Student Organization hosts “Is Christianity the White Man’s Religion?”

UPDATE: Kent State University has stated that it did not sponsor the event, nor did it authorize the use of its logo on promotional flyers.

Update: The Kent Conservative reached out to an organizer of the event to correct any inaccuracies of the initial reporting. Such inaccuracies include misrepresentation of quotes and audience size. 

On April 17th, 2018, Kent State University hosted an event titled “Is Christianity the White Man’s Religion?”

The event featured various cosponsors such as the Impact Movement and the Jude 3 Project. The event featured a panel of 3 speakers: Lisa Fields MDIV, the founder of the Jude 3 Project, Sho Baraka, and Vince Bantu PhD.

The event commenced with the panel opening the floor to the audience, allowing the crowd to showcase any prior knowledge of the topic, or any subject they are looking forward to covering. The first gentleman to speak stated his concern for “young individuals on the street being pulled away from Christianity,” which has lead to the general “whitewashing of Christianity.”

Another gentleman echoed this concern for whitewashing, stating that “Christianity originated in Africa, and Europeans merely took it and made it their own.” The gentleman ended his statement by asking “who benefits from the billions of dollars from Christianity?”, asking “is it the white people and the businesses, or is it the black people?”

The panel then began with Bantu speaking on the history of Christianity. Baraka started off by initially stating that “Christianity, is in fact, a white man’s religion” because of “identity politics.” Baraka argued that identity politics is what “makes humans subconsciously assign certain cultures to different groups.”

Bantu used this definition to explain that a large portion of black people don’t want to have anything to do with Christianity because it doesn’t fit their culture, rather it fits the western and white culture.

The panel continued with Baraka speaking more about the geographical history of Christianity. Baraka stated that like many concepts, Christianity has suffered due to “bad storytelling.” Baraka explained that because of this paradigm, “the settler colonialists could do whatever they wanted with people who didn’t fit their description of Christianity.”

Baraka then spoke about Jesus, referring to him as “a Palestinian Jew living in an oppressive state under an oppressive regime,” which Bantu argued has fueled the “use of Christianity as an oppressive theology.” Baraka stated that to fight against this oppression, “we must decolonize against this American privileged theology.”

The panel ended with Fields speaking on the ties between slavery, former communities, and Christianity. Fields stated that “slave owners redefined Christianity, and took away the scriptures from the slaves.”

Fields argued that the slave owners took away Christianity from the slaves because “Christians could not be slaves, and therefore if Christianity is taken away from them, slavery is justified.” Fields also touched on how after slavery ended, “white communities would only offer unhealthy food to black people,” reasoning that “if the white people couldn’t kill the black people with guns, they could kill them with unhealthy food.”

The director of the sponsoring organization, Kent State Impact Movement, Darnell Wilson, reached out to the Kent Conservative for further clarification on the event. Wilson stated “None of the panelists nor does our organization believe that Christianity founded for and by white men.” Wilson added, “that was literally the antithesis of the event.

The event ended with a “Questions and Answers” portion, but much of the same ideas were repeated then as well.

Over 350 people attended this event.

17 thoughts on “Student Organization hosts “Is Christianity the White Man’s Religion?”

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  • April 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm
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    Blacks in America would have few if any rights without the efforts of a Christian preacher called “Dr. Martin Luther King”. America would not have accepted King if America was not mostly Christian.
    All civil rights are based on Christian values.
    But to answer the question, yes, Christianity is a white man’s religion. Christianity is also a black man’s religion, and the red man’s religion, and an Asian man’s religion.
    The statement that most blacks are not Christians is so far from the truth it is laughable. “84% of blacks are Christian”.
    I guess the leader of this group feels blacks are total idiots who cannot think for themselves.
    Curious as to how a university could accept so many totally false statements and totally racist ideas. Having views is one thing, promoting lies, hate, and racism is another thing altogether.

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  • April 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm
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    If you would read the BIBLE you would know this is hog wash you are spreading … Christianity is open to anyone…. You are stereotyping people on your beliefs … Slavery was not started in the U.S….Go back a couple thousand yrs and see were it started long before Christianity…..Your opinion has holes in it ,but it is that your opinion…

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  • April 20, 2018 at 4:29 pm
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    Once again the far left demonstrates its creepy obsession with race.

