Episode 40: Anti-Racism Leader Tim Wise

This episode is a live recording from a program at the New Baptist Covenant’s annual Summit back in October 2018. The New Baptist Covenant is an organization convened by President Jimmy Carter is 2007 to bring together traditionally black and white baptist groups to address racial justice and reconciliation. NBC’s featured speaker for the 2018 Summit was Tim Wise. After his address, George hosted a Good God conversation with him to debrief and dig deeper into his ideas.

Tim Wise is an anti-racism leader who happens to be a white Jewish male. He is a prolific writer and speaker, and hosts his own podcast, Speak Out. (Between Barack and a Hard Place, 2009; Colorblind, 2010; White Like Me, 2011; Dear White America, 2012; Under the Affluence, 2015)

He and George discuss the challenges of racism in America. Particularly, how are good-intentioned white people part of the problem, and how can they do something about it?

The full transcript is below. And the full video can be found here.

George: What can we learn about dismantling racism in our time? Well we can learn a lot from black activists who tell us about their experience. But there's also something to be learned from white activists, those who work against racism in our society. Tim Wise is just such a one, and he'll be with us on Good God. Stay tuned. Welcome to Good God, conversations that matter about faith and public life. This is a special edition from the New Baptist Covenant. We're here in Atlanta in October of 2018, and we're delighted to welcome Tim Wise.

Tim Wise: Thank you.

George: Tim, we're glad to have you with us.

Tim Wise: Good to be here.

George: Tim has just been regaling us with information that is explosive to many of us in terms of his perspective about the problems of racism and the challenges that we have going forward. Tim is an activist, an anti racism activist and a writer. He's written books like, White Like Me, and Under the Affluence, and Dear White People, and things like that. Tim, I wanna ask you a few things that your initial speech brought to bear, and there seem to be some ironies in all of this. So to begin with a very simple level, race doesn't really exist.

Tim Wise: Right.

George: It's a social construct. We have one race. It's the human race, right?

Tim Wise: Yeah.

George: But it's really quick for us then to move from that, especially when we're white people.

Tim Wise: Yeah.

George: To therefore the solution is color blindness.

Tim Wise: Right.

George: So what we want is a society in which color no longer matters, and yet that strategy always tends to work out better for us than for people of color.

Tim Wise: Sure.

George: So talk to us a little bit about how to recognize that while race itself doesn't exist per se except in our own minds, the path towards eradicating it is actually more about race consciousness than race unconsciousness.

Tim Wise: Right. Well first, a couple things. I should point out, my book is Dear White America. Dear White People's a really good T.V. show and a really good movie. I am not responsible. That's Justin Simeon, not me.

George: Okay. Alright, very good.

Tim Wise: As a black man created that, white folks take a lot of credit for stuff black folks did. I will not. I will not jack his T.V. show or his movie.

George: Very good.

Tim Wise: So there's that. The piece about the social construct, the way that I try to think about it, because for many years I've had people who've said that we should just let people know that race is not biologically real. And therefore racism is silly, and therefore that will solve the problem. But the problem with that as true as it is on a biological and genetic level, going back to my thing that I said during my talk about witches and the way that European history and the Colonial Period, we spent a lot of time fighting each other and chasing witches before we even turned our sights on people of color or around the same time. Witches weren't real either in any real functional, biological sense, but you know what? An awful lot of women and some men were persecuted on the assumption that they were engaged in witchcraft. So even if witches weren't a thing, anti witchism was definitely real, and so the same is true here.

Tim Wise: Race may not be real, but racism can be real if I give this concept the power of resource differentials. If I allow some on the basis of this phony thing, to accumulate more. The fact that it's phony doesn't make the assets phony. It doesn't make the deficit phony that others experience, so we can't rest on the fact that it's not real. That's an interesting fact that biologists and geneticists can by and large tell us, but it doesn't really deal with the social piece.

Tim Wise: Now as far as the color blindness versus color consciousness piece, Julian Bond, a much wiser man than I, passed a few years ago, said it best. He said, "To be blind to color is to be blind to the consequences of color and especially the consequences of being the wrong color in America." Meaning historically, if we're blind to the thing that is creating disadvantage for some and advantage to others, than by definition you can't solve that thing.

