist. What does that make you? I’ve read posts like yours many times since Ferguson. They are all the same. ALL lives matter and THAT is the brutal honesty.

      • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 11:55 pm

        I read literally tens of thousands of comments regarding Ferguson, mostly from people who claim to be Christians. So I’m pretty damn confident in my assessment of white evangelicals. I saw hatred toward Michael Brown or deafening silence from white Christians. You think you’re so complicated and hard to figure out. Believe me, you are not.

        Black lives matter. There was never a time white lives were at risk of death simply for existing in this country. Y’all really need to quit playing the victim etc.

  31. Willem August 10, 2017 at 8:58 pm Reply

    Powerful, powerful writing.

  32. Chris Kern August 11, 2017 at 4:19 am Reply

    “Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”

  33. Kabyn August 11, 2017 at 8:01 am Reply

    Thank you for writing this! You speak truth. I hate that it is true, but it is true.

    Jesus told us to “mourn with those who mourn,” at the very least we need to start there; with a concern for the hurting and not for our own self-justification.

    My story has some overlaps with yours and what you share here. I was a part of Mars Hill from 98 to 08 when I it became clear to me that Driscoll was going to blow the whole thing up with his ego.

    I was working with youth (90% African-American) in Saint Louis at the time of Michael Brown’s shooting. My wife now co-teaches with a woman who had Michael Brown as a student.

    At the time of the shooting I was offered a position at a large evangelical church in the burbs, but I went to an event they were having. Michel Brown and all the fallout was never mentioned, much less prayed for or cried over. I didn’t take the job, I couldn’t. Maybe I should have. I really don’t think they were the “he deserved it” type, but just clueless. I hope that’s the case anyway. Sadly though clueless and callous have the same effect on others.

    Anyway, all that to say I hear you sister and, to the extent that I can be, I’m with you.

  34. Lonnie August 11, 2017 at 8:46 am Reply

    I’m sorry, but you’ll never hear me issue any sort of apology for any of these things. It’s not that I don’t believe they exist, it’s that I have no reason to feel that you are slighted when you make statements using blanket terms. We all have racial preferences, and each and every one of us are entitled to that. That can be seen everywhere, from the mall to the homeless shelters. Most white people hang with other white people. Most black people hang with other black people. Most Latino people hang with other Latino people. It isn’t necessity. It’s a choice. That’s just how it is. Is it wrong? I don’t think so, and don’t see a reason that it would be. Seems like nature at work to me. I’m really not meaning this to sound hateful in any way, I’m just trying to offer a narrative from another side that doesn’t match yours. I freely accept people of all colors, nations, sexual preference and so on. What I have said here doesn’t directly address a lot of the issues that you brought up, but Im also aware of that. I said all of that to set up for what I’m about to deliver:

    Humans aren’t exactly known throughout the galaxy for their generosity or kindness. In fact, you could very well look at humans as a cancer attacking the cell (earth). They take, they do what they want when they want for their preservation and survival as a species, and then rarely ever give something which is beneficial. When you put them in a corner and scorn them, that’s the worst thing you can possibly do, as they will at some point become vindictive. When you start trying to force everybody to love everybody else, they are going to hate more than they did when they originally began. And that’s the claim these days, right? “Cant we all just love each other?” The answer, overwhelmingly, is no. Believe me, this isn’t something that I am proud of, but it’s not something we can just overlook either. There has to be another middle ground, and shaming people into it or breaking their hearts is not the way. I’m very glad you feel empowered by your writing. I know it must have taken some level of courage in order to write it out and actually publish it. I also have had negative experiences with black people, as well as the majority of my family. But we don’t bring them up. Most of the family has forgotten about the incidents entirely. I didn’t. To take a few words from your speech, “if what I said makes you uncomfortable, sit with it a while”. I notice that whenever someone begins to try to take up for their own race, it’s always a blatant attack against the other race with nothing being said or constructive criticism given to their own. I also see this article is no exception. Perhaps a little time thinking from both sides could do us all some good

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:42 am Reply

      So this article was specifically about White evangelical Christians in America. Jesus said “Love your enemies.” Love for those who harm us is the cornerstone of Christianity based on Jesus’ example. I don’t expect love or respect from white Americans generally, but if you call yourself a Christian while you shit on your black neighbors, you should reconsider your faith. Just like your comment, they’ve totally missed the point. Bless. ❤️

    • Lonnie August 13, 2017 at 5:19 am Reply

      I had pretty well figured out by reading the responses here that you are as much to blame as part of the problem as anyone that you condemn. Your blanket statements and self-assured response of “I’ve read tens of thousands of white evangelical comments on ferguson. I know my white evangelicals”. You really don’t get it. And that’s okay. I don’t think any of you do. No more than we get what you’re talking about us. People are different. You can generalize, and so can we. But what good does it do either side? When promoting a singular skin color, whatever the opposing one is never gets a justifiable defense, and vise versa. I’m also quite sure that you missed the point of my original response. That’s okay, too. I’m not sure we can ever see a common ground here that we can rest on. But I’ll respect your ability to have the opinion that you do as long as you respect mine 🙂

