#158 – Real Talk about Relationships: Racism and Social Justice

#158 – Real Talk about Relationships: Racism and Social Justice

“What is it that black people want?”  That’s a question that I hear all the time. “I’m not a racist”. That’s another statement that I hear.  What should a person know if they really want to love their brother or sister when it comes to the topic of racism and social justice?

Ashley and Irons and I have a tough conversation about what people may think love another means in the context of the color conversation. What I know is true? Tough conversations between girls of different colors and even girls of the same color may not be simple but they are needed conversations on a variety of levels.

Ashley is one of three co-hosts on the podcast We Talk Different, a podcast on culture, race, ethnicity, gender, politics, and theology. She and her co-hosts have created a space where Christians of different backgrounds and view points can talk about the hard stuff with the decision made to speak truth in love.

Because I continue to hear comments from both my black and white siblings in Jesus and beyond about their lack of clarity about how to handle the race issue, this conversation is worth continuing. Ashley and I have spoken before.  In our last episode together, we tackled the conversations our white friends were asking. However, on this episode, we go beyond the questions on the surface to dig deep and deal with difficult issues and questions to which there are no clear answers.


This is a conversation that Ashley and I started at my kitchen table.  I sat scratching my head, trying to understand maybe what I should have a deep understanding of but honestly do not.  Call it my personal experience.  Call it my socioeconomic privilege. Call it the lighter hue of my skin.  Even within the black community, one cannot assume that the knowledge from one to another is on parity. So we certainly cannot assume that outside of a race of people there is broad based understanding.

What I do know is that this conversation is not an easy one.  It is not a “one and done” type of conversation.  It is ongoing.  With every conversation I have, even as I sit and listen and scratch my head, I grow in my understanding and get a broader view on how the part I can play to systemically dismantle racism.

Highlights from Today’s Episode:

  • Racism defined
  • Difference between prejudice, implicit bias, and racism
  • The role of history and power dynamics in racism
  • What can be done by an individual to affect institutional impact
  • What makes the American race situation different than other social justice causes

Resources From Today’s Show 

 ==> General Links 

Let’s Talk!

After you’ve listened to the podcast, I’d love to continue the conversation. Be sure and leave a comment!

  1. Did this conversation make the hair rise on the back of your neck? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think it’s hard to have the race conversation at this deep level?
  3. What is a question you have about the race conversation for which you have yet to get a clear answer?

Connect with me…

How to Listen to The Podcast

If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. They are perfect to listen to and learn from as you workout, fold laundry, wash dishes or conquer the world.

1. Listen right here on the blog. Click the little play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play! – Be sure and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Also, if you would be so kind as to leave a rating on iTunes and/or write a 2-3 sentence review there or on Stitcher?  Your commentary or rating helps make the podcast more “findable” by others who might not know it exists!

3. Share today’s show –   Email the link to a friend or share on social media. Just click on the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post!

You have been so great to join me on the journey here on the blog, I hope you jump right in and do the same on the podcast!

By |2018-02-27T13:39:09+00:00February 26th, 2018|Family, Podcast|29 Comments
Faith Family Food and Fitness Fun Fun
About the Book


  1. Contessah Davis February 27, 2018 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Oh my! This was like a giant loaded bake potato! I looks and smells delicious! You indulge BUT you can’t finish from getting FULL!
    That’s the best way to discribe this podcast!

    I enjoyed listening to this!! The sentiments of my heart and mind were spoken today, (on both ends) as well as the truth in the fact that many us are ignorant of our history… I’ve been feeling quite ashamed. However, I have given time to research a little. I bought a book two weeks ago called “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” and let me tell you!!!! Carter Godwin Woodson comes out the gate with educating the reader.

    This was such a thought provoking listen!
    Thank you ladies!

  2. Lori February 27, 2018 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    It is annoying to me to listen to this as a Black woman and have all the questions and complaints raised without any possible solutions. How is the answer of pondering this any different from me allowing Jesus to change me? And if there is no difference, then the solution will come over time and stop finger pointing. Our so-called leaders who have been placed in positions of power have not helped our community, but instead, help themselves.

    We live in a free country and can with God’s help become all the we want to, e.g. President of the U.S. I don’t like making excuses because we can do all things in Christ now because we are free. Like Crystal, I am more bothered about slavery, sex-trafficking, persecution of Christian brethren around the world.

