Pastor Jerome Gay and Pastor Ernest Grant Talk Nick Cannon, Dr. Umar Johnson, and Religious ‘Whitewashing’

By | September 3, 2017

This episode of the Urban Perspective we talk to Pastor Ernest Grant about spiritual syncretism, Dr. Umar Johnson’s on interracial marriage, religious ‘whitewashing’ and much more.

Transcript
00:00
Nick Cannon and spiritual syncretism

Umar Johnson says if you marry a white
woman it’s because secretly you want to
be white

and what about the whitewashing
of Christianity we’re going to discuss
that and more on this episode of the
urban perspective
00:17
[Music]
00:52
well I am grateful to be joined today
00:55
for the urban perspective by pastor
00:58
Ernest grant he is one of the pastors at
01:00
epiphany Camden this brother is an
01:03
educated brother a historian and
01:05
intellectual a philosopher who has a
01:08
wealth of knowledge on a far range of
01:10
top so again thank you for doing this
01:13
for us brother you wrote an article not
01:16
too long ago in response to Nick Cannon
01:19
and his spiritual syncretism critism
01:22
so I want you to do two things for our
01:24
listeners can you first tell us what led
01:26
you to write that article and respond to
01:28
him and secondly explain to us what
01:30
spiritual syncretism is sure sure and
01:33
again thank you for having me there was
01:36
an article that I read sometime last
01:39
year by 2015 it was on the Atlantic and
01:43
it was talking about how comedians began
01:47
to become public intellectuals right and
01:50
I and I realized that although this has
01:52
existed in hip-hop for quite some time
01:54
we think about Public Enemy they always
01:57
had a socially conscious message EPMD
02:00
and a myriad of other hip-hop purveyors
02:02
I realized because of the advent of
02:04
social media and how it’s from you can
02:08
take the information basically directly
02:10
to the consumer that these guys are able
02:13
to get their information their their
02:15
spiritual ideas out very very quickly
02:17
and I think of among those guys you have
02:21
Nick Cannon is definitely one of those
02:22
guys David Banner killing my tea I
02:25
especially recently Kendrick Lamar and I
02:29
think one of the most powerful gentlemen
02:31
who’s now incarcerated is Kevin gates
02:35
Kevin gate says he would do numerous
02:37
back-to-back videos on Instagram a
02:39
minute plus really laying out his his
02:41
convictions as far as Islam Christianity
02:44
Judaism and how they all synced together
02:47
but Nick Cannon did an interview on The
02:50
Breakfast Club sometime late last year
02:52
and he was donning his his traditional
02:56
garb he had his yeah his head wrap on
02:58
and he was asked about it and I listened
03:02
to him talk and he said that he was
03:05
he was his primary spirituality is
03:07
Christianity but he’s fluent in a lot of
03:10
other spiritualities right and I
03:13
immediately thought about the idea of
03:14
syncretism is when you take all of these
03:16
different competing often contradictory
03:19
worldviews you sent you you seamlessly
03:22
put them together and what you’re left
03:24
with is this inoffensive unauthentic
03:29
sort of religious system that you sort
03:31
of customize for your own preference and
03:34
I wrote an article to Christianity today
03:37
really talking about this and the
03:40
historical precedent all the way back to
03:43
the Gnostics the Gnostics would take
03:44
biblical terms they would appropriate
03:46
them and and it would transpose them for
03:48
sort of non biblical ideas like the
03:51
resurrection like the the flesh being
03:54
evil and the spirit being good
03:57
we see this all throughout liberal
03:58
theology how they would take all these
04:00
competing ideas and merge sank them
04:02
together to come up with their own
04:03
personalized sort of religion that’s not
04:06
that’s not offensive at all and that’s
04:08
customized for them and Nick’s
04:10
words were very similar on The Breakfast
04:13
Club now if you listen to The Breakfast
04:15
Club interview and then you
04:16
cross-reference it with the text on
04:20
interview that he did it’s very very
04:22
similar he’s communicating many of the
04:24
same ideology so I wrote an article to
04:27
Christianity today talking about urban
04:29
michmash religion and Nick responded
04:33
oddly enough he he was very gracious I
04:35
wasn’t trying to bash him in the article
04:37
I’m trying to give a fair critique of
04:39
what I believed were his viewpoints and
04:42
he said in a tweet to me he said well
04:44
you know I read your article I’ve seen
04:45
some of your interviews online and I’d
04:47
like to talk to you more about your
04:49
ideas so well I’m not yeah it was really
04:52
interesting so I’m trying to get it he’s
04:54
a busy man you know he’s doing so much
04:56
but I would love to you know sit down
04:57
with him and discuss some of his
04:59
religious philosophies but yeah he said
05:02
he read it so that was good and and I
05:04
was inspired so I tried to at times take
05:07
if if something is communicated in pop
05:10
culture that I think is a little bit off
05:11
I like to take the time to disorder
05:14
address it so yeah Nick Cannon is one
05:16
and I’m just working through some other
05:18
stuff now
05:19
that’s great that’s great you know one
05:21
of the things he mentioned in his
05:23
Breakfast Club interview is that he was
05:26
embracing his kingliness
05:28
he said that several times about
