Those who are in Christ, no matter which tongue or tribe or nation or language they represent, are reconciled to their Creator and thus, to each other. Only Christianity can anchor this beautiful vision of the human condition on solid ground, and it has incredible implications for individuals and nations, for people and for social structures.
In a recent piece in The Atlantic, Tyler Austin Harper, a black professor from Bates College, argued that so-called “anti-racism” has gone too far.
In their righteous crusade against the bad color-blindness of policies such as race-neutral college admissions, these contemporary anti-racists have also jettisoned the kind of good color-blindness that holds that we are more than our race, and that we should conduct our social life according to that idealized principle. Rather than balance a critique of color-blind law and policy with a continuing embrace of interpersonal color-blindness as a social etiquette, contemporary anti-racists throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The term “anti-racist” came from a recent explosion of writing such as Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, and it carries enormous ideological implications. According to Kendi, “One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.’”
For figures like Kendi and DiAngelo, anti-racism isn’t just the commitment to combat racism wherever we happen to see it, it’s the commitment to see racism everywhere, entrenched in the heart of society and present in all its aspects. Even more, to be “anti-racist” requires the adoption of a very narrow set of policy prescriptions, all of which come from an increasingly left side of the political world.
In this world, white people must move from a position of “neutrality” to actively “centering” race in all their discourse. Only then can “whiteness” and “implicit bias” be identified, admitted, and confessed. In practice, Harper warns, this only obliterates any distinctions between “structural” racism, a term referring to racial injustices embedded in wider society, and the interpersonal interactions with people of different races.