Tim Wise: The analogy that I would use, and again this is because it's just so easy to get our head around. If I were to say as an able bodied person temporarily, because I just turned 50, so things could happen any minute. As a temporarily able bodied person, if I were to say, "You know the solution to ableism," which is the term for discrimination against the disabled, " is just ability blindness, disability blind. Let's just be disability blind. Let's just not pay attention to people's disability." Well what happens if I don't pay attention to your disability? Let's say for instance, that you're in a wheelchair. Then what do I not do? Well I don't build ramps, and I don't make the doors wide enough for you to get through. 'Cause I'm not paying attention, 'cause it'd be wrong to pay attention to your disability. Let's not call attention to it. Let's ignore it. That's absurd.

Tim Wise: Or if I were to say, think about some invisible disabilities that people have. Dyslexia for instance, is a "disability". It's not something you'd know about someone unless they told you, or unless you were maybe their teacher. So if I'm being ignorant to that, if I'm not conscious of that disability or that differential ability perhaps is a better way to say it, than I'm not gonna do what? I'm not going to get you a reading specialist or someone who knows how to take folks who are dyslexic and get them up to speed in terms of what they need to know to read. We would never do it in that regard.

Tim Wise: We think about the deaf community. And I wanna differentiate the deaf community from the disabled community at large, because deaf folks are very clear that they have a culture that they believe not to be disabled, and so I don't wanna lump them in. The deaf community would say, "How are you gonna be ignorant of or not pay attention to our difference?" That means you're not gonna get sign language interpreters in our classrooms or at the events that we are going to in college, big lectures. We wouldn't do it there. But with race we act like that's the answer, and I think you hit on it when you said that it works out better for the dominant group. The dominant group doesn't have to think about it.

George: Right.

Tim Wise: These things that I've mentioned in my talk, the historic inequities accumulated precisely, because we were giving enough thought to the injustice of that. It's pretty absurd to think that by continuing to not think about it, all that's gonna vanish.

George: So you also said in your talk, you were talking about how David Duke, and Richard Spencer, and the people who marched in Charlottesville, and whatnot, they're really not the problem. They didn't create the structure of inequity and racial injustice in our country. That we're all complicit in that, so I wanna talk about this tricky thing about groupism you might say. Alright, so in one sense, we're saying, "Yes, they didn't do that, and yet all of us as white people are somehow implicated in this system."

Tim Wise: Right.

George: How is that different from when white people look at black people who are rioting, or who are doing things that we consider to be unlawful or some such, and then we say, "That's black people for you."

Tim Wise: Right, right.

George: I mean, "There they go again."

Tim Wise: Right.

George: Right? "And if black people would just?" So it seems like a double standard in terms of when we accept ourselves and when we blame people generally.

Tim Wise: I think the difference is one is a sociological assessment, and one is a characterological assessment.

George: Alright.

Tim Wise: So when I say that all white folks are implicated in a system of inequality, that's not a statement about white folk's character. It's not a statement about whether you're a good or a bad person. In fact, I will stipulate up front that I think most people, white, black, or otherwise are good people who at least want to do good.

George: Good people on both sides, Tim?

Tim Wise: I think most people are good. I think most people are decent human beings who wanna get it right, who don't wake up every day wanting to oppress. Those boys in Charlottesville I do not count among them. I do actually think that they wake up every day, seeking mostly to oppress and to denigrate, but the vast majority of white people are not like that. The vast majority of guys I don't think are like that. But it's a sociological statement that to be white in a system of white supremacy means that certain advantages will be conferred upon you, with or without your consent. So all of the examples that I gave, the wealth disparities, the unemployment disparities, criminal justice disparities. If some people are down because of discrimination or oppression, by definition, others must be up. That's not an issue of philosophy or politics. That's basic grammar. There can be no down without an up. This is just essential vocabulary. So if some are down, others are elevated above them, that means we're all implicated regardless of character.

Tim Wise: When white folks say about black folks, for instance, so if you look at differential crime rates, and I wanna be real specific keeping in mind for a minute, crime is defined by the people who have the power to define what is criminal. So a lot of negative and destructive behaviors that rich people, regardless of race, but disproportionately are white in this country, engage in, are just as destructive as what poor people do, but they're not criminalized. You get to sue them if you can find a lawyer, and if you have the time and money.

