We’d hand them the clothes or money or food in the deepest of Southern Hospitality tradition and with the sincerest of Southern Baptist smiles, but as soon as we were out of earshot and where we were among family or trusted fellow whites, out would come all our assumptions and allegations and accusations about blacks (and of course we’d only use the word “black” when we were trying to politically correct), and we told each other every n-word joke in the proverbial book. But even then, we honestly believed we weren’t racist because we felt no malice towards them. In fa…
Thank you for writing this. I attended for years a “multicultural” non-denominational church in the South where white people did these exact things. I never knew it as a disengaged weekly attendee, but once I started working in the church office with programs as the only minority serving poor people (primarily people of color)……I started to see and hear things that I just couldn’t believe. The straw that broke the camels back was the inauguration of the first African-American POTUS. The long-time white pastor from Idaho all but called him a nigger devil. He used lots of terms like dark, black times, anti-Christ. All of which were codes Southern Black folks, regardless of education, know well.
I left that church that Sunday in the middle of the sermon and never looked back. I haven’t bothered to join another one since. That’s was in 2007. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attending a variety of places of worship is that they all in some form or fashion are perfect breeding grounds to facilitate and condone racism. Just look at the diversity of the leadership compared to the diversity of flock. It tells the full story.
Good for you for breaking the cycle of racism. This was a great story, I loved it. It dredged up a very painful point in my life dealing with people and religion. The wounds still hurt apparently.