    • Ashley Irons February 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Lori! Ashley Irons here 🙂 So glad you listened to this conversation Chrystal and I had. As I’m sure you can tell, this conversation was very broad sweeping in its approach, more of a shot-gun approach. There was so much to talk a about and still so much more to discuss. My hope is to give an entry point into American History that affects our daily lives, that without a commitment to learning that history, we can live unaware of our true present day realities and their origins.

      Above all, I hope the same dedication we show towards other global social justice issues can be applied to an issue that has yet to be fully rectified, much less acknowledged, which is racism. The same dedication we have to speak the truth in love about sex trafficking is what is needed in conversations about race in America.

      Though I didn’t outline a point by point solution, I did however offer one: abandoned willful ignorance. It’s a suggestion to all, black and white, Christian and non-Christian, all extremes of the political landscape, and its an invitation to start engaging the truth I love.

      Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m truly grateful for the dialogue ☺️

  3. Lori February 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    This sounds like a disagreement within a marriage where one spouse doesn’t tell the other one what is the problem in the relationship and what they can do to make it better. I am not a fan of PC as it keeps us from not truly sharing who we are with each other which allows a transfer of real thoughts and feelings both ways as opposed to a one-way lecture which causes people to shut down.

    We need to remain a country of free speech so that we can continue to share the “offensiveness” of the Gospel to the world which grows increasingly opposed to the message.

  4. Shannell Abner February 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    I think this a great start for a giant of a topic and very large conversation. Racism is so complex and the roots are so deep individual views will vary. As a young 32 year old African American woman I my self find lots of internal battles and struggles. I spent the first half of my life growing up in the south full of rich deep seeded cultural rather you agree with the history or not it’s there and obvious unapologeticly. And then mid with through addulenses I was up rooted and moved to sunny Southern California where it’s nationally known to be very liberal. ( you’d be surprised to actually find out just how conservative it actually is) Nonetheless add in the ” I was born in a pew” factor and as you can imagine have find myself with many mixed emotions as it pertains to race and racism. Today was a great start to a conversation that should have actually ( and to some small degree did in past history) start with the church. The fact still remains today that the church is one of the largest racially divide sectors of society period. Thanks Crystal… I’d love to hear a diverse panel discussion of believers on this one.

  5. Lori February 27, 2018 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    God placed the Israelites in slavery, and then freed them all on His own. If I were white, I would just do my best to live my life according to Jesus’ teaching just as I do as a Black woman now.

    Everyone hasn’t been called to the same ministry. I don’t like the emphasis on “white people need to…” Not all white people are Christian just as for other races. Christians have a duty to follow Christ and be an example to the world.

    Black Lives Matter is NOT Christian and it’s underlying principles undermines Biblical principles. Jesus is the center, not Blackness nor any other movement or social issue that means more to us.

    All women, not just black women in “Hidden Figures”, were not treated equal. It wasn’t lost on God that women were not treated equally, thus Jesus elevating them in that society. So, if I am to follow Jesus, I can, on a personal level, treat others with dignity and respect and looking out for their interests and not just my own. So, we should treat white people as individuals and not a collective when it comes to the call for justice, just as we like to be treated as individuals and not a collective.

  6. Jodi February 27, 2018 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Chrystal, thank you so much for this podcast! It has certainly got me thinking and made me want to do some soul searching and independent research.

    • Ashley Irons February 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Jodi! Thanks listening!

