Christian hip hop artist Lecrae has often been vocal about standing up for black lives on social media and beyond. And in the days since the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the Grammy-award winning musician has once again used his social media presence to talk about systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“True faith stands up for the oppressed and the broken…” he wrote in a post. “Christians saying that ‘preaching the gospel is all we need’ ignores how sin affects infrastructures and societal systems.
“If you ever trusted in anything I’ve said, if you’ve used my words to stir your hope or joy, then trust that same voice now,” he continued. “This is an epidemic that school books or church services haven’t taught you.”
Read the full post below.
#philandocastile Arguments only prove my point. I will never stop. Justice. Side note the #AllLivesMatter hashtag is like spitting in the face of black folk. It comes off as extremely selfish and unsympathetic to a mourning person. Not because all lives don’t matter. Of course they do. But it’s very clear that black lives don’t to many in this country. No one goes up to lung cancer patients and says “Folks with Breast cancer matter too!” #AllCancerPatients matter. That’s Insensitive. True faith stands up for the oppressed and the broken. Obviously many can’t see the systemic effects of racism and abused authority. Many can’t see that racism has stained this country because they are privileged to not see it. Also Christians saying that ” preaching the gospel is all we need” ignores how sin affects infrastructures and societal systems. They project blame on themselves when they see these kinds of posts. You assume my anger is at white people and not white supremacy. No there are many “woke” white folks out here. Allies and friends. But if you ever trusted in anything I’ve said, if you’ve used my words to stir your hope or joy, then trust that same voice now. This is an epidemic that school books or church services haven’t taught you. And listen if you really really hate this post you are always free to Unfollow me. I’ll still love you.
Earlier in the week, the musician also tweeted that the freedom America celebrates on July 4 doesn’t apply to everyone. The tweet quickly went viral.
In an op-ed about race relations he later wrote for Billboard, he explained his reasoning: “I posted a picture of slaves in a cotton field instead because that was the vantage point of my ancestors on July 4, 1776. They weren’t free.”
The rapper, whose fan base reportedly includes many white evangelical Christians, wrote in the Billboard piece that many of his supporters were upset by that tweet. When Lecrae talks about race on social media, he often gets pushback from fans who claim he’s teaching a divisive message that is causing more racial tension. The comments in his posts are often littered with sentiments like “The race card needs to go, and Christ needs to be at the center,” or “How is saying that all lives matter selfish and rude?”
But, the rapper wrote, “There’s a difference between creating division and exposing the division that’s being ignored.”
For Lecrae, understanding begins with humility and with listening to voices you may not agree with. It takes humility, he writes, to hear another person’s vantage point and life story.
“A lot of times, when you don’t have to deal with some of the circumstances that affect minority culture, you just don’t think they exist. This is a conversation I have with lots of my white friends all the time,” he wrote. “When I share my experiences with them, they’re like, ‘Oh. Really?’”
Statistics show that there is a difference in the way white and minority Protestants perceive police brutality towards black lives. According to a 2015 study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, 57 percent of white evangelical Protestants believed the killings of black men by police in Ferguson, New York and Baltimore were “isolated incidents.” In contrast, 70 percent of minority Protestants including black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islanders, and mixed-race Protestants agreed that these deaths are part of a broader problem and a pattern of injustice towards African Americans.
From his advocacy online, it’s clear that regardless of the opinions of his critics, Lecrae is intent on doing his part to close this gap in understanding.
“This is a moral issue across the board for humanity,” he wrote in the Billboard op-ed. “If you subscribe to any moral code that says you should care for humanity, obviously black people will fit into that category. So why would you not advocate for justice and truth unless you have something to lose?”
A picture says a thousand words. These are precious and hard moments all in one. He’s watching it all unfold and has a million questions just like I did. Our realities our different. Me and my fathers realities are different. My father was forced to use “colored” water fountains and bathrooms and had no great educational options. I have a college education and yet still have to push back on systemic racism. What will the future hold for my son? Hopefully a more unified nation where peace and equality are the standard. We all know heaven holds what the earth groans for.