Making America Great Again

I had the honor of writing a foreword for David N. Moore’s new book by the above title. I think it’s a good idea for white folks like me to listen and learn from African America neighbors like David.


Here’s a brief interview with David about his new book …

1) Why does the idea of “making America great again” seem like a challenge to you as an African American pastor?

Primarily it is because the white evangelical community helps to carry Donald Trump. The white Christian community, for the most part, does not have the moral authority to lead the way for our country, because it does not listen well. I have spent most of my life in a city that is just over 1% African American among evangelicals who have seemed generally impervious to our struggle. Some of my closest allies are non-Christian or perhaps disaffected Christians who view the church to hold values that are inferior. These are people with deep moral conviction, and filled with compassion.
2) Do you believe that American Christianity is implicitly racist in the way it upholds societal expectations?
Whites males, including Christians, tend to have a disordered sense of ownership of everything. That includes church. The first protestant denomination formed on American soil was the African Methodist Episcopal church, founded by Richard Allen in 1794 to offer dignity to slaves and freedmen who were discriminated against by the Methodists. Why did African Americans find the same treatment within church that they suffered from society? The practice continues. Whites Christians not only tolerate, but are refusing to speak out against the madness.
3) What are some examples of “blindspots”?
A teenaged boy was watching the NBA All-Star Game featuring some of his favorite Miami players, like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. At halftime, Trayvon rushed to a convenience store to pick up a snack, but was murdered. He was killed because he was perceived to be an interloper in his own community. African Americans, along with others, feel the lack of welcome. This is what makes talk like “Build that wall!” so threatening.
A few months ago in Kansas, two Sikhs were shot by a man who shouted, “Get out of my country!” Events like these seem to be on the rise. Latinas seated in a restaurant in Orange County, California, were asked for proof of residency. Two men were slashed and killed on a Portland rail while seeking to defend minority women, one wearing a hijab. This killer felt that it was his “patriotic duty.”
A white friend and colleague of mine, a woman professor at nearby UCSB, exclaimed that our country will elect a woman of color as president before a white woman. White males even sense ownership of white women. 
The white clergy have been silent regarding their territoriality so long that they have no credibility.
4) What could make this situation better?
First, I have to acknowledge the few white Christian leaders that see the problem. Still, the church is so sick, and was long before the 2016 election, that one wonders if institutions that were intentionally formed to segregate have a future in a diverse world. The addiction to power and control is strong. It may be that churches will have to fade away, and this includes churches of color. The minds of African American Christians have been colonized so that we have trouble recognizing authentic Christian community and expression. North Park University’s Soong-Chan Rah told me that he felt that many Asians could “do white church better than white Christians.” 
I’m using a metaphor here, but we may have to die before the resurrection.

If that challenges you and intrigues you, I hope you’ll check out David’s new book here: Making America Great Again

And here’s another interview with David.