05:30
embracing his kingliness and one of the
05:32
things I recognized from that that
05:35
particular phrase and the wording is
05:37
that it seems as if black and brown
05:41
people when they think about
05:42
Christianity that they don’t feel as
05:44
affirmed or they don’t
05:46
affirmation within the Christian
05:50
religion therefore in order to be
05:52
affirmed in their blackness not not
05:54
deifying it but just from an affirming
05:56
standpoint so it seems as if there is a
05:59
deficit when it comes to Christianity
06:00
can you speak more to that sure sure
06:03
yeah I mean I think that it’s in many
06:06
ways Christianity has the rap of being
06:08
the white man’s religion because it’s
06:11
been more Europeanized and we see more
06:14
white authors white theologians white
06:17
pastors white preachers on the front
06:19
lines more than we see ethnic minorities
06:21
especially I’ll speak specifically to
06:23
the african-american community
06:25
oftentimes we think that the church has
06:28
specifically the african-american church
06:30
has losses prophetic prowess because in
06:33
many ways that we’ve been labeled as
06:37
either prosperity theology or or woek
06:43
theology if you will this more black
06:45
powers paying African type of ideals and
06:48
I think that is a gross and a wrong
06:51
character culture of the black church I
06:54
mean that would they are we are on the
06:57
front lines especially this new realm of
06:59
black evangelicalism I think about that
07:02
should happen shortly after the civil
07:04
rights beer these black evangelicals
07:06
like Carl Ellis like Tony Evans and a
07:08
myriad of other brothers that have
07:10
raised up through the ranks and began
07:12
preaching the gospel but yet didn’t
07:15
compromise on social issues as well so
07:18
when I hear him saying things like
07:19
kingliness at first I couldn’t tell
07:22
whether it was his daily affirmations or
07:24
whether he was taking a shot into church
07:27
but I think in many ways we have to put
07:29
ethnic minorities who had
07:32
expertise who have theological training
07:34
who are or whether that’s for more
07:36
informal on the frontlines communicating
07:39
that the Christian faith is diverse that
07:42
is broad and that is a large matrix not
07:45
just one specific string so yes I listen
07:49
to Nick and you know I appreciated his
07:51
comments and I appreciate him affirming
07:53
that young african-americans are kings
07:56
and queens I mean in one sense I know
07:58
from a biblical perspective that you
08:00
know we reign with Christ we reigned by
08:03
right of him defeating the devil on the
08:05
cross and resurrected vindicated Lee so
08:08
in one sense I’m we are that is right
08:10
however I think the danger is is when we
08:13
like you said begin to deify our
08:16
african-american is and that takes
08:18
precedent over us being Christians or
08:21
when I see myself as a black Christian
08:23
with the adjective form on top of the
08:26
Christian now I just happen to be a
08:27
Christian who happens to be an ethnic
08:29
minority an African American of which I
08:31
am very proud of but I recognize that I
08:34
have a higher order with Jesus
08:35
yeah and that’s that’s it that’s a key
08:37
point that you can affirm without
08:41
deifying and I feel it’s important that
08:44
we talk about and then we emphasize that
08:46
distinction because typically it seems
08:49
like when we begin to affirm ourselves
08:52
that some perceive it as we’re just Pro
08:56
black anti white or that we’re now we’re
08:59
we’re more militant than we are
09:01
Christian when in fact when in fact when
09:04
you’re talking about any oppressed
09:06
people any oppressed people from exodus
09:09
two now but to America you know
09:12
affirmation isn’t something that is
09:14
prohibited even in the scriptures and so
09:17
it’s something that we should we should
09:19
do and we should do intentionally you
09:21
mentioned also just the whole white
09:23
man’s religion thing one of the things
09:25
that baffles me is just the lack of
09:28
historical awareness you know I’ve been
09:31
talking about the book how Africa shaped
09:33
a Christian mind and he talks
09:35
extensively about how guys like Adolf
09:38
von Hornak intentionally ignored all
09:42
black contributions to faith
09:46
spirituality monastic monasticism and
09:49
philosophy can you talk a little bit
09:51
about just some of the the African
09:54
origin of Christianity and history rich
09:57
history many of the church fathers were
10:00
black and African thousands of years and
10:03
years plus before the slave trade yeah
10:06
absolutely yeah yeah the the notion that
10:09
Christianity is a white man’s religion I
10:11
think it’s been around for quite some
10:13
time but it was really started to be
10:15
communicated by Elijah Muhammad around
10:18
the 1930s he was a huge huge purveyor of
10:21
that notion and I think he was doing
10:24
that because as we just mentioned
10:26
earlier he was trying to affirm the
10:28
ethnicity of African Americans right
10:31
outside of this westernized
10:33
understanding of Christianity because we
10:36
seem to teach church history oftentimes
10:39
from that vantage point so I hear about
10:41
you know melanchthon I hear about Martin
10:44
Luther I hear about Calvin often I hear
10:47
about you know all these great gentlemen
10:49
that did a lot of great stuff in Europe
10:51
but rarely do I hear about North Africa
