By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
I cringed last week as politicians and corporations said or issued statements about the importance of Rev. Dr. Luther King Jr., even as they prepared to vote against federal protection of voting rights and support laws that will effectively hamper the capacity of Black people to vote.
It was an insult to the work of King and to the sacrifices so many people – Black and White – made in order to try to shake America loose from its toxic, long-time partner, white supremacy.
America and white supremacy are a power couple, but the problem is that “America” includes millions of people who are adversely affected by the demands of white supremacy. The stated goal, or ethos of America is that it stands for “liberty and justice for all,” a line in its pledge of allegiance. And of course, members of the family of Americans attach themselves to the words of the Declaration of Independence that state that “all men are created equal.”
Not so much.
Some in the American family understand that this marriage between the statements of its founding documents are seriously at odds with the statements and practices spawned by white supremacy ideology. The two value systems do not intersect.
We have, essentially, a relationship that is headed toward dissolution based on “irreconcilable differences.”
Many avowed white supremacists and those who believe in like manner but who will not admit it, believe that America was created by White people for White people. This, in spite of the fact that the Indigenous Americans, as well as Africans, were on this land long before the Europeans landed here, convinced that God had sent them to create a new Jerusalem.
The thing is that they, as White people, believed that mandate was given by God to them specifically, White people, and they believed God was directing them to rid the land of any non-White and set this new Jerusalem for White people who would come after them. Their extermination of the indigenous Americans, they believed, was not a heinous act of genocide but was rather the will of God.
They likewise did not think it was God’s will that people be enslaved (there was slavery in the Bible, they reminded each other). Ignoring the mandates for liberation of enslaved people in the Bible, they conjured a theology which was inundated with the ideology of white supremacy. Much later, as the conflict arose over chattel slavery, white supremacist clergy proffered that God was in fact, the greatest segregationist of all time, according to NPR and the Civil Rights Digital Library.
Typically, in this country, after there is some outbreak because of race we will hear that the nation needs to heal, and that is true, but healing can only come after admission of an illness, and America will not admit that white supremacist thinking has rotted its very soul. The rot is deep and wide; it is doubtful that the tumor of white supremacy can be excised especially in light of the fact that nobody wants to admit that the tumor is there.
A White minority has been in control of this country for a long time, and that minority is trying to cement its grip on power. There will be no healing, because there will be no admission that America is a racist country. There needs to be a break-up between America and her white supremacist partner, but it is not likely to happen.
America does not want to heal, and that refusal is setting this country up to be seduced by other forms of government who have long had their eyes on getting into America’s bed.
Instead of ascribing to a God who created and values all people, America ascribed to a God they created who has not been in favor of “liberty and justice for all,” nor has their deity been in favor of civil and human rights for all God’s children. In fact, some would argue, Blacks, Browns, women, members of the LGBTQIA, Muslims and more are not God’s children.
That being said, unless America divorces itself from white supremacy, the toxic relationship will continue to bleed from the wounds caused from the growing and invasive tumor and this country, once hailed as the model of democracy, will wither as the waters of dominionism spill all over it, reducing it to a pathetic heap of smoldering ashes, reminding us all of what might have been.
All because this country has refused to heal.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. And she is an award-winning author for her latest book, “With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America,” available through all booksellers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.