Racial justice and the Common Good
There are many different ideas on how racial justice and structural change will be achieved. Not all of them can be regarded as ‘Common Good’.
The ‘white fragility’ approach is heavily promoted by the big corporates, and even by some among the churches. However many leading Black thinkers reject this race-reductionist approach, on the basis that it will fail to deliver, that it will drive further division and worse, that it is in itself a new form of racism. Meanwhile, those engaging in iconoclasm and performative gesture politics may be inadvertently maintaining the power dynamics that exploit and divide.
A Common Good approach requires a cross-racial, cross-class solidarity to resist the forces that dehumanise. It will involve constructive steps to address structural injustice, but above all it is about treating each other with grace and love. The only way to achieve true justice is through the obligations of love which are inseparable from relationships and from God, the source of love.
Watch the British conversation in the video below, or for an American perspective, watch the video discussion at the bottom of the page.
To go deeper, explore the links here:
Much of anti-racist training unfortunately draws on Critical Race Theory. Many people influenced by this approach are unaware of the underlying doctrine as it is rarely stated explicitly. It is a worldview at odds with Christianity but many organisations and even churches have been seduced by CRT’s divisive ‘white fragility’ narrative. However, there are alternatives, and we share some here.
Counterweight, led by Helen Pluckrose, is the home of scholarship and advice on Critical Social Justice ideology. You may have misgivings about unconscious bias or anti-racism training, or wonder why they made you feel uncomfortable. Counterweight helps people break down the impact of the ideology in the workplace and offers alternative methods of diversity and inclusion training that are not divisive but which promote love and compassion. Explore their video guides here.
The Equiano Project, led by Inaya Folarin Iman approaches racial justice issues from an evidence-led, non-ideological approach to enable organisations to respond confidently and think deeply and critically about the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda. They provide talks, workshops and discussion events for schools, universities, organisations and institutions to explore and promote universalist ideas on issues of race, identity, culture, politics and society. Their resources include an Introduction to Diversity and Inclusion package (52 pages) free to download here.
Theory of Enchantment is a training business led by Chloe Valdery serving organisations and workplace environments, centering around a compassionate antiracism framework combining social emotional learning, character development and interpersonal growth as tools for leadership development.
The Gratitude Initiative led by Girma Bishaw, promotes a ‘gratitude culture’ in Britain, where gratitude is seen as a vehicle towards both a fulfilled self and a harmonious society. It aims to change the culture one conversation a time, in one community after another, by resourcing and gathering communities to talk about and practise gratitude.
Approaches to racial justice
It is vital to recognise the spectrum of opinion among Black and Minority Ethnic communities and Christians. The Black theological tradition itself is rich and diverse: the loudest voices do not represent the entirety of it, and similarly, the most ubiquitous theologians do not represent the majority of Black church leaders. When it comes to approaches to racial justice this is no less true. Here we intentionally share material that promotes common good racial justice and which rejects race-reductionist ideologies.
Remi Adekoya Biracial Britain: A Different Way of Looking at Race
The Sewell Commission full report via this link
- David Goodhart Game-changer for how Britain talks about race
- Sewell commissioners’ response to criticism here
- Equiano Project detailed response to the Sewell Commission here
Darrell B. Harrison How woke theology is weakening the (Black) church
Alka Sehgal Cuthbert The Dangers of the New Anti-Racism
Batya Ungar-Sargon A New Black intelligentsia is pushing back
Revd Dr Esau McCaulley:
- the Church is called to point toward a better way of being human
- Discerning Friends from Enemies: Critical Race Theory & Anglicans in North America
- Toward a Black Anthropology and Social Ethic: Why the Humanity and Jewishness of Jesus Matters (video lecture)
The Rainbow Coalition of Chicago, 1969 (documentary)
David Johnston for genuine diversity we must focus on substance not symbols
Howard Thurman Jesus and the Disinherited (book)
Barbara & Karen Fields on racism and equality in America (video)
Revd James Lawson on the civil rights icon John Lewis (video)
Archdiocese of Westminster Being Black and Catholic (video)
Pastor Corey Brooks Police should not allow looting (video)
Why should we be cautious around the concept of ‘white privilege’?
Kemi Badenoch MP BLM and the problem with teaching white privilege in schools
Toure Reed Why Liberals Separate Race from Class
Andrew Sullivan The Cascading Complexity of Diversity
Iain Martin White privilege is divisive
Why should we be cautious about Critical Race Theory?
Matthew Crawford How race politics liberated the elites
Revd Dr Esau McCaulley Critical Race Theory, Anglicanism and the Real Crisis
Jason Riley Critical race theory is a dangerous folly
- saying no to Critical Race Theory: an explainer
- Why you should read Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance” in 2021
Helen Pluckrose is Critical Race Theory racist?
James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose Cynical Theories (book)
David Butterfield reviews Cynical Theories
Amna Khalid and Jeffrey Aaron Snyder the problem with “Social Justice Lit”
What’s the problem with ‘race reductionism‘?
Cedric Johnson The Triumph of Black Lives Matter and Neoliberal Redemption
Toure Reed Toward Freedom: the Case Against Race Reductionism (book)
Adolph Reed Antiracism: A Neoliberal Alternative to a Left
Joe Hildebrand Obama on ‘activism’ and why left wokeism enables the right
John McWhorter, Coleman Hughes, Sam Harris the black liberal argument against BLM
For advice on this subject try the Don’t Divide Us website
Watch the discussion below: