Recently a woman by the name of Gaye Clark published an article on The Gospel Coalition titled, “When God Sends Your White Daughter a Black Husband.” The article has been removed after being online for less than two days (a cached version of the original article can be found here). The author had been praying for her daughter’s future husband and was allegedly open-minded, but “God called [her] bluff.” By Ms. Clark’s account, God sent her daughter a black man with dreads, which she was not expecting – but not to worry: interracial marriage is fine because we are all made in the image of God and all races will be Heaven.
The basic premise of the article is fundamentally flawed: that because something happened it therefore must be “from God.” In this instance, the author’s daughter has married a black man; therefore this must have been God’s intention. Of course God is sovereign over all things that come to pass, and there is always a reason for whatever God allows to happen. Yet, obviously, this should not be construed as meaning that whatever happens is morally right. It is easily possible that people could be involved in sin and are in need of repentance.
The title of the article could just as easily have been “When God Sends Your Daughter a Lesbian Wife” with essentially the same talking points, and we would be led to reach the same conclusion. In fact, there are numerous professed Christians who claim they were opposed to homosexuality and so-called “gay marriage” until their son or daughter turned out to be gay. It must have been the way that God made them, and who are we to question God? The same applies to the author’s talking points about all people being made in the image of God. Women are also made in the image of God, and will also be in Heaven. Seen in this light, why should either of these facts lead us to the conclusion that this has anything to do with marital compatibility? We could substitute any distinction for race and the same problems arise. Elderly Christian men who don’t speak English are made in the image of God and will be in Heaven, but this does not mean that they would make compatible spouses for this woman’s daughter. Clearly there are other considerations that need to be taken into account besides the ones that the author lists.1
All things considered, Ms. Clark’s article is mostly unremarkable for its content. This is but one more example of a modern Christian seeking attention because her daughter married a black man. The tenor of her article assumes that interracial marriage is a positive good, and the author received much of the praise we have come to expect in a world extolling the supposed virtue of interracial marriage and breaking down barriers. What is interesting is the reason for why the article was taken down. The author requested that The Gospel Coalition remove the article due to negative feedback from those who believed that its content was actually “racist.” The article is considered “racist” because the author did not, in the opinion of several black commenters, express sufficient enthusiasm over the prospect of having a black son-in-law. After all, who wouldn’t want their white daughter to marry a black man with dreadlocks?
In a blog response titled “The ‘Dreaded Glenn’,” Bryan Loritts complains incessantly that Ms. Clark didn’t posture enough and actually expressed initial reservations about her daughter dating a black man. Loritts writes that he wishes Clark would have “put pen to the culturally conditioned consternation that was in her soul that lead [sic] to her surprise when Glenn came to her home for dinner. Why were you surprised and implicitly filled with an initial angst? What forces were at work in your own experience that made this even a significant issue for you?” Loritts continues, “She writes of accepting Glenn as if it was a part of God’s permissive will and not his perfect will. I mean she actually talks about the need to rejoice in the trial. Is that what we are now? A trial? Seen in this light, her eight pieces of advice seem more like strategies in how to cope with some incurable forms of arthritis- you know something you can’t get rid of, but you can take something to make you more comfortable with this less than ideal situation. Oh how my heart breaks.”
So this white author is condemned for expressing the faintest of a hint of reservation about her daughter marrying a black man with dread locks. For blacks like Loritts “microaggressions” like the sin of noticing dreadlocks is worthy of bitter lamentation and denunciation, and is enough to confirm that “racism” is alive and well in the twenty-first century. Loritts compares Clark’s article to the propagandistic 1967 film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? This film is about white parents coping with their white daughter’s impending marriage to a black man. Loritts complains that the film is condescending in that it portrays the liberal white parents as heroes for finally accepting their daughter’s relationship with a black man, which implicitly suggests that blacks are an inferior class that must be accepted by the superior whites. Likewise, Gaye Clark views “the Dreaded Glenn” as someone that she had to accept into her family, as opposed to naturally embracing him as she would a white son-in-law.
It is perfectly natural for whites and blacks to oppose interracial marriage, as virtually everyone did up until recent decades. As parents we naturally want what is best for our children, and as a Kinist I acknowledge that marrying within one’s own race and ethnic group is best for everyone. Parents naturally desire their grandchildren to resemble themselves just as we resemble our own grandparents, but this is lost when intermarriage obscures recessive traits that are common among white ethnic groups. After all, it was the great Cyprian who remarked that “it is a source of joy and glory to men to have children like unto themselves.”2 There is nothing malicious about this position at all.
Another article titled “When God Reveals You Prefer Whiteness” by a black man named Sean Palmer brings up similar complaints. Palmer kvetches, “Most white Americans believe whiteness is normal and preferable.” On a tangential note Palmer takes umbrage at the suggestion that the founding of America may have been a uniquely white enterprise, along with Patrick Buchanan’s suggestion that blacks should be thankful that they live in America as opposed to somewhere else. Palmer is apparently unaware that blacks in America enjoy the highest standard of living anywhere in the world. After this Palmer points out what he believes are three implicit “confessions” of Gaye Clark’s article.
