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You’re fearfully and wonderfully white

Unsplash/Ben White
Unsplash/Ben White

Just as white supremacy made some black people ashamed of their skin color, critical race theory has made some white people ashamed of their skin color.

In her best-selling book, White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo said “a positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.”

The ramifications of that kind of racist rhetoric from authors, social media influencers, teachers and imposter pastors cannot be understated. Critical race theory has altered many white people’s perceptions of themselves, especially young white people.

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You’ve probably come across stories of children telling their parents they wish they weren’t white. You might not know, however, that critical race theory’s impact on young white people is significantly worse than that.

Young white people, especially young white women have been made to believe that though they can’t change their skin color — they can change other parts of their body in order to achieve a positive identity. 

White supremacy made some black people harm their bodies through skin bleaching. But worse, critical race theory is making some white people harm their bodies through transgenderism.

Many detransitioning white teenagers have admitted that one of the reasons why they once identified as transgender is because they didn’t think they could have a positive identity as white people.

For instance, a detransitioning woman named Helena Kerschner recently said: “I was just going through this period of, like, I don’t like how I’m treated as a cis person. I don’t want to be cis because cis means you’re uncool, and you’re privileged, and you’re an oppressor, and you’re bad. I don’t want to be bad. In that way I really incentivized to try to figure out a way to make my voice heard in these communities. … Obviously, I can’t change my race … so the only thing left was to start playing around with the gender stuff.”

Therefore just as the civil rights movement used the phrase “black is beautiful” to affirm black beauty in the era of white supremacy, I’ll paraphrase the eternal words of our Creator in this era of critical race theory and say: if you’re a white person, you’re fearfully and wonderfully white.

You’re wonderfully white because you’re wonderfully made by God. Your skin color is just as beautifully painted by God as my black skin.

When King David said in Psalm 139 that he is fearfully and wonderfully made, he was speaking of every single part of his body, including his (probably) light brown skin — and he was also speaking of everyone with different shades of skin.

He said: “You [God] formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139:13-15).

Though we all have different shades of skin and different ethnicities, we have the same Creator. He formed our inward parts fearfully and wonderfully. He knitted us together as pre-born babies in our mothers’ wombs fearfully and wonderfully. Our frames and our skin colors are intricately woven and fearfully and wonderfully made.

Therefore just as I’m fearfully and wonderfully black, if you’re white — you’re fearfully and wonderfully white. 

Your identity is shaped by your Creator, not critical race theorists. A positive white identity is only an impossible goal if you believe (white) people are not made in the image of God. But since white people — like all people — are made in the image of God, all white people should have a positive identity. 

After all, is there a more positive identity than the image of God?

Whatever your ancestors have done doesn’t change that fact. Your ancestors are not greater than your Creator. You are not made in the image of your ancestors, you are made in the image of Creator.

You are not made in the image of your sinful ancestors. You are made in the image of your righteous Creator. 

In the same way, I am not made in the image of my sinful ancestors. I am not even made in the image of my absentee father. If the actions of my ancestors, my father, or other black people shaped my identity, I wouldn’t have a positive black identity either.

So just as my melanin count doesn’t make me a thug or a criminal, a white person’s melanin count doesn’t make them a white supremacist or an oppressor. 

Since all of us share the same image of God, if white people do not exist outside of white supremacy — then no one does.

Meaning, if a white person’s identity is shaped by white supremacy, then a black person’s identity is also shaped by white supremacy.

Therefore if a positive white identity is an impossible goal, then a positive black identity is also an impossible goal.

But, of course, white people are not made in the image of white supremacy, and my identity isn’t shaped by the image of white supremacy either.

White people are inherently sinful, just like all of us. White people do not exist outside the system of sin, just like all of us. So we all need to repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, white people are not inherently racist. White people exist outside the system of white supremacy. A positive white identity isn’t an impossible goal.

If you’re white, you’re fearfully and wonderfully white.

Originally published at Slow to Write. 

Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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