  7. Mel M. February 27, 2018 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    I’m one who struggles with this topic. But I agree it’s one of many conversations that need to take place. I believe there are issues on both sides that need to be addressed and, as a 35 year old white female, it often feels like we are between a rock and a hard place.
    Before I got any further, please hear my heart. You can’t read tone, nor hear the love something is spoken through, or questioned in. I’m a girl who is in love with Jesus, and my heart is in the place of wanting to see peace. I believe whole-heartedly in being a peacemaker, as that’s who God calls us to be. So please don’t take what I’m about to say as an attack or anything other than someone wanting to bring a different perspective, who genuinely wants to understand deeper, and who wants to work towards a solution for both sides!
    I’m the wife of a Law Enforcement officer. So to hear about Black Lives Matter stings a little. It does so because of those who are using BLM for the wrong (and extreme) way; those who are attacking and murdering my law enforcement family simply because of a Badge and the few rotten apples who give the 99% of the good ones a bad name. I tend to agree with “ALL Lives Matter” because I think there is a deeper issue of the value of human life in our country. I understand why they are saying BLM, but it would seem the extremes of BLM is causing the divide to be deeper by choosing to call it by that name. That’s why you see people on the other end of the spectrum who are trying to start White Lives Matter. Then called racist for doing so. If we (white people) truly aren’t prejudice, but genuinely loving others, we are accused of loving them because of the color of their skin. If we don’t choose someone for a job because they don’t have the qualifications needed, then we are accused of not hiring them because of the color of their skin. If my husband pulls over a car for speeding, he is accused of doing so because of the color of their skin, despite the fact the windows were darkly tinted, and it was after the sun went down. This happens too many times to count.
    I speak from someone who lives in the Law Enforcement segment – the “black” crime rate is much higher than others, at least in our area. And I will go so far to say – 90% of the people who run from my husband are black. But a white officer who tries to enforce the law is accused of being racist by people saying they are being targeted because of the color of their skin. This despite the crimes they commit and their lack of respect for authority. (Which is rampantly spreading in our society in every culture).
    My heart longs for peace, but I can’t help but feel like I’m in a “no win” situation. If I don’t agree with what they are saying, I’m racist. If I have a different opinion, I’m racist. If I don’t believe in police brutality, I’m racist. Even the officers who have been found innocent in these purported “brutality” crimes are still crucified in the media/society, then (at times) even accused of “white privilege” rather than there being justification and innocence behind their actions. I know not all officers are innocent. But that’s every thing in our lives. There will always be those who give others a bad name. There are “bad seed” politicians, preachers, teachers, etc.But those select few get broad brushed across the entire crowd. Enough so that we have celebrities, who our future generations look up to, taking a knee to try and prove a point.
    I love what Dr. Martin Luther King said. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only Love can do that.”
    I think he had the right approach. We have to find a way to unite people over this topic.
    I do believe people truly want to find a happy medium and to be united once again. But we have people taking it to the extreme on each side who are making hard to have loving, heart to heart conversations on how to truly address the issues. It’s my opinion, but I feel both sides need to take responsibility for their actions in forcing the divide to be deeper, and start coming to a mutual ground to truly hear and understand from both sides. But where does it start, and stop? (the divide?) And what can we truly do to make a difference? I want to be a difference maker!
    Thank you for sharing your hearts with us. And thank you for allowing us a voice, as well. I’m anxious to hear future conversations on this topic. *hugs*

  8. Candice February 27, 2018 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Honestly I was lost. Before coming to OCBF I went to a very mixed Presbyterian church and we had deep conversations about race all the time that weren’t difficult. My pastor was big about making it known that white privilege does exist and was removed from many different predominantly white boards for his viewpoints. Me and my church members weren’t just friends we were family. And though we weren’t blind to are differences we celebrated them and respected them. God is so much bigger and I believe just as He gave Moses the way out of Egpyt, only He can lead us to the solution for the current problems we face. And I think looking to obtain more knowledge often confuses things. If God commands us to love and we do, then we have done more than alot of people have. This poem was laid on my Spirit in 2016: As I meditated on God’s Word upon my bed, God brought to mind something that my Pastor said. He spoke of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:22, and we can learn alot from her, me and you. You see her strength and faith within was not held back by her place of origin. She wasn’t offended by what Jesus said or how He saw her, she was just desperate to save the life of her daughter. And she knew that Jesus held the key and got on her knees in humility. And because of her willingness to press, her journey to save her daughter was a success. I wonder black people if we stopped being so offended, but truly humble ourselves and pray, not getting caught up in what ignorant people do and say. I wonder could we then see, the work of the true enemy. Because ignorance comes in all colors and shades, black brothers calling each other nigger during a game of spades. But when an ignorant white man says the same thing, we want to get all mad and start shooting. That is confusion my sisters and brothers, and a slap in the face to our fathers and mothers. That is not the vision that was delivered to Martin Luther King, because he would have no part in this thing. Am I saying we should not fight for justice, NO. Even Moses cried out LET MY PEOPLE GO! But before that He was commissioned by the great I AM, not by what he saw through the lens of a cam. Am I saying that we should stand by and do nothing, No. I am saying we need to seek the One who knows where we need to go. It’s time for us to put pride to the side and humble our hearts and pray, stop wasting our time with that whip and nae, nae. Not saying I am above having some fun, but it’s time for us to focus on the Son. The One who gave His life to save us all, so let’s not be a stiff-neck generation, yall! He can deliver us from the state we are in, He already gave us the keys to conquer sin. This nation doesn’t have to put us in jail, this is not simply a system fail. This is a a fight for us to be saved from hell, a place where there is no bail. Remember Paul, he went to jail too, but he knew that God had something there for him to do. He knew that all things worked for the good, and if we truly put God 1st we would. Not writing this for likes or shares but for anyone who has an ear and cares.

