Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae has responded to the Twitter dragging he received over a recent interview he had with Pastor Louie Giglio in which Giglio said whites ”miss the blessing of slavery.”
The rapper, born Lecrae Devaughn Moore, appeared with the Passion City Church leader and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy during an online service on June 14 to have an open conversation about racism. That talk ended with Lecrae having to thank his fans for “acknowledging the pain and frustration” that they felt while watching the discussion and what initially was perceived as his subsequent agreement with Giglio.
“First of all I want you to know I wasn’t OK with it,” he said in a video message he shared on Twitter. “Even as I sat there I was very uncomfortable and I was processing ‘What do I say in light of this?’ “
The rapper was initially taken aback by the pastor’s comments, and credits his response at the time to being ‘shocked.’ “When I heard the words ‘White Blessing’ come out of Giglio’s mouth, I was stunned,” he told Atlanta Black Star. “In fact, shocked. I was like, ‘Whoa!’ wait a minute, this is taking a turn. I did respond to it but not as strongly as I should have in retrospect and I acknowledge that. I just participated in the protest in Atlanta the day before and I went into that meeting hot and knowing that I would need to temper myself. It took every bit of me to keep my composure after hearing what was said.”
Regarding the backlash from fans, he said he felt “the pain of so many people”, but also acknowledged that it’s easy to get the wrong message when you don’t have the full context of a situation. “My reaction to the backlash is that sometimes when you see a clip of a conversation it’s easy to make a quick judgment without the full context. I did respond and that response should have been stronger and more immediate, yes but the backlash was a reaction of seeing just the clip.”
Lecrae went on to explain that he had two additional conversations with Giglio, one right after the discussion and another on June 15 to let him know his perspective on the comments.
“Our subsequent conversation was about a myriad of different things,” he told us. “There were so many awkward cringe-worthy and uncomfortable moments. I assumed from our initial conversation that he was more well-versed and coming from the standpoint of bringing restoration and healing into the narrative but from that experience, it was clear that there is still much that he doesn’t understand. It’s going to take years of work and a lifetime commitment, not just a conversation on stage in front of thousands to change that mindset.”
During the original conversation on Sunday, June 14, Giglio broke down why he feels the term white privilege should instead be referred to as “white blessing.”
“We understand the curse that was slavery; white people do, and we say ‘That was bad,’ but we miss the blessing of slavery,” said Pastor Giglio. “That it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in,” he explained, speaking almost solely to Lecrae.
“And so a lot of people call this ‘white privilege’ and when you say those two words it just is like a fuse goes off for a lot of white people because they don’t want someone to tell them to check their privilege,” he continued. “I know that you and I have both struggled in these days with ‘Hey, if the phrase is the trip up, let’s get over the phrase and let’s get down to the heart. Let’s get down to what do you then want to call it?’ and I think maybe a great thing for me, is to call it ‘white blessing.'”
As the video made its way across the internet, fans came down on Lecrae for his demeanor during the explanation and felt he immediately should have spoken against the pastor’s opinion as opposed to appearing to agree, only slightly nodding his head as Giglio spoke.
Pastor Giglio has since apologized for his use of the term as well, saying that “white privilege is real,” which Lecrae feels was sincere, but will wait to see whether or not the Passion City Church leader will back his words up with actions.
“I think his apology is sincere, but I also cannot gauge a person’s motives,” said the artist. “I think he wants to step into this issue, but in truth, the true sincerity of his apology should be followed up with lifelong action. That’s how we are all able to see the sincerity of people after the apologies. What do they do next? What is their lifetime commitment to changing their mindset but also those of others?”
Lecrae also feels that white and Black churches have their respective roles to play in today current racially tense climate. “The church, specifically, the white church, needs to fall back a little and listen. Find experts to come speak who can help bring clarity. The fallacy is believing that because you’re a great leader that you can lead in all spaces. It’s just not true. You need to come with an open mind, a clean heart, ready to listen, learn, and then take action.”
“The Black Church and its leadership are the cornerstone of activation and planning historically and they need to resume that role,” he explained. “We need that spiritual foundation to strengthen us, a leadership grounded in God to give the people hope as we pursue justice. We all need all the encouragement and hope to make change in this society.”