Andre E. Johnson Profile picture
Mar 10, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Okay, I feel like another twitter thread. So here goes. I am still thinking about the article in the @nytimes on Black people leaving white churches as I prepare for a keynote address at the conference on Communication ethics.…
While the story centers on Black people trying to find a home in largely white congregations and eventually leaving, @JLWeisenfeld noted that this is also a story about racial reconciliation.
Anybody who has read any of my work or followed me on Twitter know that I am HIGHLY skeptical of the term "racial reconciliation." here me though; I have no problem with reconciliation. I do believe people can be reconciled.
However, reconciliation can truly happen only if the people had a relationship together in the first place. What I mean by this is that reconciliation is about two parties coming BACK together and restoring their relationship.
In short, if there was never a relationship in the first place, reconciliation cannot happen. Thus, when we speak of racial reconciliation, we ASSUME that the "races" had a relationship that was healthy and wholesome at one time.
As we continue to commemorate #MLK50, we are going to hear more calls to racial reconciliation. The argument is that if both white Christians and Christian of color could sit down and hash out differences; if they could just come together; be honest with each other...
then the ministry of reconciliation can happen. But in the spirit of speaking the truth in love, I must ask “be reconciled back to what? Back to the time when there was a debate that people who looked like me did not have souls?
Back to the time when slavery was blessed by God? Back to the time when separate but equal was the law of the land? Back to the time when Jim and Jane Crow ruled not only the law but the hearts of white people?
And besides, how can we be reconciled, when 70% of my Christian white sisters and brothers do not believe there is a problem with policing in communities of color? How can we be reconciled, when the very mention of the phrase #BlackLivesMatter Matter frustrates people....
without ever thinking about the reason why I have to say, #BlackLivesMatter Matter? How can we be reconciled, when studies show that even in multiracial and multi-ethnic churches, as the article showed that whiteness is still the norm?
How can we be reconciled when Black Truth and Black Testimony is not believed? How can we be reconciled when there was never a time that we were on the same page together? Still #WhiteChurchQuiet #EmptyThePews

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More from @aejohnsonphd

Jun 23, 2018
For the past 10 years, conservatives have consistently told us what they would do if they were elected. They did not try to hide what they would do. And for this, WE constantly rewarded them with elected office. The question is will WE rewarded again in November?
I remember when elected officials LOST their congressional seats because they tried to PROVIDE people with health care. Conservatives ran on destroying health care and WON!
When people try to do what the majority of the country SAY they want, they seem to lose. When folks promote immoral policies and "sound tough" WE seem to elect them.
Read 4 tweets
Mar 9, 2018
There is much buzz going on on social media about this story published by @nytimes:…. The better title may have been "Black Folks get Woke on #WhiteEvangelical churches and Leave.
So I will take time out of my writing schedule for today to comment on this story. First, much love to the people who shared their stories. In talking with people who found themselves in similar situations, I know it wasn't easy.
But let's be clear: #WhiteEvangelicalism is probably the number one reason people are leaving the church. It's so toxic that even Black people are not immune! It's soul crushing and damaging so much so that you don't want to attend any church.
Read 11 tweets
Jan 24, 2018
Okay, I am back to this wonderful thread on forgiveness. First, @Pastor_Earle and I have a soon to be published chapter on the subject in an upcoming book on the #CharlestonMassacre.
Basically, in the chapter, we titled, “But, I Forgive You?”: Mother Emanuel, Black Pain and the Rhetoric of Forgiveness," we examine the rhetoric of forgiveness and how forgiveness, as a trope, performs in public when expressed through black pain.
We maintained that the wider public not only expects a rhetoric of forgiveness when racial ghosts of the past (and present) manifest in ways that cause black pain but families must offer the forgiveness in non-threatening and expeditiously ways that eases public consciences.
Read 17 tweets

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