Tim Wise: It's like wage theft. If the employer steals 2000 dollars from you by not paying you your overtime, by not paying you the prep work when you helped set up the restaurant, by stealing your tips, you can't call the cops on your boss. You can sue your boss if you can find an attorney. The FBI estimates that wage theft is three times more money lost to that every year than all the street robberies combined. But if I steal 200 dollars out of the till in that restaurant where I work, you will call the cops. I will go to jail. So clearly, criminality is defined by those who have the power to define it, and they usually exempt themselves and people like them from the criminal code.

Tim Wise: Having said that, when we look at official crime rates it's true that the official crime rate among black folks is higher. Of course, we know 'cause studies in 32 countries have born it out that the reason for that is the correlation between socioeconomic status and criminal offending. But when white folks say about black people because of the higher crime rates, "Well that's just black people." That's not a sociological assessment they're making. They're actually making a judgment about the character, the choices, the value system, the culture, maybe even the genetics of those people. And when you push hard enough, they'll admit that. Like if I were to say, "Well because of socioeconomic factors, black folks are more likely per capita to commit crime." That's not a racist comment. That's a sociological comment. But when they say it, that's not what they're saying. Right? They are saying these people are essentially bad people, and that's why they do this.

Tim Wise: So I think that's the difference. One is a generalization about a group. The other is a generalization about a sociological reality which one is free to disagree with, and then we can discuss it, but it's not an attack on white people. It's an attack on whiteness and white supremacy. And there's always been white folks who fought white supremacy, and sadly there have been people of color who have collaborated with it, so it isn't about that.

George: So there are a lot of us in this room who are in predominantly white churches, and we do want to address matters like these from our pulpits, and in our Sunday School classes, and in our communities. But when we do, there is a resistance that's not always malignant. I think people say that they feel attitudinally that they're not racist per se. But when we start to talk to them about how they are a part of a power dynamic, a system that they benefit by, a lot of folks sitting in our pews are not meaning to be dishonest, but they themselves feel pretty powerless. And I'm not saying that they feel like victims so much, but they don't see how they participate in the systems that benefit them. So what would you say to the 68 year old grandmother who just loves her kid and her grandkids and doesn't get where she is part of the problem?

Tim Wise: Well I think first it is important to acknowledge that people do feel powerless. And I think part of the genius of the system and the evil genius of the society in which we live in many ways, is that it's so good at tricking us into believing that we don't have power, that we withdraw from the world or we withdraw from trying to change it.

George: And we can withdraw.

Tim Wise: Yes, we can.

George: We have a benefit.

Tim Wise: And that's the best proof of power. That's the best proof of power.

George: Exactly.

Tim Wise: Is the fact that I actually can take a nap on this and historically have. You know, as a southerner whose family did include both those who owned slaves, and those who were abolitionists, and those who were neither and just sat on the sidelines, I always find it fascinating when folks like those in my family, some of them, would say, "But I didn't own slaves or we didn't own slaves." Well, yes. But if your family was here, then the question is what did they do? And they may not have been the ones who are actively perpetrating the evil, but they also weren't actively resisting it which is to say they were like most folks.

Tim Wise: Same during segregation. Most white folks during segregation where much more like my grandmother. They were not rich people, my mom's parents. They were not wealthy, Nashville, Tennessee. My grandmother was not a bigot. She was not one of the people who would've screamed at black children as they integrated a previously white school. But what she would do is sit at home and complain in the presence of my mother that she just, "I can't go downtown today and shop on the weekend at the department stores, because they're doing those sit ins." This is in February of 1960 after Greensboro when the sit ins hit Nashville, and that was her big beef. It was just like the inconvenience.

George: The inconvenience.

Tim Wise: Right?

George: Yeah, right.

Tim Wise: And so she wasn't powerful in the sense that we think of, but she was collaborating with the system by virtue of her silence. There's a power in silence. There's a power in action. And of course, there's also the power that she had along with my grandfather, to get house after house after house in neighborhoods where only they could live, and these were modest homes. These were like modest ranch homes in the 50s and 60s. My grandfather was civil service core of engineers and prior to that the military. You don't get rich in either of those gigs. But those were good solid middle class jobs that were largely off limits at that level to people of color, so there's power in that.

