TV-G | YouTube | 46 min
Released in October of 2015

SUMMARY: In the 16th century, Jesuit priest Jose de Acosta created the theology of extraction, giving a Christian rationale for exploiting indigenous people on land with valuable minerals. Since then, we have been dealing with the effects of this racialized geography. In a speech for Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Dr. Willie Jennings discusses the way the rich and powerful manipulate the system to ensure that things stay the way they are. This applies to race too– the rich and powerful (mostly the dominant white culture in the United States) manipulate the system to ensure that property is divided up so the rich and powerful have their part of cities/towns/etc. and the not-rich and powerful are kept out.

For centuries, this power dynamic has been going on with the blessing, or at the very least, the ignorance of the American church. To correct this issue, Jennings says we must learn and tell the true story of the space, town, city, and churches we inhabit. Skip to 4:22 to get to the speech.

KEY QUOTES: “The way space is divided is not normal, sisters and brothers. And we have made it natural and normal. One powerful example of this in the United States has been the history and the phenomena of sundown towns…Sundown towns were towns all across the U.S. that from the beginning of the 1890’s through the 1940’s purposely removed and kept out African Americans, sometimes Jews, sometimes Asians, from their towns. These were towns that aggressively sought to construct themselves as all-white communities. These towns, many filled with deeply committed Christians, constructed a geographic whiteness that permeated the earth, the land, and all of their surroundings. A geographic whiteness that you could feel – that was palpable.”

BONUS: If you liked what Jennings said, check out Unsettling Truths by Mark Charles where Charles explores the Doctrine of Discovery.

DID YOU KNOW? We have distilled the media we have curated into guided learning paths to help you learn about racism in your preferred learning style.

More curated shows on racism:

SHOW: The Jim Crow Museum

The founder and curator of the New Jim Crow museum, Dr. David Pilgrim, gives short history lessons as he walks viewers through his museum. One of the points that the museum attempts to get across (and does well) is the pervasive nature of the racist laws, caricatures, and violence against Black people across the United…

Read more

SHOW: Invisible Minorities

A one-hour lecture on the history of discrimination against Asian people in America and how the model minority myth still exists and is used as a wedge between the Asian and Black communities.

Read more

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