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  • April 21, 2018 at 4:48 pm
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    You are discriminating based on others religious beliefs. If this was the discussion on any other race or religion you would not be allowed to have this. Double standard at Kent state??

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  • April 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm
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    Let’s change title to… Kent state asks is Islam the black mans religion?

    Sounds racist now doesn’t it??

    Kent state is racist!!

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  • April 23, 2018 at 5:22 pm
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    Thank you for reporting on this event, however, some points in your article are inaccurate and taken out of context. I attended this event and it was well attended by both black and white students and community members. The panel proved that Christianity is for all people and not the white man’s religion. It was an event that promoted racial reconciliation as well as listening to people with different religious beliefs as evidenced by those who asked questions during the event.

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  • April 24, 2018 at 3:43 am
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    I was actually here for this event. It is a half interpretation at best. UHURU magazine was not a cosponsor for this event. Maybe the author had them confused for the Hebrew Israelites who were there (but were still not cosponsors) because THEY believe that Christianity is the white man’s religion. Nothing was reported about this group of men in the purple shirts who were cornering people after because they were shut down during the Q&A for trying to promote their views under the guise of questions. No reporting of when they stormed out of the room as a group. No reporting of the black woman at the end of the Q&A who asked about the Africans who sold her people into slavery to white men in the first place and trying to reconcile any faith that we have, be it Christianity or a faith that was native to Africa with this reality of how her ancestors were inhumanely treated. No mention of the mixed group filled with leaders of different ministries in the area who, like Campus Crusade for Christ (a right wing evangelical organization who started the Impact movement because THEY wanted to reach out to people of color) have a heart for racial reconciliation and unity when it comes to the church. No reporting of how the black church was addressed for some of the injustices that it has carried out on black people. No explanation as to why or how a group of people would be asking this existential question in the first place. You also forgot to report that the organizers of the event were never contacted and have been trying to reach out to the person who wrote the article in the first place. Isn’t that backwards?! Shouldn’t they have been the first people you reached out to? No mention of the group of white and black people who got together on Friday to further explore how we might work together to live out the gospel and the ministry of reconciliation. Now, you got folks commenting on a story like they were there because they had faith in the journalist reporting that it was complete when it turns out it was just sensational. You seem to have missed the drama at the end when the men in purple shirts got in formation from shortest to tallest and marched out after they were asked to leave. It’s almost like you were at a different event. And in 2000, I attended an event put on by Hillel with the intent to explore Judaism and Christianity which asked a similar existential question “Is Christianity a Jewish religion” (something along those lines). I don’t remember the name of it, but I do remember that Rabbi Tovia Singer pretended to be from Jews for Jesus and then later revealed his true identity and showed the Jews in the room how gullible they were (in his opinion) to the dangerous doctrine of Christianity and how they should refute it. So, yes… Kent State WOULD and HAS allowed people of other faiths to explore this and other questions. As an alumni, I appreciate them for it. although that was a really difficult day for me when people who I believe to be my friends brought in a Rabbi and didn’t warn me that he wasn’t there for unity but was there to declare that my faith was wrong.

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  • April 24, 2018 at 1:58 pm
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    I am conservative, and I am white. For the record, in the pre-Trump era, conservatism valued truth. It seems to be in short supply these days. I had Dr. Bantu as a professor at Covenant Seminary. You are completely mischaracterizing his and Sho Baraka’s position regarding race and Christianity. Their goal is to demonstrate to people of color – many of whom feel unseen and unheard by the current white American church – that Christianity did not originate in Europe. They are attempting to clear up misconceptions that are causing people of color to dismiss Christianity and have caused whites to misapply Scripture to oppress. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is the point. Dr. Bantu and Sho Baraka seek unity in the name of Christ. As of now, this publication and Fox News have chosen to divide based on misconceptions and stereotypes. I plead with you – as someone who is conservative – to value truth going forward. Contact Dr. Bantu for a comment. You’ll be surprised by the importance of his message.

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