10:54
you know rarely do I hear about how
10:55
there was an intellectual transfer
10:57
specifically from Africa to Europe and
11:00
how exegesis and monasticism first
11:02
matured in North Africa and so you think
11:05
about the school of Alexandria where
11:08
many parchments were written you think
11:10
about the school of Antioch which is a
11:12
little bit Northwest but we think about
11:14
Carthage for example these were African
11:17
bishops that taught believe the gospel
11:21
and there’s a rich history there I think
11:23
about I think about a Gustin for example
11:26
you know Augustine of Hippo and and how
11:30
much of the theology that was birthed
11:32
from the Reformers came from Augusta him
11:35
and Agustin was an an African man he was
11:39
his mom whose name is monika he has a
11:42
Berber that’s part of the north as part
11:44
of a North African tribe yeah think
11:47
about origin Tertullian Ignatius I think
11:51
about Anthony sheis but I mean a
11:53
finishes the the black dwarf who was
11:56
thinking leaving a bishop at the time of
11:59
the Council of Nicaea
12:00
yeah-hoo-hoo single-handedly put had
12:04
Christianity and the deity of Christ on
12:07
his back though the deity of Christ
12:09
wasn’t just communicated there it was
12:11
communicated through the doctor through
12:13
the Scriptures firstly through the
12:15
letters of the Church Fathers and all
12:16
throughout history so whenever when this
12:18
whole issue hopped up with areas it was
12:21
it was it was an aberration they knew
12:23
that Christ was who he who he say he is
12:26
in the scripture so all of these men
12:28
were African descent and that’s
12:32
something that we can take precedent in
12:34
you know specifically in North Africa
12:35
down toward Egypt all the way down
12:38
toward Nubia which is south of Egypt and
12:42
even in West Africa specifically we
12:46
often say that Christianity didn’t reach
12:48
North Africa though there were some real
12:50
issues there the Portuguese reached
12:52
north after the Portuguese reached West
12:54
Africa around the 14th and 15th century
12:58
they had bought a day that’s not to say
13:00
that many of the slaves that were bought
13:01
or our brothers and sisters our
13:02
ancestors that were bought on and on the
13:05
Middle Eastern slave trade not to say
13:07
that all of them were Christians are but
13:09
but there is a good chance that that
13:11
could have existed so you know I think I
13:14
think we could take great precedent in
13:16
that that Africans have contributed to
13:18
ethics theology McCrimmon astha civil
13:22
specifically that was a an Egyptian
13:26
birth type of thing so we can take great
13:28
hope in there right we have great even
13:31
we had a great at we had great
13:33
theologians and preachers like like
13:36
Richard Allen like Absalom Jones like
13:38
Henry Highland garnet a number of
13:42
brothers and sisters that are African in
13:44
the 6th African and that embrace
13:46
Christianity and preached it you know
13:49
epically throughout the throughout
13:51
church history so it’s it’s a it’s a
13:53
beautiful thing man
13:54
that’s great Marvin McMickle dr. Marvin
13:57
McMickle has a great book on Kannada
13:59
encyclopedia of just black versions
14:01
historically and so that’s a resource to
14:04
kind of give summary on these people
14:06
that you’re talking about Richard Allen
14:07
Absalom Jones the founders absolutely
14:10
moral man African Methodist Episcopal
14:12
Church these
14:13
things that we need to know one of the
14:15
things that baffles me about the this I
14:20
would say Christendom
14:22
from this standpoint is when we bring
14:24
things like this up and we begin to talk
14:26
about the fact that Agustin was
14:29
obviously was African Athanasius who’s
14:32
African Cyprian African to tool in
14:35
Africa we can keep going on like these
14:37
gap African how come many within
14:42
evangelicalism say their race doesn’t
14:45
matter how come it doesn’t matter now
14:48
that we’re pointing out the African
14:52
heritage and ethnicity you know of these
14:55
men yeah yeah well that is a position
14:59
that you can take that’s a very
15:00
privileged position that you take there
15:03
you know if you think about how the
15:06
color of our skin the melanin in our
15:07
skin has caused us to be issued since
15:11
Antony and Isabella arrived in Jamestown
15:14
in 1617 and then the the codification of
15:18
slavery all the way out all the way
15:20
throughout 1680 and in a myriad of other
15:22
dates blackness has been seen as
15:26
something that is is not something to be
15:29
proud of I mean if you even think about
15:31
the racial caricatures that have even
15:34
persisted to this day in Jemima sort of
15:38
ideology the the menacing black man
15:41
ideology we’ve been taught that
15:43
blackness and it’s been communicated
15:45
through bullying quote white superiority
15:48
in this majoritarian type of view that
15:51
is not something to be proud of and
15:53
frankly on top of that African Americans
15:56
have contributed nothing to theology
15:58
other than hand clapping foot stomping
16:00
and good singing so when we bring those
16:03
up I think our white brothers are put
16:05
off because they think as you mentioned
16:07
earlier that Pro blackness means anti
16:10
whiteness and that whiteness in and of
16:13
itself is not a culture when in
16:15
actuality it is whiteness is a culture
16:19
