Donald Trump, on the stump this weekend in Iowa boasted he could win Iowa. He said, among other things, he had a relationship with the Evangelicals. The Christians, of Iowa, I can only assume is whom he was referring to. Considering Iowa is 94 percent white we are talking about white Evangelicals of that state is who he has a relationship and it is these voters whom he thinks will propel him to victory.
This brings me to the latest video from Sojourner’s Magazine, which recently conducted a poll on white Christians and their view of the many police killings of black men. According to that poll, 72 percent of White Christians do not agree that there is a pattern of violence in these police killings of black men. In contrast, 82 percent of black Christians believe there is a pattern. It is a stark divide, suggesting that Jimmy Baldwin’s Sunday is still the “most segregated hour” in the nation. The white Christians contend that the incidents (the killings) are isolated meaning there isn’t much to these killings.
Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourner’s Magazine, has a book about to release that challenges white Christian Evangelicals. The book, “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America,” is a challenge to white Christians to choose between white supremacy and the true values of their Christian faith. Judging by the number of hits the video is receiving on You Tube, there is little interest in Wallis’ provocative message. This is no surprise.
Sojourners Magazine had a wonderful article awhile back on how white Christians abandoned Jimmy Carter for President in 1980 to support Ronald Reagan even though Jimmy Carter was an Evangelical, who taught Sunday school, always attended church, and who sought to maintain the values of his faith even as President. Ronald Reagan, who opened his campaign for President in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the scene of the most well known murders of civil rights workers in the 60’s, forever pulled the Evangelicals into the world of the GOP and it is there they remain today. Reagan also by his own admission was not a regular churchgoer, though this doesn’t matter as much as Carter’s strong and well known status as an Evangelical.
All of that helps to frame Wallis’ book and the question he asks: is it more important for these white Christians to continue to hold on to their white privilege under the system Wallis calls America’s “original sin” (slavery and racism), or is it more important to live the values promoted by Jesus Christ, the figure who is the foundation of their religion?
But truth be told: is Donald Trump is also asking them that same question and making them realize that white privilege under racism was a good thing for them. Considering that white supremacist groups are doing robo-calls for Trump in Iowa and he has not denounced them, it is no leap of faith to assume Trump will take the support of racists just to win the GOP nomination. We all just have to ask: is the black President about to cause an insane political backlash rooted in white supremacy by electing Donald Trump? Is America that racially backwards?