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Have We Already Gotten Over Charlottesville?

Comments (4)
  1. Noelle says:

    How hard have you guys looked for these blueprints? Do you insist that the action items be identified by Reformed Christians before you engage, or are you willing to partner with people outside of the church? The author posted one article that has a pretty straightforward solution–Ta’Nehisi Coates’ “Case for Reparations.” I’m thinking there’s some pretty solid arguments for a Jubiliee-style revival in this country, that might-could and definitely SHOULD be led by the church, in which justice flows like streams (and not metaphorically! Justice flowing like streams of restorative, reparative capital–returning our ill-begotten wealth to those it was stolen from).

    Another spectacular mind spearheading this “blueprint” is Ibram Kendi, who has an anti-racism research center in DC that targets the foundations of the policies that underpin & uphold racism in our country.

    I’m thankful that the person you are demanding blueprints from is white. Because these blueprints are OUR responsibility. We are the culprits, and we ought to make reparation and restoration our business, and not place the burden of fixing the problem on our POC brothers & sisters.

    1. DCal3000 says:

      Thanks for your reply to my earlier comment, Noelle. It is helpful and moves the conversation forward. I have two points in response.

      First, the reason I singled out Reformed Christians in my previous comment is that this website purports to be a Reformed Christian website and because Dr. Tuininga himself is Reformed. He accuses “white American Christians,” presumably himself included, of having “never” taken “responsibility for the legacy of racial injustice.” He also suggests that this failure may be sin. If his claim is true, it leaves open the possibility that all previous apologies from various denominations, all efforts to promote diversity and repentance, all the articles by white American Christians on this website, have still left those with white skin color in the mire of race-based sin. That leaves us without a specific model to follow to address the issue. Dr. Tuininga, and other writers like him, owe us suggestions for specific solutions.

      You bring up a specific suggestion–race-based reparations; I find that helpful, since you are not simply wringing your hands in white, pseudo-guilt. That said, I am troubled by the idea and need to know more about how reparations would work. If it would be a government-sponsored program to correct generic racial injustice (rather than specific wrongs committed by specific entities), it would inevitably have to involve a “white” tax, since taxing African-Americans for reparations would be defeating the point. That means, though, that IRS audits would need to involve physical examinations of skin color or DNA, in order to defeat those who might avoid the tax by falsely claiming minority status. The tax would also need to be applied to poor whites if it’s to correct racial injustice, since poor whites have also been historically guilty of racism. In the end, I fear such reparations would divide the country more than it is already divided. Some such policies, in fact, sound suspiciously similar to sinful policies employed by white supremacists in the not-so-distant past. I don’t think it right or just for the government to decide how to treat me based on the shade of my skin color.

      I am more interested in hearing about private reparations–along the lines of Zacchaeus’s example in the New Testament. We work to right wrongs that we or our families have specifically committed. There is where stories from people like you could help. If you determined that financial reparations were warranted, how did you determine how much to pay and who to pay it too? How were you able to do that and continue to meet your other financial obligations? Stories like that could serve to inspire and bring about healing merely from the telling. And, of course, reparation might not always be financial; other factors could be discussed too. I would be interested to hear more, and I thank you for already working to contribute to the discussion.

  2. DCal3000 says:

    I would like to echo the previous commenter in wanting to see more of a blueprint from Reformed Christians on how to combat racial injustice. Racial injustice indisputably exists, and Christians need to stand against it. Dr. Tuininga suggests, “We must take responsibility for the legacy of racial injustice,” but he also says “t]hat’s something white American Christians have never done.” His latter statement suggests that there is no blueprint by way of example from any white American Christian, including those who write for RAAN. It also indicates that all previous statements of repentance or alleged efforts at racial reconciliation have fallen short–even sinfully so. If that is the case, the situation is indeed serious and clarity is needed. Moving forward, what does taking responsibility look like?

  3. Michael Vander Laan says:

    OK, let’s assume I agree with this blog. (I do probably agree with 90% of it.) I would also have to consider myself a “white moderate” and thus the target of this post. (I could write a response about the wisdom, or lack thereof, about posts that are meant to target groups of people, but I will skip that.)

    My question is this: What are the solutions, or at least what are some of the ideas that might provide a solution?

    Matthew, the only solution you offered here is to “see” our black brother and sisters in Christ. What does that mean? And how is that supposed to help?

    I’ve been member of churches with significant numbers of black members, including one which was started by a group of Afro-Americans. I know the Southside of Chicago reasonably well. I’ve been to the CRC’s Race Relations Conference. Can I “see”? I don’t know if I can or not. What I do know is that I don’t feel any of this helps me deal with any of the issues raised in the post.

    In my opinion, the current edition of racial conflict is unproductive and in deep need of a clear agenda and goal. It has to be more than anger to be justice, lest the anger become a mortal vice. It has to be more than guilt-tripping upper and middle-class whites. It needs an agenda that will change reality in God-glorifying ways. What’s the blue-print?

    If anything, as a white moderate, I’d like to challenge Reformed African Americans and Reformed whites to come up with a clear agenda and goal for improving the social fabric of African American communities. And then promote it, get it on the political table, and make a difference.

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