Yesterday I started a firestorm by saying that statues of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus-figure should be taken down just like the monuments of slaveholders. The problem is that for tens of millions of white people, it's necessary for that Jesus, that Savior, to be white. And it has been used as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It's a problem.
All across the world, people are tearing down monuments of white supremacists, slave owners and Confederate war generals.
Many of these monuments were built during the period directly after slavery known as reconstruction, with the direct goal of intimidating newly free Black people. The KKK was created at this time under the same intentions and Black people did not have the time nor true ability to advocate for these statues to be torn down.
As a result, they have remained for decades.
These monuments pay homage to the white supremacist history of America. The fact that they remain highlights the white supremacist presence in America today. Many argue that tearing down these monuments is erasing history, but those two things are not the same. Erasing history is putting up statues of slave owners and decidedly glazing over the part of them that owned human beings. It makes these monsters out to be saviors. There is no valid argument for why these statues should remain.
Yet there is one category of white supremacist monuments that have been overlooked, the depiction of white Jesus.
The image of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus, based on a European model, is the most commonly recognized image of Jesus in the world. Paintings, statues and stained glass creations have been created based off of this image. It was used by European missionaries as a tool of colonization for decades. That image is a relic of war, slavery and oppression. That is not Jesus.
In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down what the Bible says about Jesus’s true appearance and why it is so important that these white savior images be taken down along with the monuments to white supremacists.