Commonwealth Policy Center

I recently moderated a forum on racism and the church. Three black pastors from across the region joined me in a helpful conversation. One of the important takeaways was shared by Richard Dixon, who co-pastors a multi-ethnic, multi-racial church in Clarksville, Tennessee. He reminded us that when blacks saw the horrible video of George Floyd have his life snuffed out by a Minneapolis police officer, it was processed through a very different lens than the white community. Two-hundred years of slavery, a hundred years of Jim Crow laws, and 60 years of separate but equal were all unjust laws, all perpetrated by the government. This is part of the black experience that I as a white person really cannot relate to. However, the most profound takeaway in the discussion was that for followers of Jesus, they don’t need to fixate on past injustices because there are forgiveness and healing and a path forward between the races in Christ.