The question of what will end racism in America is one of the most daunting of our time. Apparently reparations is not the answer. The city of Evanston, Ill., recently voted to award $25,000 to each of its black residents to atone for its racist past, but a local clergyman deemed the amount insufficient, even calling it a “drop in the bucket.”
Other remedies that are likely to be equally doomed and to do more harm than good include “misery loves company” solutions like indoctrinating white school children into believing they enjoy privilege by dint of the color of their skin.
CNN host Don Lemon recently appeared on “The View,” where he advanced the hypothesis that ridding the nation of racism began with accepting that Jesus was not white. The position is not uncommon to the black community as a whole. A Rasmussen survey conducted in 2020 found that 31% of blacks favor removing “white Jesus” from churches.
Interestingly, Lemon’s mode of dress, which included a black sweater over a white shirt, even made him look a little like a man of the cloth. Watch:
Meghan McCain: Don, so there is obviously no question white people have to shoulder the responsibility for bringing about an end to racism, but in your new book you do offer advice for the black community as well. What is that advice and why was it important for you to include that in your book?
Don Lemon: Well, I said that we have to forgive. Not necessarily forget, but we have to forgive. Because like James Baldwin said, obviously I wrote the book, the book is a tribute to James Baldwin, ‘The Fire Next Time,’ that’s why it’s called ‘This Is the Fire,’ he said that we must, like lovers, few whites and few blacks, like lovers, we have to come together and be willing to fix this thing. And I do believe that. And you know, Meghan, people ask me all the time, especially young mothers, especially my friends who are — especially young white mothers, they say, ‘What can I do? How can I fix this after George Floyd? I don’t have the vocabulary to teach my kids. What can I do?’ I thought about that a lot and I offered some advice. That’s what the book is about. That was one of the reasons I wrote the book. But I really do think that we have to start, as I said earlier in the show, we have to start teaching the true history of this country, the history that African-Americans brought to this country. And we also have to start being realistic about God and the Bible. If you are a person of faith in this country, and we know America is built on faith and religious freedom, then we have to — I think a good way of starting is to present the true identity of Jesus. That is as a black or a brown person, rather than someone who looks like a white hippy from Sweden or Norway. And I think we should start with a true depiction of what Jesus looked like and put that in your home, either a Black Jesus or Brown Jesus, because we know Jesus looked more like a Muslim or someone who is dark, rather than someone who is blonde, a blonde-looking carpenter. And then when your children ask you who is this, ‘This is Jesus. Jesus was Middle Eastern. Betlehem was not in Sweden.’ So, Jesus does not look like the popular depiction that we have in our churches and in our homes, and that we see all over the media. I think that is a good place to start and that is a good place that your kids will ask questions, and then you can go from there, and then we can — then we can come to a true reality about what America really is and then try to figure out how we fix this issue of racism in the country. It is a spell that must be broken.
So is accepting that Jesus was a person of color the key to salvation? It would appear to depend on who’s doing the selling. In 2020, an airline passenger threatened to “kill everybody” aboard a flight bound for Chicago unless all accepted that “Jesus was a black man.” The man, who turned out to be unarmed, was white, so perhaps a more qualified spokesman, like Rev. Lemon, would be a better conduit.