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The Resistance Prays

December 5, 2018
By Rev. Benjamin Perry

Today's Top Story
In the wake of George H.W. Bush’s national mourning, today Ross Douthat published an op-ed entitled “Why We Miss the WASPs,” in which he says that America grieves the loss of a white ruling class because, “we feel, at some level, that their more meritocratic and diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well.”
Although our sins testify against us, do something, LORD, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled; we have sinned against you. – Jeremiah 14:7
None Should Fondly Remember Sin
Douthat’s column is remarkable in its honesty: He says, clearly and plainly, that he (and America) yearns for a return to more deeply entrenched white supremacy. He points to present political discord as evidence that increased diversity among American politicians has been disastrous for our nation’s public life. However, this sentiment both lies about our country’s history and misattributes blame for our present strife.
He pines for an America with “a ruling class that was widely…deemed legitimate,” of leaders who were universally respected. In short, he desires a return to more complete white hegemony. Because, let’s be plainspoken, he is speaking for conservative White America when he mourns measures that have made Congress more closely resemble the people they represent. Moreover, he badly misunderstands who is responsible for our current predicament: It is the same white supremacy that bitterly clung to exclusive political power that today fights tooth-and-nail every incremental step to rectify this injustice. WASP culture is simply a more genteel form of racism that demanded our first black president “go back to Africa.” White supremacy is pernicious in its ability to change its skin. But make no mistake: whatever its outward manifestations the core trait is the same - a steadfast refusal to share power.
God calls us to reject sin at its root, not carry water for its more seductive and “classy” manifestations. To answer this call, we must be honest about our history and recognize that there has never been a time in American political life where white supremacy was not a driving force behind American politics. It should go without saying, but WASP rule is still white rule. Instead of yearning to step backward, God demands that we work doggedly to build the beloved community to which we are called; to extinguish the cries of white supremacy that hope to strangle this new world before it is born.
The movement to keep politics white is powerful, and it needs to be fought head-on. Support groups like New American Leaders, who work to help diverse candidates run for office.
Lord, forgive us for our determined efforts to ignore your Word. You call us to build your beloved community, yet too often we cling to patterns of sin. Instead of embracing a new vision for our country, too many fondly remember injustice that feels comfortable in its familiarity. Open all eyes, unplug all ears that we might see and hear your truth: Our old ways offend you, you call us to new ones. I pray it might be so. Amen.
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