Tim Wise: So number one is to acknowledge that there are degrees of power, and just because one is not running the company or running the country, doesn't mean that there isn't a certain degree of power. Secondly, it's to recognize that even when one feels incredibly powerless, there's always something that we can do. If you think about the people that were so active in the Abolitionist Struggle, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, the Labor Movement. I mean the Labor Movement's a great example. These are working class and poor people, clearly "powerless" vis a vie the boss. But what if they had decided like, "Well. There's nothing I can do, so I'm just gonna take the 50 hour, 60 hours a week job, and the low pay, and the awful conditions." No. They decided in spite of their individual powerlessness, that collectively they could exercise power. So if you feel powerless, that's all the better reason to get with other people and try to figure out what do we do.

George: Okay. So there's a kind of organizing power that we can exercise in order to effect change. I wanna pick it up after the break here and pursue that a little more, because I think all of us are looking for solutions.

Tim Wise: Yeah.

George: Let's take a break, and we'll come right back.

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George: Welcome back, here with Tim Wise. And, Tim, we were talking about how white people do have the power collectively to organize themselves to do something about this, and I think this is one of the things that it seems to me is really important at this point. Black people didn't create this problem.

Tim Wise: Right.

George: We did.

Tim Wise: Yeah.

George: We broke it. We need to be willing to fix it, and part of that is taking responsibility for the fact that we are a part of this. There's all sorts of ways we tend to deflect our responsibility about it, and yet I think ultimately we can't rely upon electing a black President to solve this problem, right?

Tim Wise: Yeah, clearly.

George: Because we did, then we claimed that he didn't solve this. And we were more divided than ever, and that didn't work, so let's go back to the way things were. So I think one of the questions is if we acknowledge our power, and we begin to say we may not be able to change everything right now, but how can the church begin to make progress? How can white Christians of goodwill begin to make certain decisions that will impact generations since these things don't have immediate effect always? What would be some of those things?

Tim Wise: Well there are a couple of things, and they're actually very much about exegetical process both institutionally and individually. At the institutional level, I think the church, and I say this as a nice Jewish boy that has absolutely no authority to tell your church what to do other than the fact that you follow one of mine so there you go. What I would say institutionally for the church, and first time I ever said this in front of white church folk was I went down to Abilene, Texas which is very conservative, actually was voted the second most conservative town in America.

George: Whoa.

Tim Wise: I don't know what first is, but it must be really, very conservative. I went to Abilene Christian which is a Church of Christ School, and I do not mean United Church of Christ when I say that. It's David Lipscomb and Pepperdine before they were apostate and basically got kicked out of the family I suppose. So I'm at Abilene Christian, and they asked me that question. And I said, "Well you might wanna start by having a really soul searching discussion about the symbolism of your church, and the church more broadly, and the transmogrification of the first century Palestinian Jew who by definition would've had brown skin, who would've by definition been at least as dark as Yasser Arafat or Osama bin Laden if not darker, and ask why that imagery though it did exist in the early church and still does in certain iconography of the Catholic Church, why that is so lacking in the western tradition. Tell me what that's about and tell me what would be different if we were anthropologically honest? And I thought they were gonna run me out, but they'd already written the check. And it was fascinating to me as I watched them go, "What?" We need to start here, because you can't deal with I think, the modern reality of white supremacy and not understand the role that faith has played and the twisting of faith, the twisting of Scripture and the imagery.

George: Let me just pick up on that briefly. The Church of Christ, famously, and Baptists are part of that broad family you might say, have a tendency to favor New Testament over Hebrew Scriptures, Christian Scriptures, and to divorce those two traditions. And I think there's a lot to be said about the fact that when you do that, when you lose the rootedness of the Christian faith in the Jewish tradition. You replace it with an ideology and that ideology is whiteness by and large and so we become the true Israel because we've lost connection to Israel. A lot of racism I think is rooted in this kind of anti-Jewish sentiment that we don't realize just how connected all of these things are.

Tim Wise: Right. Well, an anti-Jewish sentiment that thinks it can paper over its anti-Jewishness by proclaiming love for a nation state of Israel rather than the people.

George: Absolutely right.

Tim Wise: Which I'm not impressed by personally. Like the people that told me I was going to hell when I was in elementary school, all sent money to plant trees in Israel and it didn't really help me, and to displace Palestinians which really didn't help me. But yes. I agree with all of that and I think number one is interrogating the iconography. Number two is doing what ... I'm sure many of you in the room have read Divided by Faith by Emerson and Smith. What those two scholars write about is the way that the white church and the black church, even when they share a theology, even when they share an eschatology, that there is this fundamental difference between the way that they come to the issue of racism. The white church by and large sees it as a matter of individual and personal sin and that the black church sees it as a matter of institutional sin and it's really hard to create community when you have these notions of sin that are so fundamentally different. So that's what I think the church needs to be talking about.

