Texas Preachers In Hot Holy Water After Throwing Up Gangs Signs And Posing With Fake Guns In Twitter Pic

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is apologizing after posting what many people deemed a racist image that perpetuates harmful stereotypes of black people on Twitter. Five preachers, all senior faculty members at the Southern Baptist seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, staged a photo where they dressed up in hoodies, gold chains and posed as “rappers.” At least one of the seminary members was holding a fake gun while the rest of the men were throwing up gang signs and making “guns” with their fingers. “Notorious S.O.P.,” (school of preaching) was scrawled across the top of the photo in graffiti text. So badass, right? *Eye roll*

Look at us. We are so cool.

What in the actual feck were they thinking with that nonsense? Twitter users seemed a bit baffled, as well:

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David L. Allen, dean of the School of Preaching, tried to explain away the photo claiming it was a going away present for a staff member who is a great rapper. He doesn’t, however, address why they chose to dress up as a caricature of African-Americans as a present? Maybe they thought their black friend would appreciate being made fun of?

Dr. Allen apologized for the photo a couple of hours later and then the school tweeted:

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I know some of you won’t understand the problem here and will say,”Oh it’s just a joke. Get over it.” so here’s the problem with that. White Americans have a long history of dressing up like a stereotypical black person in an attempt to dehumanize them. in 2005, Ferris State University sociology professor David Pilgrim explained:

All racial groups have been caricatured in this country, but none have been caricatured as often or in as many ways as have black Americans. Blacks have been portrayed in popular culture as pitiable exotics, cannibalistic savages, hypersexual deviants, childlike buffoons, obedient servants, self-loathing victims, and menaces to society.

Director of the Berkeley Art Center Robbin Henderson said,”derogatory imagery enables people to absorb stereotypes; which in turn allows them to ignore and condone injustice, discrimination, segregation, and racism.”

So, no, it’s not a joke. It was a harmful image meant to paint black rappers in a menacing light so that white people could all have a good giggle.

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