Louie Giglio, a megachurch pastor from Atlanta, has apologized after characterizing slavery as a “white blessing” during an online church service Sunday.
Rapper Lecrae and Chic-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy joined Giglio, the head of Passion City Church in Atlanta for “an open and honest conversation around how racism has plagued our city for generations, and the steps we can take to confront it head-on in our church, our neighborhoods, and our hearts,” reports Newsweek.
During the service, Giglio said even though white people are aware of “the curse of slavery”, they miss its benefits.
“We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do, 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 so a lot of people call this ‘white privilege’….let’s get over the phrase…I think maybe a great thing for me is to call it ‘white blessing’ because I’m living in the blessing of the curse that allowed me to grow up generationally in Atlanta,” he said.
His comments received backlash online, and the pastor has since tried to clarify his statements.
“Not seeking to refer to slavery as a blessing – but that we are privileged because of the curse of slavery,” he wrote on Twitter. “In calling it a privilege/beneft/blessing – word choice wasn’t great. Trying to help us see society is built on the dehumanisation of others. My apology, I failed.”
On Instagram, Giglio asked people to pray for him. “I don’t believe there’s any blessing in slavery,” he wrote in an Instagram apology video. “I’m heartbroken about where we are as a nation, and one of ththings I’m most heartbroken about is trying to help myself learn and trying to help my white brothers and sisters understand that white privilege is real…Pray for me.”
Addressing Giglio’s comments, Lacrae, in a Tuesday Twitter video, said: “I wasn’t okay with it, even as I sat there I was very uncomfortable…obviously I’m not okay with changing ‘white privilege’ to ‘white blessing,’ that’s a privilege in and of itself.”