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There's something I've been trying to find words to express for some time. I'm still not confident these are the words, but I will use them and ask you, dear reader, to receive them as best as God's grace will allow you. I'm still grappling for better expression.

I am grateful for the many white brethren in Christ who have expressed genuine concern and weariness about recent events. I appreciate the expressions and, like many, I draw some encouragement from them. Please don't stop sharing how you feel.

A lot of the expressions of empathy are addressed to African Americans as "brothers and sisters in Christ." A welcome that recognition of our kinship in the Lord--especially when a number of other professing Christians weaponize and politicize that kinship to deny justice.

But, it must be said--and here's where I struggle to find the correct words--that the site of our struggle is NOT our shared Christian faith. Therefore expressing *Christian* solidarity falls short of the kind of solidarity that's needed in the moment.

To put it another way: George Floyd--a Christian, as I understand it--was NOT mistreated and killed because he was a Christian. Breonna Taylor was not killed because she was a Christian. Same for Ahmaud Arberry. The man in Central Park was not threated b/c he was a Christian.

They were killed or threaten because of the country's attitude toward Black people. The site of the struggle is anti-black sentiment, discrimination and injustice. Therefore, the solidarity *most* needed is with *Black people as a people--Christian or not.*

I know some people from various ethnic backgrounds are attempting to express precisely that solidarity with Black people as Black people. I am grateful for that. But I want Christian brethren to realize that emphasizing Christian solidarity misconstrues the struggle.

More, misconstruing the struggle in this way forces a terrible choice upon Black Christians--do we embrace Christian solidarity to the detriment of Black existence/struggle or do we emphasize Black survival/flourishing to the detriment of Christian solidarity?

This is a real world dynamic for many Black Christians. It's not that we don't understand unity in Christ. It's that we cannot afford to underline that unity when the threat is against Black people whether or not they're Christians.

The extension of empathy only along Christian lines and with the tacit expectation that we define ourselves solely in terms of our Christian identity, is ultimately a self-destructive proposition for the Black Christian. We cannot accept such terms and survive.

On the other hand, the rejection of Christian solidarity in order to emphasize Black survival and well-being causes consternation for those of us who deeply believe in the gospel's reconciling power. Both options are a kind of suicide of something vitally important.

What's needed is:

1. Solidarity with us *as Black people*.

2. Your emphasizing solidarity with Black people to such an extent that we're in turn freed to accept and emphasize solidarity in Christ.

Until that happens, we'll have to choose Black solidarity b4 Xian to live.

I want you to be in the fight with us. But you need to be in the fight *on the right basis.* You'll need to understand how the current issues effect us *as Black people* and not as Christian people. Until you understand that, you'll distract from the focus that's needed.

Again, I'm trusting your charitable reading and I'm grateful for your expressions of empathy. Stand with Black people as a people because we're facing injustices as Black people not as Christians.

I hope that's helpful in some way.

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