Minorities

It’s never easy being a minority but being black and an Independent Baptist makes a person part of a kind of “super minority” that is fraught with strangeness.

Take the case here of the Titus family who were members of the Landmark Baptist Temple in the 90’s. (Don’t bother Googling it, it dissolved a few years after this story when the founding pastor died)

After attending Landmark for almost a decade, Bro. Titus received the call to preach and headed out to start his own church. Naturally, the folks at his home church decided to show him some appreciation for all his hard work and friendship over the years.

Of course you can’t show appreciation without a skit. And having few other minorities who could play the role of Bro. Titus, they apparently decided to do this…

“People are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” reads the sign. How ironic. How sadly true.

115 thoughts on “Minorities”

    1. Ugh is right! At one fundy church I heard a pastor quip “shadrach, meeshach, and a bad negro.” But that pastor, an HAC-grad, is now an exfundy.

  1. I’ve seen both kinds of churches in fundyland. Of all the fundy churches I was involved with, either as a member or frequent visitot to conferences etc, only two were racist, both in the midwest.

    The west coast is a different story. At my last fundy church, on the west coast, blacks were on staff, and the associate pastor I was the closest to was black. All blacks at that church were treated with respect, Same was true at a previous fundy church where I was a member on the west coast.

    My understanding is that Jack Trieber pushed strongly for fundy churches to seek out and fully integrate blacks.

    1. While you may have only gone to two openly racist IFB churches, the fact that multiple fundy colleges, which turn out many of the fundy pastors, had rules against mixed dating with nobody having a problem with that suggests that there are far more racist churches. Although, of course, in many the racism is probably disguised.

    2. Being a Californian, I think Christians in general are less racist towards blacks. But I still hear too many comments about people receiving any kind of government aid and undocumented immigrants. It’s so awful I often cringe and leave the room.

        1. It certainly turns up my ears! If you can’t tell an anecdote about an interaction with a stranger without mentioning their ethnicity, you might be a bigot.

        2. It’s a pretty darn good indication IMO, Joshua. If you’re going to tell a story about the nice person at work, and the color of their skin isn’t relevant to the story, then why did you mention it in the first place? You didn’t mention how tall they were or what color their hair is or what kind of shoes they were wearing, after all!

        3. If a woman was wearing Louboutin shoes and a mini-skirt, I’d damn sure mention it.

        4. Joshua and Annie Moose – right on. It either implies “See, they’re all the same” or something along the lines of “Isn’t that sumptin? He may be a Mexican, but he’s really a good guy!”

        5. “Quotes on the Internet are not always attributed accurately”
          – President Abraham Lincoln

        6. Josh I think that’s a big might. I think part of that tendency to mention race is due to being used to dealing with one group of people and then their pattern is shaken up. If I went to a knitting circle, and said or did something to make an impression on the attendees (who are almost always women), they’d no doubt tell the tale of the man who did a thing there. Or if I, as a white, went door to door selling widgets in a black neighborhood of a predominately black town, someone would tell of the white dude selling stuff.

          Bigotry requires intolerance and/or hatred. Mentioning irrelevant information certainly can make one a lousy story teller. But I’d be careful before using bigot to describe someone.

      1. In my experience, the West Coast Fundy ™ has been sanitized for their protection from pesky on-the-surface racism. You won’t see stuff like this during a service out in the open in the major churches (NVBC/GSBC or WCBC/LBC)

        However, just scratch the surface and racism abounds behind closed doors.

        And sometimes even in the open:
        http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2015/03/50290/

        1. “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the universe.”
          — Frank Zappa

        1. “Quotes on the Internet are not always attributed accurately.”
          -President Abraham Lincoln

  2. There are no words. I live in Charleston where we work so hard to overcome the specter of our great grand parent’s decisions (and to be quite frank our parent’s decisions). How can you be that culturally stupid? How can an entire planning committee be that culturally stupid?

  3. I….what?!?!! As I remind myself constantly, I can’t fix stupid but this is beyond stupid. Way beyond.

    And apparently, fundy men wear dress shirts and ties under their pajama shirts. That answers that question ’cause you know letting a woman see a man’s chest will totally cause, well you can fill in the blank.

    1. It’s funny how fundies try to come off as sensitive, what with their “no drinking because it can make someone stumble” and “no dressing like a harlot because people can’t control their urges” rules and all that stuff, they still manage to be completely oblivious to the shit portrayed in this article.

    1. Yellow face paint, coolie hats, and “YING! YING! YONG!” dialogue?

      Or WW2 Japanese with 45-degree slanted eyes, coke-bottle glasses, and big buck teeth?

  4. First sentence needs a comma or semicolon after “minority”, I think; and that bottom sign reads “My people are…” and not “The people are” I believe.

