Pass The Mic Exclusive! – “White Jesus” a new song by S.O.

The Witness

This is a first for the Pass the Mic podcast. In the hundreds of episode we’ve done over the years, we’ve never had this particular privilege.

The rapper Seun (S.O.) Otukpe chose our podcast to debut his new song, “White Jesus.” In this song, S.O. lyrically dismantles the myth that Jesus is a European-looking white man who forces people of color all over the globe to conform to a narrow culture and expression of faith.

“White Jesus” is direct and provocative in all right ways. The song directly confronts the ways concepts of whiteness have crept into Christianity and reveals the absurdity of envisioning a brown, Middle Eastern, Jewish man as a white in color and culture. 

We got to interview S.O. about the song and hear his motivations for writing the song. But we go further. We also get to talk about S.O.’s experience as a Nigerian immigrant to both the U.K. and the U.S.A. He talks about the similarities and differences in the racial climate of the places he’s lived. He also reveals how he began to de-colonize his faith and grow more comfortable with his own rich background and identity.

Although this was our first time speaking directly to S.O., we ended it feeling like we’d found another friend and brother. Learn more about S.O. by visiting his website, and be sure to buy his music!

You can listen to our interview with S.O. and hear his new song “White Jesus” in the middle of the episode. Listen HERE.

Direct Links to the Podcast:

6 thoughts on “Pass The Mic Exclusive! – “White Jesus” a new song by S.O.

  1. Susan Jay

    I appreciate S.O.’s thoughts and lyrics. I’ve just moved to a new community and would like to find a Church home. I’m White, but very uncomfortable with historical white bias and discrimination in White churches. I love meeting people who are different in background, history, and heritage, have different customs, etc. I’m just not finding that in churches here that say there “inclusive and welcoming”. The church where I still have my membership, though I no longer live there to worship in-person (I still participate through Zoom in our hybrid worship), is predominantly White. We have no images of Jesus anywhere in the church and we speak of God in a variety of ways, including “Mother”. Our liturgy and our white pastor’s sermon quotes and resources often allude to Black artists, theologians, writers, historical figures. We observe/celebrate Juneteenth and have done so for many years. There are ways to be more welcoming and inclusive, making strangers feel at home, especially when they find the pastor and congregation work at intentionally finding ways to represent the perspectives of those who differ from the dominant folks who worship. Our music director is an African-American woman and we’re an Open and Affirming congregation, inclusiveand affirming of lgbtq folks. We read, study, discuss, and listen to many perspectives, helping us to be both hospitable and reconciling in our witness. Not finding a church home in my new community like the one I left but still Zoom worship in.

    I’m a senior citizen and rap is not my thing…but I love learning and trying to make room for all faith expressions. Thanks for offering space to comment! I’m so tired of just white-people and White-Jesus images on church Facebook pages and websites from dominant or all-White churches. I’ve attended Black congregations, but unfortunately, the homophobia expressed is alienating.

  2. Jeff

    I’ve done so many times, and seen images of Black Jesus, Asian Jesus, Native American Jesus, and White Jesus. All of them are wrong.

    But racists see nothing but race.

  3. Michael

    Hi Jeff – Try a Google image search for “Jesus”. Doing this was an eye-opener for me.

  4. Jeff

    Sam –

    How, exactly, does a person live out their Christian experience as though Jesus were white? What does that even mean? How is that even possible?

    Here’s a simple truth I’ve found: When I’ve gone to a church where 95% or more of the people are white, it’s a service that caters to white tastes. When I’ve gone to black churches, everything about the service caters to black tastes. The difference between me and people like – say – Jemar, is that I’m not claiming that’s some horrible racist thing.

    By the way, I’ve been reading The Witness for years.

  5. Sam Rodríguez

    Jeff, believe it or not there are many people who will tell you that they know Jesus is not white but live out their Christian experience and their interpersonal Christian relationships as though he were. You see it in the liturgy and the worship and politics.
    my personal experience is that all of that “kind of nonsense that promotes racial tension and whining” that you’re referring to is not coming from the POC side.
    By the way, welcome to The Witness.

  6. Jeff

    Can you be any more racist and whiny? Seriously. White Jesus? “Jesus wasn’t a European looking white man.” Really? You’re just now figuring that out? Or you wrongly assume that nobody else knows that – and has known that for – oh, I don’t know – about 2,000 years now?

    Here’s another shocker for you. Jesus wasn’t black either.

    This kind of nonsense just furthers racial tension and whining. Apparently that’s what The Witness wants.

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