What does it mean that racism is ordinary?
Jim Wallace wrote a book a number of years ago called “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America” whose title aptly described racism as the sin condition which most profoundly shaped America from the colonial period forward. From this vantage point, it is quite simply that racism is the pervasive atmosphere which we all live and breath while existing in America. This atmosphere for some of us is something we are keenly aware of on an hourly basis because the consequences of not doing so could potentially be life-altering. For others of us like myself, the racism of America is something that fades into the background of our awareness or is something we rarely-if-ever need to think about … because at least for me as a white man, this racist system was created by people who look like me to keep people who look like me comfortable. It is that ordinary.
So this week our team of Christian antiracist educators and friends resume looking at the book Christianity and Critical Race Theory: A Faithful and Constructive Conversation by Robert Chao Romero and Jeff M. Liou. We are in Chapter 2 and are using it to look at the ordinary sin of racism and what that means for all of us as we move along in our justice journeys.
Let’s go now and listen, to this conversation.