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Race, Gospel, and Justice, Part 2: Esau McCaulley on Racism and Cultural Power

When you add racism to political or economic power, then the racist is able to put in place systems or policies that disadvantage African Americans or other people of color.
Ed: Can you start with your own personal journey?
Esau: I come from a family of ministers. My grandfather was a black pastor; he still is a black pastor. He's retired, but he still preaches. Black preachers never retire. I have aunts and uncles who are in the ministry. I grew up in a largely African American neighborhood and I knew about the gospel.
I also grew up in Alabama in a racially-divided city. There is a black part of town, and there's a white part of town. I know what it's like to be treated differently. I was pulled over by the police for nothing other than driving while black.
I have been searched and humiliated in a variety of ways. Part of what it meant for me to be a Christian growing up in America was making sense of the fact that, especially in a place like Alabama, we all believed or claimed to believe the same gospel about who Jesus is. But it seemed that some of the white Christian brothers and sisters who believed in Jesus were also the people who were oppressing us.
Or when something happened in our community, they were often slow to partner with us in pushing back on that oppression.
Ed: But, when a lot of people hear that and knowing your age, they might ask, "How would you see oppression in the '90s?"
Esau: I'll try to tell you one of 15 stories that I could tell. I'm driving from my home back to my college, about an hour away. A cop starts following me. I have a seatbelt on, and I'm following the law completely. A friend of mine is in the car with me. The policeman follows us for a couple of miles. We went from one city to the next. The city went from 50 miles an hour to 35 miles an hour. The cop pulls me over and says, "You had a sudden change in speed, so I ... Continue reading ...









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