White Lies by Daniel Hill

White Lies
| |

In a time when even the mention of anti-racism or the dreaded term “Critical Race Theory” shuts down a conversation faster than you can say “woke,” this book is more crucial than ever.

I am an avid reader of books about anti-racism, but this one—by Chicago pastor Daniel Hill, who received his theological training at the same place I did, Moody Bible Institute, really intrigued me. How would Hill apply his rigorous Moody training to the dismantling of white supremacy?

One big way is that Scripture flows through this book like a river. Hill’s sturdy connections to Scripture buttress this work. For example, he reminds readers that Jesus has the supremacy: “So that in everything he may have the supremacy” (Col. 1:18). “That phrase in particular helps me to remember that race-related work is rooted in a deeply spiritual struggle,” Hill says.

Another hallmark is Hill’s humility. He does not pretend to know all the answers and is clear that he has gotten things seriously wrong in his ministry and life. For those who would immediately peg him as “woke,” they would do well to read chapter 1: “Stop Being Woke,” a humbling chapter for me to read!

Also humbling: Hill’s assertion that diversity in and of itself is a weak goal. The real goal, he says, should be the dismantling of white supremacy, “an ideology that created extremely powerful and durable structures that continued to systemically target those deemed as less than.”

We might think white supremacy refers to those who burn crosses and wear hoods in the night—conveniently letting us off the hook—but it is so much more widespread and insidious than that. And while we might not be “racist” the way we define it as an individual act of prejudice, we are definitely “racialized.” Because race was made up by people. “Unlike ethnicity, which is a reflection of God’s creation, the construct of race was created by human beings.”

One of the book’s most valuable features is a detailed outline of U.S. history and how white supremacy has been baked in from the beginning. In this stunning section, presidents and other political leaders from George Washington to Donald Trump (with an even mix of Republicans and Democrats) are quoted, revealing their beliefs that people of color are “idle and depraved,” “stamped,” “dangerous,” “inferior and stupid,” “barbaric,” and sexual predators. We get it. It’s awful. Yet it doesn’t mean America and its history is beyond redemption. 

But where do we go from here? As important as it is to confront the past, the present and future are urgently asking us to act now. Beyond being aware of the hissing “white lies” of the enemy, lies we breathe in like low-grade carbon monoxide, we can repent daily of our own sins in this area. Instead of insisting we’ve done nothing wrong, and therefore have nothing to repent of, we can humble ourselves before the throne of grace and be renewed by the one whose mercies are new every morning.  We can attack the false narratives of racial hierarchies in our own spheres, and always keep at the forefront of our minds that human value cannot be redefined by sinful human beings. God already defined that value through his creation and Jesus’ work on the cross. In the end, the most important thing to remember is God values each person the same and expects us to do likewise. “The narrative of imago dei (the image of God) is what leads us to a true and transforming experience of loving ourselves,” says Hill, “and loving our neighbor.” (Zondervan)

About the Author

Lorilee Craker, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., in a 1924 house full of teenagers, pets, exchange students, and houseplants. The author of 15 books, including Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me, she is the Mixed Media editor of The Banner. Find her at Lorileecraker.com or on Instagram @thebooksellersdaughter.

See comments (1)

Comments

Was "white supremacy" baked into the constitution of the United States? If so, I like to have it pointed out. The Constituion does not sanction a racial heirarchy, but "critical race theory" most certainly does, the 1619 project does, BLM cerainly does. If we are every going to rein in racism in this country in our our culture we need stop bashing our founding documents as "racist" constructs for starters. Martin Luther King would weep if he could listen to the rhetoric of cultural marxist that masquarde as apostles of racial harmony when it is plain for anyone to see that they are a most divisive lot. Only the gospel of God's grace is going to bring true and lasting peace and harmony between the races of humanity. Social justice warriors thrive on exacerbating racial tension. In fact they stoke the flames of discord all in an effort to appear as champions of justice. In the end they're no differnt than anarchist wanting to see our "Judeo-Christian" heritage burn to the ground. When the church of Jesus Christ is in lock step with the United Nations something is amiss.

X