Throughout the Trump administration, many people thought that my overt political messaging and call to action were a problem for my witness. I heard that protesting Trump’s manifestly racist actions were divisive and excluded people. But calls for unity and inclusion that burden the most vulnerable are not unifying or inclusive. They just ask the oppressed to cope with their condition, or worse, to act like it does not exist.
I could not imagine how these Christians – who aren’t far-right conservatives, who consider themselves compassionate or committed to antiracism – could see such actions and not be convicted to resolutely repudiate them and comfort those they wounded. I wondered, Where is your outrage? Are you not witnessing the same evil I am? For me, it is not a radical political action to repudiate Donald Trump when he calls immigrants animals, or when he tells U.S. Representatives to go back where they came from, or when he names the countries they are from using derogatory and offensive language.
Then I realize that in many cases they could not see what I did because of their own white skin and how it, too, has been politicized. Because those statements don’t directly harm them, they can interpret them as merely a different political message. What I can see as a plain moral wrong that demands a strong political response, they see only as politics as usual.
Both my faith and my skin color have formed my participation in politics. I can either deny that reality and be complicit in my own oppression, confront it within myself, or I can do my part to bring light the dignity through which God sees all of the oppressed, and in doing so invite my Christian brothers and sisters into a fuller understanding of who God is and what the love of God actually looks like.
From “Jesus Takes a Side: Embracing the Political Demands of the Gospel” by Jonny Rashid