How Racism Blinds Us

By Michael Brown Published on May 10, 2018

Racism comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. There are white racists and black racists. There are Asian racists and Hispanic racists. There are Jewish racists and Gentile racists. Yet all forms of racism have this one thing in common: racism is blinding. Allow me to illustrate.

In response to my recent article on Donald Trump and Iran, an African American woman posted this on my Facebook page. (I have since removed the comment, because I don’t want to embarrass her. And to be clear, I’m confronted with white racism on a regular basis as well. I’m using the current example simply because it is so relevant and so recent.)

She wrote:

It doesn’t matter what Trump does White Christians support him! Dr. Brown who I thought was about truth and honor is not! You too are just about maintaining power over minorities! If President Obama had done half the things this President has done you White people would have been calling for his impeachment! Even now you can’t talk about your President (Trump) without mentioning mine (Obama)! It’s Racist and hurtful! AskDrBrown! Not anymore!!!

Remarkably, virtually every statement made in this comment is false. Yet the accusations come hard and fast in the name of exposing my alleged racism.

False Accusations

To go through this one point at a time: first, my article started with examples of me criticizing the president in the past. My whole point was that, when he does well, we should commend him; when he doesn’t do well, we should constructively criticize him. It’s the exact opposite of what this woman alleged.

Second, there are plenty of prominent, white Christian Never Trumpers. They represent some of his strongest critics. Yet to this woman, they do not exist.

Third, I wrote an article praising President Trump’s actions and words when it came to the Iran nuclear deal. And for that I get accused of wanting to maintain power over minorities. I can only explain by saying that this woman, whom we’ll dub “Leslie,” is blinded by the racism in her own heart. How else could she make such a patently false statement, a statement without a scintilla of factual support?

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Fourth, “Leslie” calls me a racist and then speaks of “you White people.” Enough said.

Fifth, if any of us white evangelicals have a double standard towards President Trump — something I have openly addressed and challenged — to my knowledge, it is not because of his skin color but because of his policies. I assure you that candidate Obama would have had my super enthusiastic vote had he been pro-life and pro-family and pro-Israel. And I would have gladly voted for Ben Carson rather than Donald Trump had Dr. Carson been our candidate. Skin color was not and is not the issue.

Sixth, “Leslie” refers to Trump as my president and Obama as her president. Not true. Obama was my president and Trump is her president. That’s the way elections work.

Seventh, it is a lie to claim that I cannot mention Trump without mentioning Obama. Read through the scores of articles I’ve written on Trump, and you barely, if ever, see Obama mentioned. Yet one of the few times I do, I’m accused of doing it as an ugly, racist pattern.

Blinded by Racism

Each of us should look in the mirror — I try to do this regularly — and ask God to help us see our own blind spots.

The bottom line is that while I get accused of being racist and hurtful, here, it is the accuser who is blinded by racism.

All the more, then, should each of us look in the mirror — I try to do this regularly — and ask God to help us see our own blind spots.

To this day, I’m grateful to friends who challenge me, who uncover those blind spots, who make me uncomfortable. I welcome that and appreciate that, albeit it grudgingly at times. Where you see a blind spot in this article, challenge me. I welcome it.

I just hope that others can look for the blind spots in their own lives, especially when it comes to racism. And if you say it’s racist for me, a white American, to call out racism in a black American, I would ask if that, in itself, is a racist position. Can we call out sin when we see it, regardless of our skin color or ethnicity or background?

Let the discussion begin.

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