there are some cultural norms and
16:22
specifics that our time to White’s as it
16:25
is with African
16:26
but when I think about african-american
16:28
culture specifically I think about how
16:31
many times it seems like some of our
16:33
white brothers and sisters love our
16:34
culture they love the music they love
16:36
the cooking we have according to Joe
16:38
feegan who is a Texas A&M; sociologist he
16:42
says we were co-creators of this whole
16:45
of the culture in America and that we
16:47
built it alongside white so White’s have
16:50
loved our culture but not all the time
16:52
have they actually loved
16:54
african-americans as the people
16:55
themselves so they want to get us to
16:57
heaven but not necessarily care about my
17:00
body
17:00
so they care about my soul but not my
17:02
body so when we bring that up I think
17:04
it’s important for effort for our
17:05
brothers in the majoritarian context and
17:08
know that this is this is not simply
17:11
this is this is an apologetic gospel
17:14
issue because many of our brothers and
17:16
sisters are walking away from Jesus
17:17
because they actually believe it’s a
17:19
white man with the white man’s religion
17:21
they believe that they have no place
17:23
they don’t know that Abyssinia was in
17:26
East Africa where Christianity was there
17:28
longer than any anywhere else they don’t
17:30
know that specifically that Thomas Odin
17:33
said that Christianity is so old in
17:35
Africa that it can be considered a
17:37
traditional indigenous religion they
17:39
have no idea and it’s as though you need
17:43
they need a gatekeeper in order to
17:44
believe great preaching gentlemen you
17:47
know I said it at a conference I don’t
17:48
know if I got in trouble one time but
17:50
it’s like almost unless a person has
17:52
blog for tgc unless they have written
17:55
for desiring God unless they’re a part
17:58
of the x-29 network of Southern Baptists
18:00
many people don’t want anything to do
18:02
with them because they feel like they
18:04
have to be vetted by our white brothers
18:07
and sisters first when in all actuality
18:09
these brothers have been preaching the
18:11
gospel clearly and fluently from before
18:14
they even got noticed by these
18:16
conservative evangelical circles so I
18:18
think our white brothers and sisters if
18:20
we could just take a step back and we
18:23
can communicate help them see what it is
18:26
that we’re what that we’re trying to do
18:27
I think that many of them would be more
18:29
accepting but some naturally will
18:31
continue to be resistant to it yeah that
18:34
brings me to the next thing I want to
18:37
action about and that is the
18:38
whitewashing of Christianity because as
18:41
you as you mentioned you mentioned tons
18:44
several different African church fathers
18:46
that preceded the slave trade by more
18:49
than 1,200 years yet when I even in my
18:54
seminary and I’ve talked to countless
18:56
brothers and sisters who share my
18:58
sentiments as well as you know as I
19:00
speak with you now that there’s a white
19:03
picture of Athanasius on the book
19:05
there’s a white picture there’s a white
19:08
man who’s supposed to be a Dustin
19:10
there’s a white man is supposed to be –
19:12
– lien Moses was white David was white
19:15
and of course they make Jesus white so
19:17
interesting is interesting that all of
19:20
these African or Middle Eastern people
19:22
are somehow white yet when we point out
19:25
that that’s historically geographically
19:28
and just straight-up untrue it’s
19:30
inaccurate and untrue when we talk about
19:33
that then race doesn’t matter is
19:35
interesting that race doesn’t matter
19:37
after you’ve already made a picture of
19:39
making someone with melanin in their
19:41
skin white race doesn’t matter after
19:45
you’ve already made the picture you’ve
19:47
already written the book you’ve already
19:49
posted the article so this this is what
19:52
we’re talking about when we talk about
19:54
whitewashing can you talk about just
19:56
culturally and then I would love for you
19:59
to address this apologetically for those
20:02
that are watching how whitewashing
20:04
affects us culturally as a people but
20:07
then even as we try to share our faith
20:10
how whitewashing affects us yeah yeah
20:14
yeah y-yeah whitewashing of Christianity
20:17
is when we have the posture that people
20:21
of the African Diaspora have made no
20:23
contribution to theology ethics
20:26
culture class in Christianity that’s
20:29
that’s the sort of idea of whitewash
20:31
Christianity and the problem is is that
20:34
we tend again to publicize the
20:39
contributions of our Western brothers
20:41
and sisters our European brothers and
20:44
sisters that are very light in the
20:45
melanin and we don’t talk too much about
20:48
the brothers in Africa and Asia
20:51
the planets where there’s black and
20:53
brown people and I think our brothers
20:55
don’t realize that it’s very empirical
21:01
Oni allistic you know when we try to
21:04
infringe the wrong race or not represent
21:07
a demographic as clearly in pain
21:10
everybody is white that’s that’s very
21:12
offensive from from that sense and it’s
21:16
very hurtful to those in the
21:17
african-american community because they
21:20
believe there’s many people that I have
21:22
engaged in the inner city I’m in Camden
21:24
New Jersey it’s a majority black context
21:27
we set up on the corners we’ve served
21:28