  9. Scott Rodriguez February 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing, as always. I’m still adamant that the endgame to this engineered chaos we speak of is to “sow discord among brethren” and to compromise “the cause of Christ.” But one thing we followers of Jesus Christ are clear about…”we know what we’re given”… including the fact that some things won’t come together until Messiah returns. Until then, we follow Our Teacher …wherever He takes us… Meanwhile, thanks again and stay on the way.

  10. Erika Crawford February 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    I have spent this conversation nodding my head “Amen” continuously, wanting to applaud, wanting to praise dance, and feeling tears coming on. This is the start of a conversation and inner dialogue that we all need to have.

  11. J D February 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    So when are we going to stay focused on the fact that racism, prejudice, and discrimination is sin. As a Christian black woman, i am concerned when we dont deal with the fact that brokeness and evil is behind hating and/or even treating someone poorly or just differently based off the color of their skin. That is inherently evil. And i think we talk about more about the horrible fruit of injustice instead of the root. So yes ancillary issues need to be addressed, but the root is the enemy, and we tend to fight people vs the devil. That same enemy is behind divorce, the percentage of children born in single parent homes, sexual abuse, redefining marriage, domestic violence, addiction, anger, rage, violence, and the list goes on…
    I need us to have honest real conversations, but as believers we cant spend more time on the problems than the solutions which is Christ and His Word

  12. Helen February 28, 2018 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Praise God!
    Candice nailed it……I would say listen to her.
    I agree with her wholeheartedly.

  13. Candice February 28, 2018 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Still chewing on this one. And if I’m really honest more people of my own color have been unjust to me than those in my white family. We need some research on that injustice…..

  14. Candice February 28, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Just remembering one of the deep conversations we had at my previous church about how white slave masters and owners did sick things like making slaves commit incest with each other then tearing apart the families. Sadly these things have perpetuated in black families today but those things we don’t like to talk about. Yes there has been alot of hurt but we have to deal with the big root and stop just hitting at the fruit and calling it doing something, because that is giving birth to wind and accomplishing nothing but more confusion.

  15. Crystal Williamson February 28, 2018 at 10:52 am - Reply

    This podcast frustrated me-If I can speak honestly, I feel like I just learned that I cannot as a Southern, white woman ever get it right.
    So I will keep praying for wisdom as I walk forward. Searching my heart and knowing that God sees my motive, my thoughts, and my intention in every relationship I have with my friends and the people I come into contact with.
    Thank you Chrystal for your Podcast-I really do love it and your honesty and the way you challenge me. I will go back and listen to this again; and maybe gain another perspective.

    • Chrystal Hurst March 2, 2018 at 7:11 am - Reply

      Please don’t be frustrated. I do understand how listening to this podcast might make you feel this way. The main thing is to ask God to show you what you can do and trust that he will. Even as a black woman, this conversation is big for me. Am I black enough? Do I speak about the topic enough? Is my experience resonating with that of my brothers and sisters of color? So while for different reasons, I get the frustration of not being exactly sure what to do. You listened. That’s a great first step.

      • Crystal Williamson March 2, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

        Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. May God Bless you Chrystal-you, Priscilla and your Daddy have an annointing that touches this “white girl’s” soul!
        Praying for healing for you as well.
        Again, God Bless

  16. Ugo February 28, 2018 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Interesting discussion. Still gives me a headache.

  17. Melanie March 1, 2018 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    This was an excellent podcast—very thorough and extremely timely. Several of us in our predominantly white church met just this week with our pastor to discuss what we could do as non-black Christians to combat white/majority privilege. We discussed actions we could take and how we should speak about injustice more from the pulpit as well as in our personal interactions. Our pastor is eager to speak out even more as well as help our members take meaningful action. Racism has been the most upsetting social problem to me my entire life. Thank you, Ashley, for sharing with us. I pray many listeners began their education on systemic racism listening to this podcast, will continue to learn, and take steps to improve the status quo. Chrystal always asks thoughtful questions in her podcasts, and I love how she presses for further clarification with follow-up questions. You two performed some invaluable work for our country and God’s kingdom with this. Again, thank you!

