Recently there was an excellent column on The Wild Hunt by Luke Babb, Reckoning with Racism through a Pagan Lens. It was a good analysis of the relationship of Protestant Christianity with racism, and of attempts to use that tradition to justify racism.
In the column’s comments section, some readers said they felt that the evidence offered for the intimate connection of racism and Christianity was insufficient. The disconnect seemed to stem from a conception of racism as only being its more extreme manifestations – that is, as actual expressions of violence toward Black, Indigenous, and other people of color – rather than the everyday reinforcement of white supremacy and privilege by those who choose to ignore the fact that they are living in a colonial state that grew rich from the exploitation, dispossession, and destruction of Black and Indigenous communities.
Three major pieces of evidence – the concept of terra nullius, the activities of Christian missionaries, and Indian residential schools – reinforce the relationship between Christianity, colonialism, and racism, and reaffirm the points Babb made in their original article.
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