      • Tori Glass August 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

        So you have the authority to erase 30 years of personal experience within white evangelical Christianity because… what? Because you as a white dude don’t see what I see a black woman? Really? You know slavery is over right? Just because you’re white and I am not does not give you the authority tell me what does and does not exist, or dictate the terms of my reality. You know this right? You don’t get to just erase every conversation I have had or every comment I have read or every time I’ve been called “nigger” just because it makes you uncomfortable. Being white does not equal increased objectivity. Hate to break it to you bro.

  35. M McV August 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing with us. Crucial words at a crucial time.

  36. Jim August 12, 2017 at 6:16 am Reply

    Love yourself and don’t worry about what you assume others think of you or black people. Your life and what you accomplish are completely in your control. Be strong and don’t blame others who you believe don’t care for you or your race as that is nonsense and unproductive. If you think living with fellow Americans is uncomfortable go visit any other country, perhaps visit Africa, and see how much love or appreciation you receive simply be used you are amount others that share your skin pigmentation. Quit the blame game and maybe BLM might have a chance to effect real change but give up on excuses and attempting to blame personal shortcomings on others. It is only a crutch when you make excuses and not accept your situation is based on your life choices not anyone else’s

    • Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 6:37 am Reply

      Africa is not a country.

    • Jim August 12, 2017 at 6:53 am Reply

      Thanks Tori have you ever visited the continent of Africa?
      Glad that was all you came away with from my reply. Good luck with your life and family. I won’t bother to say god blesses you as that might be offensive because you would misread its sincerity due to my lack of skin pigmentation. Again live life for yourself and ignore the haters. Don’t sell yourself short work harder and quit blaming others for your insecurities…OKAY 🙏🏻

  37. Tori Glass August 12, 2017 at 7:34 am Reply

    You understand nothing you said is unique, right? That I’ve heard your tired opinions for the entire 30+ years I’ve been alive in this country? Stop coming on my blog to shit on my experiences and waste my time with your undying support of the status quo or I will have to block you. R

  38. Shruthi August 12, 2017 at 10:15 am Reply

    I loved reading this. As an Indian woman in texas, married to a born and bred Texan man, we have many conversations about how what he sees is not often reality. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve felt your whole life; it’s unnerving for people to make up their minds about you before you say a word. It just shows even more the need for reconciliation with Jesus. How glorious that day will be where no more tears will be shed!

  39. […] Just yesterday, before the torch-bearing hate march began at the University of Virginia, I shared a blog about the need for racial reconciliation in the Church, evangelicalism in particular. The responses […]

  40. Lawton W. August 13, 2017 at 12:31 am Reply

    Tori: thank you, you are a hero to me. I grew up in a painful, dysfunctional, traumatic, racist, evangelical environment. It look many years to learn to be brutally honest with myself. Eventually, I learned to listen to painful truths about my own belief system without being defensive or blaming others. I have worked hard to take less and give more. I have invested time and energy in helping those whose window of opportunity/advantages is not open as wide as it is for others. I have done a lot of good. But you challenge me to consider whether I give enough. I should do more. Further, you inspire me to do more which is why you are my hero. Thank you for that.

  41. Jacob Fisher August 13, 2017 at 6:36 am Reply

    I noticed you don’t want me to directly reply to your last comment. Are you that arrogant? Even when I agree with you, you lash out. Tens of thousands of comments? Do you think there are only “tens of thousands” of white Christians in this country?

    There are a lot of people that claim to be Muslim that carry out terrorist attacks. Do you hate all Muslims too?

    There’s a Hispanic gang called MS-13 with tens of thousands of members. Do you hate all Hispanics too?

    Japan gave us Pearl Harbor and was our enemy for many years. Do you hate all Japanese too?

    Remember the Bloods and the Crips? Do you hate all blacks too? Ah, there’s an obvious answer. Of course you don’t! Black people surely must get a free pass lest you be exposed as one of many ignorant #BlackLivesMatter members. You’re not hard to figure out. I believe it to be more appropriate that you stop playing the victim.

    I hate no generalized group of people. Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Does that conveniently ignore white Christians? Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

    I am done arguing with you. If you wish to divide Christians based on the color of our skin then feel free to continue. I will say one last thing: I love you. I love you as a fellow sister in Christ and I will always pray for you. If you wish to keep talking as a mature adult Christian, I believe you have my email address. If not, then don’t worry…I won’t be back. I’m sure you won’t miss me.

    • Tori Glass August 13, 2017 at 10:09 am Reply

      You certainly don’t love me enough to believe my experiences or take me at my word, so cool. Keep saying one thing and doing the opposite, I’m sure your god will approve.