water-ice I have to have a lot of
21:31
conversations with people and I wrote in
21:33
the one article about defending the
21:36
faith in the inner city or Christianity
21:38
today you know a gentleman poked me in
21:40
my chest and he said don’t you know that
21:41
that’s just you know garbage that was
21:43
rehearsed or regurgitated by the white
21:46
master that he taught our ancestors in
21:49
order for them to be submissive to the
21:52
message and just read the few passages
21:54
that talk about slavery to them so that
21:56
they’d be submissive though those
21:58
passages don’t refer to chattel slavery
22:01
you know we clearly know that chattel
22:03
slavery is the equivalent of man
22:04
stealing and I look Amos and this talks
22:07
about defrauding people you’re building
22:09
your kingdoms but yet you’re defrauding
22:11
people of their wages you know so
22:13
Christianity the ethics of Christianity
22:16
say that you cannot take advantage of
22:19
someone else for your benefit you can’t
22:21
exploit someone else for your benefit
22:24
but rather show this mutual love and
22:26
Koinonia that we see exemplified in
22:28
Jesus so a lot of our brothers a lot of
22:31
brothers that I encountered they just
22:33
really believe that they believe that
22:35
the first time that Christ was preached
22:37
was to slaves on southern plantations
22:40
and that shows that there is a
22:42
disconnect in the messaging that’s done
22:44
on it from up from from a corporate
22:48
stance in Christianity it seems like the
22:51
main what’s mainstream eyes is the
22:54
Reformers the white reformers we have
22:57
conferences on it you know Terence II
22:59
done talked about we are Protestants you
23:02
know did did did a few sessions on cap
23:05
did someone Luther not realizing the
23:08
backs the intellectual backs of the
23:10
people that D stepped upon was primarily
23:13
agustin primarily to Tertullian
23:16
primarily a tenacious Cyprian a myriad
23:20
of other people they’re actually done it
23:21
was a study done by Drew University they
23:25
looked at all of the writing they looked
23:27
at a majority of the writings by gregory
23:29
of nyssa gregory of nozanne CEA’s
23:31
these guys were the turkish church
23:33
fathers and they were taken back by the
23:35
striking similarities of their writings
23:38
to those in North Africa specifically
23:41
the school of Carthage and specifically
23:43
the school of Anthony of of Alexandria
23:45
they were taken back so it shows that
23:47
they simply built upon the ideas that
23:50
were already communicated so much so
23:52
that they would come many many
23:54
Christians in the European Mediterranean
23:57
world will come down there and study
23:59
with a lot of African bishops to learn
24:01
theology and it was even said at one
24:03
point my good brother Watson Jones is
24:06
what PhD told me about this that many of
24:09
them didn’t trust their own exegesis so
24:11
they began to teach the exegesis of the
24:14
North African Father but that just shows
24:16
you what but they didn’t pay for it
24:19
exactly so that just shows you the
24:22
intellectual prowess that these brothers
24:25
have had and again I think it comes back
24:28
to this colonial istic imperialistic
24:30
mindset that says that African Americans
24:32
haven’t contributed much less to
24:34
anything but definitely not toward
24:37
Christianity or theology so from an
24:39
apologetics standpoint and I’m sorry for
24:41
this long-winded answer at school man
24:43
but you know from a from an apologetics
24:45
standpoint ah that is one of the biggest
24:48
objections that we face that I face
24:50
specifically on a continual basis some
24:53
some some apologists say you have to
24:55
remove the intellectual rubble so that
24:58
people can see Christ clearly well that
25:00
is one that’s not just rubble that’s
25:03
that’s a huge building that was blown
25:06
apart and now we have to address on a
25:08
regular basis so yeah I mean it’s sad
25:11
what’s transpired but um but we keep
25:14
that in our back pocket so identity
25:16
despite the theological imperialism you
25:19
know I think one
25:19
one of the things that I say you know
25:24
white white evangelicals and then even
25:26
some black and brown people who have
25:29
totally sold out to reformed theology
25:31
and what I mean by that is they’ve
25:34
totally embrace reform culture not
25:37
realizing that is you know Alvin was a
25:40
medic all right so he wasn’t perfect you
25:43
know he’s not by Christ and many of
25:46
these reformers were racists Whitefield
25:49
that Joker got on a boat to fight for
25:52
slavery in favor of slavery so these are
25:56
things that we that that are you know
25:57
that that can’t be ignored but but you
26:00
said something interesting about how
26:02
these Turkish church fathers essentially
26:05
got a lot from Africans but didn’t give
26:08
them credit
26:08
I call that ecclesiological and
26:11
Theological appropriation they’re yes a
26:14
taking they’re taking not giving us
26:17
credit then when we even go we go to our
26:20
seminaries and you go into these
26:22
predominantly white settings
26:23
they’re extremely critical of people
26:26
they actually got the information that
26:28
they have from and they don’t even
26:31
acknowledge they don’t even acknowledge
26:33
that it were there were African people
26:36
you Perpetua sister African sister these
26:39
people that contributed you know to the
26:42
