Louie Giglio Has Apologized for Suggesting ‘White Privilege’ Should Be Renamed ‘White Blessings’

Over the weekend, Passion City Church Pastor Louie Giglio sat down with Lecrae and Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy for an extended conversation about race in America. These types of summits have popped up across America in the wake up the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept the world as many churches seek a new, more intentional role in the fight for racial justice. But the conversation between Giglio, Lecrae and Cathy took an awkward turn when Giglio suggested “white privilege” should be renamed “white blessings.”

“We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do,” Giglio said. “And we say that was bad. But we miss the blessing of slavery, that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in. So a lot of people call this white privilege. When we say these two words, it’s like a fuse goes off for a lot of white people because they don’t want somebody telling them to check their privilege. So I know that you and I have both struggled in these days with ‘Hey, if the phrase is the trip up, let’s get over the phrase and let’s get down to the heart. Let’s get down to what then do you want to call it? And I think maybe a great thing for me is to call it ‘white blessing.’ That I’m living in the blessing of the curse that happened generationally that allowed me to grow up in Atlanta.”

His remarks begin about the 0:25 mark.

This looks like a perhaps well-intentioned attempt to remind white people that slavery was not only an atrocity for the black men and women who suffered under it, but it provided material benefits for white people that have reverberated down through generations. That’s an element of white privilege that isn’t always easy for white people to grapple with, and it’s understandable that Giglio might want to find new ways to help that reality sink in. Nevertheless, as Nicola A. Menzie said, words matter, and the poor word choice here got “white blessing” trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons, as the phrasing curtailed too neatly with various ways white Christians have tried to dismiss or even excuse slavery over the centuries.

Giglio tweeted Washington Post religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey with an explanation and an apology, saying “my apology, I failed.”

You can watch the entire conversation below.

 

 

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