Civil rights activist Shaun King has ignited some controversy, after saying that statues depicting Jesus as White should be torn down. In a series of tweets, King shared his stance, calling the statues a "form of White Supremacy, and "always have been."
King went on to say, In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark." He then added, "Tear them down." King has been a fervent proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement and has used his platform to speak out about issues facing the black community for many years. This has, on more than one occasion, led to backlash from those who disagree with King's perspective.
All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.
They are a gross form white supremacy.
Created as tools of oppression.
They should all come down.— Shaun King (@shaunking) June 22, 2020
Replying to backlash he's faced over his position on statues of "White Jesus," King stated that he's "received about 20 death threats in the past 12 hours." He added, "It pretty much proves my point. Your religion is actually whiteness with a Christian patina." He then clarified that he is "a practicing Christian, as well as "an ordained minister" who "was a Senior Pastor for many years."
"If my critiques of the white supremacy within the Christian world bother you to the point of wanting to kill me, you are the problem," King continued. "Christian whiteness has ALWAYS been dangerous." King previously served as a minister at Total Grace Christian Center in DeKalb County, Georgia, and then later founded Courageous Church in Atlanta. He resigned from the church in 2012, reportedly "citing personal stress and disillusionment."
King's call for "White Jesus" statues to be torn down comes as statues of historical figures who were known to be slave owners and/or traders are being taken down all over the world. Additionally, statues that depict Confederate leaders from the Civil War are being impacted, as well as statues of figures known to have supported the subjugation of indigenous people. Related to that, it was recently announced that a statue of President Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is being removed. The statue is of Roosevelt on horseback, with an African man standing beside him, and a Native American man standing on the other side.