White people who engage in crass, public, performative acts make themselves look foolish — and it’s not what black people want
Two weekends ago, I was browsing Facebook — terrible habit; don’t recommend — when I saw a post highlighting The Babylon Bee’s article titled, “Chick-Fil-A Now Open On Sunday But Only For Black People.” I chuckled. It was a cringey, par-for-the-course, over-the-top take, something I was not surprised to see The Bee had put out.
Apparently, however, I should have been shocked. Because, a few hours later, I keyed into the outrage on Twitter — again, terrible habit; don’t recommend — where (mostly white Christian) people were condemning The Bee for engaging in “racist satire” which revealed the underlying prejudices of the publication’s editors.
Tyler Huckabee, senior editor of RELEVANT (a popular Christian media company targeting millennials) and hands-down one of my favorite individuals, replied to The Bee’s tweet of the post saying, “What on earth is wrong with you guys[?]”
Beth Moore (a Bible teacher and writer I love and respect) echoed the sentiment writing, “What on earth is wrong with you?”
Carlos Whitaker, a bestselling author and popular Christian conference speaker said, “You were never really funny. Now you are not only not funny, but racist too.”
Jonathan Merritt, a faith and culture writer who is regularly published in Religion News Service, encouraged his followers to unfollow The Babylon Bee because the publication’s “racism is bad for your brain and endangers your friend’s lives.”
As the backlash increased, The Bee posted a follow-up tweet explaining, “Chick-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy was the target here, not blacks. Here’s the video many of you apparently didn’t know about that provides some helpful context for this piece.” The video showed Cathy speaking at an Atlanta megachurch’s roundtable about race issues hosted by pastor and evangelist Louie Giglio (who’s been at the center of his own controversy recently). After pleading with white people to recognize “the level of frustration and exasperation and almost the sense of hopelessness” in the black community, Cathy proceeded to “invite folks to put some words to action” — as he got up from his seat, walked across the stage, knelt, and shined the sneakers of Grammy-winning rapper Lecrae.
Of course, satire that has to be explained is no longer funny. And since the humor has been taken out of this incident, I think there are some important lessons white people in general (and white people who share my faith in particular) can learn.
This article was first published in An Injustice! on Medium. Click here to read in full.