The first is that she supposedly confesses that she is “racist,” although she didn’t know it. Palmer maintains that “our implicit racial associations” can be “racist” if not sufficiently integrated. When whites move to “good neighborhoods” they are being “racist” according to Palmer. A white person’s search for a “good neighborhood,” even if this does not entail any direct hostility towards non-whites, is “racist.” This is absurd reasoning. Anyone who loves his family will want them to be raised in good, safe neighborhoods. For whites this means living in smaller, homogeneous communities because non-white communities tend to have higher rates of violence. This means that even if we ignore the benefits of living in an ethnically homogeneous community, it is still better for whites to live in white towns and neighborhoods for the reason of safety alone.
The second “confession” is that Clark’s family, friends, and church are “racist” as well. Palmer cites a statement by someone from Clark’s church who expressed concern when Clark revealed that her daughter was engaged to be married to a black man. The statement? “[I]t’s just…their future children. They have no idea what’s ahead of them.” Palmer argues that this concern is “racial animosity” and that too much distance between the races allows whites to avoid confronting “racism” in their own lives. “Affection for homogeneity make’s the church’s job to warehouse a ‘fellowship of sames.’” This is essentially a rehash of the diversity gospel as peddled by John Piper, which makes integration of communities, churches, schools, and so on into a gospel mandate. The mere suspicion that mixed-race children might have to bear trials because of their lack of concrete identity is treated with scorn, evidence that this is very much the case notwithstanding. It is natural for any parent to have concerns over their children’s paramours, and this is true even when they date or court members of the same race, but according to Loritts and Palmer it is unacceptable for white parents to make a “significant issue” of race at all.
In his response Loritts utterly rejects the peace-keeping proposal of Gaye Clark when she counsels her readers to be patient with family members. Clark writes, “Calling Uncle Fred a bigot because he doesn’t want your daughter in an interracial marriage dehumanizes him and doesn’t help your daughter either. Lovingly bear with others’ fears, concerns, and objections while firmly supporting your daughter and son-in-law. Don’t cut naysayers off if they aren’t undermining the marriage. Pray for them.” Loritts responds, “As if this isn’t enough she pleads with our white siblings to show patience with the white bigots in their family who won’t accept the “Dreaded Glen”. [sic] Patience with racist’s [sic]. Now this has been the historical christian narrative in this country. This is the very reason why MLK wrote his prison epistle, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, to white clergy (many Christians), who like Ms. Clark pleaded patience. No, what we need is a kind of awkward prophetic courage that has the biblical audacity to call this stuff out around the Thanksgiving table, forcing cousin (and probably deacon) Jim to turn red, and abruptly leave the table to use the bathroom for his nonsense.”
According to Loritts, whites need to alienate their own relatives who express reservations about interracial marriage, and he cites no less an authority than Martin Luther King to make his point. To any knowledgeable Christian, admittedly a rarity in today’s world, MLK registers zero credibility. King was a plagiarist, adulterer, liar, theological3 and social liberal, and a communist sympathizer. The fact is that many blacks are willing to excuse all of this because they view King as an “anti-racist” standard-bearer. Ironically, Loritts cites King as an authority to insist that “racism” deserves no patience or tolerance, while tolerating King’s many concrete transgressions. The double standard is palpable.
The third and final implicit confession that Palmer attributes to Clark is that she “thought blackness was a disease” which her daughter could catch. He compares being black to being rich. No one would complain about having a rich son-in-law because we desire wealth. Why should blackness be seen as an undesirable trait in a potential son-in-law? Palmer asks, “Why do we need to coerce ourselves into rejoicing when blackness marries our daughters? Why do we comfort ourselves with reminders that all marriages have ‘difficulty’? Being a black man in America comes with its own adversity, but it’s not an ailment.” There are perfectly rational reasons for a white parent wanting his white daughter to marry a black man. Aside from the general arguments against miscegenation, we should note that marriage to a black man is particularly perilous for white women, many of these women being abused and murdered. Even assuming that Glenn is a genuinely decent man with sincere Christian convictions, this doesn’t justify his marriage to a white woman. Eligible black bachelors are in incredibly short supply, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that black women are the strongest opponents of interracial marriage.4 These black men struggle with feelings that their white in-laws secretly consider them downgrades, but lost in their responses is the other side of the story. Black women often resent black men who date or marry white women because of their perception that these men treat white women as upgrades over the women of their own race.
Bryan Loritts compares Gaye Clark to his own nominally Christian mother-in-law, who didn’t have the same reservations as Clark. Speaking of his Irish mother-in-law Loritts writes, “She just profoundly loved me, loves our ti-racial [sic] children, and has never used me as a teachable moment for some blog she’d write on how to help her white siblings to cope with a trial like me.” The visceral reaction and protestation of men like Bryan Loritts and Sean Palmer are due to their own interracial marriages and their desire for society to view their families as normative as opposed to abnormal or aberrant. This is coupled with a false victim narrative that many blacks are taught as part of the cultural Marxist agenda to foment racial discord. Ultimately, the slightest reservation regarding interracial marriage is bound to trigger many who have internalized these false assumptions about racial identity. No amount of posturing will ever placate the easily and perpetually offended. Just as young children gaze into the sky and imagine that they see distinct shapes among the clouds, many are conditioned to see “racism” everywhere among whites in our society.
