• White Too Long

  • The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity
  • By: Robert P. Jones
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (530 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“An indispensible study” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) drawing on history, public opinion surveys, and personal experience that presents a provocative examination of the unholy relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy, and issues an urgent call for White Christians to reckon with this legacy for the sake of themselves and the nation.

As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked. But White Christians - from evangelicals in the South to mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast - have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the dominant cultural power, they have constructed and sustained a project of protecting white supremacy and opposing black equality that has framed the entire American story.

With his family’s 1815 Bible in one hand and contemporary public opinion surveys by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in the other, Robert P. Jones delivers “a refreshing blend of historical accounting, soul searching reflection, and analysis” (Publishers Weekly) of the repressed relationship between Christianity and white supremacy. White Too Long is “a marvel” (Booklist, starred review) that demonstrates how deeply racist attitudes have become embedded in the DNA of white Christian identity over time and calls for an honest reckoning with a complicated, painful, and even shameful past. Jones challenges White Christians to acknowledge that public apologies are not enough - accepting responsibility for the past requires work toward repair in the present.

White Too Long is not an appeal to altruism. It is “a powerful and much-needed book” (Eddie S. Glaude Jr, professor at Princeton University and author of Begin Again) drawing on lessons gleaned from case studies of communities beginning to face these challenges. Jones argues that contemporary White Christians must confront these unsettling truths because this is the only way to salvage the integrity of their faith and their own identities. More broadly, it is no exaggeration to say that not just the future of white Christianity, but the outcome of the American experiment is at stake.

©2020 Robert P. Jones. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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The scourge of White Christian Supremacy

This is the worst kept, dirty little secret of American Christianity. Literally everyone recognizes it, yet most have swept it under the rug. I applaud the author’s willingness to look at some ugly truths, and work to make real change. He is unfortunately, not willing to fully recognize that everything he lays out in gruesome detail, is not at all a corruption of religion, but is in fact, at the core of it. He can’t quite take that last step of reason, to reject the irrationality of the enterprise itself, and recognize that morality exists beyond, and distinctly outside of, religion.

Virtually nothing presented here is new, for those who care to know our history. For me, learning the extent of the odious Lost Cause myth-making by the United Daughters of the Confederacy was eye-opening, but the hypocrisy of churchgoers was entirely in line with my experience. Similarly the data supporting the greater acceptance and tolerance by “White Unaffiliated”, otherwise known as Secular Humanists, is also true in my experience. Moreover, the author clearly demonstrates with solid statistical models that racism is directly proportional to white Christian identity (and even more with the frequency of churchgoing by evangelicals). Christopher Hitchens famously wrote that “religion poisons everything”. Here is the evidence. Simply, churchgoers may be genuinely nice, gentle folk, but when it comes to a commitment to racial equality, even if they talk the talk (which they only rarely do), they virtually never walk the walk.

The book is focused primarily on the ugly racial history of white churches with African-Americans. But it just as easily could cover the genocide of native peoples in the Americas, and the treatment of people other religions, regardless if they are citizens of multiple generations or recent immigrants, Everyone should read/listen to this book, but Christians in particular. As someone with childhood history in Methodist and Presbyterian churches, I can guarantee that those congregations will absolutely recognize the truth of this book, if they’re being honest. It's true, that they have been, as the James Baldwin quotation which titles this book states, been white too long.

20 people found this helpful

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Truth hurts

I have often thought that evangelicals hide behind religion to disavow racism. This book certainly examines the deep roots of racism in religion. All white Christians should read and reflect.

7 people found this helpful

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Thought-provoking!

this was an intelligent, highly well-written, thought-provoking examination of white supremacy in the Christian church. I found it to be both informative and revelatory!

6 people found this helpful

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Put facts to long held Black Christian beliefs

My family loved God and Jesus in rural Florida, and raised us to do the same. My family also feared Godly damnation and white people equally. This book helps bring to light years of fear, anxiety and doubt surrounding my upbringing. I hope it does the same for others

5 people found this helpful

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A must read !

This book is a must read to begin to understand and digest what white supremacy has done to us all. The author, who is a white Christian, is honest, thought provoking and factual in his discovery of his faith's role in the opression of fellow humans and the gradual errosion of the white soul as it tries to justify it. Very appropriate in 2020. Important to note, this book uses reliable data from research, historical facts and anecdotes to illustrate its content. I recommend to anyone who really wants to understand how we have gotten here and what we might do to begin to heal.

5 people found this helpful

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Everyone Needs To Read This Book

As a Black woman, whose life was negatively shaped by the effects of White supremacy and religious zealotry, it was great - to read concrete facts, with scientific data, about how christianity, IS a foundation block for White supremacy. It would be great, IF my fellow Black sisters and brothers, read this for what it is and started - thinking for themselves and moved away, from their knee-jerk belief in the White jesus, who is responsible, for keeping us indoctrinated and docile to today.

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  • 08-04-20

Revealing, sad, and essential.

I happened upon this title after hearing an NPR "Fresh Air" promo about it. Listening to the 3-minute audio book sample convinced me to buy the book.

The author begins by sharing his own experiences with religion, education, American history, and race. Next, he provides examples of how race, white supremacy, and religious doctrine are connected and interwoven in America's founding; and current culture. Thank You Mr. Jones!

"Four and a half stars!!!" (I took off a half star because I got lost in some of the technical jargon.)

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  • 11-25-20

A MUST READ BY ALL!

Excellent excellent excellent! This text is very well researched and documented. America needs rethink what we teach our children.

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding Facts. Could do without the opinion.

The extensive research and outstanding assembly of the horrific events caused by the White Christian Church is something that is not taught in schools. The facts that people continue to be willfully ignorant of the truth and its consequences are infuriating.
These story's and the pain it has caused along with the truth of our history is missing from our public education system. This is eye opening.

The problem is the delivery and the constant injection of an opinion throughout.

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Helping us face the stark truth of our past

This will be a difficult book to read, but the subject matter is so compelling, that I found myself settling in to have my worldview seriously challenged. The fact of the matter, white Christians, more than likely, are attending a mostly white churches with a multi century church tradition that teaches the parable of the Good Samaritan and the imago Dei, but fail to stand up for racial justice, and for much of our American history, we have been the perpetrators. And with our white washed church services devoid of ethnic discourse, we are still perpetrating in more subtle ways. This book helped me see that along with pages of gut wrenching violence that the church has unleashed on our black brothers and sisters. It is a wake up call, and the book points out that there are signs of change within the white Christian church. There is still hope!

1 person found this helpful