Tim Wise: Individually, and this is going to sound like real small ball stuff, like really minor league stuff, but I think this is incredibly important because sometimes that's what wins ballgames, right? Everybody's always swinging for the fences and not realizing that there's some other things you ought to be doing. When we think about how to fight racism individually, we tend to think of these huge things. Like fighting for public policy change, by protesting, and I'm all for that. I think we need to be in the streets and we need to be doing that. We need to be going to demonstrations and white folks in particular I think need to be showing up for black and brown lives and putting ourselves on the line in those demonstrations.

Tim Wise: I also realize that most people are not dispositionally inclined to go to protests. And by the way, that was true even in the '60s at the height of the protest movement. We have this absurd historical memory which makes us think everybody was in the streets in '63. Well, they weren't. The march on Washington was 225,000 people. That's a lot of people that didn't go, y'all. I mean that's a lot of people that did not go. Most people were never in the streets because most people, either because they're introverted or they're scared or whatever it is, they're not going to go out and protest but that doesn't mean they don't have something to do.

Tim Wise: What's that thing? I think part of it is if you really want to stay in the fight for the long haul which is, if you don't do that then you'll never come up with the solutions that might take you 5 years to find or 20 years to find, is we have to start with ourselves and build these concentric circles outward. What I mean by that is we have to start by re-imaging our story as white people. I mean that on a quite literal level. Part of the reason white supremacy stays in place is not because the facts are on the side of white supremacy. It's not just because the guns have been on the side of white supremacy although that helped. It is that the storytelling and the narrative has been in the hands of white supremacy.

Tim Wise: If the narrative that we tell about our country and about ourselves reinforces white supremacy, then we can't be surprised when that's what we get. Here's what I mean. What's the story we tell about our county? Well, that America was founded by and settled by these people who were looking for freedom and they were breaking away from the British Crown and coming so they could exercise religious liberty and have freedom of all this. If you believe that, which is by the way just not true. I mean it's just fundamentally not true. They were the losers of Europe and I mean that in all love and respect. We were the losers of Europe. The winners ...

George: Or we would have stayed.

Tim Wise: The winners don't get on the boat. That's the point. The winners don't leave. The winners are winning. Why would the winners leave? The winners have no reason to get on the boat and take a chance. They're doing fine. That's why they're winning, right? People that were on the Mayflower ... Don't be bragging about that. You know who wasn't on the Mayflower? The king, that's who wasn't on the Mayflower. Nobody the king really wanted to keep around was on that ship or any of the ships that came. So we ought not be so haughty about that. We need to realize we came for land. We came for stuff which is no different than what immigrants today come from but we tell ourselves this story and then that allows us not to see them in us and us in them and to make these moral distinctions about Mexicans and Hondurans and Guatemalans and Sri Lankans and people from the African continent because we think they're coming to take advantage but we had noble motives.

Tim Wise: So number one we've got to re-imagine our story because it's not helping create justice but also our personal story. The thing that is so dangerous and so insipid about white supremacy in this country is that unlike any other country where it has existed perviously in some form, we've really perfected it with an ideology of not only whiteness as superior but we also blend that with the ideology of meritocracy and rugged individualism. So if you think about what is the secular gospel of this country, what is Genesis 1:1 of the bible of Americanism?

Tim Wise: Genesis 1:1 of the bible of Americanism is you can be anything if you just work hard enough and if you didn't make it, it's your own fault. You should have worked harder. That's essentially the creation story that we tell. Well, if I believe that about myself, forget the society, if I believe that about me and I am encouraged am I not, to believe that way. If I've made it. If I've been sort of successful, I'm encouraged to really sort of feel good about myself and when someone else hasn't to sort of judge them for their lack of effort, their bad values, their cultural depravity, their bad choices, their irresponsibility.

Tim Wise: If I come to believe it and it is so intoxicating. It is so alluring because a) it lets me off the hook for other people's problems and it builds me up, man. So psychologically this is the perfect circle to keep white supremacy in place, class, inequality, sexism. All of the isms, all of the inequalities become rational because I can look around and I can go, "Well, these black folks are down here and these white folks are mostly up here. Must be because we're better. I can see men here and women here. Well, it must be because women don't want to work as hard. I see rich people here. I justify their wealth. I see poor people of whatever color here. I justify their lack of." We've got to re-imagine our own story. Start telling the truth, what I would call radical humility. The idea that we've got to start being honest with ourselves. Taking inventory of our lives.

