Evangelical Pastor Louie Giglio apologized for suggesting slavery could be seen as a "blessing" and preferred using the term "white blessing" instead of "white privilege." Giglio made the comments during a roundtable event at Passion City Church in Atlanta with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy and Christian rapper Lecrae Moore. In his apology, Giglio said the term "white blessing" was a "horrible choice of words."
"We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do," Giglio said during the event on June 14. "And we say that was bad, but we miss the blessing of slavery, that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in." After saying he uses the term "white blessing" instead of white privilege," Giglio said he is "living in the blessing of the curse that happened generationally that allowed me to grow up in Atlanta."
I’m sorry—a message from my heart. pic.twitter.com/FD6AYU1mcM— Louie Giglio (@louiegiglio) June 16, 2020
Moore, who is Black, only nodded while Giglio spoke. He then reminded Giglio that dismissing "white privilege" is a privilege itself since he could not say the same thing. "You have the ability to not think about it. I cannot change my skin tone," Moore said. "I cannot live another day without recognizing my blackness."
Giglio and Moore's exchange instantly came under fire on social media, but it was not until Tuesday that Giglio issued an apology video on Twitter. He does not "believe there is any blessing in slavery," Giglio said, reports NBC News. "To the contrary, what I'm trying to understand and help people see is that I, my white brothers and sisters, we sit in large part where we are today because of the centuries of gross injustice done to our black brothers and sisters."
Moore also published a video response, saying he was "not okay with changing white privilege to white blessing. That's a privilege in and of itself." The rapper told The Washington Post he later spoke with Giglio about the exchange, as well as Cathy's controversial comment suggesting White people should shine Black people's shoes. Moore said Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice King was also supposed to be at the event, but backed out due to health issues.
"The moment where he talked about 'the blessings' was brought up as well, as well as the moment when my shoes got shined," Moore said of their conversation. "I wanted to turn the tide and tried to steer the ship as best I could. And I probably was a little too diplomatic in the process. But it was uncomfortable." The rapper added, "It helps me to think through how to deal with things moving forward in the future. It's difficult to be honest in front of the people."