White Supremacy is Idolatry
“Racism is a faith. It is a form of idolatry. It is an abortive search for meaning. In its early modern beginnings, racism was a justificatory device. It did not emerge as a faith. It arose as an ideological justification for the constellations of political and economic power which were expressed in colonialism and slavery. But gradually the idea of the superior race was heightened and deepened in meaning and value so that it pointed beyond the historical structures of relation, in which it emerged, to human existence itself. The alleged superior race became and now persists as a center of value and an object of devotion.”
– George Kelsey, Racism and the Christian Understanding of Man
“I turn around and hear the sound, a voice is talking about who’s gonna die next. Cause the white man’s got a god complex.”
– The Last Poets
Indeed, the Last Poets had a point. The White man’s got a god complex. And it’s a very specific kind of complex. It’s a White god complex, and it’s tied in with homicide. As horrible as it sounds, the perceived divine right to kill Black and Brown people is the White man’s god complex, through which the alleged White god facilitates the systematic brutalizing and murder of Black and Brown people while sustaining the illusion of “White supremacy.”
Again; the god of White supremacy is a god born of the act of brutalizing and killing Black and Brown people. It is a pseudo-god that enables and justifies, in the minds of the killers, the enslavement, persecution and violation of Black and Brown people. This false White god is an idolatrous god created out of the material conditions of violence against Black and Brown people, and who exists in the minds of racist White people, lurking in the shadows of racist consciousness, providing (im)moral foundation for their violent behavior. Thus, we can affirm that behind every White racist lies a White god, a twisted projection of a White overseer who justifies violent racist behavior against Black and Brown people.
White supremacy is, therefore, an aspect of an idolatrous faith, a faith spearheaded by a White god, whose worshiping community is devoted to the illusion of Whiteness. The alleged White god sustains the false category of the so called “White race”—a scientifically proven fraud, concocted for no other reason than to justify the will to murder and to oppress Black and Brown people whom the oppressor designates as inferior and not fit to live.
In reality, such feelings of inferiority are lodged within the consciousness of White racists themselves, who comprehend their actions of suppressing Black and Brown people as a necessary requirement in order to enhance their own stature, worshipping their White selves in order to compensate for their lack of self-esteem. Rather than “leaving self behind” in service to others, racists pump up and idolize their inflated White selves in order to oppress others.
Meanwhile, within the capitalist social and economic structure, class antagonism, or the hierarchy of worth based on wealth, infects the mind and spirit of White racists who recognize in their oppression of Black and Brown people a means of elevating their own stature. Capitalist elites, bent on maintaining their grip on power, privilege and profit, play upon this situation, exacerbating endlessly presumed “racial differences” and thus encouraging division of the exploited and oppressed, both Black and White.
The ruling class (the 1%) benefits from the strategy of racism as poor and working class Whites misdirect their justifiable anger, anger derived from their own degraded state, away from the owners (bosses) who systematically exploit them and are the true cause of their misery; misdirecting their rage to those already demonized Black and Brown communities who in reality suffer in some regards similar class oppression (e.g. lack of meaningful work, decent and affordable housing, healthcare, education and day care, etc., etc.).
“I am the Lord thy God … thou shalt have no other gods before me.” – The First Commandment
The undoing of White supremacy, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, first and foremost implies the organizing, by any means necessary, of an adequate means of collective self-defense designed to stop the killing and the brutalizing of Black and Brown people. The violence directed against Black and Brown people is anathema to true Christian faith and an offense to God who created us all. It is not the violence facilitated by the racist White god that God desires. No! Our God, who tolerates “no other gods before me” calls for something very different: For Love and Justice among all His children.
The fruits of repentance of White racist ideo-theology can be attained through fidelity to a revolutionary consciousness (Christ-centered discipleship) born within the material conditions of anti-racist struggle; an enlightened and loving consciousness that proclaims a liberated theology, a theology for liberation, a theology of anti-racist praxis that insures the life-affirming progress of all oppressed people suffering as a consequence of class exploitation and White racism.
The false and destructive god of racism and White supremacy has poisoned our relationship with the God of true Christian faith, and until we expose and disempower the false god of White supremacy it will interfere with our ability to hear the true voice of God who is at the forefront of the anti-racist struggle. For where Black and White unite in the struggle against racism, there God is. “The coming of Christ means a denial of what we thought we were. It means destroying the white devil in us. Reconciliation to God means that white people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto).” – James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power.
Lastly, we hold fast to the knowledge that our God created us in Love, as equals, in the beauty of His diversity. And as children of the Most High we are meant to care for one another and to share the bounty of His Divine Creation. And like the colors of the rainbow and the scales of musical notation, we are One celestial harmony that we term Life. To participate in the evil of white racism is to subscribe to the machinations of death and to choose not life, but the sin of idolatrous and destructive falsehood.
Therefore, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)