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Episode 440: Southern Shame Culture & How to Fight Racism w/Jemar Tisby


Jemar Tisby (The Color of Compromise) rejoins Phil to discuss his new book, How to Fight Racism. Actual, real steps to be part of the solution, not part of the problem! Plus David French posits that the American church has been infected with something called “Southern shame culture,” which sends Phil on a journey into the “Lost Cause” narrative, confederate monuments, revisionist history and the overwhelming desire to “defend our tribe” and punch back at enemies, real and imagined. It’s a wild, historical journey from the Civil War to Franklin Graham! (And if you don’t like it, it’s David French’s fault.)


Bonus for Patreon Subscribers: Phil asks Jemar some tough questions: What’s his take on the CRT controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention? And what about abortion? Since white Christians are more likely to vote for pro-life candidates than Black Christians, does that mean Black Christians don’t care about abortion? It’s a fascinating conversation available to everyone who supports the podcast at any level!



19 Comments


Phil I'd like to give my thoughts on the "debate about equality versus equity. There are very important distinctions to make and understand but unfortunately this topic, like so many others, is being politicized and perverted.


First, as Jemar argues, equality does not and in fact cannot mean equal outcomes. Let's get that "distraction" off the table.


Here's how I view or frame equality versus equity. Equality, in this context, can be best thought of as a noun. It's a thing we have or enjoy (i.e. equal rights under the law, equal access to public goods, etc.). Equity, on the other hand, is probably best thought of as an adverb or if I'm really torturing grammar it's a verb. The…

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Ryansons113: I agree with you and my criticism is not so much with content of this episode. Maybe I should have used a different mode of communication but this is the one I came across. I know people that have stopped listening to the podcast because they felt like they were incorrectly being characterized in other episodes. I would ask that when referring to people to be specific to identify what group they’re referring too. I am a weekly listener and enjoy this program and I want people down here to listen to it because it does shine light on some areas that we are immune to. Like Phil’s race video, I never knew a lot of that and learned…


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Adamfeubanks - As someone who grew up and lives in Tennessee, I actually found their characterization of much of the south to be helpful. I also attend church with David French, the author of the article they cite here about shame based culture, and he also is a southerner. So I don’t think we can say this is an example of someone from the north mischaracterizing the south. And I’m sure Phil would not say every person in the south is engulfed in shame culture either. However, it is definitely something I have seen across the majority of the evangelical churches I’ve attended in my life here, and I believe it’s been detrimental to our gospel witness.

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I’d live to hear an episode about the racial and fundament problems in the “Great White North”.

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Phil: While y’all’s remarks against southern, white, evangelical, fundamental Protestants is for the most part correct, it does not represent the majority of our culture even if they are the most vocal. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, I guess. There have been comments made in the past about the south that have been made from a “privileged northern” position that haven’t been accurate of everyone here. I don’t have specifics off-hand, but am communicating the concerns of some of my church friends that listen to, or used to listen to, the podcast. Be mindful not to throw out the good apples with the bad. Roots run deep here and these problems are entangled in our communities, families, and churches, but…

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