This is an excellent article by Todd Wood, a leading Young Earth Creationist. Brave even. It deserves a great deal of respect.
Last week, I recorded a new episode of “Ask a Creationist,” and I dealt with the question, “Is evolution racist?” I reviewed the history of racism both in evolutionary thinking but also in creationist thinking. On the creationist side, I looked at some nineteenth century American slavery apologetics that were written from a creationist perspective. I intended to remind viewers that evolutionists do not have a monopoly on racism, and I also wanted to affirm that most of today’s creationists and evolutionists are not guilty of the overt, outrageous racism of the past. At least that’s what I was going for, but as you know, modern racism is a touchy subject that invites strong reactions."
We got some strong and angry reactions to this video, but I’ll just leave that aside. I’m sad that people would be angry about the truth, but I think a lot of that anger comes from things they think I say or advocate that I actually do not.
I listened to the monologue on Racism, and you seemed to at least imply that racism is a activity and mindset exclusively carried out by white people. Is that your belief and can you justify it?
No, that’s not remotely correct. As I said in the video, I wanted to focus on my own culture to address racism as it affects us here and now. Of course racism exists in other contexts and other cultures. Yes, there are modern slavers, and yes, there is much racial and ethnic tension all over the world. But focusing on the problem outside my front door never means there are no other problems.
Today, I see a black community that clearly and repeatedly communicates their ongoing pain at their treatment in society, and they ask us to listen. Here are some voices I’ve tried to listen to (and these are not endorsements of their political/religious/social views, so don’t even start with me):
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This book is ostensibly about the revolution in molecular biology made possible by HeLa cells, but it surprised me at how much it also communicated what life was like for this family.
Here’s an interview with attorney Bryan Stevenson from Fresh Air on NPR. I happened to be driving through Alabama the first time I heard this. It was deeply troubling.
Here’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s essay “Reflections on the Color of my Skin.”
Here’s an essay from Master’s University graduate Barry Moore “What can my white friends do?”
So no, I don’t bear any guilt for creating the world I inhabit, but I do bear responsibility for perpetuating it.
I deeply respect Todd’s willingness to deal directly with this difficult topic, with honestly about difficult facts about the past. This is something of character he has done here.