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Megachurch pastor faces backlash for trying to reframe white privilege as 'white blessing'

In today's episode of WTF America, a pastor of an Atlanta megachurch tried to make an argument that the benefits white Americans got from slavery were blessings.

In what was billed as "an honest conversation about race and the Church" on June 14, Passion City Church pastor Louie Giglio talked with Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy and rapper Lecrae. And in the course of their conversation, Giglio somehow ended up referring to "the curse of slavery" as "the blessing of slavery" when talking about how white people benefited from it. (This should go without saying, but if you ever find the words "the blessing of slavery," coming out of your mouth, you need to stop talking immediately.)

Giglio then went further and tried to reframe the concept of white privilege—the reality that white people have racial benefits in a society where white people have always held the power—as "white blessing."

Why? Because, he says, the phrase "white privilege" trips a lot of white people up. So calling it "white blessing" somehow...helps?

Needless to say, it didn't go over very well.


People rightly pointed out that using the word "blessing" in relation to slavery is, well, peak white supremacy.

"White privilege" makes people uncomfortable, so let's change the wording to something that will further entrench white people in denial and make them think that somehow the benefits of slavery were divinely ordained favors bestowed upon white people? Isn't that what "blessing" literally means?

Thinking you can rename a relatively benign phrase because it rubs some white people the wrong way is also, ironically, an example of white privilege in action.

Giglio has apologized for his word choice, stating that he was "not seeking to refer to slavery as blessing—but that we are privilege because of the curse of slavery...word choice wasn't great. Trying to help us see society is built on the dehumanization of others. My apology, I failed."

Indeed. Having the hard conversations about race and racism is good, and white folks are prone to stepping into an unconscious sense of superiority in those conversations. But a pastor with a huge platform—who is seen by congregants as a man sharing God's word—calling the benefits of slavery a "blessing" is over-the-top problematic. Even if his intention in the conversation was pure, even if his heart was in the right place, that message is worthy of condemnation.

Lacrae posted a video on Instagram responding to the controversial clip, which is important to hear:

Instead of trying to reframe reality to cater to white people's comfort, let's have a conversation about the audacity of white people losing their minds over a two-word phrase while people of color have to deal with the ongoing stress of subtle and blatant individual, systemic and institutional racism. The longer we try to keep white people comfortable, the longer it's going to take to deal with the issue of racism in our society.

You can watch the entirety of the June 14 conversation here:

The Beloved Community - Dan Cathy, Lecrae, Louie Gigliowww.youtube.com

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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