Christian faith and just to put a white
26:44
face up there and say that that’s
26:46
someone’s African I wonder how they
26:48
would feel if we just made Calvin and
26:50
Luther black and we started putting them
26:52
you know black faces on books maybe
26:54
maybe that’s what it takes for them to
26:57
understand the severity of what they’re
26:59
doing to black and brown Christians we’d
27:02
have to that have to it first explain to
27:05
people that yes this book does talk to
27:08
you that he features two presents this
27:10
reality that God has created eight
27:12
people from all people and historically
27:14
he’s used all all people of different
27:17
hues mm-hmm
27:19
no no I mean I couldn’t agree with that
27:20
even more I mean we even have to go even
27:23
deeper okay because someone was born in
27:26
African Africa the continent does that
27:29
make them negroid do they have negroid
27:31
features if you will
27:33
you know so it’s like a place like
27:35
Supriya that was considered that is in
27:37
Africa and isn’t North Africa but yet it
27:40
has was a Roman province people say oh
27:42
well they were just Romans that lived in
27:45
North Africa so the work that we have to
27:47
do to simply prove prove the point that
27:51
Africans whether whether good or bad
27:54
whether whether on each side whether Old
27:57
Testament are new have played a huge
28:00
part in redemptive history rather they
28:02
were agitators of the people of God or
28:05
whether they were we’re friends with the
28:07
people of God so I think we just have to
28:09
we just have to make that clear for our
28:11
brothers and and continue to reaffirm
28:13
that to brothers and sisters of color
28:15
yeah and I would encourage the brothers
28:18
and sisters that will watch this is you
28:20
know when you accept the whitewashing
28:23
you actually play into white supremacy
28:25
but even down even down to the fact that
28:28
we’re we’re essentially they’ve
28:30
essentially tried to make northern
28:32
Africa southern Europe and the tribe the
28:35
pride of whitewash a part of a continent
28:38
now in order to take credit for wood
28:41
Africans African men and women have
28:44
contributed to the Christians but before
28:47
we go man I think I want to end on a
28:50
cultural note because this white
28:52
Washington actually I also plays out
28:54
into how we engage one another and not
28:57
too long ago dr. Umar Johnson was on The
29:01
Breakfast Club and he was he was talking
29:04
about interracial marriage and one of
29:07
the things he said was you know if if
29:09
you marry a white woman you’re gonna
29:13
have a hard time getting respect for me
29:15
and he began to say he began to say that
29:19
if you do that it’s because secretly you
29:21
want to become white now you said
29:24
mistake people that’ll be mad at you by
29:26
saying he made a big pile by marrying a
29:27
white woman sure right why do you say
29:29
that’s a mistake because shouldn’t it be
29:30
the man fell in love with who we fell in
29:32
love with no because marriage is a
29:35
political decision who you marry tells
29:37
me who you are
29:38
well you marry a woman you just marry
29:40
her you marry her culture you marry her
29:43
community you marry her people you
29:45
understand so when a
29:46
lack man marries a white woman he’s
29:49
making several clear points and messages
29:53
he’s sending out to his own people
29:54
because there’s no greater symbol of
29:57
your loyalty to your struggle than to
29:59
marry a sister who shares that struggle
30:02
to be the person because you have to
30:04
teach your son loyalty to his community
30:07
European Jews do it
30:08
a rats do it Chinese do it easy we’re
30:11
the only people who feel anxious and
30:13
ambivalent about telling our black boys
30:16
that you better love and marry a black
30:18
woman and you know why we feel
30:20
ambivalent because all of us have been
30:22
conditioned by church envy to be
30:24
colorblind we’re constantly told over
30:27
and over again that it is wrong to be
30:29
for yourself before you offer anyone
30:32
else and that’s why Africans are dead
30:34
last it’s nothing wrong with being loyal
30:37
to yourself and that white woman ever
30:45
understand your son struggle
30:47
no thank you so why would you want him
30:49
to spend the rest of his life with a
30:51
woman who can never understand how he
30:53
feels when the New York City Police
30:55
Department pulls him over do you need a
30:58
woman who can fill you in the only woman
31:00
on earth who can understand the black
31:02
man is the black woman and that’s why I
31:05
cannot respect a black man who is not
31:08
committed to a black woman that’s the
31:10
greatest symbol of pride in self uh no
31:14
which I would diss obviously disagree
31:15
with that but I want you to speak into
31:17
that because we see this actually
31:20
culturally but then as you and I have
31:22
talked we see this theologically where
31:23
they’re black and brown people who who
31:25
also seemed to think that blacks haven’t
31:27
contribute anything and that white is
31:30
just universal and prima you talk a
31:33
little bit about that theologically and
31:35
then of course relationally to his
31:36
comments about interracial marriage yeah
31:38
yeah yeah you know dr. Umar Johnson
31:41
takes a bad rap I know that people have
31:44
really questioned his credentials and
31:46
I’m with the the questioning of
31:48
credentials piece but it seems like that
