In church, they told me it wasn’t the fault of the black people. No, the culprits were instead the godless Yankee communists who came down South to stir up the poor black folks. This gave racist white Christians a sort of plausible deniability: They could hate the godless Yankee communists and yet still (in their vernacular) “love the colored people” without letting them into their white congregations. “The coloreds,” they told me, “don’t want to come to our churches, schools, restaurants, etc. They have their own places and are very happy there!”
But for all this talk in 1963, my white Sunday School teachers were undermined by their own Bible lessons, by their own Sunday School songs. Many of us white kids in racist churches couldn’t avoid thinking, “What you grownups are saying and what you are doing, don’t make sense, don’t add up.”
This week’s episode of the Chiggerticky podcast hearkens back to how my own childhood congregation got trapped between its Christian message and its racist practice. I hope you’ll give it a listen.
https://gstephensq.podbean.com/e/red-and-yellow-black-and-white/ or go to APPLE PODCASTS or SPOTIFY and search “CHIGGERTICKY”