The Americanization of Racial Unity and Racial Harmony Discourse in American Christianity: A Few Questions to Consider
Contemporary conversations on (the imperative of) racial unity and harmony in American Churches and Christian circles exclude other Christians in America who are not African American and White American Christians. The traditional black-white binary in American Christianity and American Evangelicalism is not adequate and efficient for contemporary American Christianity because of the emergence of other minority groups within Christianity in America. The traditional conversation about race relations in American Christianity has silenced the voice and contributions of non-Black and White Christians living in America, who are also belonged to a “minority” Christian group.
Perhaps, we should consider this important question in this regard:
Why is the discourse on race relations and the call for racial unity in American Christianity and Evangelical Christianity focused on the relationship between White American Christians and African American Christians?
The Bible provides a more comprehensive vision of diversity and unity within the body of Christ then what is patterned in American Evangelical churches and Christian circles. It seems to me other ethnic and minority groups representative of American Christianity are completely left out of the conversation about race and Christianity, and the necessity of racial harmony within American Christianity.
For example, where does the non-American black Christians (i.e. Jamaican Christians, Haitian Christians, Nigerian Christians ) and Hispanic/Asian Christians (i.e. Mexican Christians, Cuban Christians, Puertorican Christians) who live and practice their faith in the United States fit into the project of racial unity and harmony in the twenty-first century American Christianity?
Still, “race talks” among Christians are still Americentric and that American Christians do not make appropriate spaces for non-American Christians who are also victims of racial prejudice in the United States and deeply affected by the “Segregated Sunday” hour.
To achieve genuine racial unity and reconciliation in American Churches, American (Evangelical) Christians would have to de-Americanize the message of the Gospel and broaden their understanding on the discourse of race beyond the American Christian borders (On the other hand, I understand the value of contextualization and cultural appropriation) and embrace a more inclusive biblically-centered theological anthropology and theological ecclesiology, and a biblical theology of ethnicity, race, and unity. God’s vision for diversity and unity in the Church is beyond the American-centered race discourse and Americancentric Gospel.
Just some thought!