  5. Does anyone know what happened to this family? I tried doing a search and it kept linking me to some guy associated with “Real Housewives’.

  6. We had a black family in our church. I was part of the drama team, and we needed someone to play the part of someone’s child (son or daughter). I went to the middle-school classroom and asked if anyone was up for the part. This family’s daughter volunteered and was pretty excited about the part. We go through a couple of rehearsals, she does great, and then the drama team leader comes up to me and says that she’s concerned some people in the audience would be bothered by the appearance of interracial marriage, to have a white man and a black daughter portrayed in the play. So she told me to get someone else.

    My 19 year-old coward self said “okay” and I went and made up some excuse, lied to her face (because how the hell am I going to tell her what the issue really was?) and I proceeded to choose a white kid. Growing up overseas, that was the first experience I had with this kind of bullshit reasoning.

    That was almost two decades ago and I’m still bitter about it.

      1. I too am sad for what Dr went thru, but am sadder for the little girl as am sure by now in life she still remembers this and has some hurts—hope not.

    1. Ah, so lame. πŸ™

      If it’s any consolation, I’m pretty sure I would’ve done the same thing as you (and that was only a few years ago for me). It’s very hard to stand up to people, especially when even though you might “technically” be an adult, you still don’t quite think of yourself as one…

        1. ‘Cuz while he walked amongst men on earth, Jesus read exclusively from the KJV whilst wearing blackface and a necktie under his PJ’s in his groovy wood-paneled home.

  7. For all the things I’m still unlearning from my fundy days, I’m thankful that racism or prejudice was one thing I never saw in the churches my family attended. In our church outside of Minneapolis we had many black families, and one interracial couple.

    The most racism I ever saw was from my mom, who commented once that “if God wanted them to get married he would have made them the same color.”

      1. I live in a multi-cultural community where intermarriage has been common for years. The majority of children and teenagers have beautiful tan skin. We have a number of gay married couples. Nobody seems to mind, either. It’s wonderful.

    1. My mother tried to apply the “be ye not unequally yoked” verse to interracial dating. I’m pretty sure she thought it only applied to black/white dating, though, because she did everything she could to throw me at our Korean neighbor’s son.

    1. If its not on, blame it on that Young Cox back in the sound booth. “Building his Kingdom” instead of making sure the mic is on when it’s supposed to be.

        1. One can never get enough of the young Cox jokes. Do you know where my young Cox is?

          the Admiral

  8. In fairness to the IFB church I attended, there was never anything that would be construed (or misconstrued) as ‘racist’, but the only blacks that attended were occasional bus kids. There were no asians & only 2-3 hispanics. I recall no silly skits like this one.

  9. As a teenager, I had a black girlfriend. She was definitely a minority, of one. Poor girl, every single time an even remotely marriageable black male appeared on the horizon people in the church would throw them together, I mean they were both at church and they were both black, they must be meant for each other, right? Her defense mechanism was to laugh at herself and the situation but it certainly must have hurt. Why on earth must differences make us defensive and uncomfortable. My father was part native. No one ever, ever, ever mentioned it. His looks were attributed to the ‘black irish’ half of his heritage. Diversity is wonderful and beautiful and we should embrace it and celebrate it.

    1. So sad – this happens to all single women in fundlyland past the age of 25 or so – whisperingly paired up with every single man under 60

    2. “Diversity is beautiful and we should embrace it and celebrate it.”
      Amen and amen!
      That should also be true of the Christian Church. The denominational background ofy own family is extremely mixed – everything you could imagine – and there has been a beauty richness in that. I can also see it in this group. But i suspect that most Fundies would blow a gasket at the mere thought of accepting anyone who doesn’t play Church the way they do. The attitude that “we are Right, you are wrong is one of the Foundations of Fundystan. Take that away, and admit that there are different kinds of Christians who love Jesus and their whole House of Cards will collapse.

  10. Fortunately, my fundie-lite church was not this level of racist. We even had two interracial couples, and they were active in ministry, so that was good. But I now go to a church that is a melting pot–some Hispanic, at least two interracial couples, a black family, and lots of Chinese students from the local university. And we have a membership of about 100, so that’s pretty diverse. My pastor is very intentional about encouraging diversity, so our black elder did a spoken word/rap thing a few Sundays ago, and then we had (believe it or not) the school drama team from our planting church–which is a pretty hardcore fundie church. Or has been for many years. They’ve actually been looking to several of the things we’re doing and have been impressed by how well it works, and change is happening. They decided, for instance, that it made more sense to send the local bus kids to us instead of keeping them at their church. They are helping with our nursery, and several of their families have migrated to us to minister with us. We are so far from fundie that it’s kind of a stark contrast when the members of this church show up, but it’s an interesting synergy and it’s encouraging. An entire church of about 500 people may be slowly escaping fundyism all at once.

