Black Wisdom Matters: Carol Swain on 1619 Project’s Critical Race Theory – We Need Jesus

Luke 10:29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’.”

I reached my formative years before Critical Race Theory (CRT) and cultural Marxism became dominant in academia. Growing up in Southern poverty during segregation, I was not taught to hate white people or America but to be proud to live in the greatest country in the world. No one told me I was a victim. I never fixated on being black, poor and female. Had I done so, I doubt I would have achieved anything.” This is Dr. Carol Swain in “CRT’s toxic, destructive impact on America” posted on 1776 Unites website.

Dr. Swain, a retired professor of political science and law, is a highly respected academic and a leading Christian conservative black voice denouncing CRT and promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

She describes herself first and foremost as a Christian: “The story of my life is a God story. I am a devout Christian whose identity is in Christ.” Her amazing testimony of extreme childhood poverty to her rise as a prominent political scientist always points back to her relationship with Jesus Christ.

First, here is her analysis of the 1619 Project and CRT: “The 1619 Project began in August 2019 with essays on the 400-year anniversary of slavery in America. A collaboration between the NY Times and the Pulitzer organization, it has mushroomed into a movement to re-educate Americans on how deeply racism is embedded at America’s core. But there has been no effort to address the many concerns raised by distinguished critics from elite universities. The rush to get into America’s classrooms was reckless.

This new racial narrative places black America’s struggles at the feet of the nation’s white Founders, with a new birth date for America. Instead of July 4, 1776, when the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence pledging to risk their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to found a new nation, the 1619 Project places our inception at 1619, when the first Africans came to Virginia as indentured servants.

The1619 Project holds ‘white privilege’ responsible for economic, health, and social disparities in minority communities. This narrative of blame declares white America guilty for the plight of blacks. It aims to keep open historical wounds while telling only half of the story. Those who push white guilt and black victimhood ignore critical facts: 1) Today’s white Americans are not responsible for the sins of generations ago, and 2) Blacks, Native Americans and Whites were all slaveholders. There is plenty of guilt to go around.

It is connected to CRT and a grievance industry that blames today’s families for the mistakes of long-dead ancestors. This is not a prescription for unifying the country or empowering racial and ethnic minorities.”

Now, here is Dr. Swain’s prescription for overcoming the 1619 Project and CRT and unifying America: “Within Christian communities, the solution for hatred, bitterness, and distrust can be found in New Testament principles. Rather than wallow in the past and revisionists’ efforts to promote reparations, we need to practice the forgiveness and LOVE OF NEIGHBOR that Jesus espoused – to transcend racial and ethnic conflicts that keep us from working together and celebrating our victories.”

Our verse this week highlights Dr. Swain’s point. Here, a lawyer wanted to “justify” himself by asking Jesus to define who is a “neighbor”. This lawyer believed he was righteous because he obeyed rules. But Jesus corrected his misunderstanding: righteousness in God’s eyes comes from how well you LOVE others.

Remarkably, this question was asked after Jesus explained the key to going to heaven: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And you shall LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Dr. Swain is advocating we follow Jesus Christ’s lead.

Jesus Christ taught us that all men and women must demonstrate an “agape” love for each other. As you look at the definition of “agape” below, you will understand why none of us can love this way without Him:

Agape has no self-interest, giving without expecting anything in return or considering the cost. It does not require a relationship since 1) it is a choice of the will, 2) it is a love of action, not emotion or a response, 3) it doesn’t care if the person rejects the love offered, and 4) it doesn’t consider how loveable the person is.

The lawyer, in Luke 10:29, avoided Christ’s emphasis on “agape” love and instead wanted Jesus to define a “neighbor.” Jesus followed up with the timeless story of the “Good Samaritan”, where He used one of the Jewish lawyer’s key enemies, a Samaritan, as the hero in the story who showed true “agape” love. Jesus ends with a simple directive to the lawyer (and all of us): “Go and likewise show mercy to your neighbor”.

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #458