With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America
by Susan K. Williams Smith
Publication Date: Oct 12, 2020
List Price: $23.99
Format: Paperback, 248 pages
Imprint: Judson Press
Publisher: Judson Press
Parent Company: American Baptist Churches USA
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- Why have our foundational documents failed people of color?
- Can those whom a nation has considered we the problem ever become we the people ?
- What will it take to reclaim the transforming and affirming power of God and government to secure liberty and justice for all?
In this provocative new book from prophetic preacher and pastor Susan Williams Smith, the author tackles the truths that the church in the United States has long held to be self-evident-that ours is one nation under God, that our U.S. Constitution is (almost) as infallible as the Holy Bible, and that democracy and its principles of justice for all are sacrosanct and protected by both God and government. Yet, history and headlines alike expose the fallacy of those assumptions, particularly when viewed in the light of a national culture of white supremacy and systemic racial injustice. In fact, Smith argues, the two texts we count as sacred have not been merely impotent in eliminating racism; they have been used to support and sustain white supremacy. This important work examines how our foundational documents have failed people of color and asks the question, Can those whom a nation has considered "we the problem" ever become "we the people" who are celebrated in the Preamble to the Constitution? What will it take to reclaim the transforming and affirming power of God and government to secure liberty and justice for all?
A Cultural Divide
Sometimes, a system or an institution is so broken that it cannot be fixed; it must be dismantled and rebuilt. Because America has never owned its racism, cause its core to rot, it seems highly unlikely that racism will be dismantled as a social cancer unless and until the foundation is replaced. Even as the racial, ethnic, and religious diversity of this country increases, the number of people who use both the Bible and the Constitution to hold onto racial bigotry threatens America's survival … The prayer has to be that there are enough people who will read the history of how the church and the government have worked together over the four hundred years since Africans were brought to this country to block people of African descent from receiving fair treatment…