FAQ About Living In A Racialized Society

Emerson, M. O., & Smith, C. (2000). Divided by faith: Evangelical religion and the problem of race in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

What is a racialized society?

“A racialized society is a society wherein race matters profoundly for differences in life experiences, life opportunities, and social relationships.”

“In the Post-Civil Rights United States, the  racialized society is one in which intermarriage rates are low, residential separation and socioeconomic inequality are the norm, our definitions of personal identity and our choices of intimate associations reveal racial distinctiveness.”

What are common mistakes we make when trying to understand living in a racialized society?

“A major problem in understanding the race relations in the United States is that we tend to understand race, racism, and the form of racialization as constants rather than variables.”

“Our understanding of race relations, however, remains stuck in the Jim Crow era, leading to mistaken conclusions–racism in on the wane, and racial division and racial hierarchy are but historical artifacts. Rather than incorrectly examine race in the United States using an old standard, we must adapt our understanding and analysis to the new, post-Civil Rights era”

How does racialization help us understand race relations in America?

“It understands that racial practices that reproduce racial division in the contemporary United States “(1) are increasing covert, (2) are embedded in normal operations of institutions, (3) avoid direct racial terminology and (4) are invisible to most Whites.”

How role does Religion play in Racialization? 

“We argue that religion, as structured in America, is unable to make a great impact on the racialized society.”

“The racially import cultural tools in the white evangelical tool kit are “accountable freewill individualism,””relationalism” (attaching central important to interpersonal relationships), and antistructuralism (inability to perceive or unwillingness to accept social structural influences.”

What is our Hope? 

“The gospel story is about reconciling people to God and to other people” Samuel Hines

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— (Ephesians 2:4-5)

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (Revelation 7:9)

What is our Challenge?

A new commandment I (Jesus), give to you that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35


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