Over the weekend, Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz virtually sat down with Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas for a long, wide-reaching conversation about George Floyd’s death, the history of American racism manifesting as violent oppression and a Christian theology of protest.
“Those are triggers,” Jakes says after Lentz reads off a long list of names of black men and women killed by police. “And when those triggers go off that trauma comes back. And the anger that you see is not about one incident alone, but it’s about the multiplicity of many incidents.”
Jakes shares the story of his grandfather, who he was named after, who was murdered in Mississippi by white supremacists before Jakes was born. He also describes a recent trip to Ghana, where he toured the dungeons in which black slaves were kept prior to being shipped to America, which was under a Church.
“So the people who were raping those women, castrating those men, leading the slave parade were also worshipping and singing hymns above where the slaves were, beneath the ship,” Jakes says. “The Church has a very difficult history when it comes to racial history. It goes back hundreds of years. We have complicit. We have been participants. And now we have just been silent.”
The whole conversation is well worth your time.