31:51
happens
31:52
predominantly when we disagree with the
31:54
viewpoint of the person who’s
31:56
communicating it the first thing we try
31:58
to do is tear down there could
32:00
to see if they’re actually an
32:02
authoritative voice to speak on this
32:04
particular matter
32:05
so I’ve been very careful about how I
32:07
approach him in that regard but I would
32:11
say he if he’s saying that and he has
32:15
that he’s even challenging who he claims
32:19
to be his blood relative who was
32:21
Frederick Douglas who in his latter
32:23
years married a white woman I mean even
32:26
dr. King dated a white woman in seminary
32:30
I mean even Tupac was was was talking to
32:34
in a relationship with Madonna and wrote
32:37
her a letter about how he doesn’t think
32:39
that the relationship can continue on
32:41
because if it does it might send the
32:43
wrong message to his contingent of fans
32:46
so but but I don’t believe that those
32:48
brothers were black self hating I
32:51
believe that they they loved who they
32:54
were they cared about their people that
32:55
doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t can
32:57
you care about your people less because
32:59
you marry outside of your race you think
33:01
about Harry Barry Belafonte who’s a
33:04
brother that was on the front lines of
33:05
the civil rights movement that was
33:06
married to a Caucasian lady but
33:09
theologically speaking I think about
33:11
Miriam and I think about Aaron
33:13
challenging Moses because of his kushai
33:15
wife whether that was support or not it
33:18
is what it is but we don’t know the
33:20
confines of that conversate those
33:22
conversations necessarily but they will
33:25
probably upset with him because he
33:26
married outside of his race and didn’t
33:29
believe that she could truly affirm with
33:32
the struggle of the Israelites being in
33:34
a desert because she was an Ethiopian
33:36
Nubian woman and the Lord showed them by
33:40
he showed me and specifically by
33:42
striking her with leprosy
33:44
so he struck her with leprosy we think
33:46
about you know Joseph who married a
33:49
priest one of young lady who was the
33:52
priest of on who was Egyptian she was
33:54
outside of his quote-unquote race if you
33:56
will in that respect and the Lord seemed
33:58
to bless it and bring forth to 12 tribes
34:00
of Israel
34:01
we see countless examples throughout the
34:03
scripture of people marrying outside
34:05
their quote unquote race but race as a
34:08
social construct is an ideology that was
34:11
developed and divided
34:13
groups of people this idea of being
34:14
african-american who started amar
34:17
Johnson’s even said this started in 1988
34:19
on temples campus if I by Reverend
34:23
Jackson Reverend Jesse Jackson you know
34:25
this whole notion of certain groups
34:29
being assimilated into whiteness like
34:31
the Irish like the Catholics James
34:32
Baldwin talks about how Giovanni became
34:35
James and how you know all these Italian
34:39
names took on the names of took on white
34:42
names so that they can assimilate in
34:43
into the culture more so I know that dr.
34:47
Umar Johnson takes a lot of heat he
34:50
takes a lot of pressure and
34:51
understandably so I think that he says
34:53
some things that are that are that are
34:55
terrible that should not be communicated
34:58
calling Jesus Jimmy D Jimmy Jesus the
35:01
cracker and all type of file types that
35:04
Minister is terrible but I misplaced it
35:06
on this specific point it shows that
35:08
it’s hypocritical in the sense that he
35:11
hasn’t even married an african-american
35:13
woman yet and in a sense that he said he
35:16
lost that two million dollar donation
35:18
because he was sexually involved with a
35:21
young lady whose name is that the
35:23
conscious stripper you know so his words
35:26
don’t seem to max his actions and on top
35:30
of that there are men who have done
35:32
exponentially more than he asked for the
35:35
african-american community that had that
35:38
had married white women and he has not
35:40
married an african-american woman who
35:42
has done anything so I mean clearly we
35:44
see daddy I mean in the scriptures is
35:47
about spirituality not necessarily the
35:49
amount of melanin in your skin won’t you
35:51
marry but I think that this is
35:53
perpetuates the idea of you know that
35:56
that means that this person is a black
35:58
and self-hating because they’ve married
36:00
white woman and I that’s just that’s
36:02
just not the case I mean again another
36:04
long-winded answer but I think about
36:06
some of the early abolitionists who you
36:08
know abolished they were on the front
36:10
line that many of them were white put
36:11
themselves they lay down their privilege
36:13
in that sense of being able to
36:14
assimilate in the dominant culture
36:16
leverage their privilege for the benefit
36:18
of ethnic minorities you know so many of
36:22
them those same brothers and sisters one
36:23
the many white brothers and sisters were
36:26
on the line
36:26
the civil rights movement is
36:29
controversial but many of them are still
36:30
fighting floor for the rights of African
36:33
Americans that our police and
36:35
communities that I believed are over
36:37
police with the black lives matter
36:38
movement so yes I jesus is outside of
36:42
our race in the sense that he’s greater
36:44
and better than us but yet he decided to
36:46