    All of which was quite the diversion from this article. But it’s encouraging.

        1. Whoops. Wrong screen name. I use this one elsewhere and decided to switch over lol. My phone didn’t get the memo. Or it was George. I blame George.

    1. My former Fundy church also had interracial couples in the congregation, but that did not stop them from discouraging the formation of new couples. I remember hearing an associate pastor lament over an African-American teen who had “no one to date” in the youth group. At first, I did not understand what he was implying, since I had seen other mixed couples around church. Much later I realized those other couples were mainly white/Hispanic or Asian/white.

      1. It is all about control, isn’t it. Wow, how presumptuous to think we have the right to interfere in another’s life like this, to impose our ideas on someone else’s life.

  11. Sitting in Starbucks – had to scroll quickly through the blackface pics so no one walking by would see on my laptop. No shame from these people though – did they ever get another token black person for their church I wonder

    1. The thought of you furtively reading SFL in Starbuck’s made me laugh. It is the only funny thing about this post. I guess if it was good enough for our (hideously) racist grandparents, it is good enough for us. Haymen?

        1. Oh great Lady Semp, so the only people who wouldn’t be offended by this won’t be in Starbucks to see you looking at it

        2. No biggie.

          Occasionally I treat myself to a pastry and tea at Starbucks, but I think the whole Starbucks experience is overrated. I can get better stuff cheaper elsewhere. And my recliner is more comfortable.

          Besides, I’d rather have a bottle of wine with my wifi.

  12. The only defense I can think of is if Bro Titus had somehow asked for this.

    Although bad taste is not limited to IFB people; Ted Danson did the same thing in “honor” of Whoopi Goldberg some years back.

      1. “Hi. Yeah, so I heard you were having a special day to honor me.”

        “Hmmm. Yeah, we kicked some ideas around, although to be frank, we were actually thinking of something like cupcakes in the fellowship hall. So who let the cat out of the bag?”

        “Nevermind, the point is, I thought it would be great if you could do a skit to, you know, honor me and stuff.”

        “Is that a fact?”

        “Yep. And, like, you should totally have a white dude play me, since I’m the only black dude in the church.”

        “Doesn’t leave us much choice, does it? You know, maybe that’s why we weren’t going to…”

        “Well, when you put it like that, I guess you have to use a white dude! But what I was thinking was, you know, since I am black, maybe you could get the guy to wear brown face-paint! You know, sort of crank up the authenticity!”

        “You’re insane.”

    1. Not “ask for it” as in “deserve it”, but…

      “Hey, we’d like to have a send-off service to honor you — is there anything that you like or is a favorite of yours?”

      “I find black face routines to be hysterical because they are so over-the-top”

      “OK, we’ll do something along those lines”

      Unlikely, but it is the only way this wouldn’t be insulting.

  13. At my IFB church, there is a black lady who is a member. She is the matriarch of a family splintered with lots of the typical social problems found among the poor.

    The church tries to be kind and supporting to her, and I really think they are. The Pastor is probably one of the few mostly unprejudiced IFB pastors I know. I have never heard any of the backhanded prejudicial statements one hears from so many others.

    The deacons are pretty much unprejudiced as well. When I went there years back, I did hear some comments from some of the regular members that showed prejudice, but they would have been shocked had anyone confronted them about it.

    Then, too, I have been in churches where prejudice was a lot more open, and not always in the IFB.

  14. Once went to church with a guy who was adamant that blacks and whites should not intermarry. Funny thing is, his wife was the product of a biracial marriage between a white and an Hispanic.

    And I wish I was joking.

    1. Ahhh, he would have agreed with Miriam. You know, Moses’ sister in the Old Testament. She was against Moses’ Ethiopian wife, and God struck her with leprosy as punishment for her criticism. God seemed okay with Moses’ interracial marriage.

      1. Totally off topic and it is a story about one of my kids again……my sister in law was married in a Catholic church and my daughter for some odd reason insisted on calling the priest Sister John.

    1. No, no. One of the saddest things to see are Minority IFBs who are trying to imitate Southern white IFB culture. Blacks can be anti-black racists, too. You actually see a lot of these on Fox News!

      American missionaries (IFB) often go out with the idea that the gospel turns foreign people into white conservative Americans — at least on the inside. This follows the British model where missions to countries they occupied were intended to turn the natives into loyal Anglicized colonials. British “businessmen” used missions in China as bases for the wholesale theft of cultural treasures and the spreading of political dissent, and the result was the Boxer Rebellion, expulsion of missionaries and a national distrust of Christianity. American missionaries get into trouble because they have an anti-communist mindset instead of a gospel mindset which allows the Lord to work within that culture.

      So unfortunately, minority IFBs can indeed be racist. They think they are rejecting ungodliness when they are actually substituting cultural mores for evidence of the effect of the gospel.

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