White Fragility: Why this Book is Important for Evangelicals

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DiAngelo’s book serves as a reminder that when Christians fail to address issues of individual and systemic sin like white supremacy, the world will address it.

In the beginning of Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s book, White Fragility, she explains that she wrote the book for white progressives. Her emphasis on this group of people is understandable, given a common mindset among progressives that points to engagement in social justice as a way to pardon oneself from being racist. However, I also believe this book can apply to any white person—progressive, conservative, Christian, non-Christian—who is interested in moving toward racial healing and justice in our country.

I think this book is important for evangelical Christians, particularly white evangelical Christians (both people who would identify as progressive, conservative or a combination of the two), because it speaks a language that has been almost completely missing within the white evangelical church throughout its history: a language to identify, name, and describe white supremacy and the difficulty and refusal of white people to speak this language and move toward healing. This language is one that black scholars and leaders have been speaking for many years, however, the white Christian church has not only failed to listen, learn, and change, but often has attempted to eradicate the language from our culture. The irony of this failure is that this language was necessitated largely because of the actions of white Christians and the white Christian church for centuries. Few white Christians I know have an understanding of this history. In this short reflection, I do not have time to do justice to this history, however, I will provide two examples here.

White European Christians originally enslaved black bodies for economic gain but justified their greed by framing slavery as a Christian act: evangelization (Kendi, …

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