He said, “How Can You Call Yourself a White Christian?”

Caitlin ReynoldsBlogLeave a Comment

Hold Your Horses Folks!

Let me quickly lower your blood pressure if you are a Caucasian Christian or the friend of a Caucasian Christian. I’m not trying to be radical, racist, negative or start some explosive conversation on social media.

The title of this blog was a line in the movie, The Express. The movie paints the heartbreaking story of Syracuse University football player, Ernie Davis, and his road to becoming the 1st black Heisman Trophy winner.

In one scene, Ernie and his teammates lock more than just helmets with an opposing Texas team during the 1960 Cotton Bowl. As tempers rise and the color of Ernie’s skin becomes more important than playing the game, a Texas team member shouts in the face of one of Ernie’s Syracuse teammates, “How are your protecting this [ ____ ]. You call yourself a white Christian.”

My Response.

This statement sickens me as I consider where we are over 50 years later. I’m proud of the work our country has done in moving the equality needle. As a woman of color, I can now participate in the jobs from which my parents were blocked. I’m also of the many Caucasian Christians who have stood with us in a daily battle. However, it’s still not enough. As long as we still have those who think like the player, we will always be fighting.

My response to questions, such as the one the young man in the movie posed, is how can you call yourself a Christian. No need to qualify the skin color.

It leads me to a statement from comedian Trevor Noah’s comedy show. Noah talks about his mother’s reaction to apartheid in South Africa during a time when she, a black woman, had a son by a white man. She told young Trevor to take the racist words people say, “stir it up with Jesus and give it back to them.” I believe she was telling Noah to return racism with better thinking.

I can’t let people who think eat, sleep or breath racism, think their actions have an impact on me. I can take their words stir it up with Jesus and give it back to them. Now that’s how I call myself a Christian.