'Race tests' may be fueling segregation in white evangelical churches

April 24, 2017, Wiley

A new study explores why nominally welcoming churches remain racially segregated in the post-civil rights era. The reason may be due to clergy and congregants in white evangelical churches who execute what the authors term "race tests" on incoming people of color.

Race tests may be used to determine whether people of color are willing to serve the interests of whites in the church or to coerce people of color into leaving. After examining data gathered from seven majority white, evangelical churches across four states, the authors provide examples of both types of race tests.

"Whiteness, like other forms of domination, is characterized by masking power under a veil of normality. Therefore, in the colorblind era, whites are discouraged from the formal, overt bigotry that most people recognize as racism," wrote the authors of the Sociological Inquiry study. "Instead, scholars must anticipate informal behaviors, such as tests, that fit the interests of under the current racial paradigm."

The study is part of a special issue on racial microaggressions.

Explore further: Claims of being 'color blind' implies race does not matter, leads to unequal education, professor says

More information: Glenn E. Bracey et al, "Race Tests": Racial Boundary Maintenance in White Evangelical Churches, Sociological Inquiry (2017). DOI: 10.1111/soin.12174

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Why war is a man's game

August 15, 2018

No sex differences in attitudes or abilities are needed to explain the near absence of women from the battlefield in ancient societies and throughout history, it could ultimately all be down to chance, say researchers at ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JamesG
3 / 5 (2) Apr 24, 2017
This whole white shaming thing is just a way to prove non-racists are racists. It's a fabrication and a lie and shouldn't be considered science.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.