Palmer concludes by rejoicing that at the very least, Gaye Clark’s daughter turned out to be less “racist” than her mother. After all, she is the one who brought the black man home. Palmer writes, “Gaye Clark raised a daughter unmoored by the deleterious implicit associations rooted and unacknowledged in Gaye’s own heart. It’s a blessing, testament, and the desire of every parent to raise children who are better people than they are. Gaye should be applauded for that.” In this case we see that unfortunately Ms. Clark’s daughter was raised in ignorance of racial issues. Ignorance is not a virtue, and it often results in re-learning old lessons the hard way. Our generation’s ignorance of the reality of race and the moral implications of that reality won’t change these facts. Instead, it will simply mean that we will have to learn all over again what our ancestors already knew.
Ms. Clark intended her article to be as inoffensive as possible and to help (white) readers cope with the reality of interracial marriage. What is fascinating is her apparent cognitive dissonance. Her (mis)understanding of Christian teachings on race relations has conditioned her to accept that interracial marriage will and even should happen, and yet it is also clear that this was not expected or even desired in her own life. The only way that Gaye Clark could possibly appease the outrage her article sparked is to express unequivocal joy and happiness at her daughter marrying a black man. At the very least, whites like Ms. Clark are expected to be at least equally enthusiastic at the prospect of having a black son-in-law to a white one, if not more so, since this will “culturally enrich” their family and provide them with a wealth of “experience.”
The cries of “racism” that have accompanied this article demonstrate the usual double standard on the topic of race. Opposition to interracial marriage has historically been prevalent among blacks and whites as well as people of all races, and this continues even today. During the recorded conversation between three black men that was posted once Clark’s article was deleted, one of the men states that the website received “dozens and dozens” of comments from “seeming white supremacists” who disapproved of interracial marriage. In the very next sentence we are told that there was also “pushback” from the “black community.”5 The asymmetry is striking. When whites express reservations about interracial marriage or other issues related to race, we are easily branded as “white supremacists,” but the concerns of blacks is simply the legitimate expression of the “black community.” Blacks are allowed to have distinctly black communities within the greater black community, but whites are never afforded this collective sense of identity. We are simply written off as “white supremacists.” This double standard has become entrenched in mainstream discourse as whites are constantly condemned for “microaggressions” and “subconscious racism” while blacks who burn cities to the ground in response to violent criminals being killed by police must be given space to destroy.
These black responses remind me of Craig Bodeker’s film, A Conversation About Race. Bodeker interviews several people and asks them basic questions about race relations. Bodeker asks several blacks about the “racism” that they encounter in their everyday lives. A black man gives answers such as whites being suspiciously over-complimenting or a library worker giving overly friendly goodbyes when he leaves, as if she is really saying, “good riddance.” Modern Western society tells non-whites and especially blacks that they are victims of perpetual injustices perpetrated by whites. This is why many blacks respond so defensively to even the most benign and inoffensive gestures of whites. This applies even to overtures from whites who are seeking to “enrich” their lives through “diversity.” The response that prompted the removal of Gaye Clark’s miscegenation-promoting article perfectly exemplifies the unending, malicious demands of anti-whites. It’s time for white Christians to do away with this cultural Marxist double-speak if we are to have any meaningful future dialogue.
- The issue of miscegenation has been discussed in many different articles on Faith and Heritage, so there is no need to go into a full discourse here. See “On Interracial Marriage: The Moral Status of Miscegenation“; “Christian Ethics and Interracial Marriage,” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7; and “A Response to R.C. Sproul, Jr.: Is Interracial Marriage a Sin?” by Nil Desperandum. Also see “Did Moses’s Cushite Wife Legitimize Interracial Marriage?” by Wade Johnson and “Divorce, Polygamy, and Miscegenation,” Part 1 and Part 2 by myself. Also see the presentation “Christianity and Race” by Nathanael Strickland. Perhaps the most relevant to this particular article is “The Interfertility Argument” by Nathanael Strickland, since Ms. Fay uses what is essentially a variation of the interfertility argument. ↩
- The Treatises of Cyprian, p. 1012. See also Adi’s “Kinism in the Early Church.” ↩
- I admire Stephen Anderson’s courage in addressing many controversial topics, but by no means do I endorse everything he says. ↩
- See also “A Black Woman’s View of Interracial Marriage” on The Thinking Housewife. ↩
- These comments come at around the 3:40 mark. One of the contributors, Jemar Tisby, is President and co-founder of “The Reformed African-American Network.” His own website can be viewed here. The articles that he writes and publishes recast Christianity in terms of cultural Marxist social justice. The same could be said of the other contributors, Jason Cook and Isaac Adams. ↩