The grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson can mean only one thing: America’s racist god is back and thirsty for more blood. University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler introduced many of us to this god after George Zimmerman was found not guilty, writing that America’s god is “a white racist god” who is “carrying a gun and stalking young black men.”
For a professor, Butler’s not much into debate and dialogue, at least outside of class. (You might remember when she doubled down on her assertion that the maker of that anti-Islam YouTube video that, um, sparked that spontaneous Benghazi protest should be imprisoned.) So, she alerted Twitter that her thoughts on the grand jury announcement would be reserved for the Religion Dispatches blog. Fair enough.
Here’s a taste of what Butler has been teasing.
America’s racist god requires black people’s blood to atone for the sins committed by its followers. This time, the blood shed in sacrifice to this god of white supremacy was Michael Brown’s. Darren Wilson, an agent of that god, was vindicated. For his reward, he is showered with blood money from other followers of the racist god.
While I still believe that the nation is obsessed with a punitive Christianity, I would add that white supremacy linked to an American theology of atonement means that brown and black bodies will always be sacrificed, whiteness is the standard, and that the thirst for power and blood is never slaked, never ending. White supremacy always demands the shedding of blood to assert its divinity.
Sounds clear enough to us. Just one question: would America’s racist god deign to drink the blood of much-maligned CNN anchor Don Lemon?
(Hat tip: David)