Conversations about equality often lack goodwill. Part of the problem is a newfound fear of common grace.
This piece is the second installment in a two-part series on racial justice debates. Read the first article here.
The words critical race theory, systemic racism, woke, and social justice are case studies in language confusion. People define these terms in radically different ways and use those definitions to distort the views of others.
To some, systemic racism means that discrimination exists in different social, political, and legal structures to varying degrees and intensities. Others think of systemic racism as the idea that all of society is irredeemably racist.
Most scholars define critical race theory (CRT) as a legal movement examining how racism impacts laws, customs, and practices in the United States, despite the gains of the civil rights movement. Critics often use the term CRT broadly enough to include nearly all left-leaning discourse on race and injustice in the United States.
The Book of Common Prayer defines the work of social justice as contending “fearlessly against evil and [making] no peace with oppression; and [helping] us use our freedom rightly in the establishment of justice in our communities and among the nations.” In this reading, social justice is the work of resisting evil and injustice where we discover it locally and nationally. Others contend that social justice is a Marxist idea rooted in the false belief that we can establish a utopia on earth through human actions.
When I was growing up in the Black community, woke simply meant a person who became more aware of our history and more socially conscious as a result. This social consciousness led us to encourage pride in Black achievement and to spur our youth on to greater success. We even had a habit of chiding people who got “super …