Tim Wise: They always tell addicts, the fourth step I think in the 12. I'm not in a 12-step but I think it's step four, is taking a radical, moral inventory of yourself. Now, I don't want to use the addiction model completely for white supremacy because it's overused but there are commonalities. We are somewhat addicted to the notion of white supremacy and this narrative. I feel like a radical moral inventory means that we've got to be honest about how we got from the womb to where we are today and all the steps that took place that weren't about us, that weren't about hard work, that weren't about effort. Not to say we didn't work hard, not to say we didn't put forth effort.

Tim Wise: My great-grandfather who came here from Russia in the early 1900s worked 18 hours a day, typical hardworking Jewish immigrant. I get it. What I also get is that he was able to come at a time when non-Europeans were not by and large able to and he was able to get jobs off the boat in New York City that black folks had been taken out of for 30 years by the time he stepped on the shore. It can be both at once. I want us to acknowledge the help that we've had both because of whiteness, because of maybe class privilege that we were born into. Maybe because we're men. Maybe because we're straight. Maybe because folks are Christian in a Christian-dominated society. Maybe because you're able bodied, or maybe just because you had some luck.

Tim Wise: Because we've all had those people, have we not, who came into our lives. This goes for successful people of color as well. They know it though, that's the difference. Successful black and brown folks are real clear on the people that came into their lives that made a difference and we want to own it for ourselves. But black and brown folks go like, "No, I had a mentor who did this. I had somebody in third grade that believed in me when nobody else did." We need to be that radically humble and if we do that ... the beauty of getting clear on that ... I was told to do that in the early '90s when I started doing this by folks in New Orleans at the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond.

Tim Wise: They wanted to know why I cared so much and I gave them some appropriately political radical answer right out of a book. I think I told them, "Well, you know, an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And they were like, "Yeah, that one's taken. Go back to the drawing board and try again." And so I had to sit down and I had to think about and I did 15 pages of stuff going all the way back to my childhood, earliest memories where race had been implicated in everything. And then where luck had been implicated, just dumb luck, just stuff that serendipity. At first it was frightening because you realize number one, I don't control my own narrative. That's upsetting.

Tim Wise: Number two, if I had good luck that means I could have bad luck. Nobody wants to admit good luck because then things could go south and get bad. But we have to own that because if we do it ... Not only because humility is a good look on us, that's number one. But more importantly if I have that radical humility it makes it virtually impossible to look down on someone else because I really understand that but for a number of things, I could be them, they could be me. If we start telling that stories to our families, to our colleagues every time someone brings up, "Well, if they would just do this da-da-da-da-da, that's when we can say, "Well, actually all those bad choices that you're saying they make, I've done a lot of that. I've made some of those choices."

Tim Wise: I tell stories all the time. I wait until the statute of limitations has expired but I tell stories all the time in my books and in my speeches about criminal things that I've done. Most of it was drug-related stuff when I was younger. Some of it was other stuff, nothing violent but stuff that ... I mean, I tallied it up and at one point I realized that if I had been arrested for all of these things, the combined amount of years in prison that I could have done for the things that I had done and gotten away with precisely because I wasn't suspected of doing them and therefore I wasn't caught, was like a good 35 or 40 years in prison that I could have done.

Tim Wise: Now, when I owned that, that doesn't mean like, "Oh, I'm going to flog myself", but it just means I want to be honest about why I'm here and how I'm here. Once I do that how can I then when I see somebody being marched off to jail on the nightly news, how can I sit there and go, "Pssh, well of course."

George: Well Tim, we have to wrap up this portion of our conversation and ...

Tim Wise: Sorry, I've said a lot.

George: It's okay. We'll have some conversation with the audience in just a moment but for the sake of Good God, let me say thank you for what you've offered. It does seem to me that when you talk about radical humility, we have within our church tradition and our religious traditions generally, the resources for us to recognize that this is not about deserve. This is about grace and about being honest with ourselves. If we do so, we could forge a new way of understanding ourselves and our communities. Thank you for the conversation.

Tim Wise: You bet.

George: Appreciate you being on Good God.

Tim Wise: Thank you. You bet. Thank you.

Audience: Applause.

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