Quick to Listen/Episode 18 | 32 min

What Black Christians Need from White Christians Now

What Black Christians Need from White Christians Now

On Tuesday, President Obama honored the lives of the five Dallas police officers shot dead last week by a sniper in Dallas. He also reflected on the deaths of two black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who were shot dead by police officers last week, and of the suffering he’s witnessed during his time in the White House.

“I’ve seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change,” said Obama. “I’ve seen how inadequate my own words have been. And so, I’m reminded of a passage in John’s gospel, ‘let us love, not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.’”

(Note: We’re aware that the President actually quoted 1 John.)

In the wake of last week’s shootings, Joshua DuBois, the former head of the White House’s Office of Faith-Based Partnerships, responded with action, creating a form letter for citizens to send their local police chiefs. As of writing, his tweet has been retweeted nearly 5,000 times.

“I live outside of DC and realized I had never had a conversation with my police chief in my town… I wanted to have that dialogue to affirm the hard and difficult work that police officers are engaged in every day, but also to ask questions about how prepared they are to de-escalate conflict and address bias,” said DuBois, who now leads Values Partnership, a consulting firm. “What’s fascinating is that people are writing their own chiefs, and their chiefs are responding,”

DuBois joined Morgan and Katelyn this week to discuss what led him to create this letter, how majority-culture Christians can avoid shutting down conversations with those of color, and why anger should not be a deterrent to engagement.

(10:10) Joshua, what went into your decision to create this police department form letter?

(15:08) In circumstances like last week, what voices should be elevated? How should they be elevated?

(20:25) What is a powerful example of what solidarity looks like?

Additional Reading

The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama

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What Black Christians Need from White Christians Now