Jemar Tisby has appeared at Dordt University in Sioux Center twice.
Tisby is known as one of two of “the most dishonest liberals in public life,” according to Rod Dreher of The American Conservative.
Tisby has previously said:
“Admit the American church was built on white supremacy.”
Tisby also encourages churches to distribute reparations from church collections and to declare a “year of Jubilee” for black members.
Shortly after President Donald J. Trump was elected, Tisby wrote:
“Here it is, just the raw honest truth. I really, this Sunday, don’t feel safe worshipping with White People. Right now I feel betrayed by the church. I know for certain, that in many of the congregations I’ve been a member or worshipped in, there are folks who were overtly, outright, boldly Trump supporters who are happy right now. And I cannot emotionally bring myself to be comfortable with that.”
Tisby wrote one of two books more than 55 Dordt faculty, staff and employees are reading in order to “rewire for diversity.”
Tisby’s book, “How to Fight Racism, Courageous Christianity and the Journey toward Racial Justice” is one work being examined while Ibram X. Kendi’s book “How to be an Antiracist” is the other.
Tisby, a known race-baiter within the church, encourages people to write checks if they aren’t going to “completely shift” their disposition to take on racial justice and make it their life’s work.
“Then give us money,” he said. “If all you can do is write a check, then write that check.”
Tisby was asked if it is the responsibility of white churches or white-led denominations to pay reparations.
“Absolutely I do,” he said. “This strikes very close to home because I run a black Christian nonprofit. And I’ve been doing this since 2011, and to this day, we struggle raising money because we are black-focused.”
Tisby said white churches, white Christian ministries and white nonprofits “literally have multimillion-dollar budgets.”
“We are no less talented, we are no less passionate, and yet, the financial resources aren’t there,” he said. “I think the church ought to be the headlight on reparations, where you have many white Christians waiting around for the federal government to do something, which may or may not ever happen. In the meantime, why don’t you take action yourself? Why don’t you take action?
“Absolutely, I think reparations are due. I think financial support is due. And I think Christians should be leading the way, not waiting for a secular government or some other sector of society to set the example.”
Dordt professor Howard Schaap said he appreciates Tisby.
“For instance, he says the church must play an important role in racial justice because we’re guilty of racism and because we’ve got the larger story to explain why racial justice is important,” Schaap said. “He very much keeps the witness of the black church in view in the book, but he makes clear that if we really want to move the needle on racial justice, it will take action and sacrifice.”