Hard Words: Preaching about Racial Violence and Police Brutality


The Christian Century initiates a conversation for pastors of predominately “white” congregations to talk about racial violence in general and Ferguson specifically in an article titled “How pastors talk about Ferguson.”  C. Browning Helsel offers A Word to the Whites: Preaching about Racism in White Congregations, challenging those who identify as socially colored white to consider their racial identity development and to create a “nonracist White racial white identity.”  The website http://www.preaching.com offers a sermon illustration that encourages persons to become “gracists,” outlining the points of David Anderson’s book Gracism: The Art of Inclusion.


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Source: racelessgospel.com


Wait… what’s hard about the words? Does she mean painful?


Are we talking about White pain? Or pain from talking to White people and calling them out on their racism? Is one pain that White is synonymous with being ignorant about racism even though it’s mostly Whites who are causing the oppression?


Or is the pain that White people are ashamed that they are not able to control their own White community from stopping their racist behaviors?