      • Jacob Fisher August 14, 2017 at 8:31 am

        I said I wouldn’t be back, but I couldn’t ignore this. I do not deny your experiences but I cannot deny your attacks on all white Christians. How can you possibly know what I’m doing? These are just letters displayed on an illuminated screen. You don’t know me and you don’t know my experiences either. You can not judge me based on a relatively small part of all white Christians. Doing so would be against Jesus’ words. Against Biblical law. Do not cast aside my love and think I do not love the same God you proclaim to.

        Matthew 7:1-3 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

        Why do you attack those who disagree with your blatant hatred of white Christians? Why do you only accept apologies from white Christians? You are a beautiful young woman. Don’t let your heart be filled with hate.

        Here are some words from the song “The Grudge” by one of my favorite bands, Tool: “Give away the stone. Let the oceans take and / Transmutate this cold and fated anchor. / Give away the stone. Let the waters kiss and / Transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.”

      • Tori Glass August 14, 2017 at 9:03 am

        You’re right. I’m so sorry. White evangelical American Christians are perfectly Christlike in all ways, objective, neutral, unbiased, and just. Please forgive me for ever daring to assert that y’all could be better, when you’re exactly the way Christ intended you be. Black Americans aren’t worthy of your perfection and nobility!

  42. White Christian August 13, 2017 at 11:15 am Reply

    I noticed you accused the exonerated policeman of execution, yet carefully placed “alleged” in front of the criminal victim. Sad indicator of racial and cultural prejudice. I will comment no further to a racist hater of Christians who do not always agree with you or have your same skin color. I hope your letter was just to get response, and not your true feelings. That would be sad, very sad.

    • Tori Glass August 13, 2017 at 11:22 am Reply

      Lynching was legal. Just because you’re exonerated doesn’t mean what you did was right or just or moral. Your Christianity is very weak if you believe American laws and Biblical justice are equivalent. Sad very sad.

  43. Caroline Ellis August 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm Reply

    Thank you for your post and honesty. This is a topic believers wish not to discuss. We cannot continue to sweep this under the rug. As an Africian American Believer
    My experience has been the same. hanging with my “own” is so much safer. Sadly enough, if “we” the believers possess heaven, I guess heaven is full of racism also. How can you love GOD whom you have never seen, yet hate you brother that you see every day. There’s gonna be so much room in heaven. If haters can’t go, then there will be a lot of missing White folk. Not a racist statement, just facts. Thank your Tori, I pray for you and the pain this experience brings. LOVE God regardless….don’t blame God for Mans confusion. Thank you sister.

    • Jacob Fisher August 14, 2017 at 8:55 am Reply

      THANK YOU, Caroline, for your post. The fact that you are of African descent is why I’m actually replying. You may have seen in other comments that I am indeed a white Christian. I hope you can see that I do not hate any generalized group of people. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Haters come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, races, etc. I do not condone any terrorist attacks against black people, such as what has happened in Charlottesville. I say “terrorist” because any attack prompted by hatred is indeed terrorism.

      You words are true on many levels. Know that I love both you and Tori as fellow children of God. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m not here to prove the lack of racism of my own part. I could say I’ve had black friends. I could say my wife is half Korean, 1/4 Ukranian, 1/4 Scottish/Irish. None of that really matters. My words and actions are what matters. If I could do more, I would. If I could say more, I would. My mental illnesses (major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder) prevent me from taking part in any sort of mass demonstration, rally, or whatever. I can only share my feelings, thoughts and deeds; and treat everyone with the base level of respect every child of God deserves.

  44. randomteas August 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm Reply

    Thank you for your honesty and allowing us to see your heart. As a white woman, the murder of Mike Brown was a watershed moment for me. I am ashamed that it took me so long, especially as a white mother with black children. I am finally learning to listen, to check myself, and to be responsible for my own education.
    After Mike Brown was murdered, I saw my white, conservative, evangelical church for what it truly was: racist, narrow minded, and incapable of having compassion for those whose stories were different. We had been there for 12 years trying to “make a difference” but in the end, we couldn’t leave fast enough The last three years almost broke my faith but I am coming through slowly. I am both less and more certain of truth & doctrine as I experience it.
    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I also admire your thoughtful, patient, & reasoned responses to the comments here. Many commenting don’t deserve it.

  45. pastorinseattle August 17, 2017 at 11:06 am Reply

    Thanks for your thought provoking words, carefully chosen and written in such a manner that they touch my heart. As a white Evangelical pastor, I need to hear those words in order to understand. I confess that white Evangelical churches like mine have been woefully negligent of many issues of social justice, including issues of race. In truth, empathy does not come automatically, even when God’s Spirit fills our hearts. I hope and pray that God softens our callous hearts.

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