    • Chrystal Hurst March 2, 2018 at 7:08 am - Reply

      Thanks for listening Melanie! Praying that God leads your Pastor and church as you work towards shining His light in this area.

      • Melanie March 3, 2018 at 12:07 am - Reply

        Yes! I will be sharing this podcast with all who attended that meeting. I am praying for you, your health, and your family and have been for a long time. With your new book and speaking going so well, it would be just like the evil one to assault you and yours with upsetting distractions, particularly during this time. The Lord is using you mightily!

  18. Jonita Joseph March 2, 2018 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Finally 🙂 two thoughts. As a black conservative (I was an evangelical a few months ago until a discussion with my husband) I have found that many evangelicals do not believe in systemic racism either they deny it or the effects; or they are ignorant to it. For example, I hear, “there are black and white churches because our of our stylistic differences”. Negative. There are white and black churches because of jim crow and the whites in churches took part. 2) evangelicals are not encouraged to take part in Social justice issues but rather moral or ethical issues. For example, abortion- which is murder, marriage- which is God ordained, etc…. However I am convinced that racism is in fact a gospel issue that demands a gospel answer. There is a real reconciliation that must occur. My husband and I are involved with several white pastors- dear friends- on this very issue being a gospel issue. Thus it should be discussed biblically from the pulpit. For example, Pastor Thabiti a popluar preacher, does a great exposition on Galatians 5. He has open my eyes to the fact that race is unbiblical in the sense of people are described by ethinicy or as a people group in the bible (every tongue/nation) race is a social construct deveolped for unjust purposes. Our answer should be different than the worlds but it is not silence. Let me say that again. It is not silence, but it is also not humanistic social cries for the worlds version of justice. Rasicm is sin- let that sink in. The bible calls for repentance and reconciliation. We offer practical steps for our friends and see it as a ministry opportunity. Let us walk this out y’all. Love and Grace and Truth.
    Jonita Joseph

  19. Mary March 2, 2018 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you ladies for sharing this conversation. I appreciate it so much.

    I really appreciated the book “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson in helping me understand the roots of systemic racism and the formation of country (written in a very engaging story). Also helpful was “Lies my Teacher Told Me” to help fill in my understanding of American history. I am still sorting out what all this means in my own city and politics.

    I also appreciate the education I’ve gotten from the Be the Bridge community. Their “Whiteness 101” material was really helpful.


    • Mary March 2, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Maybe I can add too, for people who feel overwhelmed by the problem and don’t know what they can do personally, that we are the BODY of Christ, and any work that God does will be what we do together. So, yes, we should individually ask God what we can do to be anti-racist, but also look for what God is already doing in our communities and churches, and ask where we can join.

  20. Calvonia Radford March 2, 2018 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    This conversation is a breath of fresh air. We do not address the elephant in the room enough. We sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist. For example, my daughter who is African American is foster-adopting a little white girl She posted a picture on social media addressing some issue with hair and said #blackmomwhitedaughter. She was reprimanded and told not to highlight that she was black and her daughter was white. So, my daughter asked her daughter if she understood that they were not the same color. It doesn’t effect their love for one another but in reality they are different. Different skin color, hair texture, culture …….and it’s okay. We’ll educate ourselves and learn so we can live together. I think that’s all you are asking us to do today. Educate ourselves about those who are different than us and learn so that we can live together.

  21. Melissa March 26, 2018 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Such a great discussion! It left me feeling a little confronted as one black person that is not really educated about my or American history. With the recent incident in Sacramento, I’m even more determined to become educated to see how I can help and also inform my 3 young Black sons. Speaking of which, Crystal, you mentioned that it is important to educate our children whether you home school or not on black history. So my question is, I just started homeschooling my children, and I want to know where would I start in educating them about black history while making sure that the information that they’re learning has not been edited to remove the truth?

    • Chrystal Hurst March 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      That’s a good question. One that I’m working to seek the answer to. Honestly, as we learn, we share. I would start with the list of items that Ashley provided as resources and then listen to Truth’s Table — another eye-opening podcast.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.