make us his church and use his privilege
36:49
for our for our good so that’s my base
36:51
again that’s a great point man we know
36:53
God know John 4:24 God is spirit right
36:56
so he’s incorporeal he doesn’t have a
36:58
body but in in his supernatural power he
37:03
gave us the hue that he gave certain
37:05
people and I think it’s important that
37:08
we do affirm that and I would agree with
37:09
dr. Johnson ah in this sense that I do
37:14
think there should be some intentional
37:16
affirmation of the black woman yes I
37:19
think I think cuz in reality in one
37:21
sense she’s a double minority in terms
37:23
of how she’s treated because she’s a
37:25
woman
37:26
even the country has tons of women but
37:29
she’s a woman and women are still not
37:31
completely equally treated and we talk
37:34
about pay and other things and then of
37:36
course black and so I’m with them in
37:38
terms I’m teen black woman and it’s in a
37:40
sense of affirmation and intentionality
37:43
about commitment and I just wish it
37:46
would have been a little bit more
37:47
balanced about how black women are
37:50
getting a master’s degrees per capita
37:52
pretty much faster than any other
37:54
demographic fine there’s some things
37:56
that we can we can highlight about them
37:59
so to wrap it up man I just want to know
38:01
if there’s anything that you would say
38:03
to the conscious brother-sister that
38:06
will watch this and it feels like that
38:08
would say man you know hopefully after
38:10
this we’ve been able to provide some
38:11
historical data that God does have
38:13
something to say to you of your black a
38:14
brown he has something to say to all
38:16
people but specifically to black and
38:19
brown people what would you say to that
38:21
conscious person yeah man I would say be
38:25
balanced in your research you know the
38:27
pro black brothers and sisters often
38:29
ignore the contributions of African
38:32
American Christians as well I think it’s
38:36
nothing wrong with building our
38:38
communities up affirming our
38:40
an American is trying to close the wage
38:42
gap specifically I’m trying to close the
38:45
unemployment gap and fighting for black
38:48
businesses and black banks I’m all for
38:52
that
38:52
for me that flows out of the Jeremiah 29
38:55
piece where we move we inhabit
38:57
communities and we try to build up those
39:00
communities for the betterment of
39:01
society I’m with that I’m with better
39:03
schools better policing churches that
39:07
communicate the gospel and that not only
39:09
care about the communication of the text
39:11
but but express the fullness of it in
39:14
service of the community so I I just
39:17
wish some of our pan-african brothers
39:19
and sisters some of our conscious
39:20
brothers would realize that the church
39:24
is not devoid of seeking to work in the
39:27
community alongside them and in fact the
39:30
black church has done more for the
39:32
economic development of the communities
39:34
that we live in more than anywhere else
39:36
more than any other institution ever
39:39
that has ever been on the face of this
39:41
planet so yeah I would I would encourage
39:43
them and do be balanced in your reading
39:46
and just don’t talk to people that write
39:49
books you know just don’t read books but
39:51
talk to people talk to pastors read
39:54
books by theologians engage others in
39:57
conversations about this and I think we
40:00
could come to more of an even-handed
40:01
approach that we don’t just serve this
40:03
we don’t serve a white Jesus who is a
40:06
distant deity that stayed up in the sky
40:08
and has a faerie father but rather he’s
40:10
a middle-eastern Jew that was an
40:12
associate of socio-economic context that
40:15
was very similar to those living in
40:17
third-world poverty he had little
40:19
educational opportunities and in the
40:21
words of Howard Thurman he more closely
40:24
aligned with the oppressed and
40:25
disinherited than anyone else so in that
40:28
in that regard I would say if you look
40:31
at Jesus for who he is and not through
40:33
the the gobbles up though the Western
40:35
lens you see a Jesus whose melanin his
40:38
skin and whose actions and
40:40
socio-economic context matches more
40:42
closely to ours then who they would
40:44
consider the oppressor absolutely thanks
40:46
for that honest I was just that’s great
40:49
fantastic answer man thank you for for
40:52
your time
40:52
urban perspective I would only add one
40:55
thing to those brothers and sisters
40:57
please use more than Google awesome
41:02
folks with footnotes please please ya
41:07
know that most of it most of the stuff
41:09
that you pull up are from white guys you
41:11
know practice a white guy cursey was a
41:14
white not educated pseudo paleontologist
41:19
man you know I mean archeology job sorry
41:21
good boy now now but thank you so much
41:23
man
41:24
preciate your time it’s a pleasure thank
41:26
you yeah thank you so much looking
41:27
forward to seeing you in October for
41:30
this frequency conference well you’ll
41:32
see a lot of these topics and more
41:35
address and what does the church what
41:38
does the church currently do it has done
41:39
and what does the future look like for
41:41
us I’ll let it be discussed at this
41:42
conference that we want to make sure
41:43
that you join us for that as well you’ve
41:46
been watching the urban perspectives
41:47
thank you so much peace

Leave a Reply