Devotional Writer Faces Criticism for Prayer Asking God for Help to ‘Hate White People’

Some of the contributors to a new devotional book featuring a prayer asking God for help to “hate White people” are coming to the defense of the author who wrote the controversial reading.

The entry in question, “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman,” was written by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, a professor of practical theology at Mercer University.

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“Dear God, please help me to hate White people,” she wrote. “Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.”

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She went on to explain she isn’t talking about “the White antiracist allies who have taken up this struggle against racism with their whole lives … [and] who are so committed to fighting White supremacy that their own lives bear the wounds of its scars.” Nor is Walker-Barnes interested, she wrote, in hating “the ardent racists” or “stringent segregationists who mow down nonviolent antiracist protesters, who open fire on Black churchgoers, or who plot acts of terrorism hoping to start a race war.”

“My prayer,” the professor petitioned, “is that you would help me to hate the other White people — you know, the nice ones. The Fox News-loving, Trump-supporting voters who ‘don’t see color’ but who make thinly veiled racist comments about ‘those people.’ The people who are happy to have me over for dinner but alert the neighborhood watch anytime an unrecognized person of color passes their house. The people who welcome Black people in their churches and small groups but brand us as heretics if we suggest that Christianity is concerned with the poor and the oppressed. The people who politely tell us that we can leave when we call out the racial microaggressions we experience in their ministries.”

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Toward the end, Walker-Barnes asked God to “harden my heart” and “stop me from striving to see the best in people.”