A devotional book with a prayer asking God to help the author “hate white people” raised some hackles on social media and the author responded by defending her anti-white prayer.
Screenshots from the book, “A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal,” were widely circulated on social media. The book was on the New York Times’ bestseller list, according to its Amazon page.
The controversial passage read:
Dear God, Please help me to hate White people. Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.
The author of that passage was Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, who describes herself as “a clinical psychologist, public theologian, and ecumenical minister whose work focuses upon healing the legacies of racial and gender oppression.”
Walker-Barnes defended her prayer in a tweet referencing the Psalms from the Bible.
“Apparently a screenshot of my prayer from ‘A Rhythm of Prayer’ is floating on the socials. The folks critiquing have clearly never read Psalms (other than 23 & 100). Cause then they’d recognize what it’s modeled after,” she claimed.
Apparently a screenshot of my prayer from “A Rhythm of Prayer” is floating on the socials. The folks critiquing have clearly never read Psalms (other than 23 & 100). Cause then they’d recognize what it’s modeled after.
— Dr. Chanequa (@drchanequa) April 5, 2021
Walker-Barnes went on to explain that she wrote that prayer as a response to a white person who had been her friend that used the N-word casually in conversation.
“I took my rage to God in prayer. I owned it. I was truthful to God about what I was struggling with. And I prayed for God not to let anger and hatred overwhelm me,” she claimed.
“I prayed to be true to the biblical mandate for peace, justice, & reconciliation even though I don’t think it’s possible,” she added.
In a lecture at TheoEd Talks, Walker-Barnes blamed racism on “pathological whiteness.”
“It is becoming more and more obvious that whiteness is a dysfunctional system, that it is a pathology that poses a danger to individual white people, definitely to the well-being of black and other people of color, and it poses a threat to the fabric of our democracy if left unchecked,” Walker-Barnes said.